Nordstrom, AG reach “Made in USA” settlement
In a class action suit filed two years ago by California consumers, Nordstrom and AG Adriano Goldschmied Apparel have reportedly reached settlement for violating California and Federal consumer protection laws.
The case stemmed from consumers discovering the premium denim and apparel they purchased at a San Diego Nordstrom marketed as “Made in USA” was not actually made in this country. The specific product that triggered the suit was a style of AG jeans called “The Protege.”
Buying American manufactured apparel is a purchasing factor for many California consumers who believe they are taking an active role in supporting American manufacturing and the local California economy.
The Complaint avers, “Consumers are particularly vulnerable to these deceptive and fraudulent practices. Most consumers possess very limited knowledge of the likelihood that products, including the component parts therein, claimed to be made in the United States are in fact made in foreign countries. This is a material factor in many individuals’ purchasing decisions, as they believe they are supporting American companies and American jobs.”
The Complaint also points out that “Consumers generally believe that ‘Made in U.S.A.’ products are higher quality than their foreign-manufactured counterparts.”
As it turned out, “Made in USA” was a false designation and misrepresentation of AG clothes that were actually not substantially made in this country, including the component parts of fabric, buttons, and thread, which were in fact made outside of the USA, violating California and Federal consumer protection laws.
Ultimately, the jeans were not worth the price paid, as foreign made clothes have a much lower cost and subsequent retail price than apparel made in the USA, which is subject to much stricter labor laws that hike up the overall price of goods.
In this day and age, with consumers caring about the global supply chain and social compliance of companies they buy from, and laws in effect to protect consumers from this exact type of situation, settlement has been reached in favor of the Plaintiffs.
The Southern District of California has scheduled a settlement hearing to take place in September of this year in San Diego to finalize the amount awarded to the class.
Currently, consumers affected who bought AG apparel from 2010 to 2016 are eligible to be included in the settlement award, which may range from a $20 discount to a new pair of jeans, depending on their qualifying purchase. Affected consumers can file their claims online to be included in the final settlement, which is expected to be between $4 and $5 million dollars.
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