A lawsuit has recently been filed against Lululemon Athletica Incorporated over the retailer’s alleged misrepresentations about its clothing’s cotton content. And, just this week, in an interesting turn of events, the case has found its way back to state court in Florida, days after being removed to federal court.
Hold On. What’s This About Cotton Content?
Right, let’s take a step back. In early February of this year, a Florida consumer filed a lawsuit against Lululemon in state court that claimed the clothing retailer’s Muscle Love Crop Tank advertised as being “92% Pima cotton” contained far less Pima cotton than the shirt’s labels represented.
The plaintiff in the case says she purchased the tank top in December 2016 at a Lululemon store in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. After buying the shirt, the woman apparently grew suspicious of its label’s claims that it was made with 92 percent Pima cotton and, with the help of legal counsel, sent the product to be tested.
According to the lawsuit, independent testing revealed that Lululemon’s Muscle Love Crop Tank contained “far less” than 92 percent Pima cotton and instead was comprised of only 36 to 40 percent of the premium fiber.
So, What Else Was the Shirt Allegedly Made Of?
According to the plaintiff’s expert’s report, the Lululemon tank top in question was made from a mixture of cotton by-products, shorter length fibers, and premium Pima cotton fibers.
Generally, the case explains, fabrics made with longer cotton fibers like Pima cotton are better quality and can be up to three times more expensive than shorter fiber cotton. When less expensive shorter fibers and by-products are mixed in with premium cotton, the manufacturer can earn a greater profit and gains an unfair advantage over honest manufacturers, the suit says.
Is That Illegal?
According to the lawsuit, yes. State and federal laws require manufacturers and retailers such as Lululemon to be truthful about the content of their products.
The plaintiff claims she paid a premium price for a shirt she believed was of better quality than it really was. She says she was “angry and sad” that Lululemon allegedly deceived her and argues that the retailer’s actions violated state law.
Where Is the Lawsuit Now?
Though the case was originally filed in state court in Florida, it was removed to federal court on March 4, 2019 because Lululemon argued that cotton classification is regulated under federal law. Inexplicably, the defendant remanded the case back to state court just a few days later.
The notice of removal and original complaint can be read below.
Note: We reached out to the firm handling this case to determine why it was not filed as a class action and whether they intend to file a class action in the future, but we haven't heard back yet. Stay tuned.