The Kardashian sisters are being sued over claims and endorsements they made about the QuickTrim weight-loss product line.
The class-action lawsuit was filed in the Southern District of New York, said The New York Daily News. Four plaintiffs allege that reality sisters Kim, Kourtney, and Khloe made “unsubstantiated, false and misleading claims” in advertisements, interviews, and tweets, touting QuickTrim’s efficacy.
A recent U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) evaluation revealed that the key ingredient in QuickTrim is caffeine.
Attorneys for the plaintiffs, who are based in New York, California, and Florida, criticized the ubiquitous sisters and QuickTrim’s manufacturer, Windmill Health Products, for perpetuating false claims that QuickTrim’s line “curbs cravings,” “promotes weight loss,” and “burns calories.” The sisters have been identified with the brand since 2009 and are known to mention QuickTrim products during television and magazine interviews, telling their fans that they use QuickTrim products to lose weight and maintain that weight loss, said The Daily News.
In January 2010, Kim Kardashian told Ok! magazine that she used a number of QuickTrim products to quickly drop 15 pounds in a few short weeks, said USNews. Both Khloe and Kim have boasted 15-pound weight losses with QuickTrim, said ABC News.
The $5 million class-action lawsuit, filed Thursday in federal court in New York, alleges that “no competent and reliable scientific evidence supporting any of these claims” exists, said US News. As a matter-of-fact, “The FDA has in fact determined that ‘there are inadequate data to establish the general recognition of the safety and effectiveness’ of caffeine for the specified use of weight control,” the lawsuit states.
The lawsuit also blasts the product’s advertising, which encourages consumers to utilize the full range of QuickTrim’s product line, which includes pills and so-called “cleanses” for increased efficacy, but with no evidence supporting these conclusions, said The Daily News. The line also includes powdered drink mixes and was created to “detoxify and clean” the body by removing extra water weight and bloating, due mostly to the laxatives in the products, according to the manufacturer, said USNews.
QuickTrim products are widely available nationwide at more than 25,000 retail chains, including Wal-Mart, Walgreens, CVS, and GNC. Quick-Trim ins based in New Jersey said ABC News. Not only is there no scientific evidence to back up QuickTrim’s claims, recent research suggests cleansing products such as what QuickTrim touts are ineffective and dangerous, said US News. A study published last year in the Journal of Family Practice reviewed 20 case studies reported over 10 years and found that colon cleanses can lead to a number of issues from mild cramping to kidney failure, said USNews. These products “tout benefits that don’t exist,” the study authors said.
This is not the first time the Kardashians have been involved in litigation over their marketing endorsements, said The Vancouver Sun. Endorsement deals accounted for a huge chunk of the Kardashians’ net worth at a whopping $65 million in 2010, according to industry trade magazine The Hollywood Reporter. Kim, 31, is one of the highest paid U.S. reality stars with 2010 earnings estimated at about $6 million for her reality show; clothing line; and many fitness, beauty, and other endorsements.
Last year, the sisters and their mother, Kris Jenner, were involved in a $75 million debit card endorsement lawsuit involving the “Kardashian Kard,” over allegations that the card charged prohibitive consumer fees, said The Vancouver Sun.