Skechers settle with 43 AGs over health care claims

Bryan Cohen May 17, 2012, 7:19am


WASHINGTON, D.C. (Legal Newsline) - The Federal Trade Commission and multiple states have reached a settlement with Skechers USA Inc. for allegedly falsely claiming its shoes caused consumer weight loss.

The multistate lawsuits and corresponding settlements were filed separately on Wednesday by the Federal Trade Commission and the attorneys general of 43 states and the District of Columbia.

"Today's settlement agreement is important because it addresses concerns about the advertised benefits of wearing Skechers' rocker-bottom product line of shoes," Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller said. "Consumers ultimately pay the price for buying into companies' misleading claims. That's why this agreement provides for restitution to Skechers' customers and some payments to the states."

The lawsuits allege that Skechers made unsubstantiated health-related claims when marketing, packaging, offering, advertising and selling its line up of rocker-bottom shoe products, including Tone-ups, Shape-ups and the Skechers Resistance Runner. Skechers allegedly claimed its products caused consumers to fight cellulite, firm, tone or strengthen thigh, buttock and back muscles, burn calories, improve circulation and lose weight. The settlement prohibits Skechers from making such claims in the future unless it has adequate support to do so.

Under the terms of the settlement, as much as $40 million is being allocated for consumer refunds and Skechers will pay an added $5 million to the states.

Skechers did not admit any wrongdoing and denies the allegations asserted in the lawsuit.

The plaintiffs listed in the lawsuit include the Federal Trade Commission and the attorneys general of Wisconsin, West Virginia, Washington, Virginia, Vermont, Tennessee, South Dakota, South Carolina, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, Oregon, Oklahoma, Ohio, North Dakota, North Carolina, New York, New Mexico, New Jersey, Nevada, Nebraska, Montana, Missouri, Mississippi, Michigan, Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine, Kentucky, Kansas, Iowa, Indiana, Illinois, Idaho, Florida, the District of Columbia, Delaware, Connecticut, Colorado, California, Arkansas, Arizona, Alaska, Alabama, the state of Hawaii's Office of Consumer Protection and the state of Georgia's Governor's Office of Consumer Protection.

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