Laissez Faire, Inc., a New York City-based importer of women's clothing, has agreed to pay a $30,000 civil penalty to settle charges that it violated the Federal Trade Commission's Care Labeling Rule by failing to have a reasonable basis for one of the care instructions it placed on many of the garments it sold. According to the FTC's complaint, in numerous instances one of the care procedures that was recommended on the garment's care label resulted in the dye bleeding or color loss. In addition to requiring payment of the civil penalty, the settlement would prohibit Laissez Faire from violating the Care Labeling Rule in the future.
Laissez Faire sells clothing under the brand name "Kiko." The garments at issue were sold through retailers such as Kasals, Tumbleweeds, Caravan Classics, and Hearthside.
The Care Labeling Rule, which has been in effect since 1972, requires manufacturers and importers of clothing to attach care labels that state what regular care is needed for ordinary use of the garment. For this reason, care labels usually specify either a washing instruction or a drycleaning instruction. They also must have reliable evidence that the garments will not be harmed when cleaned according to the label instruction, under the rule. Laissez Faire recommended that consumers could either machine wash or dryclean its garments, but when drycleaned the garments were damaged.
The complaint was filed today on the FTC's behalf in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York by the Department of Justice. The consent decree is subject to approval by the court. The Commission vote to refer the complaint and proposed settlement to the Department of Justice for filing was 4-0.
NOTE: This consent decree is for settlement purposes only and does not constitute an admission by the defendant of a law violation. Consent decrees have the force of law when signed by the judge.
Copies of the complaint and consent decree are available from the FTC's web site at http://www.ftc.gov and also from the FTC's Consumer Response Center, Room 130, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20580; 202-FTC-HELP (202-382-4357); TDD for the hearing impaired 1-866-653-4261. To find out the latest news as it is announced, call the FTC NewsPhone recording at 202-326-2710.
(FTC File No. 982-3104)
(Civil Action No. 99-CV-1624)