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Crime & Justice

How the FTC suit against vengeful weight-loss company sets legal precedent




A photo illustration depicts a person typing May 4, 2001 in Denver, CO.
A photo illustration depicts a person typing May 4, 2001 in Denver, CO.
Michael Smith

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The FTC is suing Roca Labs – a weight loss company – for legally going after customers that posted negative reviews of its products.

The Florida-based company sells supplements it touts as an alternative to gastric bypass surgery. After using one of its products, a dissatisfied client of Roca posted a compliant on the Better Business Bureau’s website. Roca then sued her for the posting the complaint and violating a non-disparagement clause agreement that she had signed with the company.

The FTC, reports CBS News, is charging that Roca has built its multimillion business on deceptive advertising and unfair practices.

Guests:

Ken White, a First Amendment litigator and criminal defense attorney at Brown White & Osborn in Los Angeles.  His analysis of the FTC suit against Roca can be found on Popehat.com, his free speech and criminal justice blog