Parents Call Kids' Medicines Snake Oil
FT. LAUDERDALE (CN) - Parents claim in a class action that a homeopathic medicine maker targets children for its "worthless" products called "Kids Relief," and has "wrongfully taken millions of dollars" through misleading marketing.
Lead plaintiff Jessica Medina sued HomeoLab USA, a Delaware-based business whose distribution center is in Boca Raton. She seeks refunds and damages for deceptive trade, negligent misrepresentation and unjust enrichment, in Federal Court.
Medina and three other named plaintiffs claim that HomeoLab claims, falsely, that its Kids Relief products provide "safe, effective relief" for colds and flu.
"In fact," the lawsuit states, "HomeoLab's products are worthless, and HomeoLab unfairly, deceptively and unjustly enriches itself o[n] the backs of children to turn a corporate profit."
Homeopathy uses infinitesimal amounts of substances that, in larger amounts, produce the symptoms from which people are suffering, to try to alleviate the symptoms.
HomeoLab pushes its Kids Relief Flu by claiming that its ingredients - "autolysate of the heart and liver of the duck" - "relieves 'flu-like symptoms,' 'fever and chills,' 'aches and pains,' and 'feeling run-down' in children 2 years and over," the complaint states, citing the company's website.
"But the heart and liver of a Muscovy duck, at least at the dilutions claimed, can be scientifically and mathematically shown to have no medical value, no biological effect on humans," the complaint states.
The class claims that some of HomeoLab other products, including Kids Relief Cough & Cold and Kids Relief Earache, contain ingredients that are poisonous in larger quantities, such as belladonna.
HomeoLab falsely claims its products are FDA-approved, but the FDA does not evaluate homeopathic products, the class adds.
In short, "HomeoLab misled plaintiffs to believe its products had active ingredients capable of relieving symptoms suffered by their children, despite evidence to the contrary," the class claims.
The proposed class is represented by Thomas O'Connell and Sheila Zolnoor, both of Fort Lauderdale.