Diet Supplement Labeling Suit: Georgia Supreme Court Avoids Hi-Tech Pharmaceuticals Review

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Diet Supplement Labeling Suit
Close-up of white plastic jar with supplement facts of multivitamins in woman hands.

In a cliffhanging decision, the Georgia Supreme Court refrained from revisiting a lawsuit that claims Hi-Tech Pharmaceuticals Inc. peddles dietary supplements laced with an unauthorized drug. With the court’s silence, the initial assertion stands tall: The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) holds the primary jurisdiction in this matter.

Though the justices kept their cards close to their chest, not revealing their thought process for rejecting the review appeals from both parties involved, one justice chose a more transparent path.

 Justice Pinson’s Observations: Treading into Muddy Waters

Justice Andrew A. Pinson, diving deeper into the enigmatic doctrine, highlighted its two distinct forms: the statutory and the prudential.

Drawing an analogy, if the statutory doctrine were a straight path paved by statutes that put an issue directly under an agency’s scrutiny, the prudential form would be the less-trodden trail.

It’s up to the court’s discretion to usher an issue to an agency, capitalizing on the agency’s specialized knowledge.