More news from the burgeoning world of beverage-related class-action lawsuits as Lifeway becomes the latest company to be hit with allegations that its drinks do not provide their advertised health benefits. According to courthousenews.com, Scott Keatley and Joseph Villari, who filed a class action against Lifeway Foods Inc. in the Northern District of Illinois, claim that Lifeway’s ProBoost line of products – which include the company’s probiotic Kefir drinks – “are not clinically proven to be effective for the benefits Lifeway represents in its media and advertising.”
On its website, Lifeway describes its Kefir drinks as containing “seven to ten billion CFUs of 10 strains of bacteria, plus ProBoost, [its] exclusive pair of clinically proven probiotics,” and that the products balance the “body’s ecosystem and support digestive health and immunity.”
However, Keatley and Villari dispute these claims, stating in their lawsuit that, “the two strains Lifeway touts in its ProBoost products, Lactobacillus acidophilus NCFM and Bifidobacterium lactis HN019, which must be at certain dosage levels to provide any claimed health enhancing benefits, are not even in the ProBoost Products.” Moreover, the plaintiffs state that “testing shows that Lifeway’s ProBoost products contain little to no Lactobacillus acidophilus NCFM and Bifidobacterium lactis HN019.”
The plaintiffs go on to state that they would “not have purchased the ProBoost products had they known the truth regarding the ProBoost products and the ProBoost products did not have the quality, health benefits or value as promised.” That lawsuit alleges that Lifeway is in violation of the Magnuson-Moss Act, unjust enrichment, breach of warranty, misrepresentation, fraudulent concealment, and fraud and the class is seeking restitution and punitive damages.