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    Press Release
  • Attorney General Announces Settlement with Individual and Company that Promoted Light Device as Fungal Meningitis Cure

    April 23, 2013, #13-09

    If you bought a device from a Tennessee firm marketing a product claiming to treat or cure serious medical conditions such as Fungal Meningitis and Lyme disease, you may be eligible for a refund, Tennessee Attorney General Bob Cooper and Gary Cordell, Director of the Division of Consumer Affairs, announced today.

    Davidson County Court Judge Hamilton Gayden has approved an agreement between the State of Tennessee and Thomas Michael Haarlander of Nashville, Tennessee. Haarlander was doing business as The Avalon Effect, Inc. in Franklin. The settlement requires the defendants to stop making misleading marketing claims about a medical device called the Quantum Series Wellness Pack, and requires the defendants to place $50,000 in an escrow fund to refund consumers who bought the product.

    The agreement resolves a lawsuit filed by the Attorney General's Office and Tennessee Division of Consumer Affairs to stop the alleged violations of the Tennessee Consumer Protection Act. The State asserts that The Avalon Effect marketed the medical device with claims it could cure or treat symptoms of serious medical conditions such as Fungal Meningitis, MRSA, Lyme disease and other ailments without proper substantiation. The State's investigation determined the marketing claims occurred from Oct. 11, 2012 through Nov. 7, 2012. During that time, there was substantial media coverage of the Fungal Meningitis outbreak nationwide.

    "It is imperative that a company can show that claims used to market a product are true. This is especially true in this case because the claims were made during a time when Tennesseans were already frightened because of the Fungal Meningitis outbreak," Attorney General Cooper said. "It's always a good idea to do some research a product before buying a product or service touting instant or miracle cures or treatments."

    The Avalon Effect marketed the device on their websites www.theavaloneffect.com, www.facebook.com/theavaloneffect, www.theavalonsummit.com, www.quantumlighteffect.com, mobile.twitter.com/TheAvalonEffect, and www.youtube.com/user/TheAvalonEffect. Additionally, The Avalon Effect had distributors in Nashville, Bartlett and Sweetwater, Tennessee.

    Under the settlement, The Avalon Effect is permanently enjoined from offering any medical device for sale without prior approval of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in any instance wherein FDA approval is required. Additionally, The Avalon Effect is permanently barred from offering for sale any good or service to cure, treat or improve the condition of any disease or illness unless they possess at least two reliable and scientifically valid medical studies supporting any such representations.

    Director Gary Cordell stated, "It is unknown how many consumers may have purchased the devices. However, the $50,000 escrow fund will be used to reimburse eligible victims. Should any funds remain in the escrow account after paying restitution, those funds will be deposited into the State of Tennessee General Fund. Consumers who purchased a Quantum Series Wellness Pack who would like to be considered for a refund should contact the Settlement Administrator at (615) 370-0051 to discuss the process and their potential eligibility."