A group of five law firms has filed a class-action suit against Vibram USA Inc and Vibram FiveFingers LLC in the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts alleging the company used deceptive statements about the health benefits of barefoot running.
“Given that Defendan’ts advertising and marketing equates barefoot running with running in FiveFingers, Defendants; uniform deceptive statements about barefoot running are also deceptive statements about Five Fingers,” alleges the suit.
The lawsuit appears to be the first of its kind filed in the district against Vibram FiveFingers, which was the single hottest outdoor specialty product in the United States from 2007 through 2010. The lawsuit says sales of the shoes have grown an average of 300 percent a year for the last five years and approached $70 million in 2011. The breakout sales led Merrell to partner with Vibram, an Italian company specializing in sole design and manufacturing, to launch its own minimalist footwear line in 2011. Full Text