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Target Up&Up Hand Sanitizer “99.99% of Germs” Claim Illinois Class Action

Target Corporation makes an alcohol-based hand sanitizer under its up&up brand. The hand sanitizer, like many such products, has a promise printed on its label: “kills 99.99% of germs*[.]” Is it really so thorough? The complaint for this class action alleges that this claim is false and misleading, “because alcohol-based hand sanitizers, such as the Product, are incapable of killing many types of germs, including the most harmful and prevalent germs.”

The class for this action is all those who live in Illinois who bought the product during the applicable statute of limitations.

In this case, plaintiff Mike Ross bought the hand sanitizer at one of Target’s many brick-and-mortar stores, because he wanted a product that killed 99.99% of germs. According to the complaint, he believed that the precision of the statement meant that there was a scientific study that bore out the claim.

In fact, the complaint alleges, “there is no scientific study which indicates any alcohol-based hand sanitizer kills 99.99[%] of germs.”

The front label statement is false because there is no scientific study which indicates any alcohol-based hand sanitizer kills 99.99 of germs. For example, it says, the product cannot kill norovirus, “the virus which causes more than fifty-eight (58) percent of foodborne illnesses in this country.”

“Therefore,” the complaint alleges, seeing the claim “to kill 99.9[9]% of germs, reasonable consumers will expect the Product is effective against one of the most prevalent viruses, when it is not.”

There’s another factor, the complaint claims: “Over the past decade, it has been shown that many bacteria, such as enterococcus faecium, are becoming alcohol-resistant, which makes the front label statements further misleading.” Other significant germs that the product cannot kill include “protozoan cysts, bacterial spores, parasites like Giardia, and Clostridium difficile, which causes diarrhea.”

The statement on the front label says the product “kills 99.99% of germs*[.]” The asterisk at the end of that phrase connects to writing “in a miniscule font” on the back label that says, “*Effective at eliminating 99.99% of many common harmful germs and bacteria in as little as 15 seconds.”

But the complaint contends that this is not enough: “Even if plaintiff scrutinized the labeling to discover this statement, it still would not tell him that the Product is unable to kill the most relevant and prominent germs, such as norovirus, enterococcus and other emerging germs of concern.” Also, the complaint says, it does not reveal that no scientifically credible study exists to support the 99.99% claim.

The complaint alleges breaches of warranties, negligent misrepresentation, fraud, and violations of Illinois state law, among other things.

Article Type: Lawsuit
Topic: Consumer

Most Recent Case Event

Target Up&Up Hand Sanitizer “99.99% of Germs” Claim Illinois Complaint

June 5, 2021

Target Corporation makes an alcohol-based hand sanitizer under its up&up brand. The hand sanitizer, like many such products, has a promise printed on its label: “kills 99.99% of germs*[.]” Is it really so thorough? The complaint for this class action alleges that this claim is false and misleading, “because alcohol-based hand sanitizers, such as the Product, are incapable of killing many types of germs, including the most harmful and prevalent germs.”

Target Up&Up Hand Sanitizer “99.99% of Germs” Claim Illinois Complaint

Case Event History

Target Up&Up Hand Sanitizer “99.99% of Germs” Claim Illinois Complaint

June 5, 2021

Target Corporation makes an alcohol-based hand sanitizer under its up&up brand. The hand sanitizer, like many such products, has a promise printed on its label: “kills 99.99% of germs*[.]” Is it really so thorough? The complaint for this class action alleges that this claim is false and misleading, “because alcohol-based hand sanitizers, such as the Product, are incapable of killing many types of germs, including the most harmful and prevalent germs.”

Target Up&Up Hand Sanitizer “99.99% of Germs” Claim Illinois Complaint
Tags: Claims Unsupported By Scientific Evidence, Deceptive Advertising, Deceptive Labels