The popular fitness shoe that’s become widely known as the “rocker” has landed one company in a seriously messy class-action lawsuit. Skechers USA Inc., will be forced to pay out $40 million over false advertising claims they made about a variety of their athletic shoes.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) filed charges against the company after it made unfounded claims about its Shape-ups shoes, saying they would help people lose weight and strengthen their leg and butt muscles.
But the commission says Skechers falsely presented the clinical studies that backed up their claims, stating defects and false reports of consumer weight loss.
Celebrities like Kim Kardashian and Brooke Burke helped make these controversial shoes more popular than ever. And Sketchers reported that despite the false advertising accusations, the company received overwhelming feedback from thousands of customers concerning the positive results they saw with the shoes.
But the FTC wasn’t buying it, saying their claim that Shape-ups were a fitness tool designed to promote muscle toning with the shoe’s curved “rocker” bottom, just wasn’t true. And the lawsuit was settled today. Skechers will pay $40 million in settlement charges to the FTC, most of which will go to consumers.
The settlement was also part of a larger investigation led by attorney generals from more than 40 states nationwide, including Tennessee. Sketchers will also be required to pay an additional $5 million to these states, and $5 million in class-action attorney fees. They’re also being banned from misrepresenting any tests, studies or research on its shoes in the future.
Consumers who purchased the shoes will be eligible for refunds, but it’s not yet been determined how much money they will receive as it depends on how many claims the company receives during the eight-month filing period.
Consumers may also be eligible to receive refunds for Skecher’s Resistance Runners, Toners and Tone-ups, as since their claims have been deemed as deceptive as well. Skechers claimed Resistance Runners could increase ‘muscle activation by up to 85 percent for posture-related muscles and 71 percent for one of the muscles in the buttocks.’ Buyers can visit the FTC website to file a claim.
May 16th, 2012