A prospective class action lawsuit has been filed against Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceutical Inc. in the U.S. District Court, District of Connecticut, alleging the company made false and misleading statements regarding its Combivent Respimat asthma inhaler.
The federal lawsuit accuses the German company – whose North American headquarters are in Ridgefield — of conducting “an extensive, widespread, comprehensive and uniform nationwide marketing campaign” that misrepresented the dosage of its Combivent inhalers. It claims the company offered metered-dose inhalers that promise to provide a set number of constant puffs, but which fell significantly short of that number.
Combivent inhalers are supposed to provide “120 metered doses of relief (for sufferers of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD) from lung constriction,” but sometimes contain half of that amount, according to the lawsuit.
The suit was filed by Hollywood, Florida resident Carl Ignacuinos, who was “additionally injured when he was required to restrict his activities because his Combivent had run out prematurely,” according to the lawsuit. “Since he would no longer have a means of relieving his breathing obstructions at this point, he often was required to stay indoors in order to minimize the chances of a COPD attack, against which he would be helpless. This was a source of considerable mental anguish.”
The plaintiff and class “were also injured physically and emotionally, since they were subjected to asthma attacks they could not control and had to live with the anxious knowledge of this risk, restricting their activities,” according to the complaint.
The lawsuit seeks certification as a class, restitution to the class, declaratory relief, statutory pre- and post-judgment interest on any amounts awarded, and attorney fees and costs.
The complaint alleges violation of the Connecticut Unfair Trade Practices Act, breach of express warranties, common-law fraud and violations of Florida’s Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act, brought on behalf of the Florida class.
Representing the plaintiff are attorneys Stephen Bourtin of Stamford’s The Boyd Law Group and C.K. Lee of New York City’s Lee Litigation Group.
Boehringer Ingelheim did not respond to requests for comment.