AG Gansler Secures Consumer Refunds, Cash from Skechers USA
Deceptive health claims lead to $45 million settlement
Baltimore, MD (May 16, 2012) - Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler announced today that his Consumer Protection Division, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), and 43 other states and the District of Columbia filed consent decrees totaling $45 million concerning Skechers USA, Inc., the makers of Shape-Ups, Tone-Ups, and the Skechers Resistance Runner athletic shoes. The lawsuit alleged that Skechers advertised their rocker-bottom shoes helped consumers 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.
"Maryland consumers deserve to know that a product's health-related claims have been substantiated," said Attorney General Gansler. "If you've purchased these shoes, I urge you to take just a little time and file your claim for a partial refund."
Under the consent decrees, up to $40 million is being allocated to consumer refunds. Consumers who purchased Shape-Ups, Tone-Ups or the Skechers Resistance Runner should go to http://www.ftc.gov/opa/2012/05/consumerrefund.shtm or call 1-866-325-4186 for information about how to obtain a partial refund.
As part of the settlement agreements, Skechers will pay an additional $5 million to the participating states with more than $111,000 coming to Maryland. The complaint filed in the Circuit Court for Baltimore City alleges that Skechers made health-related claims in the marketing, packaging, advertising, offering and selling of its line of rocker-bottom shoe products, including Shape-ups, Tone-ups, and the Skechers Resistance Runner, that were not adequately corroborated at the time the claims were made. Under the consent decree, Skechers is prohibited from making these claims unless it has adequate support for them.