SAN DIEGO (Legal Newsline) – The operator of Zales jewelry stores is asking a federal court in California to dismiss a class action claim over allegations of false advertising.
Zale Delaware Inc. filed a motion to dismiss a complaint in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California on Dec. 4 filed by Gordon Henry Lovette. Lovette alleged in his complaint the company refused to make repairs to stabilize loose diamonds in his ring despite a purchase of jewelry repair service.
"Plaintiff’s class action complaint alleges that Zales refused to make repairs to stabilize the loose diamond on plaintiff’s ring, contradicting prior statements. Critically, the service contract/advertisement at issue explicitly excludes repairs for securing a diamond on its mounting," the motion states.
According to Zale, under the Lifetime Diamond Commitment that is the basis of Lovette's claim, the company agrees to "replace the qualifying diamond at no cost if it 'becomes chipped, broken or lost from its original settings', and to clean and inspect the diamond free of charge." The motion states this commitment is offered free of charge with a diamond purchase of more than $200.
Zale says the focus of the commitment is on the stone not the setting or mounting, which it says is a separate component of the ring. Zale argues that its advertisements for its Lifetime Diamond Commitment are not false advertising nor is it deceptive "to a reasonable consumer," the motion states.
Zale argues that in order to maintain the Lifetime Diamond Commitment, "the contract requires the customer to bring the qualifying diamond to Zales every six months for cleaning and inspection. However, the Limited Diamond Commitment explicitly excludes: repair charges necessary to properly secure a diamond in it’s (sic) mounting can be covered under Zales’ optional extended service program," the motion states.
"The Limited Diamond Commitment explicitly excludes repairs for stabilizing loose diamonds or fixing settings. As a result, plaintiff cannot establish that the Limited Diamond Commitment is false or deceptive to a reasonable consumer, which is fatal to plaintiff’s class action claims for violation" of the False Advertising Law, Unfair Competition Law and Consumer Legal Remedies Act, the motion states.
According to his October complaint filed in the San Diego Superior Court, Lovette purchased a diamond ring from Zales in July 2008. Lovette claims that the diamonds in his ring became loose in February and after taking the ring to Zales for repairs, the company refused to repair the ring free of charge. His complaint states violations of the California False Advertising Act and other counts.