St. Clair County Associate Judge Andrew Gleeson has granted preliminary approval of a class action settlement in a case against Target over its generic version of the cold medicine "Airborne."

Gleeson had previously certified the class for anyone who purchased Immunity Supplement from Target within the U.S. from Dec. 31, 2003, to the date the class notice is published.

Lead plaintiff Brian Buehlhorn, represented by the class action team of Paul Weiss of Chicago and Richard Burke of St. Louis and Kevin Hoerner of Belleville, sued in 2008, claiming Target's cold medicine product did not work as promised.

According to the settlement proposal approved last month, class counsel's fee and expense application has to be filed at least seven days before the fairness hearing, currently scheduled on Jan. 17, 2012.
At the hearing, Gleeson will decide if the settlement is reasonable and whether to approve class counsel's fee and expense application.

A motion in support of preliminary approval filed Aug. 31, indicates that class members who return a valid, completed claim form will receive up to two vouchers for $5 off any $20 purchase at any Target store.

The motion also indicated that class attorneys will seek fees and costs not exceeding $80,000.

Target, represented by Robert Bassett of Williams, Venker & Sanders of Belleville, denies liability.

"Neither this order, the settlement agreement, its terms, any of the negotiations or proceedings connected with it, shall be construed as an admission by the defendants of the truth or of any of the allegations in the complaint, or any liability, fault, or wrongdoing...," states the preliminary approval order.

Objectors may appear at the fairness hearing if a written objection is filed with the court and delivered to plaintiff and defense counsel and postmarked no later than 45 days after the class notice is first published. Objections posted after that are invalid.

Class member who don't object as outlined by the court waive their right from making any objection to the adequacy of the settlement or the award of attorney's fees and expenses to the settlement class counsel, unless otherwise ordered by the court.

Rust Consulting, Inc. of Minnesota would serve as settlement administrator.

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