Here’s the release from state Attorney General George Jepsen’s office:
HARTFORD – Attorney General George Jepsen said Connecticut has joined with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), 42 states and the District of Columbia in coordinated settlement agreements with Skechers USA, Inc. over allegations of deceptive advertising for certain athletic shoes.
The company, based in Manhattan Beach, Calif., agreed to pay up to $40 million in consumer refunds and an additional $5 million to the states. Once approved by the court, Connecticut’s share of the settlement would be $88,208.
The lawsuit, filed in conjunction with the settlement agreement, alleges that Skechers, the makers of rocker-bottom Shape-Ups, Tone-Ups and the Skechers Resistance Runner athletic shoes, made health-related claims in the marketing, packaging, advertising, offering and selling of those shoes that were not adequately substantiated at the time the claims were made.
“I’m pleased to participate in this settlement, which will help to reimburse consumers who relied on the company’s claims in making their purchases,” Attorney General Jepsen said.
Consumers who may be eligible for a partial refund of their purchase of Shape-Ups, Tone-Ups or the Skechers Resistance Runner athletic shoes, should submit a claim form available on the FTC website, www.ftc.gov/skechers.
The State alleged that Skechers did not have adequate support for its claims that the rocker-bottom shoe products caused consumers to lose weight, burn calories, improve circulation, fight cellulite, and firm, tone or strengthen thigh, buttock, and back muscles.
While Skechers did not admit wrongdoing and denied the factual allegations asserted in the complaint, the settlement prohibits Skechers from making these claims without adequate substantiation.
Consumers who have complaints about unsubstantiated health or advertising claims or any consumer matter should contact the Office of the Attorney General at 860-808-5400.
Assistant Attorney General Thomas Saadi handled this matter for the Attorney General.
Participating with Connecticut in the settlement were the Attorneys General of Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia and Wisconsin as well as Hawaii’s Office of Consumer Protection, and the Governor’s Office of Consumer Protection in Georgia.
The stipulation agreement is linked to the press release on the OAG website.
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