This week’s news that $40 million will be paid to 520 plaintiffs in a Skechers USA Shape-ups shoes class-action settlement bodes well for the hundreds of Californians who are participating in a mass tort lawsuit against the company, said San Diego attorney Michael Bomberger, of the product liability law firm Estey & Bomberger.
Bomberger appeared on Channel 10 News on May 14 to comment on the settlement. The station sought his expert opinion because he is plaintiffs’ lead counsel in a California mass tort action against Skechers.
“We look forward to investigating what research and development – if any – Skechers performed prior to putting this potentially dangerous product on the market. We also seek to pull back the curtain on Skechers alleged false advertising claims that put profits before consumer safety,” Bomberger said.
The main difference between mass torts and class action lawsuits regards how the plaintiffs are treated. Class actions involve large groups of plaintiffs, while mass torts often involve redressing the injuries of particular groups of people, such as those who live in the same geographic area. Mass torts also involve presenting evidence that is individual to particular plaintiffs, for example differences in how the defendant’s actions have affected a plaintiff.
Skechers USA marketed its Shape-up shoes as being a product that would shape and tone the legs and buttocks simply by walking.
“You can finally get in shape without going to the gym,” the company’s advertising boasted, suggesting that the shoes be worn during daily activities, such as excising and working.
However, after wearing the shoes, which have an elevated sole, hundreds of people claimed they suffered injuries. The claims resulted in a federal probe, a class-action lawsuit over false advertising, the settlement, and the mass tort lawsuit in California.
Chronic injuries that may be associated with the shoes include but are not limited to stress fractures in the hips, tibia, fibula, and/or feet, damage to the ligaments and/or cartilage in the knees, Achilles tendonitis and plantar fasciitis, an Estey & Bomberger press release reports.
“The shoes are unstable. They increase the risk of falls to people who wear them. Consequently, many of our clients have suffered broken bones, tendon injuries, ligament damage, head injuries and back injuries,” Bomberger said.
Estey & Bomberger represents victims of serious personal injury, dangerous and defective products, medical devices, and pharmaceutical drugs. The firm is nationally recognized as having the highest ranking for skills and ethics, and the founding partners have been selected to the National Trial Lawyers Top 100 Lawyers in California, Best Lawyers in America® and Super Lawyers®.
“The settlement shows that Skechers knows it has a product with a lot of problems. …The message [it sends is] you can’t cheat the public to make a dime,” Bomberger said.
For more information about Skechers Shape-ups injury claims, visit http://skechersshapeupsinjurylawyer.com.