An Illinois resident has filed a putative class action against a company that makes vacuum cleaners, alleging that the “germ killing” promotions it uses to sell one of its products are deceptive and misleading. Ruscitti v. Oreck Corp., No. 11-03121 (U.S. Dist. Ct., N.D. Ill., filed May 10, 2011). According to a news source, the company settled similar allegations filed by the Federal Trade Commission for $750,000 and a promise to discontinue the product claims. The plaintiff seeks to represent a nationwide class of consumers who purportedly paid several hundred dollars more for the company’s Halo® vacuum cleaner relying on its claims that the product could kill “virtually all bacteria, germs, mold and allergens that exist in households.”
The complaint alleges violations of the Uniform Deceptive Trade Practices Act, Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act and state consumer protection laws; breaches of express warranty and implied warranty of merchantability and fitness for a particular purpose; and unjust enrichment. The plaintiff seeks compensatory and punitive or treble damages, costs and attorney’s fees. See Law360, May 12, 2011.