Englewood attorney Harold M. Hoffman has achieved a curious notoriety in legal circles after his prolonged effort to sue a company for false advertising of a penis enlargement product that did not meet his expectations. He lost another round before the New Jersey appellate court.
Hoffman brought the action under the state’s Consumer Fraud Act. Among other things, Hoffman insisted the the company, Hampshire Labs, promised that its product would “female partners to experience spine-quaking orgasms” and other unrealized benefits.
Here is an excerpt from the opinion:
On November 26, 2007, plaintiff filed a complaint in the trial court individually and on behalf of a class of persons who purchased a product called Herculex. Plaintiff claimed that defendants Hampshire Labs, Inc. and Video Age, Inc. “advertised, promised and represented” to consumers through “print, internet and other media” that the product contained certain ingredients “‘that are quickly transported through the tissues of the penis causing a surprisingly large erection to occur in no time at all[.]'”
According to the complaint, defendants’ advertisements included various statements about the product, including claims that the product would “‘[i]nduce the biggest erections of your life;'” “‘[i]nduce a harder, stiffer, more rigid erection;'” “‘[i]nduce one erection after another;'” and “‘[c]ause female partners to experience spine-quaking orgasms[.]'” These, and other results, were “‘guaranteed.'”
The appellate court upheld the dismissal with the view that Hoffman’s failure to show demonstrable results from the product still failed to show any “ascertainable loss.” It could have been worse: the court could have remanded to allow a motion to sever.
The court however did give Hoffman another chance to amend his complaint against the mail-order health foods supplier, Hampshire Labs Inc. It is hard to believe that Hampshire is not on the up-and-up. After all, their ads have people in white coats and offer such scientifically proven products as “horny goat weed.”
Hoffman pleads to continue and to file a new complaint on behalf of himself and the class of very very disappointed New Jersey men.
For a copy of the opinion, click here.
For the full story, click here.
23 thoughts on “Motion to Enlarge: New Jersey Lawyer Loses Bid Against Defective “Enlargement” Device”
Well, I meant: It’s OK to POKE FUN at the lawsuit.
“Hoffman pleads to continue and to file a new complaint on behalf of himself and the class of very very disappointed New Jersey men.”
Professor, I don’t know why you don’t mention the very very very disappointed New Jersey women. (When you consider the claims…)
Felix Frankfurter, I agree about the unwarranted criticism of the attorney; I have seen frivolous lawsuits (lots and lots and lots and lots and lots of them) and this does not strike me as one. I think the court is saying that NOT getting a terrific erection does not equal damages; obviously, most of the judges would know that from experiences they had “dehors the record.” But about the merriment — I think that’s fair game.
A few years back I had an aol account, given to me as a Christmas present by someone who had paid to get e-mail and then she could add four more individuals to her account. I became annoyed at the aol account because I was receiving, each day, about a dozen advertisements about evenly broken down as follows, ALL USING MY NAME IN THE ADDRESS (and my real name is recognizable as feminine):
Malisha, buy our product to enlarge your penis, [words to that effect]
Malisha, buy our product to enlarge your breasts, [ditto ditto ditto]
Never did I click on any of these annoying messages but I was aware, because of the sheer volume of them, that there was a very active market for products promising those results. There is a certain attraction to the argument: “Anybody who buys these products deserves to be cheated” but on the other hand, that’s exactly what consumer protection is about. People who desperately WANT to believe they will get something they think they DESPERATELY NEED can be fleeced. That doesn’t make it fair advertising to fleece them.
I don’t understand the merriment and abuse of this attorney. It sounds like the product is a blatant fraud and the lawsuit is reasonable.
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