Two Missouri residents with arthritis and allergies have filed a putative class action on behalf of Missouri, Illinois and Kansas consumers who were allegedly deceived by false health-related claims made by a company that sells elderberry juice. Delling v. Wyldewood Cellars, Inc., No. 10-02287 (U.S. Dist. Ct., E.D. Mo., E. Div., filed December 6, 2010). The complaint also names a retailer as a defendant.
The plaintiffs contend that they read an advertisement stating that elderberry juice “prevents colds, flu, viruses, asthma, allergies, diabetes, arthritis & more!” When they went to the store to further evaluate the product, they allegedly read customer and “physician” testimonials about the curative properties of elderberry juice and decided to purchase the product. According to the plaintiffs, they used the product “but failed to realize any health benefits and certainly did not see any abatement in their allergy or arthritis problems.”
The plaintiffs allege one count of consumer fraud and seek an order certifying the case as a class action, compensatory damages, attorney’s fees, costs, disbursement, and prejudgment interest, as well as punitive damages “in the amount of $5,000,000 or the largest amount allowable by law.” They also seek “[a] injunction preventing Defendants from making claims to Missouri, Illinois, and Kansas consumers about the ability of the elderberry juice to treat, prevent, diagnose, or cure any illness or health condition.”