| June 11
June 11 Natrol Inc filed for bankruptcy on
Wednesday, a day after a U.S. judicial panel consolidated
several class actions accusing the health supplement maker of
false marketing of its joint relief products.
Natrol, a unit of Plethico Pharmaceuticals Ltd of
India, also owns the Laci Le Beau dieter's teas, NuHair and Shen
Min hair loss treatments and MRI and Prolab strength
In documents filed in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in
Wilmington, Delaware, Chatsworth, California-based Natrol did
not explain why it was seeking bankruptcy.
A company spokeswoman and Michael Nestor, a Young Conaway
Stargatt & Taylor lawyer who filed the bankruptcy petition, did
not immediately respond to a request for comment. A lawyer who
represented Natrol in consumer lawsuits declined to comment.
Bankruptcy automatically stays litigation, and Natrol has
been the target in the past year of at least three lawsuits
seeking class action status. They were filed in California,
Illinois and New York federal courts.
The lawsuits say Natrol's glucosamine-related supplements
cannot provide the advertised benefits of regenerating
cartilage, lubricating joints and providing comfort, according
to court documents.
Natrol said in federal court documents that its products
performed as advertised, and it denied the allegations.
The three lawsuits were transferred on Tuesday by a judicial
panel to U.S. District Judge Frederick Motz of Baltimore to
coordinate discovery and other initial matters. The judge is
already overseeing similar litigation involving products made by
GNC Corp and Nutramax Laboratories Inc.
Lawyers for the plaintiffs in the glucosamine cases did not
respond to a request for comment.
Natrol said in bankruptcy court documents that it had up to
$500 million in assets and up to $100 million in liabilities.
Plethico Pharmaceuticals acquired Natrol for about $82
million in 2008.
The case is Natrol Inc, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, District of
Delaware, No. 14-11446.
(Reporting by Tom Hals in Wilmington, Delaware; Editing by Lisa