For Immediate ReleaseAugust 27, 2014
Home goods retailer must pay $1.6 million on action filed in Marin court
San Rafael, CA -- Marin County District Attorney Edward S. Berberian announced that Marin County Superior Court Judge Paul M. Haakenson has ordered North Carolina-based Lowe’s Home Centers, LLC, to pay $1.6 million as part of a settlement of a civil consumer protection action prosecuted by the Marin County District Attorney's Office, along with four other California district attorneys.
The judgment is the culmination of a civil enforcement action filed in Marin County Superior Court and led by the district attorneys of Marin, Los Angeles, Monterey, San Joaquin and Stanislaus counties, claiming that Lowe’s stores throughout the state unlawfully advertised structural dimensional building products for sale and those advertisements stated, contained, and described product dimensions that were not the actual product dimensions. Structural dimensional building products are products used in construction and home improvement projects and which are commonly sold by reference to three dimensions (i.e., length, width/depth, and thickness). In some instances, Lowe's advertisements restated misleading or inaccurate product dimensions provided by the manufacturers or other suppliers of the product.
District Attorney Berberian stated, "Consumers should expect when making product purchases that retailers are providing accurate information especially when misinformation could adversely affect building projects that more often than not rely on precise measurements."
The judgment requires Lowe's to immediately remove products from sale or correct false, misleading, deceptive or inaccurate product descriptions when Lowe's knows or should know that the product descriptions are untrue or misleading.
Lowe’s was cooperative throughout the investigation and has adopted and implemented enhanced policies and procedures designed to eliminate the use of misleading or inaccurate product dimensions in their advertisements.
Under the judgment, Lowe’s must pay $1.47 million in civil penalties and costs of the investigation. An additional $150,000 will be paid to fund further consumer protection-related activities including quality control and price verification programs conducted by the California Department of Food and Agriculture, Division of Measurement Standards. Lowe's will be bound under the terms of a permanent injunction prohibiting similar future violations of law.
Ed BerberianDistrict AttorneyCounty of Marin
Marin County Civic Center3501 Civic Center DriveSan Rafael, CA 94903(415) 747-2241