Zarbee’s Sued For Misrepresenting Melatonin Content in Products

On Tuesday, plaintiff Krystal Lopez filed a class action against defendant Zarbee’s Inc. in the Northern District of California. The complaint alleges that Zarbee’s mislabels and misrepresents the melatonin content of its melatonin products, which are consistently and randomly “misdosed.”

The complaint describes Melatonin as “a neurohormone that regulates the brain’s sleep cycle.” Plaintiff Lopez asserts that because it alters brain chemistry and because higher doses can lead to unpleasant side effects including headaches, dizziness, nausea, or excessive or unwanted sleepiness, it is important that melatonin products bear accurate dosing and labeling.

According to the filing, the defendant’s products are sold at popular retailers like Walmarts, Krogers, and Targets across the country and are marketed towards young children. The defendant allegedly markets its melatonin gummies by stating that “each gummy contains 1 mg melatonin, which is safe,” and can “help your little one,” while encouraging customers to not take more than the recommended dosage.

Plaintiff Lopez bought Zarbee’s melatonin for her children. After a university laboratory tested multiple bottles of melatonin including Lopez’s, it was discovered that her bottle of Zarbee’s actually contained 216% of the advertised amount of melatonin, and that the defendant’s melatonin products were consistently, yet randomly, overdosed.

Lopez contends that the defendant “systematically misrepresents how much melatonin is in the supplements it sells,” which she claims leads to consumers being misled and overcharged and children being put at risk.

The complaint alleges violations of various state consumer protection laws, negligent misrepresentation, and unjust enrichment/quasi-contract. The plaintiff seeks to certify classes of Zarbee’s melatonin product purchasers and assorted relief, including punitive damages.

The consumer is represented by Dovel & Luner LLP, plaintiff’s counsel in a similar case against Olly, another melatonin manufacturer.