Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Why should I read the Notice?
  2. What is the Litigation about?
  3. Why is there a settlement?
  4. Who is included in the settlement?
  5. What does the settlement provide?
  6. Who represents the Settlement Class?
  7. How can I exclude myself from the Settlement Class?
  8. How can I tell the Court what I think about the settlement?
  9. What is the effect of the final settlement approval?
  10. When and where will the Court hold a hearing on the fairness of the settlement?
  11. How do I receive my share of the settlement?
  12. What happens if I do nothing at all?
  13. Where do I get additional information?

1. Why should I read the Notice?

On March 9, 2017, the Court preliminarily approved a settlement of this case. The notice describes the settlement. Your rights and options, and the deadlines to exercise them. Your legal rights are affected regardless of whether or not you take action.

2. What is the Litigation about?

Direct Digital, LLC (“ Direct Digital” or the “Defendant”) manufactures and sells a glucosamine sulfate joint support supplement called Instaflex Joint Support (“Instaflex”). A class action has been filed and certified by the Court in which the plaintiff, on behalf of himself and other purchasers, alleges that certain claims made on the labeling of Instaflex are false. No allegations related to safety or physical injury have been made.

3. Why is there a settlement?

The Court has not decided in favor of either side in the case. Direct Digital stands by its glucosamine sulfate product and its efficacy. Direct Digital is settling to avoid the expense, inconvenience, and inherent risk of litigation. Plaintiff and his attorneys assert that the settlement is in the best interests of the Settlement Class, because it provides a fair and reasonable recovery now while avoiding the risk, expense, and delay of pursuing the case through trial and any appeals.

4. Who is included in the settlement?

You are included in the Settlement Class if you paid money to obtain Instaflex for personal use and not resale or distribution, including all persons who paid only shipping and handling for an Instaflex trial or sample. Excluded from the Settlement Class are:

  1. Defendant
  2. Retailers of Instaflex
  3. The parents, subsidiaries, affiliates, officers, and directors of defendant or retailers of Instaflex
  4. Those persons who submit valid requests for exclusion from the Settlement Class
  5. Any persons who purchased Instaflex and have already received a full refund.

5. What does the settlement provide?

Direct Digital agrees to pay $4,500,000 to a Settlement Fund, which will be used to pay claims made by consumers, attorneys’ fees for Settlement Class Counsel, incentive awards to the Class Representative, and notice and administration costs up to $400,000 (unless there are leftover monies in the Settlement Fund after all claims, attorneys’ fees, and the incentive award is paid, then up to $600,000).

  1. Monetary Recovery. If you submit a valid claim post-marked or submitted online by September 5, 2017, you willreceive
    1. $15.00 per bottle of Instaflex Joint Support purchased (up to a maximum of 7 bottles or $105.00, per household) or,
    2. $5.00 if you paid only shipping and handling for an Instaflex sample or trial and did not pay money to purchase Instaflex.
  2. Leftover/ InsufficientMonies In Fund. If monies remain in the Settlement Fund after the claims, attorneys’ fees, incentive award, and notice and administration costs are paid, the remaining funds will be distributed pro rata (proportionately) to all Settlement Class members who have submitted a valid claim for purchases, up to a maximum of $60.00 for each bottle claimed. If leftover monies still remain, those monies will be given to a cy pres recipient, The Arthritis Foundation. If payments requested exceed the monies available in the Settlement Fund, payments to Settlement Class members will be reduced pro rata.
  3. Labeling Changes. Direct Digital has agreed to make certain modifications to the labeling of Covered Products, which are described in Paragraph 7 of the Settlement Agreement.

6. Who represents the Settlement Class?

  1. Class Representative. For purposes of the settlement, the Court has appointed Vince Mullins, the plaintiff named in the Litigation to serve as the Class Representative. Settlement Class Counsel will request an incentive award of up to $5,000 to be paid to the Class Representative from the Settlement Fund.
  2. Settlement Class Counsel. The Court has appointed the following attorneys and law firms to represent the Settlement Class as Settlement Class Counsel:
Elaine A. Ryan
BONNETT, FAIRBOURN, FRIEDMAN & BALINT, P.C.
2325 E. Camelback Road
Suite 300
Phoenix, Arizona 85016
Max A. Stein
BOODELL & DOMANSKIS, LLC
One North Franklin
Suite 1200
Chicago, Illinois 60606
Stewart M. Weltman
SIPRUT, P.C.
17 North State Street
Suite 1600
Chicago, Illinois 60602

From the inception of the litigation in 2013 to the present, Settlement Class Counsel has not received any payment for their services in prosecuting the case or obtaining the settlement, nor have they been reimbursed for any out-of-pocket expenses they have incurred. Settlement Class Counsel will apply to the Court for an award of attorneys’ fees and costs of up to 33% of the Settlement Fund. If approved, these fees and costs will be paid from the Settlement Fund before making payments to Settlement Class members who submit valid claims. If you want to be represented by your own lawyer, you may hire one at your own expense.

