Rhode Island-based megacorporation CVS® is the target of a class action lawsuit that accuses the health giant of violating consumer slack-fill laws. Specifically, the suit points to CVS® acetaminophen and CVS® ibuprofen pain relievers, which come in bottles of various sizes, pill quantities, and varieties such as gel capsules, coated tablets, regular and extra strength. Plaintiffs in the lawsuit claim CVS® misleads consumers by selling the products in containers that have excessive empty space, or slack-fill, and that they would not have bought the pain relievers had they known how few pills they were actually receiving with their purchase.
The allegedly misleading containers violate the Federal Food, Drug & Cosmetic Act, as well as state laws that prohibit misbranded drugs with requirements that mirror the federal law. One of the regulations of the law is that an over-the-counter drug on the marketplace may be deemed misbranded if, “its container is so made, formed, or filled as to be misleading…”
The lawsuit alleges that the CVS® pain relievers were packaged with nonfunctional slack-fill of up to 83% of the entire container. There is no function to the excessive empty space, other than to mislead the consumer. Fifteen of the products in question also contain two inches of cotton, even though less cotton would suffice to prevent breakage.
Plaintiffs contend they purchased the CVS® pain relievers at a premium price, relying on the company’s container size which proved to be misleading. The plaintiffs also assert that their experiences with purchasing CVS® pain relievers have led them to doubt the truthfulness of other CVS® product packaging. Yet, they would be willing to purchase the CVS® pain relievers in the future, as long as the size of the containers is corrected to reflect what is actually inside.
Class members seek restitution for the financial losses tied to nonfunctional slack-fill in the CVS® acetaminophen and ibuprofen pain reliever containers.