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Kroger, headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio, denies the allegations and asked the Court of Common Pleas judge to dismiss the case.

Is Kroger overcharging prescription club members?

Lawsuit in Ohio alleges grocer overcharged couple hundreds of dollars and used deceptive advertising

An Ohio couple is taking Kroger to court over prescription pricing for prescription club members.

Richard and Anne Purdue have filed a suit accusing Kroger of unfair and deceptive advertising that violates the Ohio Consumer Sales Practices Act. The lawsuit could achieve class-action status.

Richard Purdue paid the $72 yearly fee for the Kroger Rx Savings Club, but he believes he was paying more than if he was not an exclusive member. Kroger’s website claims that Savings Club members would receive “drastically reduced prices on thousands of popular prescription drugs,” but Purdue felt like he was misled by the advertising.

Kroger, headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio, denies the allegations and asked the Court of Common Pleas judge to dismiss the case. The court, however, rejected the request. “The court finds that plantiff’s allegations sufficiently set forth unfair and deceptive practices.”

Purdue said he became aware of the alleged price gouging about a year and a half after joining the club. He came home with a drug and told his wife what he paid for it, and she could not believe the high cost. Purdue then looked up the price and saw the difference.

Purdue asked Kroger for a refund, but the grocer said it only honored refunds after 10 days of purchase. Purdue claims he paid several hundred dollars more for prescriptions.

The lawsuit also asks for an injunction to prevent Kroger from using misleading ads and overcharging club members.

The Purdue case is not the first where Kroger has asked for a dismissal over the last couple of weeks.

Kroger wanted a U.S. judge to toss out a consumer antitrust lawsuit on the Kroger, Albertsons merger because the case lacked “real-world facts.”

That is what the Kroger legal team is claiming in the California federal court, according to a Reuters report. Lawyers believe the group who filed the lawsuit over the $24.6 billion deal have failed to define the relevant market necessary to evaluate grocery store competition and to identify how the acquisition would hurt consumers. A hearing is still set for May 18.

Twenty-five consumers in states that include California, Texas and Florida are going after Kroger and Albertsons. The Federal Trade Commission is still reviewing the deal as are state antitrust enforcers.

Kroger and Albertsons’ defense continues to be that the merger will force both grocers to close stores, and that number could be more than originally thought. Albertsons legal team also want the judge to dismiss a claim challenging the propriety of a $4 billion special dividend that the company paid to shareholders.



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