Madison - St. Clair Record

Sunday, November 17, 2019

Lip balm product reportedly 0.017 ounce light, class action pursued

State Court

By John Breslin | Oct 7, 2019

Lawsuit

BELLEVILLE - A potential class action lawsuit against the makers of a lip balm centers on the claim that each stick contains 0.017 ounces less than is advertised on the package.

Blistex Inc., an Illinois company headquartered in Oak Brook, is accused if violating the Illinois Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act (ICFA ) and the Illinois Uniform Deceptive Trade Practices Act (UDTPA) over the sale of Blistex Medicated Lip Balm.

In the lawsuit filed in St. Clair County Circuit, it is alleged the company was involved in "deceptive, unfair, and false practices." The plaintiff bought the items at Target, Walgreens and Dollar General in Belleville.

Heather Erwin is suing "individually and on behalf of all other similarly-situated current citizens of Illinois."

Blistex did not immediately respond to a request for comment from the Record.

The suit notes that the company sells Blistex Medicated Lip Balm in three flavors. These are original, mint, and berry, and the packaging states the stick contains O.15 ounce of balm.

"On the label of the Blistex Stick, Defendant deceptively, falsely, and unfairly represents that the net weight of the Blistex Stick is O.15 ounces of Lip Balm," the complaint states.

This deceives customers, it is claimed, into thinking the stick delivers 0.15 ounces of balm to the lips of the user.

Citing Illinois statutes, the net weight "declaration shall accurately reveal the quantity of the drug or device in the package exclusive of wrappers and other material packed therewith..."

"The stick, however, does not contain O.15 ounces of Lip Balm exclusive of the packaging, as regulations require, because approximately O.017 ounces, or 11.33 percent, of the net weight is unusable because of the product packaging," the complaint alleges.

Indeed, this just over 11 percent is in the base, and "cannot by applied without taking apart the Blistex Stick, digging the Lip Balm out of the product packaging, and applying it with fingers."

This situation is "not what plaintiff and class members bargained for when they chose to purchase the Stick over other packaging."

The plaintiff argues she would not have purchased the $2.30 stick if she had known, or would have paid less. This, it is claimed, is what all class members are thinking.

Separate actions would "create a risk of inconsistent or varying adjudications with respect to individual member of the class," the suit claims.

It alleges violations of the two statutes, breach of warranty, and unjust enrichment.

Plaintiff is represented by David C. Nelson of Nelson & Nelson in Belleville, and Matthew H. Armstrong of the Armstrong Law Firm in St. Louis, MO.

St. Clair County Circuit Court case number 2019-L-677.

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Blistex Inc.

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