LOS ANGELES (Legal Newsline) – A footwear company is seeking damages from Adidas over allegations it made "illicit' payments to athletes into wearing or endorsing their products.
Skechers USA Inc. filed a complaint on May 9 in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California Western Division against Adidas America Inc. and Does 1-10 over alleging false advertising and unfair competition.
According to the complaint, the plaintiff alleges the defendant has engaged in a "deliberate, deceptive and illegal campaign to prop up the reputation and supposed brand appeal of its footwear products." It alleges the defendant "coopted" players into wearing or implicitly endorsing its products by making "hundreds of thousands of dollars in secret payments."
The suit states a U.S. Department of Justice criminal complaint "revealed that Adidas ... had made improper payments of between $40,000 and $150,000 per athlete to entice at least six high school athletes to attend universities with basketball programs sponsored by Adidas."
The plaintiff holds Adidas America Inc. responsible because the defendant allegedly engaged in money laundering and a conspiracy to commit money laundering.
The plaintiff seeks award of profits that the defendant allegedly unlawfully derived, compensatory damages, costs of action and for such other further relief as the court deems just and proper. It is represented by Daniel M. Petrocelli, Mark A. Samuels, Jeffrey A. Barker and Christopher S. Whittaker of O'Melveny & Myers LLP in Los Angeles.
U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, Western Division case number 2:18-cv-03882-VAP-AFM