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"Extenze" class action settlement

It's not surprising that there was a consumer-fraud class action over the obvious scam of Extenze "male enhancement" pills; it's almost a public service if the lawyers do anything to get their obnoxious commercials off the air. It's never clear to me that anyone is ever actually defrauded by the product; perhaps there are purchasers who are that gullible, but it always seemed to me that these sorts of things are purchased as prank gifts for friends. In any event, I learned through Twitter that a class action settlement is being advertised on television on the same shows that had the original commerical. (I might be the only human being who tapes the Daily Show to fast forward through it for the class action settlement commercial.)

Alas, the settlement is as much as a rip-off as the product itself. Consumers can get up to $7.50 per pack of pills with proof of purchase, a fraction of the $50 cost of the product with shipping and handling. And Extenze is only funding the settlement with $6 million in cash—of which the lawyers and settlement administrators look to be taking well over $2 million. (That last fact is buried in the settlement website in the fine print of a 33-page PDF. It's inexcusable that the court approved such a poor and uninformative notice to the class.) Claimants can choose to instead ask (without proof of purchase) to receive packages of "Extenze Racing Merchandise," i.e., clothing advertising the company with the Extenze product logo. And naturally there's a cy pres component without any indication to the class who's going to get their money.

Sadly, the lawyers are likely to get away with it; who's going to admit to purchasing the product to object to the newest rip-off?

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Rafael Mangual
Project Manager,
Legal Policy

Manhattan Institute


Published by the Manhattan Institute

The Manhattan Insitute's Center for Legal Policy.