7. How can I exclude myself from the Settlement Class?

To exclude yourself from the Settlement Class, you must send a letter saying that you want to be excluded from the proposed Settlement Class in the Instaflex Product Litigation. Your written exclusion request must include:

  1. Your name
  2. Address
  3. Telephone number, and
  4. Signature

and a statement to the effect that: “I/We hereby request to be excluded from the proposed Settlement Class in the Instaflex Joint Support Products Litigation.” Your exclusion request must be postmarked no later than July 20, 2017 and mailed to Instaflex Glucosamine Sulfate Settlement Administrator:

Instaflex Glucosamine Sulfate Settlement Administrator
PO Box 43034
Providence RI 02940-3034

If you elect to exclude yourself, you will not be able to submit a claim to receive any monetary payment, not be bound by any further orders or judgments in this case, and remain able to pursue your own legal claims alleged in the Litigation by filing your own lawsuit at your own expense. If you proceed on an individual basis, you may receive nothing at all, or more, or less, of a benefit than you would otherwise receive under this settlement.

8. How can I tell the Court what I think about the settlement?

If you do not exclude yourself from the Settlement Class, you can object/comment in support of or in opposition to the settlement. The objection or comment must include:

  1. The case name and number (Mullins v. Direct Digital, LLC, No. 1:13-cv-01829)
  2. Your name, address, and telephone number
  3. A signed statement that you are a member of the Settlement Class
  4. The grounds for the objection
  5. Indicate whether you and/or your attorney (if any) intend to appear at the Fairness Hearing, and list the name, address, and telephone number of the attorney (if any) who will appear.

Your objection or comment must be submitted in writing to all three (3) addresses below and must be post-marked by July 20, 2017

Court Settlement Class Counsel Direct Digital’s Counsel
Clerk of Court, United States District Court
Northern District of Illinois
Everett McKinley Dirksen United States Courthouse
219 South Dearborn Street
Chicago, Illinois 60604
(may be filed in person instead of by mail)
Stewart M. Weltman
Siprut, PC
17 North State Street, Suite 1600
Chicago, Illinois 60602
Ari N. Rothman
Venable LLP
600 Massachusetts Avenue, NW

The Court will consider all comments from Settlement Class members.

9. What is the effect of the final settlement approval?

If the Court grants final approval to the settlement, all members of the Settlement Class will release all claims or causes of action arising from or relating to: allegations, claims, or contentions that were or could have been asserted in the Litigation; and the Covered Products, including, but not limited to, their efficacy or performance, and any and all advertising, labeling, packaging, marketing, claims, or representations of any type whatsoever regarding Instaflex. The Released Claims do not include claims for personal injury or safety-related concerns. All members of the Settlement Class who do not exclude themselves from the Settlement Class will release any claims they may have against Direct Digital and related entities covered by the release. You may refer to Paragraphs 11-13 of the Settlement Agreement for a full description of the claims and persons that will be released upon final approval of the settlement.

The Settlement Agreement is available from the Clerk of the Court, here, by writing to Instaflex Glucosamine Sulfate Settlement Administrator:

Instaflex Glucosamine Sulfate Settlement Administrator
PO Box 43034
Providence RI 02940-3034

or by calling the toll-free number (844) 454-4154.

If you do not wish to be a Settlement Class member, you must exclude yourself from the Settlement Class.

10. When and where will the Court hold a hearing on the fairness of the settlement?

A Fairness Hearing has been set for September 7, 2017, at 10:30 a.m. before Judge Norgle in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Everett McKinley Dirksen United States Courthouse, 219 South Dearborn Street, Chicago, Illinois 60604. At the hearing, the Court will hear any comments, objections, and arguments concerning the fairness of the proposed settlement, including the amount requested by Settlement Class Counsel for attorneys’ fees and expenses, and the incentive award for the Class Representative. You do not need to attend the Fairness Hearing to remain a Settlement Class member or obtain a settlement payment.

11. How do I receive my share of the settlement?

If you do not exclude yourself from the Settlement Class, and would like to receive a cash payment, you must submit a valid claim form as set forth in FAQ 5. Claim forms must be submitted online or post-marked by September 5, 2017. You can file or download a copy of the appropriate claim form here, or obtain one by writing to the Instaflex Glucosamine Sulfate Settlement Administrator:

Instaflex Glucosamine Sulfate Settlement Administrator
PO Box 43034
Providence RI 02940-3034

or by calling the toll-free number (844) 454-4154.

12. What happens if I do nothing at all?

If you do nothing, you will not receive a payment from the settlement. You will still be part of the Settlement Class, and be subject to the release described in Paragraphs 11-13 of the Settlement Agreement.

13. Where do I get additional information?

The notice provides only a summary of the matters relating to the settlement. For more detailed information, you may wish to review the Settlement Agreement dated March 1, 2017. You can view the Settlement Agreement here. You can also get more information by writing to Settlement Class Counsel at: Instaflex Glucosamine Sulfate Settlement Administrator PO Box 43034 Providence RI 02940-3034 or by calling toll-free (844) 454-4154. The Settlement Agreement and all other pleadings and papers filed in connection with the Settlement are available for inspection and copying during regular business hours at:

The office of the Clerk of the United States District Court, Northern District of Illinois
Everett McKinley Dirksen United States Courthouse
219 South Dearborn Street
Chicago, Illinois 60604

PLEASE DO NOT CONTACT THE COURT OR DIRECT DIGITAL WITH QUESTIONS ABOUT THE SETTLEMENT