Illinois resident Howard Baldwin has filed a putative nationwide class action against dietary supplement maker Star Scientific and a retailer claiming that its Anatabloc® product cannot deliver on its promised medical benefits. Baldwin v. Star Scientific, Inc., No. 14-0588 (U.S. Dist. Ct., N.D. Ill., E. Div., filed January 27, 2014).

Baldwin bases his claims on the company’s alleged failure to prove in clinical trials that the drug can treat inflammation associated with arthritis, Alzheimer’s disease, traumatic brain injury, diabetes, and multiple sclerosis. He also relies on the company’s purported failure to obtain U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval for its products. Baldwin alleges that he purchased and used the product, relying on the company’s representations as to its efficacy, and did not receive any benefit from it. He seeks a full refund for failure to receive the benefit of the bargain. A number of the complaint’s allegations concern the alleged relationship between former Virginia Governor Robert McDonnell, his wife and daughter with Star Scientific. Information about related indictments filed against the governor and his wife appear in Issue 18 of this Report.

Alleging violations of the unfair competition laws of 37 states, breach of express and implied warranties and unjust enrichment, the plaintiff seeks actual, statutory, punitive, or trebled damages; interest; injunctive relief; attorney’s fees; and costs.