April 2019: A federal judge granted preliminary approval of a proposed settlement agreement that would provide class members with either a $300 voucher for HMI Filtration products or a $100 cash award. In addition, the settlement agreement permanently prohibits HMI from scratch card promotions that allow the company or its distributors to enter consumers’ homes to promote products. A final fairness hearing is scheduled for August 28, 2019.
2013: A class-action lawsuit was filed against HMI Industries, Allergy Relief, and TD Bank for allegedly deceptively promoting sweepstakes for FILTERQUEEN products in a scheme that targets seniors. The complaint alleges that the companies mail promotional scratch tickets to consumers representing that they have won a prize but, according to the complaint, recipients who call the “Winners Hotline” to find out their prize are told that they must schedule an in-home sales presentation for FILTERQUEEN products in order to receive the prize. Plaintiffs also claim that the salespeople who conduct the in-home presentations use several misleading marketing tactics, including misleadingly pre-loading vacuums with dirt to misrepresent the amount of dirt picked-up in the homes during presentations, misleadingly offering deals (such as a two-month free trial period to test products) on transactions that they later refuse to honor, and giving consumers TD Bank credit card applications that fail to disclose information about the finance charges and APR. (The complaint was originally filed in 2013 and amended in 2015.) (Rench et al v. TD Bank, Allergy Relief, Inc., and HMI Industries, Inc., Case No. 13-cv-922, S.D. Ill.)