If you bought a pair of FiveFingers you might be entitled to a refund. That’s the result of a settlement earlier this week of a class-action law suit against Vibram.
Valerie Bezdek’s suit alleged that Vibram misled consumers by saying its FiveFingers line of footwear could reduce foot injuries and strengthen foot muscles, without basing those assertions on any scientific facts. It is believed that Vibram settled the claim only to avoid additional legal expenses. They have clearly stated that “Vibram expressly denied and continues to deny any wrongdoing alleged in the Actions, and neither admits nor concedes any actual or potential fault, wrongdoing or liability”.
The settlement is in two parts. First Vibram will refund class members to ‘up to’ $94 per pair, thought most should receive between 20 and 50 dollars. What is left of the $3.75 million deposit will be donated to the American Heart Association. Class members can submit a claim on www.fivefingerssettlement.com,when the website goes up, for up to two pairs without any proof of purchase. However Vibram has the right to ask for proofs in an effort to fight fraud. For more than two pairs members should submit both a valid claim form and proof of purchase.
The second part of the settlement will see Vibram running ads on popular websites like runnersworld.com and Facebook.com with the settlement information. The company is also required to stop making any claims in its marketing communications about potential health benefits of its FiveFingers line of footwear.
Do you feel cheated by Vibram if you are the owner of toed shoes? The voices in the runner world seems to say otherwise. FiveFingers or other minimal running shoes, many people have had positive experiences with making the switch from more cushioned models.
Could this just be an attempt to get money from a big company, like famous class-actions against tobacco giants?