Dutch’s Current-Elliott Jeans
March 2017: A federal judge denied preliminary approval of the proposed settlement finding that the cy pres award did not meet legal requirements and the “face value” of gift cards was less than the actual value. The judge was also skeptical that the tote bag provided value to class members and questioned whether the injunctive relief was a sufficient remedy for the class.
October 2016: Plaintiffs in a false advertising class-action lawsuit against Dutch, LLC moved for preliminary approval of a settlement agreement reached between the parties. (This is the third settlement agreement reached in this case; the first two were rejected by the federal judge.) The complaint, which was originally filed in state court in 2014 and later transferred to federal court, alleges that Dutch labels its Current-Elliot brand jeans as “Made in the USA” when they actually contain foreign-made parts.
According to the third proposed settlement agreement, class members will receive one Current-Elliott brand tote bag (with a retail value of approximately $128 each) as well as an electronic gift card code (with a value of at least $20) that can be used toward online purchases. The amount of each gift card code depends on the number of products at issue purchased and whether the class member retained proof of purchase. The company also agreed to revise its labels to add qualifying language to certain “Made in USA” claims and to permanently stop marketing products that do not comply with California’s “Made in the USA” law. Finally, the company agreed to make charitable contributions in the amount of $250,000 ($50,000 to Step Up Women’s Network and the remaining $200,000 to a scholarship endowment at a non-profit university’s Consumer Science Department). (Hofmann et al v. Dutch, LLC and Does 1-100, Case No. 14-cv-2418, S. D. CA.)
For more information about other class-action lawsuits regarding Made in the USA claims and TINA.org’s coverage of the issue, click here.
When a complaint is dismissed without prejudice, an amended version of the complaint can be refiled.