There could be millions of dollars more in penalties for the clothing manufacturer if it is found that Tommie Copper Inc. (Tommie Copper) put forward inaccuracies about its financials.
Tommie Copper is a company that manufactures and markets support wear infused with copper, reportedly carrying various benefits including pain relief from arthritis and other diseases and injuries - relief that was touted in various adverts as being more effective than surgery and other examples of standard medical care.
The New York Times (12/01/15) notes that an infomercial released in 2012 featured former television talk show host Montel Williams, who suffers from multiple sclerosis (MS), expounding the virtues of Tommie Copper products and the relief he derived from wearing products, such as socks and other compression garments infused with copper, in helping him with his symptoms of MS. The New York Times points out that Williams is no longer associated with the brand and has not served as a spokesperson for some years.
Be that as it may, through the infomercial and various forms of advertising - including YouTube videos, social media and advertisements in Arthritis Today - Tommie Copper is reported to have earned $87 million in revenue between 2011 and 2014. Prices to buy shirts, socks and other compression wear ranged from $30 to $70.
The problem, said the FTC in its Tommie Copper False Advertising Lawsuit (Federal Trade Commission v. Tommie Copper Inc. et al., case number 7:15-cv-09304, US District Court for the Southern District of New York), is that there is no substantive scientific evidence to support claims of pain relief.
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The founder and chairman of Tommie Copper, Thomas Kallish, is also the co-defendant along with Montel Williams in a proposed class action. According to court documents, a federal court in New York is considering the consolidation of a Tommie Copper Deceptive Advertising lawsuit with an existing case already on the books against Tommie Copper and Kallish.
Those cases are Lucero et al. v. Tommie Copper Inc. et al., and Potzner v. Tommie Copper Inc., case numbers 1:15-cv-06055 and 7:15-cv-03183, in US District Court for the Southern District of New York.