A law firm located in Michigan has filed a class action lawsuit against Lady Gaga for purportedly making false representation that all proceeds from their sale of wrist bands would go to the victims of Japan’s massive earthquake and tsunami. The lawsuit was filed on behalf of plaintiff, Caitlin DeMetsenare and alleges that the defendants in the case kept funds from the sale of the “Lady Gaga Japan Earthquake Relief Wristbands”, even though they claimed that all proceeds made from the wristband sales would go to Japan victims, beginning on March 11th, 2011.
The lawsuit outlines that the defendants retained a portion of the first $5.00 of every wristband ordered from the Lady Gaga website, even though charitable donations are nontaxable. Each individual who purchased a wristband was charged in excess for shipping fees and taxes. As explained on Lady Gaga’s website, each wristband was being sold for $5.00 dollars each plus the shipping and sales tax fees.
The law firm decided to get involved with the affair when Ms. DeMetsenare contacted them with concerns about the wristband sales and the $3.99 shipping charge. Alyson Oliver, the plaintiff’s attorney claims,
“If you look at the weight of the wristband, its incomprehensible that it costs $3.99 for each wristband to be shipped (through standard U.S. mail service).”
The violations of the defendant (filed on behalf of the law firm and the plaintiff) are Racketeering Influenced and Corrupt Organization Act, conspiracy to violate RICO, violation of state consumer protection statutes, and unjust enrichment. The plaintiff seeks compensatory, consequential, statutory, and punitive damages, as well as treble where applicable.
The plaintiff requested that the court allowed the case to be processed as a class action lawsuit, discontinue the defendant’s fraudulent scheme, order the defendant’s to return all money back to each class member, which includes interest, attorney fees, and any other cost. Lady Gaga, nor the businesses that are listed as defendants in the case have commented on the issue. Oliver says that,
“If the company made a profit from the wristband sales, then that money shouldn’t be retained because the representations to the public were that all proceeds were going to go to the victims.”
The law firm claims that even without discovery filed, the defendants admitted that all of the money collected did not go to Japan victims, only a portion of the money did, Oliver claims. The case has yet to be set for trial and will bring about the pressing issues before the court.