Walmart and Walgreens Are Under Fire for Selling This to Shoppers
The two retailers have been hit with new class action lawsuits.
Walmart and Walgreens offer a lot of similar services to consumers, from filling and selling prescriptions to offering nearly everything else on your shopping list. But with so much inventory, not everything sold at these two retailers is going to be well received. In fact, twin lawsuits have targeted both companies over the sale of one product in particular. Read on to find out what Walmart and Walgreens are under fire for selling to shoppers.
Walmart and Walgreens are being sued over the sale of lidocaine patches.
Shoppers are suing Walmart and Walgreens for the lidocaine patches they sell, Top Class Actions reported on April 13. According to the legal news outlet, two twin class action lawsuits were filed in New York federal court on April 11, accusing the retailers of violating state and federal consumer laws in relation to this product. Lidocaine is a local anesthetic medicine that is meant to control, prevent, and relieve pain through numbness, according to the Mayo Clinic.
A spokesperson for Walgreens told Best Life that the company does not "comment on pending litigation," while a Walmart spokesperson said that they will "review the complaint once we are served and will respond as appropriate in Court."
"We expect our suppliers to provide products that comply with all applicable laws, including labeling," Walmart spokesperson Randy Hargrove added.
Shoppers say the retailers are falsely marketing their patches.
Lidocaine patches are often prescribed by a doctor, but some retailers also sell them as over-the-counter (OTC) medication. The two plaintiffs, Michael Toporek and Naomy Altagracia Gonzalez Rodriguez, allege in their respective lawsuits that Walgreens and Walmart are falsely marketing their OTC lidocaine patch products. According to Top Class Actions, the suits say both retailers use advertising campaigns that claim their patches provide "pain relief" through a "stay-put flexible patch" that is meant to work for anywhere up to 12 hours.
"However, Defendant's claims, representations and warranties are false and misleading," the lawsuits state. "Despite proper application, within a short time the products commonly fall off of consumers' bodies, thus depriving consumers of the advertised benefits."
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They also allege that some patches are not maximum strength like they claim to be.
The two plaintiffs are also targeting Walmart and Walgreens over the use of the "maximum strength" label on some of the lidocaine patch products they sell. According to Top Class Actions, the lawsuits claim that some of the patches advertised at this top strength level only actually contain 4 percent lidocaine—which is less than other products available on the market.
"Defendant's 'maximum strength' claims are false and deceptive because there are other products available that offer Lidocaine patches containing 5 percent Lidocaine," the lawsuits state. They allege that this resulted in consumers purchasing and paying more for lidocaine products at Walgreens and Walmart under false pretenses, per Top Class Actions.
These are not the only retailers that have recently been sued over lidocaine patches.
Both the Walmart and Walgreens lawsuits filed in New York are suing the companies on behalf of all consumers who have purchased lidocaine patch products at either retailer in the U.S. According to Top Class Actions, both plaintiffs are "seeking certification of the class, fees, costs, damages of $500 per transaction, additional punitive damages and a jury trial."
But these are not the only retailers that have been recently sued over the sale of Lidocaine patches. In Feb. 2022, CVS was hit a similar class action lawsuit in California, according to the legal news outlet. Plaintiff Sandra Chacon is also suing this company over false advertisement claims, alleging that CVS Health brand Maximum Strength Lidocaine Patches are not actually maximum strength like they are marketed. These patches only contain 4 percent lidocaine as well, according to this lawsuit.