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April 27, 2015 - 9:37am

Tanning salon with outlet in Batavia targeted in lawsuit by AG's office

posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business, Total Tan.

Total Tan, with a location in Batavia, is the target of a false advertising lawsuit filed by the office of Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman.

The Williamsville-based company has 26 outlets, including 15 in Western New York.

Schneiderman's suit accuses Total Tan of making false advertising claims by denying or minimizing scientific evidence linking tanning to an increased cancer risk; promoting indoor tanning as a safe way to reap the benefits of vitamin D and other purported health benefits; and asserting the safety of indoor tanning compared to tanning outdoors. 

“Make no mistake about it: There is nothing safe about indoor tanning. The use of ultraviolet devices increases exposure to cancer-causing radiation and puts millions of Americans in serious danger – young adults, in particular,” Schneiderman said. “Irresponsible businesses that seek to rake in profits by misleading the public about the safety of their services will be held accountable by my office. Advertising and marketing cannot be used as a tool to confuse and endanger New York consumers.”

The Buffalo News obtained a statement from Total Tan owners Cynthia and Keith Leonard through their attorneys at Harris Beach.

“The Attorney General’s claim that Total Tan produced misleading advertising is not true,” the Leonards said. “We are a small, upstate, family-owned business that refuses to be intimidated by Mr. Schneiderman, who is trying to impose his own view of the world on our industry and the citizens of upstate New York."

The suit also names another group of tanning salons, Portofino Spas.

Of Total Tan, the AG's office says the company made the following allegedly false statements in market material, including social media:

  • A testimonial from “cancer survivor Kurt Hollis” where he asserted to have treated his kidney cancer by tanning at Total Tan.
  • “Tanning Fact! A Tanning unit can produce as much Vitamin D as drinking 100 glasses of milk! Wow!!!”
  • Claims that vitamin D from indoor tanning will assist in either treatment or prevention of an array of serious diseases including cancer, heart disease, asthma, high blood pressure, diabetes, and blood clots.

Read the full press release here.

Kyle Slocum
Kyle Slocum's picture
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Last seen: 2 years 5 months ago
Joined: Jan 29 2012 - 11:18pm

They shall direct your life in every aspect, these extreme progressives. You will thank them and give praise to them: For they are your betters. And you are but little people who must be led by the enlightened.

Why anyone wants to look disturbingly orange like John Boehner is beyond me. Why anyone would want a progressive tool like Eric Schneiderman "looking out for them" is also beyond my understanding.

I may be a reactionary, but is it really that hard for Eric to just leave us poor hicks to ourselves? Must HE inject himself into every aspect of the lives of the "little people"?

Oh, sorry. He's a "progressive". Of course HE must.

C. M. Barons
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Last seen: 1 year 2 months ago
Joined: Jul 29 2008 - 11:56pm

Do you seriously believe that the AG made a special trip to (hick)ville in search of a tanning salon advertising false claims? With all due respect to your personal theory on this... I'm betting that someone (or maybe even several someones) witnessed the claims and made a complaint. I'll really go out on a limb: maybe it was a skin cancer survivor or the relative of someone afflicted with skin cancer or a parent worried their child might be lured into a tanning salon...

Just for the heck of it... Here is what the office of AG does...
http://www.ag.ny.gov/legal-recruitment/overview-functions-office-attorne...

One of the few offices that actually looks out for the (hicks) instead of screwing them over. Let's hope Schneiderman REALLY takes his job seriously and starts handing out lawsuits on "Wall Street," starting with Bank Against America!

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