CHICAGO (Legal Newsline) – The Dollar General Corp. is fighting a lawsuit filed on Dec. 13 that alleges its aloe gel is not what it claims to be. In fact, the suit alleges that the product in question is essentially “worthless.”
The suit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois by Thera Lambert and Amy Connor, centers around Dollar General's Body Soothing Aloe Gel and the amount of true aloe vera in the product. The plaintiffs claim that there is no actual aloe vera in a container of Dollar General Body Soothing Aloe Gel.
The lawsuit against Dollar General claims that an independent test revealed no traces of acemannan. The plaintiffs claim that this finding means that the products in question are being sold as aloe vera under false pretenses.
Dollar General is not the only retailer who is under fire over the amounts of aloe vera in its aloe vera gel. Its product is just one of 12 currently under some form of court review.
Walgreens, Target, GNC, CVS and Trader Joe's have had their aloe products called into question in separate investigations and/or lawsuits. Companies that sell aloe vera products do so under their own definition of what that product is. There are organizations, such as the International Aloe Science Council, that provide guidance for retailers.
According to the International Aloe Science Council, “products that do not contain acemannan are not considered to be true aloe vera.”
The lawsuit proposes a nationwide class with a proposed subclass for the states of California, Florida, Illinois, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island and Wisconsin.
Abraham Scarr, the director of the Illinois PIRG & Illinois PIRG Education Fund, describes the organization as “a consumer group that stands up to powerful interests whenever they threaten our health and safety, our financial security or our right to fully participate in our democratic society."
"Consumers deserve accurate information about the products they are purchasing, from cars promising lower emissions to personal care products promising health benefits," he told Legal Newsline. "Hopefully, this suit brings us a step closer to a fair and consumer-friendly marketplace."
In the filed suit, Lambert and Connor are asking the court to stop Dollar General from continuing to market the products in question as aloe vera. They also seek monetary compensation.
The lawyers representing the plaintiffs are Jeffrey A. Berman and Brian J. Wanca of Anderson + Wanca; attorneys from Barbat Mansour & Suciu PLLC, Kohn Swift & Graf PC, Sommers Schwartz PC; the JTB Law Group LLC; Greg Coleman Law PC; Ram Olson Cereghino & Kopczynski LLP; Morgan & Morgan Complex Litigation Group; Levi & Korsinsky LLP; and Turke & Strauss LLP.
Dollar General declined a request for a comment for this story.