Skechers Agrees to Pay $45 Million in Multi-State Settlement Over Marketing of Shape-Ups
Consent Judgment Settles Allegations of Unsubstantiated Claims of Health Benefit; Provides $40 Million in Consumer Refunds
BOSTON – Settling allegations that it made unsubstantiated health-related claims in the marketing of its line of rocker-bottom shoe products, Skechers USA, Inc., entered into a consent judgment today with Attorney General Martha Coakley, the Federal Trade Commission and Attorneys General from 44 other states. Skechers will pay $40 million for consumer refunds and an additional $5 million to the states, with Massachusetts receiving $106,000.
“This settlement confirms that companies will be held responsible for making unsubstantiated claims, especially when those claims attempt to take advantage of consumers looking for ways to better their health,” AG Coakley said. “We are very pleased to have obtained money for the thousands of consumers who did not receive Skechers advertised health benefits from wearing these shoes.”
Specifically, the coordinated action alleged that Skechers improperly claimed that its 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, without having adequate support for such claims. Under the settlement, Skechers is prohibited from making these health related claims unless it has adequate proof.
Skechers does not admit any wrongdoing and denies the factual allegations asserted in the AG’s complaint filed today along with the consent judgment in Suffolk Superior Court. The proposed settlement is awaiting a judge’s review.
Consumers who purchased Shape-Ups, Tone-Ups, or the Skechers Resistance Runner shoe products should seek information regarding how to obtain a partial refund at the Federal Trade Commission or call the toll free hotline at (866) 325-4186.
Also entering into consent judgments with Skechers were the Attorneys General of Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, 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, Wisconsin, the Hawaii Office of Consumer Protection, and the Georgia Governor’s Office of Consumer Protection.
This matter is being handled by Assistant Attorney General Justin J. Lowe of AG Coakley’s Consumer Protection Division.