'Barefoot Running Shoe' Company Settles Multi-Million Dollar Lawsuit for False Health Claims
By Daniel Joseph Cruz | May 12, 2014 1:29 PM EST
"Vibram USA," makers of the "FiveFingers" runnings shoes settled a class action lawsuit over claims that the company made a false advertisement about the shoe's health benefits. American customers who purchased the FiveFingers pairs are entitled a refund of up to $94 per piece.
Vibram's settlement was the company's way to cease from the issue and avoid any additional legal expenses. Though with the settlement "Vibram expressly denied and continues to deny any wrongdoing alleged in the Actions, and neither admits nor concedes any actual or potential fault, wrongdoing or liability," read the court brief, quoted from Runner's World.
Valerie Bezdek filed the lawsuit in March 2012. Bezdek alleged that Vibram deceived consumers through their false advertising that the footwear yields any health benefit and reducing foot injuries. There followed additional class action suits against Vibram in California and Illinois, strengthening Bezdek's case which later resulted for the company to "concede."
The settlement has two kinds of relief. First is that it refunds to class members who have valid and completed claim forms. Class members can submit up to two pair of shoes even without proof of purchase or receipt. If customers would like to receive a refund for more than two pairs, Vibram would require a valid claim form, or a proof of purchase.
For the second part of the settlement, Vibram won't be allowed to make any further beneficial health claims with the FiveFingers running shoe, unless proven and backed-up by scientific studies.
According to some of the consumers' reactions about the settlement, they enjoyed their experience with the footwear so far. Many loved the footwear product that they said they will make their refund so to buy a new pair of FiveFingers. There were also others who said that the ones who filed the lawsuit were just "money hungry." They continued that it's been normal that people wear shoes that hurt their feet without asking for a huge scale refund. "Seriously? I buy lots of shoes that hurt my feet and I never expect a refund," said Jill Brocklehurst in Runners World comments thread.
Experts noted that Vibram did the right thing as it's cheaper to settle than to win.
To contact the editor, e-mail:
Most Popular Slideshows
- In Photos, Typhoon Rammasun Blasts the Philippines
- Ellen DeGeneres Caught Cheating with Mutual Friend Before Portia de Rossi’s Rehab – Reports [PHOTOS]
- Flight MH17 Attack: Russians Claim 'Putin A Terrorist,' Memorial at Dutch Embassy Overflows [PHOTOS]
- Malaysia Airlines MH17: Vital Black Boxes Finally Land in Hands of Malaysian Authorities, Rebels Announce Ceasefire (PHOTOS/VIDEOS)
Join the Conversation
- Malaysian Airlines Flight 17: Air Carrier Losing $1.6 Million/Day; Crisis Management Experts Suggest Hiring Risk Expert as CEO
- Malaysian Airlines Flight 17: Air Carrier to Give $5,000 Assistance to Victims’ Families; Bankruptcy Looms as 2 Air Mishaps Would Cost Firm Minimum $80.55 M Compensation
- Foxconn And Pegatron Corp Readies For Apple's iPhone 6 Mass Production This Month
- California Fruits Recalled in USA and Canada for Possible Listeria Contamination
- KFC & McDonald’s Accused of Serving ‘Expired’ Meat to Customers
- Google Nexus 8 Release Date Soon Along with 2 More HTC Android Tablets – Reports
- Windows Phone 8.1 Update Rollout: 20 Nokia Lumia Phones Eligible and 13 New Features to be Added
- Moto 360 Price Speculations, Key Features, Strategic Release Date, Design: A Watch That is More Than Just Time
- Samsung Galaxy Note 4 Apps Leak Online, Five Fresh Features to Expect from the Android Smartphone
- Three New Moto G Successors Spotted in FCC Document Dubbed Moto G2, Moto M and More --Reports
- Sony PlayStation 4 Outsells a Resurgent Xbox One in June
- Killer Xiaomi Mi4 at $369 Likely to Come With 5.0-Inch Display, Snapdragon 801 Processor, 3GB RAM and More