Iowa company to pay $75k penalty over alleged claims about coronavirus cleaning process
DES MOINES, Iowa (KCRG) - A Des Moines-based custodial and janitorial company must pay a $75,000 penalty over alleged false advertising about its coronavirus cleaning process.
Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller began investigating the company during the summer of 2020, over claims its antimicrobial “Test-Treat-Track three-step process” provided long-lasting prevention or mitigation of the transmission of the coronavirus on surfaces.
Miller’s office alleged the company implied the cleaning process was able to keep surfaces free from coronavirus for 30, 60, or 90 days, but it lacked reasonable basis for making that claim.
Miller said Heritage sold the cleaning process to about 65 Iowa customers with more than 200 locations or buildings in the Des Moines metro area, including school districts, medical facilities, and large employers.
In addition to paying the penalty, Heritage Group, Heritage Microbial Control, LLC, SPMC, LLC, and Joseph Johnson must also offer customer refunds, and stop claiming the cleaning process provides long-term protection from coronavirus unless approved by appropriate federal and state authorities.
Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller announced the settlement with the company on Tuesday.
“As the pandemic began, we shared concerns that companies would try to sell cleaning services based on unfounded claims to prevent the coronavirus, wasting Iowans’ money and potentially harming their health,” Miller said. “We were pleased to come to a resolution with Heritage Building Maintenance and to finalize this agreement that refunds customers and puts an end to these claims.”
Miller said Johnson and the companies have denied wrongdoing in this case.
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