Trends and fads that ended in lawsuits and mega-legal bills - Los Angeles Post-ExaminerLos Angeles Post-Examiner

Trends and fads that ended in lawsuits and mega-legal bills

Fads come and go. They capture the attention of the public, they sell millions and then they disappear into the ether. Sometimes it’s because they just fall out of favor and are no longer trendy. Other times it’s because they were hit with major fines and lawsuits and in some cases were even made illegal.

4. DMAA and Other Supplements

Every bodybuilder, aspiring athlete or average Joe is looking for a magic supplement that can help them, whether they want to add muscle or lose weight. As soon as one is formulated, it hits the market, flying under the sight of the FDA and awaits the inevitable chaos.

It always happens. It happened with ephedra, it happened with pro-hormones, it seems to be happening now with SARMs, and in the past, it happened with DMAA. Sold as a great way to build muscle, this supplement could actually put the user at serious risk of liver damage and even death.

The manufacturers were hit with several major lawsuits, and all production was ordered to be ceased. But considering the number of people who died from consuming it, they are lucky they weren’t hit with murder charges as well.

3. Muscle Toning Footwear

It seemed like an easy solution to getting toned thighs and a firm bum, but muscle toning footwear was a con. It just didn’t work like Skechers and Reebok said it would and in the end they were ordered to pay $25 million in FTC charges.

The claim was that they were basically lying in their commercials, during which they claimed that you could “tone with every step”. In one sense, it’s true, as walking can help to tone the legs and buttocks. But in another, this was a blatant lie told to target the billion-dollar weight loss and fitness market.

2. Abdominal Belts

The toning belts that you wrap around your midsection in the hope of achieving perfectly sculpted abs are not complete cons, but they are pretty close.

The problem with these machines is that they lead customers into believing that those defined abs can be achieved just by using the belt, but in actual fact, you need a lot of hard work, good diet, and discipline to get perfectly defined abs.

They were hit with major lawsuits. Ab Circle Pro was forced to pay $25 million, and similar sums were paid by other manufacturers of these belts. These days they are nowhere near as popular as they once were, but other“instant six-pack” kits are cropping up and awaiting future lawsuits.

1. Pet Rocks

The pet rock fad began in the 1970s as a joke, but thanks to some genius marketing it actually took off. They were cheap, they didn’t require any care and they wouldn’t die on you. Of course, they were pointless, cold and lifeless rocks … but the ‘70s was a different time.

Gary Dahl was the inventor and he made millions in a few short months. But he would later be hit with major lawsuits when investors claimed he had not given them their fair share. He was forced to pay 6 figure sums to settle and he spent the rest of his life in hiding, claiming that he wanted to avoid “wackos” that would try to sue him.

Pet fads and specifically pet foods actually attract a lot of legal action. Manufacturers are always claiming that a specific food or supplement can help your cat, dog or small animal live longer, but in some cases, they are tainted and borderline dangerous. Dogs and cats can’t eat garlic or onions, they can’t eat chocolate and a lot of other foods. If these end up in the production cycle then the damage is done and lawsuits arrive.

Why all the Lawsuits?

It’s easy to dismiss these lawsuits as opportunistic and blame our litigious society, but clearly, there were major issues with all of these fads and they were all asking for trouble.

There are many fads out there that have gone onto earn billions for their owners and have never encountered major legal issues. Yo-yo’s, hula hoops, and even scooters. Although, as reported by The Electric Rider, Vice and more, we’re sure many residents in San Francisco would like that trend to suffer major legal setbacks sooner rather than later.


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