Target supplement class action suit set for status hearing in August

Amelia Flood Jun. 11, 2009, 6:59am



A class action suit filed over an immunity supplement sold by Target stores is set for a case status hearing in August as discovery continues.

The suit claims that the store's off-brand "Airborne" competitor does not boost the immune system despite claiming to. The suit alleges Target, a Minnesota-based retailer, violated Illinois' consumer fraud laws.

St. Clair County Circuit Judge Patrick Young is presiding. The suit was filed Dec. 31, 2008.

Plaintiff Brian Buehlhorn seeks to represent a class of anyone who purchased Target's "Immunity Supplement" on or before Dec. 31, 2003 to the present. Buehlhorn bought the drug at a St. Clair County Target. The plaintiff argues that the class would consist of at least several hundred people.

Buehlhorn's suit contends that the Target product, which is supposed to "piggyback on the increasing popularity and recognition of 'health care products' and in particular Airborne."

However, the suit alleges, the supplement does not boost the immune system or help ward off illness nor does its packaging reference this. The plaintiff argues the product's claims to do so "are thus unfair, unjust and deceptive."

Buehlhorn is seeking damages for Buehlhorn and class members not to exceed $75,000 per individual. The suit also seeks costs and attorneys' fees.

Target denies it violated the Illinois Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act in its answer. It denied all the plaintiff's claims. It argues the suit was filed after its time had run out under the three year statute of limitations written in the consumer fraud act.

Young entered a protective order at Target's request to protect trade secrets and other confidential information applying to the suit May 26.

Buehlhorn is represented by Paul Weiss, Richard Burke and Kevin Hoerner according to court documents.

Target is represented by Robert Bassett, David Z. Smith and others.

The case is St. Clair case number 08-L-667.

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