Macy's, Jewelry, Accessories
A class action lawsuit filed by Lemberg & Associates in federal court in Boston alleges that Macy's routinely violates the FTC Rule, passing off gold-plaTed Sterling silver as "Fine Gold" without providing the adequate qualification.
Federal Trade Commission (FTC) rules prohibit the use of the word "gold" or any abbreviation to describe all or part of any product not composed entirely of gold or a gold alloy. The use of the word "gold" or its abbreviation is permitted only if the product is "adequately qualified" to indicate that the product or part is only surface-plated with gold.
The complaint, Barsukova v. Macy's, Inc. (U.S. District Court, District of Massachusetts, 1:12-cv-11892), alleges that Barsukova purchased earrings from Macy's that were labeled and marketed as "Fine Gold," but that really only had a fine layer of gold covering a sterling silver item.
According to the complaint, in 2010 Barsukova "was attracted to a pair of earrings labeled as fine gold. The salesperson confirmed to her that the earrings were in fact gold, regularly priced at $360, but discounted to $129.09 due to a 'pre-sale' event." It goes on to say that Barsukova purchased the earrings, and that "The receipt for the earrings identified them as...FINE GOLD JWL. The description states: 'ss gold ear.' The quality mark says: Aug. 25...14k.'"
Specifically, the complaint alleges that "Macy's breached the terms of the contract by selling much less valuable gold-plated silver that it misrepresented as 'fine gold' jewelry"; "Macy's was unjustly enriched by selling gold-plated jewelry while representing it as fine gold"; "Macy's breached that duty [of good faith and fair dealing] by failing to deliver goods as promised and advertised."
Class action lawsuits are filed on behalf of a group of people who were harmed in a similar way by a company's violation of the law. In this complaint, the proposed class is "All persons who purchased jewelry from Macy's labeled and sold as 'Gold' or 'Fine Gold' that was in fact gold-plated silver or sterling silver." It excludes the defendant and those for whom the statute of limitations has expired.
Lemberg concluded, "Our firm's mission is to level the playing field between corporations and consumers, and to fight for justice on behalf of consumers who have been wronged."
This release references Barsukova v. Macy's, Inc. (U.S. District Court, District of Massachusetts, 1:12-cv-11892).