Kmart named in 'Germ Defense' class action

By Kelly Holleran | Dec 1, 2008

A class action lawsuit filed in St. Clair County on Nov. 21 alleges Kmart engaged in unfair and deceptive practices designed to mislead the public when marketing its Germ Defense products.

Class plaintiff Larry T. Adams of Madison County alleges Kmart misled the public into believing its Germ Defense products would boost their immune system and prevent or cure an illness caused by germs.

"Germ Defense's packaging is similar to Airborne's because it fails to disclose that, contrary to its uniform health representations, it does not provide any clinically-proven protection or relief from illness, nor does it 'boost' the immune system," the suit states.

Adams claims Kmart's "unfair and deceptive" acts caused him and the class to incur damages.

Adams also alleges that Kmart was unjustly enriched because of the profits it received from Germ Defense sales.

In the two-count suit, Adams is asking that the case be certified as class action and is seeking a final judgment not in excess of $75,000 for any one plaintiff, a final judgment reimbursing all allowable costs, plus attorneys' fees and other relief the Court deems appropriate.

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

St. Clair County case number: 08-L-599.

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