Women claim outrage, demand money when they learn caffeine-infused underwear didn't do a thing for their cellulite

Maidenform

A pair of Massachusetts women are suing two "shapeware" makers, saying they were mightily put out, both monetarily and physically, when the allegedly nutrient-infused underwear they bought did not actually burn their fat or improve their skin tone.

In their suit, filed this week in US District Court in Boston, Annique Bellot and Tara Stefani are seeking more than $5 million in damages for themselves and all the other women they say were equally deceived by Maidenform and Wacoal America. They might have to get in line, though - a pair of New York women filed a similar class-action suit last fall.

The two women allege the companies advertised their premium "shapewear" as "constructed with minerals and nutrients that are absorbed by the skin and can permanently change women’s body shape and skin tone," including aloe vera, Vitamin E and caffeine. The two companies allegedly used nutrient-infused fabric made by a Spanish company, which, however, is not named as a defendant.

In their complaint, Belot and Stefani say they "suffered out-of-pocket losses and harm" after buying Wacoal iPant and Maidenform Flexees shapewear, respectively and discovering their skin and body shapes were exactly the same as before they put on the products.

The complaint says that by jacking up the prices of their underwear, the companies were attempting to "prey upon women’s insecurities about their body images, because Defendants know that the annual revenue of the U.S. weight-loss industry is $20 billion, sales of shapewear are estimated at over $750 million annually,3 and sales of “nutrient-infused” textiles or “cosmeto-textiles” are estimated at more than $600 million annually"

In addition to refunds, the lawsuit seeks damages, interest and, of course, attorney's fees.

Maidenform ad in plexiglass frame available for sale.

In addition to this suit, Stefani is also currently suing a company that sold her a saliva kit that allegedly failed to provide the sort of detailed DNA information that would be worth $108 to a consumer.

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      Comments

      Snake Oil Salesmen Deserve To Get Sued

      By on

      Since the FDA doesn't protect consumers from food and drug products that are unsafe and/or make false claims of health benefits, it's left up to consumers to hold companies accountable through civil actions.

      Were the women actually gullible enough to believe the underwear would make them skinny? Or, was the company just so gullible to make fraudulent claims selling their product, that they were oblivious to the risk of getting sued?

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      The end result of such suits is usually that

      By on

      every consumer who ever bought the product gets $1.82 back. After greedy lawyers get even richer with their "fees".

      Now tell us again how the civil lawsuit system is a proper use of people's time and resources, and results in actual benefits to society.

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      Agreed

      By on

      Do you know how many under two dollar checks I get in the mail for some lawsuit that was settled? I've been apart of class action lawsuits against IBM, Starbucks, WaMu, Providian.. just to name a few. Its true after the attorneys get take their fees, there is usually little left. Such a waste of time.. the consumers, the companies, the court system. The only people who benefit from it are the attorney's.

      The best one was IBM, I got a coupon for 100 dollars off any new hard drive (lawsuit was a known defect in IBM DeathStar erm DeskStar hard drives)

      Worst was WaMu/Providian.. I recieved a check for 27 cents. Really? 27 cents. It cost more to stuff and mail the envelope.

      Wasteful..

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      "Damages"

      By on

      the biggest scam going. Sad we have a legal system that actually considers such nonsense lawsuits.

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      Damages are a scam?

      By on

      You're going to have to explain that. Damages are the whole point of a civil suit. What do you want defendants to get when they demonstrate injury - an apology? What do they pay their attorneys with?

      Instumental value

      By on

      Think of it as a mechanism for stopping companies from promising more than they can provide.

      Yes

      But did they file suit when the rocks didn't come when called or fetch the paper?

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      No the US

      By on

      Wasn't a PC, suit happy nation yet.

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      10

      Were they advertised as being

      By on

      Were they advertised as being able to come when called or fetch the paper?

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      Don't you dare

      By on

      Don't you dare dis my pet rock.

      Thigh Master...

      By on

      Come on, did they really think this would work? Its snake oil at its best. And come on, this product has been around since the 20s.. its not like its a new thing.

      If this wins, I'm going to sue every product that never met my expectations, and it's a long list. Especially in the diet & exercise category. I wonder if I could sue Suzanne Somers for the thigh master that didn't give me shapely thighs & buttocks like hers (but boy i can crack walnuts with my knees!)

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      Ponzi schemes

      By on

      Ponzi schemes have been around for 150+ years, and people still keep falling for them. People shouldn't sue for the money they lost because they should know better by now?

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      Dictionary

      By on

      You need a dictionary... because selling a product that does not work is different than a ponzi scheme.

      A ponzi scheme is...

      " a fraudulent investment operation where the operator, an individual or organization, pays returns to its investors from new capital paid to the operators by new investors, rather than from profit earned by the operator."

      yeah it's different.

      And as far as a suing for money they lost. So this lady paid.. what? maybe 80 bucks for this garment? So she should get her 80 bucks back, not the millions she is suing for. Because in the end all she lost was 80 dollars (taking in account that her 'pain and suffering' isn't considered a thing).

