Last week, a class action lawsuit filed in the Western District of New York alleges that Bayer Healthcare, through their Alka-Seltzer Plus brand, committed fraud, received unjust enrichment, and violated other various state and federal laws when they labeled their cold and flu powder packets as containing “honey and lemon zest.”
The plaintiff claims that they paid a premium price on the product under the impression that it contained the mentioned ingredients based on their presence on the packaging in the form of both words and pictures. However, an inspection of the ingredients label on the product would reveal that it does not, in fact, contain either of those ingredients, the suit says.
The suit also asserts that customers often look at vitamin C as a remedy for these symptoms. Since lemon zest contains vitamin C, customers are led to believe that it is an ingredient in the product, the plaintiffs claim.
The plaintiff additionally argued that the allegedly misleading labeling is even more concerning alongside a claimed increased popularity of non-traditional over-the- counter (OTC) medications for cold and flu relief. According to the lawsuit, this increase in popularity “is confirmed by the growth in the market for natural and homeopathic OTC products, expected to reach $4.5 billion by 2024 from $3.1 billion this year.”
The plaintiff requests that the court certify a class in New York, as well as several other states. They also seek monetary, statutory and/or punitive damages and interest.
The plaintiff is represented by Sheehan & Associates.