Attorney General Peter F. Kilmartin today announced the Federal Trade Commission, Rhode Island, 43 other states and the District of Columbia, filed settlements today with Skechers USA, Inc., the makers of Shape-Ups, Tone-Ups and the Skechers Resistance Runner athletic shoes. Under these settlements, up to $40 million is being allocated for consumer refunds to be paid to consumers who purchased these shoes. As part of the settlements, Skechers will pay an additional $5 million to the states, of which the State of Rhode Island is expected to receive approximately $73,000.
In announcing the settlement, Attorney General Kilmartin said, "With empty promises of weight loss and toned muscles, countless Americans purchased Skechers brand rocker bottom shoes. Unfortunately, the claims made by the company were nothing more than a marketing scheme designed to sell more sneakers."
The settlement filed today by Attorney General Kilmartin 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 substantiated at the time the claims were made.
The lawsuit alleges that without having adequate support for its claims, Skechers asserted that these 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.
Under the settlement, Skechers is prohibited from making these claims unless it has adequate substantiation to do so. Skechers does not admit any wrongdoing and denies the factual allegations asserted in the Attorney General's complaint.
Consumers who purchased Shape-Ups, Tone-Ups, or the Skechers Resistance Runner should either call the toll-free consumer hotline at 1-866-325-4186 or go to www.ftc.gov/skechers for information about how to obtain a partial refund.
About the Office of the Attorney General Consumer Protection Unit The Office of the Attorney General Consumer Protection Unit investigates and mediates consumer complaints concerning unfair and unlawful business practices and misleading advertising arising out of alleged violations of the Deceptive Trade Practices Act. If groups of people are victimized by a deceptive trade practice, this office may file in the Superior Court a civil investigative demand, which is a formal investigation. In appropriate cases, a lawsuit to stop the illegal business practice may be initiated.
Apart from carrying out its statutory responsibilities, the Unit also provides information and referral services to the general public. Consumers are directed to the appropriate governmental or private agencies for help in answering specialized questions or resolving disputes that are not within the Unit's jurisdiction.
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