Many people are on the look-out for a quick fix to lose weight and get in shape. It is therefore no surprise that hundreds of thousands of people took advantage of Skechers’s offer when they introduced shoes that claimed to help people lose weight and tone up.
Skechers’s ads featured celebrity endorsers such as Kim Kardashian and Brooke Burke. The shoe company claimed that its Shape-Ups were designed to promote weight loss and tone butt, leg, and stomach muscles with the shoe’s curved “rocker” or rolling bottom. Skechers said that this caused instability which would cause the wearer of the shoes to “use more energy with every step.” Shape-ups cost about $100 and are sold across the country.
The Resistance Runner shoes were advertised as a fitness tool that could help people who wore them increase “muscle activation” by up to 85% for posture-related muscles and 71% for muscles in the buttocks.
The current lawsuit against Skechers consolidates more than 70 lawsuits from across the country into one lawsuit in federal court in Louisville, Kentucky. U.S. District Judge Thomas B. Russell recently approved the settlement reached between Skechers and the plaintiffs for $40 million. The judge also ordered Skechers to pay an additional $5 million for the attorneys in the case to share. Russell ordered that the money cannot come out of the $40 million settlement.
The two lead plaintiffs in the case will receive payments of $2,500 each.
Those with approved claims will be able to collect repayment for their purchase – up to $80 per pair of Shape-Ups; $84 per pair of Resistance Runners; up to $54 per pair of Podded Sole Shoes; and $40 per pair of Tone-Ups. The settlement covers more than 520,000 claims. About 1,000 people who are eligible for coverage by the settlement opted out.
Eleven objections to the settlement were filed, including people seeking the full purchase price of their shoes and one person saying the settlement would prevent him from seeking damages on his own. The judge rejected all of these arguments.
The settlement comes just one year after Skechers reached a deal with the Federal Trade Commission regarding the ads. A settlement with the Federal Trade Commission bars Skechers from ever again running the ads. If there is any money left over from the $40 million after all of the claims have been processed, the judge has ordered that the remainder of the money is to go to the Federal Trade Commission.
Skechers denies the allegations but said that it is settling in order to avoid a long and costly litigation.
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