Penis-enlargement firms sued
Penis-enlargement firms sued
By Kris Hudson
Denver Post Business Writer
A California man on Thursday sued a slew of international companies, including a Greeley distributor, alleging the penis-enlargement products they market and distribute do not work.
The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Denver, seeks class-action status to represent an estimated 1 million people who ordered the products in response to advertisements on television, radio and spam e-mail.
“I was wondering for a long time why no one has gotten around to suing these penis-enlargement guys, because it seems like a pretty blatant … fraud,” said New York lawyer Brad Corsello, who filed the lawsuit on behalf of Californian Jeffery Horton.
The lawsuit names as defendants Leading Edge Marketing Inc. of British Columbia, TechniPak LLC of Greeley and several others. The lawsuit described TechniPak as the “operational hub” of the enterprise.
Officials at TechniPak did not return calls seeking comment late Thursday. The TechniPak website describes the company as an operation that handles order processing, warehousing, shipping and payment processing.
Horton’s lawsuit alleges that Leading Edge promotes its enlargement products by e-mail, radio ads and television - including a half-hour infomercial starring adult-film legend Ron “Hedgehog” Jeremy. The lawsuit accuses the defendants of fraud, theft and money-laundering.
The lawsuit claims that oils and herbal supplements marketed by Leading Edge under the brand VigRx do not produce the promised permanent enlargement of the penis or cure for erectile dysfunction, among other things. The products cost an average of $110 apiece, according to the lawsuit.
Along with the lawsuit, Corsello filed a written declaration from his client, Horton.
The California man paid $160 for an order of VigRx Oil after receiving an unsolicited e-mail touting the product, according to his declaration.
“I used the products, but the products had no effect whatsoever,” Horton wrote. “I now feel that I have been cheated out of my money by the sellers of the products. If possible, I would like to prevent the sellers of the products from cheating others as they have cheated me.”
Also with the lawsuit, Corsello filed a written declaration from John H.J. Bancroft, a doctor at the Kinsey Institute for Sex, Gender and Reproduction at the University of Indiana. Bancroft wrote that nothing other than testosterone can increase penis size.
Among other defendants named in the lawsuit are Unipay Processing Ltd. of Cyprus; DM Contact Management Ltd. of British Columbia; Advanced Botanicals Ltd. of British Columbia; and several individuals associated with the companies.
Mark Loewenstein, a law professor at the University of Colorado at Boulder, said fraud lawsuits do not often get class-action status.
“From a legal point of view, if you’re going to make a case based on fraud, you generally have to show that each plaintiff relied on (the misrepresentation),” Loewenstein said. “That’s why it’s a little unusual to have fraud claims that are class actions.”
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