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Dovel & Luner Law Firm Announces Consumer Protection Lawsuit Against Albertsons Over Deceptive Advertising of “Non-Drowsy” Medicine

February 7, 2022 — SANTA MONICA – The Dovel & Luner law firm on Friday filed a federal class action lawsuit against Albertsons Companies, Inc. on behalf of an Illinois consumer who purchased “Non-Drowsy” Signature Care medication.  Gibson v. Albertsons Companies, Inc., Case 1:22-cv-00642 (N.D. Illinois Dkt. 1).   The lawsuit alleges that Albertsons misled millions of consumers by deceptively labeling its Signature Care products as “Non-Drowsy,” even though the products do cause drowsiness.

The Complaint, filed in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, alleges that Albertsons violated the consumer protection laws of many states, including Illinois’ Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act.

Albertsons prominently labels many of its Signature Care medications as “Non-Drowsy.”  According to the lawsuit, a reasonable consumer would understand Albertsons’ advertisements and packaging to mean that these products do not cause drowsiness.  Here is an example of Albertsons’ packaging for its Signature Care Daytime Severe Cold+Flu Relief medication, which advertises that the product is “Non-Drowsy”:

In reality, however, the lawsuit claims, these “Non-Drowsy” Signature Care products contain Dextromethorphan Hydrobromide (DXM), an ingredient known to cause drowsiness.  In fact, according to the lawsuit, the FDA’s database shows that “sedation…is one of the most frequently-cited side effects of DXM-containing products,” and the Federal Aviation Administration prohibits pilots from flying after taking medication containing DXM.   

Whether or not an over-the-counter medication causes drowsiness, the lawsuit alleges, is important to consumers.  By claiming that their products are “Non-Drowsy,” Albertsons led consumers to believe that their products “can be safely and satisfactorily consumed during waking hours, at work, and while driving and operating machinery,” the lawsuit claims.    

According to the lawsuit, Albertsons’ “false statements increased the demand for Non-Drowsy Signature Care Products and allowed [Albertsons] to charge a price premium.”  The lawsuit seeks to enjoin Albertsons from continuing to engage in deceptive advertising and to require that it compensate harmed consumers.

“Consumers should be able to rely on the labels placed on over the counter medicines,” said Simon Franzini of Dovel & Luner.  “Claiming that a medicine that causes drowsiness is ‘Non-Drowsy’ is deceptive—and dangerous.”

Simon Franzini
Dovel & Luner
SOURCE Dovel & Luner, LLP

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