Superior Court judge rejects settlement in 1-800-GET-THIN false advertising lawsuit

A billboard for the Lap Band over the 210 freeway.
A billboard for the Lap Band over the 210 freeway.
Corey Bridwell/KPCC

A superior court judge has rejected a proposed settlement of a false advertising lawsuit against the 1-800-GET-THIN billboard campaign. Judge Kenneth Freeman issued an order that raised questions about various aspects of the tentative deal in the class action suit, which was filed by relatives of two people who had died after undergoing Lap-Band weight reduction surgery at clinics affiliated with 1-800-GET-THIN. 

Freeman is not convinced that the proposed $500,000 payment to the estimated 11,000 plaintiffs would be sufficient. The judge also wants to hear more about the plan for the company behind the billboards to spend $100,000 on new billboards that would explain the risks of weight-loss surgery. Freeman wondered whether the $100,000 amount is reasonable, and whether such billboards would benefit the plaintiffs.

The Los Angeles Times first reported on the tentative deal. 

The judge will reconsider the matter on June 24. You can see the judge's order and the proposed settlement below:

Judge Kenneth Freeman's Order

The Proposed Settlement