(CN) – Customers who claimed they were tricked into thinking that the regular prices at Carter Inc. were bargains compared to the phony “suggested” prices lost their bid to revive a class action against the children’s clothing store.
The 7th Circuit agreed that the store’s allegedly deceptive price comparisons might violate the Illinois Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices, but said the plaintiffs must show actual damages to pursue their claims.
“[I]t is not enough that Carter’s price comparisons deceived the plaintiffs and induced them to buy Carter’s clothing,” Judge Tinder wrote for the three-judge panel in Chicago.
“To sustain their private ICFA action, the plaintiffs must sufficiently allege actual damages, which, we concluded, they have failed to do.”
According to the ruling, customers had accused Carter’s of simply recasting its regular price “as a discount off some higher, made-up, ‘suggested’ price that no one ever pays.”