Skechers Files Settlement For Allegedly Falsifying Health Benefits of Shoe Ads

By Daniela Salvador
By Maureen Mespell

May 16, 2012 Updated May 16, 2012 at 6:38 PM EDT

Indianapolis (Indiana’s NewsCenter) - Indiana along with more than 40 states and the Federal Trade Commission filed an agreement on Wednesday with Skechers USA, Inc. for incorrectly claiming its shoes caused consumers to lose weight, according to Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller.

"Today's settlement agreement is important because it addresses concerns about the advertised benefits of wearing Skechers' rocker-bottom product line of shoes," Zoeller said. "Consumers ultimately pay the price for buying into companies' misleading claims. That's why this agreement provides for restitution to Skechers' customers and some payments to the states."

The multi-state lawsuits and corresponding settlements were filed separately by the Indiana Attorney General's Office, Federal Trade Commission, attorneys general of 43 states and the District of Columbia. The complaint alleges that Skechers made unproven health-related claims in the marketing, packaging, advertising, offering and selling of its line of rocker-bottom shoe products such as Shape-ups, Tone-ups and the Skechers Resistance Runner.

According to the lawsuit filed in the Marion County Superior Court, Skechers claimed its shoe products caused consumers to lose weight, burn calories, improve circulation, fight cellulite, and firm, tone or strengthen thigh, buttock and back muscles.

As part of the settlement, up to $40 million is being allocated for consumer refunds. Skechers will pay an additional $5 million to the states. Indiana is set to receive $105,691. The monies will be dedicated to the Consumer Protection Fund, which provides for consumer education, training and litigation expenses.

Under the agreement, Skechers is forbidden from making these types of claims unless it has adequate support to do so. Skechers does not admit any wrongdoing and denies the factual allegations asserted in the complaint, Zoeller said.

Consumers who purchased Shape-Ups, Tone-Ups or the Skechers Resistance Runner should go to www.ftc.gov/Skechers or call 866-325-4186 for information about how to obtain a partial refund. Those who would like to file a complaint about unsubstantiated health or advertising claims or any consumer matter should visit www.indianaconsumer.com




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