Some Herbalife distributors get arbitration, venue change to California
Following on from yesterday’s coverage of the class-action Herbalife “Circle of Success” lawsuit, a ruling has been made on filed arbitration and change of venue motions.
As per the ruling, only plaintiff distributors who signed a Herbalife Distributor Agreement with an arbitration clause are subject to it.
Plaintiffs this affects are Jen and Michael Lavigne, Cody Pyle and Felix Valdez. The remaining distributor plaintiffs are able to continue with the case.
With respect to Herbalife’s requested change of venue to California, once again only distributor plaintiffs who signed an agreement with a forum selection clause are affected.
That being distributor plaintiffs Jen Ribalta, Patricia and Jeff Rodgers and Izaar Valdez.
As per the August 23rd order, the court clerk has been directed to “sever” the case into two parts going forward.
The first part of the case will continue in Florida and covers all distributor plaintiff claims against all individual distributor defendants (excludes Herbalife as a company).
The second part of the case will be transferred to California, where Jen Ribalta, Jeff and Patricia Rodgers and Izaar Valdez can continue their case against Herbalife as a company.
I’m not too sure what this means from a legal perspective with respect to the class-action, however the phrase “divide and conquer” certainly comes to mind.
It is far easier for Herbalife and its top Distributors to fob off victims in lesser numbers, then it is if they band together in a class action.
We’ll continue to monitor the case going forward.
Update September 28th 2018 – The August 23rd order has been appealed, with proceedings stayed pending the outcome of the appeal.
The stay was ordered on September 24th, following a joint motion request on September 21st.
Update 27th September 2020 – On August 27th the Eleventh Circuit upheld the August 23rd 2018 order. We’ll continue to monitor the case docket for updates.
Update 26th October 2020 – The Florida case has been reopened. We’ve also published some updates on the split California case against Herbalife.