(CN) - An athletic apparel maker will pay $1.35 million to settle claims it deceptively advertised that its copper-infused compression clothing relieves severe and chronic pain and inflammation caused by arthritis and other conditions, the Federal Trade Commission announced.
As part of its proposed settlement with the agency, Tommie Copper Inc. and its founder, Thomas Kallish, is also required to have competent and reliable scientific evidence before making future claims about pain relief, disease treatment, or other health benefits.
According to the commission, since April 2011, Tommie Copper, based in Mt. Kisco, N.Y., and Kallish, have advertised Tommie Copper copper-infused compression garments in infomercials, brochures, social media, and print media such as Arthritis Today magazine.
The garments, including sleeves, braces, shirts and socks, range in price from $29.95 to $69.50.
The company's infomercials featured talk show host Montel Williams declaring, "Tommie Copper truly is pain relief without a pill."
Company ads featured celebrity and consumer testimonials claiming that Tommie Copper garments alleviated pain caused by multiple sclerosis, arthritis, and fibromyalgia; and could provide pain relief comparable to, or better than, drugs or surgery. The commission alleges that the defendants' claims were false or unsubstantiated.
The proposed stipulated federal court order imposes an $86.8 million judgment against the defendants, which will be partially suspended upon payment of $1.35 million by the defendants. If the defendants are found to have misrepresented their financial condition, the total amount will immediately come due.
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