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Tommie Copper Settlement Announced, Other Lawsuits Pending

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New York, NYPeople dealing with chronic pain from arthritis might be tempted to believe a specialty clothing could help prevent severe pain and inflammation. But as Tommie Copper lawsuits suggest, wanting to believe something doesn’t make it true. Further, companies can’t prey on consumers by making up claims about the health benefits of their products without adequate science to back those claims up. As the FTC’s Tommie Copper false advertising lawsuit and settlement show, there are watchdogs to make sure companies can prove the claims they make.

In December, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced it had reached a settlement with Tommie Copper concerning the company’s claims regarding its copper-infused compression clothing. The FTC alleged in its lawsuit that Tommie Copper marketed its clothing as being effective at treating symptoms of arthritis and repairing tissue and promoting healing without proper scientific evidence to back up those claims.

“By placing the copper at the source of the discomfort, it provides immediate relief from inflammation, starts to stimulate blood flow and harnesses the other well-known health benefits of copper,” claimed one ad for Tommie Copper, according to court documents. The lawsuit alleged Tommie Copper implied its clothing was “comparable or superior to drugs or surgery” in dealing with chronic or severe pain, or pain and inflammation linked to multiple sclerosis, fibromyalgia, and arthritis. Included in the court documents was a transcript of an advertisement for Tommie Copper in which one consumer said his 20-year pain from a car accident was gone the day he put on Tommie Copper clothing, preventing him from needing surgery.

As a result of those claims, the FTC filed a lawsuit against Tommie Copper to prevent it from making future unsubstantiated claims about the effectiveness of its clothing. Tommie Copper, and the company’s founder Thomas Kallish, agreed to settle the lawsuit for around $1.35 million. In addition to the payment, they have agreed to make no further claims about the health benefits of the clothing without proper scientific evidence.

Among Tommie Copper’s products, according to the FTC, are sleeves, braces, and shirts and socks that sell for between $29.50 and $69.50. Consumers have also filed lawsuits against Tommie Copper, alleging they were misled into buying Tommie Copper products. At least one lawsuit argues that clinical studies show copper is no better than a placebo at treating the symptoms of arthritis. In addition to naming the company and its founder, the lawsuit also names celebrity endorser Montel Williams as a defendant.

The FTC’s lawsuit was case number 7:15-cv-09304. The class-action lawsuit is Lucero et al v. Tommie Copper Inc., Tommie Copper Holdings, Inc., Thomas Kallish and Montel Williams, Case No. 15-cv-6055.

READ ABOUT TOMMIE COPPER FALSE ADVERTISING LAWSUITS

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READER COMMENTS

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I filled out the forms over a year ago. When will i get the ability to order & get the 40% off an order? Thank you Gary

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