The Nahdree Group, Ltd. -- a New York-based manufacturer of women's evening and special occasion wear -- has agreed to pay a $10,000 civil penalty to settle charges that it violated the Federal Trade Commission's Care Labeling Rule by using labels stating "Dryclean Only by Zurcion Method." The Commission has settled similar charges against four wedding gown manufacturers.
In one of the four cases filed in May 1998, the FTC issued an administrative complaint against the New York-based drycleaning operation, Continental Gown Cleaning Service, alleging that it violated the FTC Act by providing garment manufacturers and importers with care labels such as "Dry Clean Only by Zurcion Method," a method used only by Continental Gown. According to the FTC, these labels did not comply with the requirements of the Care Labeling Rule and misled consumers by making false claims that gowns with those labels could only be cleaned by the Zurcion Method. In September 1999, the Commission announced a final consent agreement settling these charges.
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. According to the FTC, the label used by Nahdree violated the Care Labeling Rule because it gave a drycleaning instruction but failed to name a drycleaning solvent that could be used without damaging the garments and failed to warn that certain modifications should be made to the normal drycleaning process for delicate garments such as special occasion dresses. In addition, the complaint alleges that Nahdree did not have a reasonable basis for instructing that the garments could be adequately cleaned by the Zurcion Method and for warning that the garments could not be cleaned by any other method of drycleaning or by washing.
Under the terms of the settlement, The Nahdree Group would be required to pay a $200,000 penalty with all but $10,000 of the penalty waived based on Nahdree's financial condition at the time it signed the Consent Decree. In addition, the settlement would prohibit Nahdree from future violations of the Care Labeling Rule and would require Nahdree to notify retailers who sold its garments in the preceding year that the garments can be cleaned by methods other than the Zurcion Method. Further, the settlement contains various recordkeeping provisions to assist the FTC in monitoring Nahdree's compliance.
The complaint and settlement was filed at the FTC's request by the Department of Justice in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York on February 9, 2000. The consent decree is subject to court approval.
NOTE: Consent decrees are for settlement purposes only and do not constitute an admission by the defendants of a law violation. Consent decrees have the force of law when signed by the judge.
A copy of the news release is available from the FTC's web site at http://www.ftc.gov and copies of the complaint and proposed consent decree are also available from the FTC's Consumer Response Center, Room 130, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20580; 877-FTC-HELP (877-382-4357); 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.
(Nahdree: FTC File No. 982 3187)
(Civil Action No.: 00 CIV 0994)