      I think you're confused

      By on

      A Ponzi Scheme IS selling a product that doesn't work. Fraud is fraud, and assuming that the defendants sold a product they knew to not deliver what was promised, why is the victim of one fraud worthy of restitution while the victim of the other is not?

      Um, no

      By on

      Fraud is fraud, but a Ponzi scheme (named after our very own Ponzi) is a particular type of fraud. It's a pyramid scheme, in which initial investors are paid with proceeds from later investors, who then never get paid as the scheme collapses and the ringleader is either thrown behind bars or catches the last plane to Brazil or something.

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      So this woman shouldn't get

      By on

      So this woman shouldn't get her money back because... why? Did you just feel like telling me what a Ponzi Scheme is?

      My point is that if I sell you an investment that I promise will return 8% every year, or I sell you caffeinated underwear that I promise will help you lose weight, or I sell you magic beans that I promise will cure your cancer, I have knowingly misrepresented my product and you are entitled to restitution. The scale of the fraud shouldn't matter.

      Because sometimes language matters

      By on

      If you're going to use a phrase like "Ponzi scheme" to describe something that isn't a Ponzi scheme, people might not take the rest of your argument seriously.

      I'm not saying victims of a particular type of fraud shouldn't be compensated. I am trying to correct your statement that "Ponzi scheme" can be used to describe all sorts of fraud, which it can't, at least not by people who want to be taken seriously when discussing legal matters.

      Selling magical underwear may or may not be fraud (that'll be up to a judge or jury to decide in this case), but unless you're saying that the companies promised the initial purchasers of the things giant rebates - and then paid for those rebates by selling more of the underwear to unsuspecting boobs - it's not a Ponzi scheme.

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      I never described the

      By on

      I never described the underwear fraud as a Ponzi scheme, it very clearly isn't. I only brought it up since it's a form of fraud people have been falling for since at least 1880 (with the also-Boston pre-Ponzi "Ladies Deposit"). My point is that there are even older scams that people fall for but for some reason we take certain scams more seriously than others. It was a direct response to this:

      And come on, this product has been around since the 20s.. its not like its a new thing.

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      Who needs an elliptical

      By on

      Who needs an elliptical machine and all that sweating when magic underwear will just take care of it...UGH

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      Shouldn't we be hating the snake oil salesmen not their victim?

      By on

      First, let's acknowledge that these ladies might not have actually been super naive, and that they might be doing this just to make some money, the same way that Wacaol and Maidenform were trying to make money in a sleazy way by selling bull**** magic fabric.

      Alternatively, if these ladies were actually deceived by the scam artists, should we blame the victims for being foolish, but ignore the fact that a company was peddling fake pseudoscience claims? Does anyone here think someone selling nutrient infused underwear to insecure women is an innocent victim?

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      lovely

      By on

      so she's one of these people who has a lot of money, a lot of time, and a lawyer on retainer who likes to sue companies for funsies.

      And we wonder why the cost of everything is going up, because of idiots like this because who pays for these lawsuits, not the company, the consumers due by high prices.

      Look I am all for consumers not being exploited and cheated, but there's a fine line between getting what you deserve because you were wrong'd and just milking and exploiting the system because they can.

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      My thoughts exactly. I wonder

      By on

      My thoughts exactly. I wonder how many suits she has raised that have been settled and kept off the public record?

      That Site Wants $7 Just To Read Her Complaint

      By on

      Do you have any other reference to what she sued about?

      Maybe she's made a career of this; seeking out companies and/or products that false-advertise, or otherwise commit fraud against the public. But can you really blame someone who preys on predators of other innocent consumers?

      To ask the question another way: Given the laws we have, how else do you stop a company from knowingly and shamelessly ripping people off, when government regulators are unwilling or unable to do so?

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      Social Media

      By on

      Seems to do a fine job at this these days.... Just look at Mozilla Firefox to see how them hiring a anti-gay CEO turned out for them. (the guy resigned under pressure).

      Also consumers should have a clue and stop shopping with their head up their asses. If its too good to be true, it typically is not.

      It's like diet pills, so many diet pills have been around for decades, none work. (except PhenPhen, which we know how that worked out for them). Sorry you cannot take a pill to lose weight, it just doesn't work (except for amphetamine-based diet pills like the Pre-2000 Dexatrim and PhenPhen). So buy beware.

      And for the sheer fact that we live the land of capitalism, so anyone at anytime can come up with a product and sell it, and there's little people can do to stop them (unless it is deemed unsafe).

      But in defense of MaidenForm, as I said above, they've been around since the 1920s, I think if their products were 100% bull, they would have been gone a long time ago. Sure maybe they've had success with other products, and that alone would make them not so scammy since nothing is ever flawless.

      Blame the boobs

      who fall for caffeinated bras, guys tossing off money for penis pills, a guy donating to un-PC political groups, but only some of the people doing stupid stuff on the streets?

      Thanks Adam! I can't believe

      By on

      Thanks Adam! I can't believe that news sources haven't picked up on this :/