St. Clair County: Walgreen hit with another 'Wal-born' class action

Kelly Holleran Sep. 17, 2008, 4:29am

A class action lawsuit filed in St. Clair County Sept. 2 alleges Walgreen engaged in unfair and deceptive practices designed to mislead the public in marketing its "Wal-born" products.

Class plaintiff Ryan Presson of Madison County alleges Walgreen misled the public into believing Wal-born products cure or prevent colds and other illnesses and boost the immune system.

Paul M. Weiss and Geroge K. Lang of Freed & Weiss in Chicago, Kevin T. Hoerner and Brian T. Kreisler of Becker, Paulson, Hoerner & Thompson in Belleville and Richard J. Burke of St. Louis will be representing Presson and the putative class.

"Walgreen's Wal-born product is designed to piggyback on the increasing popularity and recognition of 'health care products' and in particular – Airborne," the suit states. "Walgreen purposefully shelves Wal-born next to or nearby Airborne in Walgreen's stores."

A similar class action suit was filed in Madison County on Aug. 14.

In that case, class plaintiff Francis Talley of East Alton alleges Walgreen's misleads the public into believing Wal-born products cure or prevent colds and other illnesses and boosts the immune system. Talley and the class are represented by Evan Buxner, of counsel to Walther/Glenn Law Associates in St. Louis.

Presson alleges the product falsely claims that it protects users from airborne viruses, is a form of immune system defense and decreases a person's likelihood of getting sick.

He also claims Walgreen's "unfair, unjust and deceptive practice" has caused him and the class to incur substantial damages.

"Walgreen has no scientific or otherwise legitimate basis for making any of its health efficacy claims, and such claims are thus unfair, unjust and deceptive," the complaint states.

Because Wal-born did not perform as intended, Walgreen is in violation of the Consumer Fraud Act, the suit states.

Presson is asking that the case be certified as a class action, that Walgreen's actions and practices be judged as fraudulent and that the court award him and the class damages, attorney's fees and costs of the suit.

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