Cook County Record

Sunday, December 8, 2019

Barrington plastic surgeon brings false advertising class action vs makers of UltraShape system

By Jonathan Bilyk | Dec 8, 2016

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A Barrington plastic surgeon has filed a class action lawsuit against the makers of the Ultrashape Power device, which purportedly “uses pulsed, highly focused ultrasound energy to target and permanently destroy unwanted fat cells,” accusing the company of falsely promising the system would help patients quickly lose dress sizes and centimeters from their circumference.

On Dec. 2, Renee Burke, who operates a private plastic surgery practice in the northwest suburb, filed suit in Cook County Circuit Court against Wayland, Mass.-based Candela Corporation, alleging the company violated Illinois state consumer fraud laws when promoting its UltraShape System.

According to the complaint, Burke has used the system since May 2015, treating “dozens of patients” with the system.

According to the UltraShape website, the system is the only non-invasive “body sculpting” treatment approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to target fat cells. The company lists the product as a “comfortable,” non-surgical alternative to liposuction and other surgical techniques to reduce body fat deposits that are “resistant to diet and exercise.”

Burke said she purchased and began using the product on patients partially in response to what she said were UltraShape marketing materials declaring patients “would ‘lose two dress sizes in just three treatments’ and that ‘clinical studies showed an average 3.3-6.3 cm reduction.’”

However, Burke said “the representations were not true” and the patients she treated with UltraShape “did not realize the results promised by” UltraShape.

Burke said she no longer uses the system. However, her practice’s website still includes a page, headlined “5 Things That Make UltraShape Great,” which declares “with a plethora of products on the market promising to help shape, sculpt, whittle and thin your body, it can be hard to know what really works. At the office of Dr. Renee Burke, we are loving UltraShape.”

On UltraShape’s website, however, Burke’s office is not listed among the Chicago area medical practices using the device.

Burke said she wished to expand the legal action to include “numerous persons and businesses” who purchased the UltraShape system, and “did not realize the results” allegedly represented by UltraShape in its marketing campaign.

The lawsuit asks the court to order Candela Corp. to refund the purchase price of the UltraShape system to all plaintiffs class members, and award unspecified compensatory and punitive damages to Burke and the class members. The lawsuit also requests attorney fees and litigation costs.

Burke is represented in the action by attorney Arnold H. Landis, of Chicago.

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Law Office of Arnold H. Landis