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Abbott Labs must face lawsuit over PediaSure height claims

2024.02.03 13:30


© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Abbott Laboratories brand is displayed on a display screen on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York City, U.S., October 18, 2021. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid/File Photo

By Jonathan Stempel

NEW YORK (Reuters) -A decide has rejected Abbott Laboratories (NYSE:)’ effort to dismiss a New York City grandmother’s lawsuit claiming it misled shoppers into believing its PediaSure Grow & Gain diet drinks have been “clinically proven” to assist youngsters develop taller.

U.S. District Judge Paul Engelmayer in Manhattan mentioned on Friday that Joanne Noriega’s grievance set forth “strong, evidence-backed reasons” to doubt Abbott’s declare that scientific research supported its advertising and marketing claims.

Noriega cited three research funded by Abbott itself that discovered no connection between PediaSure and progress in height.

“The existence of studies contradicting the label’s claim reinforce the plausibility of the complaint’s allegation that the label would mislead a reasonable consumer,” Engelmayer wrote.

“This case is without merit,” Abbott mentioned in a press release on Saturday, including that PediaSure is a scientifically designed diet answer for kids to assist assist progress and growth.

Noriega, from Bronx, New York, mentioned she had purchased PediaSure Grow & Gain vanilla and strawberry drinks for her 8-year-old grandson, who was “short for his age,” believing they might assist him get taller. She mentioned that after a 12 months of consuming two PediaSure drinks per day, her grandson was nonetheless quick however had turn out to be “so overweight” that she stopped shopping for the drinks.

James Denlea, a lawyer for Noriega, mentioned in an interview he was happy with the choice, which lets his consumer collect extra proof by the invention course of.

Abbott had entry to research that “completely debunked any notion that its milkshake could help children grow,” Denlea mentioned. “The marketing was misleading, and Abbott knew that to be the case.”

The lawsuit seeks unspecified damages for New Yorkers who have been deceived into shopping for or overpaying for PediaSure.

Abbott has mentioned PediaSure is meant for kids ages 2 to 13, and helps them “grow out of at-risk weight-for-height percentiles (5th-25th percentiles)” inside eight weeks.

PediaSure is a part of the Abbott Park, Illinois-based firm’s pediatric dietary section, which additionally contains Pedialyte and Similac.

The case is Noriega v Abbott Laboratories, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, No. 23-04014.

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