This lawsuit resulted in a nationwide class action settlement providing, among other relief, significant reimbursement to consumers of CVS’s misleadingly-labeled Algal-900 DHA supplement.

In February 2016, CSPI’s Litigation Department and its co-counsel sued CVS on behalf of several classes of consumers, for false and misleading advertising of its Algal-900 DHA supplement.

The Lawsuit

Part of a broader practice of mislabeling in the supplements industry, CVS labeled its Algal-900 product with conspicuous claims of “CLINICALLY SHOWN MEMORY IMPROVEMENT.” The lawsuit alleged that established science shows that, with the exception of infants, DHA does not improve memory. The lawsuit also alleged that the FTC investigated identical claims by CVS’s supplier, determined them to be false and misleading, and barred the supplier from making them.

The Settlement

In May 2019, the parties reached a settlement for a nationwide class. The settlement was an excellent result, providing for comprehensive class notice, significant reimbursements, and strong injunctive relief. For example, under the terms of the settlement, class members who purchased the product with a loyalty card or online, or who otherwise had a proof of purchase (such as a receipt), were entitled to a full refund. In September 2019, the court gave its final approval to the agreed nationwide class settlement.