Decision in Kohl’s Case Reversed and Class Claim Regarding Use of Alleged Fake Sales Prices Allowed to Proceed — Our Chicago Class Action Lawyers Enabled Illinois Consumers to Collect Substantial Class Action Recoveries


Many times people buy things because they are on sale that they would not have bought otherwise. The idea of a good deal is a powerful motivator for shoppers and many retailers our Chicago class action lawyers have observed take advantage of that fact. Kohl’s is currently facing a class action lawsuit for allegedly advertising certain items as being marked down between 32 and 50 percent from their “original” prices when those items were not, in fact, marked down at all.

Antonio Hinojos bought a Samsonite suitcase at Kohl’s that was advertised as being 50% off of its original price of $299.99. He also bought some shirts that were allegedly marked as being on sale for 32 to 40 percent less than their original prices.

However, Hinojos alleges in his lawsuit that the items were, in fact, not marked down at all, and that their supposed “sale” prices were the same as the prices the items regularly sold for. Hinojos says that, had he known that, he never would have purchased the items.

A district court dismissed the lawsuit, saying that, because Hinojos got the items he wanted, he could not show that he had lost any money as a result of the alleged false advertising.
The 9th U.S. District Court of Appeals disagreed and reversed the ruling. In the court’s 21-page opinion, it argued that Hinojos demonstrated that he had lost money as a result of the false advertising, “because the bargain hunter’s expectations about the product he just purchased is precisely that it has a higher perceived value and therefore has a higher resale value.”

The court stated that advertisements such as “not available in stores”, “available for a limited time only”, “the same model shoe worn by LeBron James”, and “more doctors recommend our product than any other brand” are not examples of false advertising. However, the court finds this case to be distinctly different from those claims.

The court went on to enumerate that, in this case, “Hinojos specifically and plausibly alleges that Kohl’s falsely markets its products at reduced prices precisely because consumers such as himself reasonably regard price reductions as material information when making purchasing decisions.”

The court also rejected Kohl’s motion to certify the matter to the California Supreme Court. Kohl’s did not do so until after the oral arguments, at which point it perceived that the judges were not sympathetic to its position. According to the court, “Kohl’s conduct regarding certification violated both our rule against belated certification requests and our long-standing prohibition against a party’s use of procedural motions to avoid having its appeal decided by a panel it perceives as unfavorable.”

Our Chicago class action attorneys have brought class action cases involving mass consumer product defects, false advertising and failure to honor warranties similar to the claims in this case. We are looking for new class actions to pursue involving defective products. Contact us if you feel you have a claim at our toll free number 630-333-0333 or filling out an online contact form.

Our Chicago class action lawyers handle individual and class action unfair debt collection and other consumer fraud cases that government agencies and public interest law firms such as the Illinois Attorney General may not pursue. Class action lawsuits our law firm has been involved in or spear-headed have led to substantial awards totalling over a million dollars to organizations including the National Association of Consumer Advocates, the National Consumer Law Center, and local law school consumer programs. Lubin Austermuehle is proud of our achievements in assisting national and local consumer rights organizations obtain the funds needed to ensure that consumers are protected and informed of their rights. By standing up to consumer fraud and consumer rip-offs, and in the right case filing consumer protection lawsuits and class-actions you too can help ensure that other consumers’ rights are protected from consumer rip-offs and unscrupulous or dishonest practices.

Our Wheaton and Naperville consumer lawyers provide assistance in fair debt collection, consumer fraud and consumer rights cases including in Illinois and throughout the country. You can click here to see a description of the some of the many individual and class-action consumer cases we have handled. You can contact one of our Illinois consumer class lawyers who can assist in lemon law, unfair debt collection, wage claims, unpaid overtime and other consumer, consumer fraud or consumer class action cases by filling out the contact form at the side of this blog or by clicking here.

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