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.
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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.