A recent Germ-X class action claims that hand sanitizer can’t protect consumers from the coronavirus, although that message is implied by the manufacturer.
With the mounting threat of coronavirus spreading across the United States, millions of consumers have flooded their local stores in search of supplies.
News coverage details local stores wiped clean of face masks, cleaning wipes, and, most frequently, hand sanitizer.
Unfortunately, consumers may have been duped into purchasing hand sanitizer according to the Germ-X class action.
Did you purchase Germ-X hand sanitizer believing the product helps prevent the coronavirus? Get legal help by clicking here.
Plaintiffs Geraldine David, Susan Lara and Theresa Haas claim that they were deceived by Germ-X marketing that the products can reduce the chance of infection from the flu and other viruses – including the coronavirus.
The plaintiffs point to a recent letter from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) which warned Purell that their alcohol-based hand sanitizer was misrepresented as being able to prevent viruses, such as the flu. According to the FDA, there are no “adequate and well-controlled studies” which prove these representations.
According to the class action, Purell and Germ-X are “nearly identical.” Both products reportedly use ethyl alcohol in high concentrations between 60 and 70 percent. Based on this, the plaintiffs claim that the FDA’s warning letter to Purell could also apply to Germ-X. In fact, the FDA reportedly expanded on this idea in their warning letter, noting “we are not aware of a similar [over the counter] product as formulated and labeled,” which is supported by evidence that it can prevent a viral infection.
Despite the lack of evidence, plaintiffs claim that “Germ-X has represented in advertisements, various social media and on its website and other retail websites, that its product prevents the flu and other virus.” More recently, Germ-X advertisements have reportedly taken advantage of the coronavirus scare – claiming on Walmart.com that the products provide “Coronavirus/Flu Prevention.”
“Defendant misleads consumers into believing its products can prevent disease or infection from pathogens such as coronavirus and flu along with other claims that go beyond the general intended use of a topical alcohol-based hand sanitizer,” the Germ-X class action lawsuit claims.
Misrepresentations about the products allegedly caused consumers, such as the plaintiffs, to purchase Germ-X hand sanitizer. The Germ-X class action claims that these advertisements, which take advantage of consumer fear, caused financial injury to the plaintiffs because they were deceived into purchasing the products or paying more than they otherwise would have.
The plaintiffs seek to represent a Class of consumers from California who purchased Germ-X hand sanitizer products within the last four years.
On behalf of themselves and the proposed Class, the consumers aim to collect disgorgement, restitution, interest, injunctive relief, court costs, and attorneys’ fees.
Plaintiffs and the proposed Class are represented by Abbas Kazerounian of Kazerouni Law Group APC.
The Germ-X Coronavirus Class Action Lawsuit is David, et al. v. Vi-Jon Inc. d/b/a Germ-X, Case No. 3:20-cv-99999, in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California.
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