Motion filed to certify class action against Nordstrom, HauteLook over alleged misrepresentation of Rolex watches

By Mary Ann Magnell | Sep 24, 2018

LOS ANGELES (Legal Newsline) – A motion to certify a case as a class action suit was filed in a federal court on Aug. 31 against Nordstrom Inc. and HauteLook Inc., who allegedly misrepresented the condition and the worth of vintage Rolex watches they sold between 2013 and 2017.

The motion was submitted to the U.S. District Court or the Central District of California arguing that the details in this case satisfy Rule 23(a), which identifies four class requirements: numerosity, commonality, typicality and adequate representations. A hearing for this motion has been scheduled for Dec. 17 with Judge Dale S. Fischer. 

According to the motion, the sales of these watches occurred on HauteLook, a flash-sale, members-only website that advertises purchase prices at a discount of between 50 to 75 percent off retail prices. Plaintiff Brunilda Stephens alleged she purchased one of 1,417 “vintage” Rolex watches for $6,359.97. 

Out of the fulfilled watch orders, her motion states more than 20 percent of them were returned for reasons such as fraud, damage, other and “warehouse.”

Although the watches were represented as authentic, the motion noted that “the watches delivered were not authentic, often containing a mixture of after-market parts which had been glued together.”

According to the motion, the website stated that the Rolex watches would come “direct from the brand.” At some point, however, HauteLook added a disclaimer that the watches “may come from other vendors,” although this disclaimer was “in small print and difficult to locate.”

Buyers were also promised and provided a certified appraisal of the watch for insurance purposes as well as to establish the retail value of the products. The filing indicated that the certified appraisals from a company identified as Swiss Watch Appraiser was allegedly fraudulent. The watches were sold “as is,” and the consumer did not have the ability to inspect the watch before purchase. The two-year warranty was also allegedly fraudulent.

"What we also did was we were selling these watches to drive traffic to our website to be able to engage the customers in all the other products that we sell as well," Nordstrom said in a deposition, the motion states.

U.S. District Court for the Central District of California case number 2:17-cv-05872 

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Nordstrom, Inc. U.S. District Court for the Central District of California

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