A class action lawsuit filed in St. Clair County on Feb. 2 alleges Alacer Corporation engaged in unfair and deceptive practices when marketing its "Emergen-C" product.

Class plaintiff Nicholas J. Gianino alleges Alacer misled the public into believing Emergen-C boosts the immune system and decreases the likelihood of getting sick.

Paul M. Weiss, George K. Lang and Eric C. Brunick 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 represent Warma and the putative class.

They are among the same group of lawyers who have filed at least five other similar class action suits in St. Clair County. On Nov. 21 they sued Kmart; on Dec. 1 they sued CVS and Ideavillage; on Dec. 31 they sued Target and on Jan. 22 they sued NBTY over their cold medicine products.

"Alacer's representations of the medical efficacy of 'Emergen-C' are false," the suit states. "'Emergen-C' does not boost the immune system, it offers no protection against germs, it provides no health protection or support and has no effect on getting or remaining sick."

Gianino claims Alacer's "unfair and deceptive" practices have caused him and the class to incur damages because they paid for a product devoid of any medical efficacy.

Gianino is asking that the case be certified as a class action and that the court award him and the class damages, attorneys' fees, costs of the suit and other relief the court deems just.

St. Clair County Circuit Court case number: 09-L-0058.

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