Carol Ostrow Sep. 11, 2015, 1:42pm


A St. Clair County woman filed a class action suit against a household cleaning product manufacturer, alleging false advertising.

Angela Barnes, on behalf of herself and others similarly situated, filed the class action on Aug. 31 in St. Clair County Circuit Court against Venus Laboratories Inc., doing business as Earth Friendly Products, alleging the company engaged in misleading marketing techniques by labeling its detergent as “all natural.”

According to the complaint, Barnes purchased the defendant’s products in August at a Target store in Fairview Heights for $8.99. The suit says the company knowingly takes advantage of consumers who favor ecologically sustainable products by charging premium prices for its “natural” detergent.

According to the suit, the detergents in question contain potentially harmful synthetic chemicals—specifically Phenoxyethanol and Methylisothiazolinone—and are falsely labeled as “100 percent all natural,” “all natural,” and/or “natural” on its containers.

Barnes alleges the chemicals are allergens and potentially neurotoxic.

The plaintiff alleges unfair methods of competition, unjust enrichment and lost income.

Barnes seeks damages for the defendant’s “false, deceptive, unfair, and misleading marketing and advertising in violation of the Illinois Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act (ICFA)” for herself and other putative class members.

She seeks judgment of the case as a class action, appointment of herself as class representative and her attorney as class counsel, compensatory damages, pre- and post-judgment interest, attorney fees and costs. She is represented by attorneys David Nelson of Nelson & Nelson Attorneys at Law in Belleville, Matthew Armstrong of the Armstrong Law Firm in St. Louis, and Stuart Cochran of KamberLaw in Dallas.

St. Clair County Circuit Court case number 15-L-491.

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