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FiveFingers Maker Settles Class Action for $3.75 Million

FiveFingers Manufacturer Settles Class Action Lawsuit for False Health Claims

Customers who bought FiveFingers shoes from manufacturer Vibram filed a class action lawsuit against the popular shoe maker in 2012, because they had been misled over the health claims of the shoes.

On Thursday, May 8th, the company agreed to settle the class action lawsuit for the false health claims for $3.75 million. Vibram still admits no wrongdoing, but will also stop claiming that the shoes have specific health benefits.

Vibram claims that its FiveFingers shoes strengthen muscles and reduce injuries from exercise. The shoes were marketed to runners in particular, as “barefoot” or “minimalist” running became more popular. However, none of these claims have been medically tested or proven, and a 2013 study showed that some barefoot runners were at greater risk of injury than those that used traditional running sneakers.

“The Vibram group had a significantly greater incidence of bone marrow edema after the training period, while neither group showed any soft tissue changes,” the study found, and advised those wishing to transition to barefoot running to do so gradually.

Customers who submitted claims in the class action lawsuit will receive $20 to $50 per person, and anyone who purchased shoes as far back as 2009 is eligible.

“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,” said the firm, according to court documents.

What Types Of Case is Appropriate to Pursue as a Class Action?

class action is a procedural device to collect individuals’ claims that are suffering harm.  When a case is awarded class action status, it means that an individual or small group of plaintiffs will act as representatives for others who have suffered injuries similar to theirs because of actions by the same defendant.

When a case is classified as a class action, it does not rule on the merits of an action.  It expands the scope of who is bound by a later decision on the scope of the issues at hand.

For example, if the plaintiff class, through their attorneys, prevails on the merits of an action, then all class members will receive compensation for the harm they have suffered.  On the other hand, if the defendant succeeds, no member of the class will receive compensation for the alleged injury and cannot bring a new lawsuit against the defendant for the same issues at hand.

Class Action cases we have handled include:

  • a case against the managed care industry on behalf of physicians for systematically undercutting physician claims for payment for seeing patients;
  • race-based life insurance cases against life insurance companies for charging African Americans higher rates for industrial life insurance;
  • consumer cases included suing finance companies for adding credit life insurance on to consumer loans;
  • a predatory lending case against the title loan industry;
  • a predatory lending case against the mortgage industry for systematically steering clients into subprime lending

The Strom Law Firm Advocates for Consumer Protection Through Class Action Lawsuits

The class action lawyers at the Strom Law Firm enjoy a distinct statewide and national reputation for excellence in the area of consumer protection litigation and class action lawsuits. Contact the attorneys at the Strom Law Firm today for a free, confidential consultation to discuss the facts of your potential class action lawsuit. 803.252.4800



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