Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Anna Nicole Fitted for TrimSpa Suit

While Anna Nicole Smith isn't exactly the poster child for easy living, she sure made losing weight look like a piece of cake.

At least, that's what three Los Angeles women who are suing the reality TV star think.

Janet Luna, Myra Luna and Yvonne Rodarte filed suit Thursday against Smith and TrimSpa Inc., accusing the company and its spokeswoman of using deceptive business practices to peddle the weight-loss supplement and of violating California's unfair competition law.

By either expressing or implying via its advertising campaign that TrimSpa X32 (Completely Ephedra-Free Formula X32) "causes rapid and substantial weight loss" by suppressing users' appetites, the company is defrauding consumers and cheating its competitors, the plaintiffs allege in court documents filed in Los Angeles Superior Court.

One of the more high-profile commercials features a newly svelte Smith in a slinky evening gown boasting "I'm back" to a flashbulb-popping crowd. "TrimSpa baby!" the former Playboy Playmate says.

In their suit, the three women claim that they were injured as a result of the defendants' dirty dealings. They did not detail the nature of the alleged injuries, however, so it's unclear whether the plaintiffs didn't lose weight or suffered other physical consequences.

One of the plaintiffs, Janet Luna, appears to be a minor because the suit was filed on her behalf by guardian Mauro Luna.

TrimSpa parent company Nutramerica Corp., manufacturer Goen Technologies Corp. and exec Alexander Szynalski (aka Alexander Goen) were also named as defendants.

"The Defendants have created an elaborate scheme to cheat consumers" with their false and misleading advertising, the complaint states. "It is quite apparent that Defendants wish to keep the money they have gained due to their unfair actions, rather than refund it to the consumers."

Representatives for Smith and TrimSpa were unavailable for comment.

Rodarte and the Lunas are seeking unspecified damages, as well as an injunction preventing TrimSpa & Co. from continuing to market the herbal supplement as a fast-acting, safe and easy-to-use appetite suppressant and requiring that the plaintiffs pay restitution to other unsatisfied consumers (i.e. the "general public," the suit reads).

TrimSpa is available over the counter but is not yet approved by the Food and Drug Administration. Last month, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission fined Goen Technologies Corp. $1.5 million for making unsupported claims in advertisements. The makers of several other supplements, including Xenadrine and CortiSlim, were also slapped with fines.

In other Ms. Smith Goes to Court news: a hearing is set for Wednesday in L.A. in the ongoing Anna Nicole-Larry Birkhead baby daddy drama. Smith's legal team was able to postpone the Jan. 23 deadline by which she was expected to submit daughter Dannielynn Hope for paternity testing, claiming that a Bahaman judge also needed to sign off on the L.A. court's order.

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