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|Vibram FiveFingers Barefoot Running Shoes Class Action Lawsuit|
- Friday, 27 July 2012 03:00
Vibram FiveFingers Barefoot Running Shoes Class Action Lawsuit
By Sarah Pierce
Vibram has been hit with a second class action lawsuit over its FiveFingers “barefoot” running shoes, claiming the company makes unsubstantiated claims about the health benefits of the shoes, which may actually increase the risk of injury.
Lead Plaintiff Ali Safavi alleges in the Vibram FiveFingers class action lawsuit that the shoes, which are supposed to replicate the benefits of barefoot running, don’t perform as advertised. The deceptive advertising claims are similar to those made in a Massachusetts Vibram FiveFingers class action lawsuit filed in April 2012, and a June 2012 class action lawsuit against Adidas over its adiPure barefoot running shoes.
Vibram advertises that its FiveFingers shoes provide certain benefits to wearers, including strengthening muscles in their feet and lower legs; improving range of motion in ankles, feet and toes; stimulating neural function to improve balance and agility; eliminating heel lift to align the spine and improve posture; and allowing the foot and body to move naturally, “Which just feels good.”
These advertising messages “give the impression to reasonable consumers that there is scientific evidence supporting the specific health-benefit representations” Vibram makes about FiveFingers barefoot running shoes, the class action lawsuit says.
However, “unbeknownst to consumers, Defendants' health benefit claims are false and deceptive because FiveFingers are not proven to provide any of the health benefits beyond what conventional running shoes provide. With conventional running shoes, the runner runs with a heel-strike manner. But with FiveFingers, a runner must run with a forefoot strike pattern. This process, necessary with FiveFingers, can be long and painful, and can even lead to injuries."
The new Vibram FiveFingers class action lawsuit, filed in California federal court, cites a University of Wisconsin study that found runners often have to change their gait when switching to FiveFingers running shoes. Adapting to the shoes may involve an “injury-fraught regimen,” the class action lawsuit says.
It is seeking restitution and damages for a proposed class of all California consumers who purchased FiveFingers running shoes from the time they were first sold in California until the present, based on claims of breach of express warranty and violations of the Consumer Legal Remedies Act.
A copy of the California Vibram FiveFingers False Advertising Class Action Lawsuit can be read here.
The case is Ali Safavi v. Vibram USA, Inc. and Vibram FiveFingers, LLC, Case No. 12-cv-5900, U.S. District Court, Central District of California.
Updated July 27th, 2012
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Last Updated on Thursday, 27 December 2012 11:09