Cueto gives initial approval to CVS settlement; Lawyers get $950K, class members, $5.99

Amelia Flood Jul. 22, 2011, 11:33am


A 2008 class action filed over the effectiveness of a generic immune system supplement sold by CVS Pharmacies Inc. has settled and is one step closer to being over.

Iean Finley and fellow lead plaintiffs Richard Harvey and Linda Feibel filed the motion for initial approval of the settlement July 12.

St. Clair County Circuit Judge Lloyd Cueto entered his order giving it preliminary approval July 18.

Finley led the suit on behalf of Illinois residents who bought CVS's version of the popular immune system supplement Airborne.

Finley alleges he and class members were sold a supplement that did not boost the immune system as claimed.

The Finley case is one of several immune supplement class actions filed in St. Clair County in 2008.

The suits were filed by the team of lawyers - Paul Weiss, Richard Burke, and Kevin Hoerner.

At least one other immune supplement class action has settled while another, brought against Target Corp., remains pending.

Cueto certified the Finley suit in January 2010.

The parties spent much of the remainder of 2010 arguing over class notice.

Under the proposed settlement, the class consists of those who bought CVS's "Airshield" between July 1, 2005 and Nov. 30, 2008.

Epiq Systems/Garden City will carry out notice of the settlement and administer the settlement.

The Harvey action was filed first in August 2008. The Harvey action was filed under California unfair competition and consumer fraud laws.

Finley filed his suit in December of that year.

Feibel and other lead plaintiffs filed their suit in December 2009 in Rhode Island.

Another similar action was certified against CVS in Massachusetts in March of this year.

The parties in the suits went to mediation in April with the current settlement at hand ending all of the claims.

Class members will receive $5.99 as a refunded, in-store voucher.

Finley, Harvey, and Feibel will receive $7,500 each as class representatives in the suits.

The plaintiffs' legal team will take home $950,000 in fees and costs.

CVS does not admit any liability or fault under the settlement.

Cueto will hear arguments for final approval of the settlement Oct. 20 at 10 a.m.

Requests for exclusion from the settlement must be filed by class members by Sept. 16.

Robert Bassett and others represent CVS.

The case is St. Clair case number 08-L-616.

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