Due to the class action lawsuit settlement, anyone who purchased FiveFingers shoes after March 2009 may be entitled to as much as $94 per pair. The final amount distributed for each pair claimed will depend on how many people submit claim forms. The probable amount that will be distributed will likely be more in the $20 to $50 per pair, according to Runners World, from similar settlements that have been made in the past.
For those who purchased FiveFingers shoes, The claim process should be pretty simple and straightforward. If you’re claiming that you purchased one or two pairs of shoes during the time period, you don’t even need to provide proof of purchase with the claim (although if Vibram believes your claim to be fraudulent, they can require you show proof of purchase to process your claim). If you want to claim that you purchased more than two pairs of these barefoot running shoes, you need to fill out the claim form plus provide some type of proof (receipt, credit card statement, etc) for all the shoe purchases.
As part of the settlement, Vibram must create a website that will inform consumers of the terms of agreement from the class action lawsuit. The informational website is to be found at FiveFingersSettlement.com, but the website isn’t live at the time of this writing. When live, it will have claim forms for consumers to make their claim submissions to the company, plus detailed information about the settlement.
The lawsuit was filed saying that the following false advertisement statements were made without any scientific research to back them up. FiveFingers had said their barefoot running shoes provided the following benefits:
1. The shoes enable the foot and body to move in a more natural motion.
2. The shoes eliminate heel lift, which helps improve posture and align the spine.
3. The shoes stimulate neural functions, which are important to agility and balance.
4. The shoes help improve the range of motion in the ankles, feet and toes.
5. The shoes are able to strengthen muscles in the lower legs and feet.
As part of the settlement, FiveFingers will no longer be able to make these claims about their shoes. If you purchased a pair of these shoes, it should be well worth the small amount of time it’ll take to fill out the claim form to get your piece of the class action suit money.
On a side note, you may also be entitled to some money if you’ve ever purchased a computer, DVD player or other electronic gadget that had a DRAM chip in it.
(Photo courtesy of marco monetti)