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GermBloc Sees Suit Over Hand Sanitizer’s Effectiveness Dropped

Aug. 6, 2020, 6:29 PM

A Massachusetts man dropped a would-be class suit alleging GermBloc Inc. and parent Willspeed Technology LLC overstate the effectiveness of their nonalcohol-based hand sanitizers at preventing illnesses, according to a federal court filing.

The companies also give “the misleading impression” that using GermBloc products will prevent human illnesses, including Covid-19, he alleged.

Such voluntarily dismissals typically indicate a settlement but no further details were provided on the court’s docket and the parties’ attorneys didn’t respond to requests for comment Thursday.

Peter Lagorio filed a suit in June in the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts. He alleged GermBloc and Willspeed violated the state’s consumer protection laws by marketing GermBloc products as “killing 99.99% of germs,” when no reliable studies support those representations.

The Centers for Disease Control has said alcohol-free products like GermBloc aren’t nearly as effective in killing or reducing germs on the skin as alcohol-based hand sanitizers, the suit said.

Lagorio dropped his suit Wednesday.

Other companies also face challenges to their products’ germ-killing representations.

Earlier this week, Wet Ones maker Edgewell Personal Care Co. was hit with a suit challenging its similar marketing statements that the hand wipes can kill “99.99% of Germs” and are hypoallergenic and gentle on skin.

And Molekule Inc. was sued in June over its Air brand purifiers that allegedly don’t live up to promises they will “destroy” germs and “eliminate” indoor air pollution.

Edward L. Manchur of Peabody, Mass., represented Lagorio. Foley Hoag LLP represented Germbloc and Willspeed.

The case is Lagorio v. Germbloc, Inc., D. Mass., No. 1:20-cv-11074, dismissal 8/5/20.

To contact the reporter on this story: Julie Steinberg in Washington at jsteinberg@bloomberglaw.com

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Rob Tricchinelli at rtricchinelli@bloomberglaw.com; Steven Patrick at spatrick@bloomberglaw.com

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