Gap Consumer Fraud Class Action Lawsuit Filed

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Los Angeles, CA: Gap Inc., is facing a consumer fraud class action lawsuit alleging the store uses misleading advertisements for sale items that do not clearly indicate sale exclusions both in its stores and online.

The lawsuit, entitled Misbah Etman, et al. v. The Gap Inc., et al., Case No. BC547161, in the Superior Court of the State of California, County of Los Angeles, alleges that lead plaintiff, Misbah Etman, was misled regarding which items were included in a sale display, which resulted in her paying full price for an item when she purchased it.

Specifically, the lawsuit states: "Because of the advertisement, Plaintiff believed that all the clothing on the rack bearing the advertisement was on sale at the price displayed on the advertisement and/or subject to the discount stated on the advertisement,"the lawsuit states. "Plaintiff looked through the clothing, selected three items she liked, waited in line for an open register, [Etman] found out at the register that Defendant would not sell her one of the items at the price displayed on the advertisement or would not discount one of the items in accordance with the advertisement."Consequently, "[a]lthough she had been misled, Plaintiff purchased the non-discounted item and paid the higher price Defendant demanded."

An example of an alleged advertisement Gap emailed "with a hyperlink to Defendant' website stating clearly in dark letters against a white background 'Hours to Shop!; Happy Monday; 40% Off Your Purchase; Ends Tonight.'"However, continues the complaint, "the email also states in barely noticeable lettering against a colored background 'EXCLUSIONS APPLY."

Further, "[o]nce a consumer clicks the hyperlinkÂ…the consumer is taken to Defendant' website to shop [and], [w]hile shopping, Defendant' website does not identify for consumers the items that are included in the sale, nor does it identify that items that are excluded from the sale,"alleges the Gap class action lawsuit."And, "Defendant' website does not even disclose whether an item is included in or excluded from the sale when a consumer selects an item to place in the consumer' 'shopping cart,'"the lawsuit states.

The consumer fraud lawsuit further claims that Gap also misleads consumers through its online stores by "enticing consumers to shop for, and to purchase, products from Defendant through Defendant' website by means of false and misleading advertisements Defendant emails to consumers."

The lawsuit seeks certification for a proposed Class of all other consumers who purchased products at Gap stores in California, or purchased products on the Gap website while in California, on days when Gap displayed the advertising described in the class action lawsuit. Lead plaintiff, Misbah Etman, is represented by William M. Turner and Usman S. Mohammed of Jones Bell Abbott Fleming & Fitzgerald LLP.

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