US District Court Judge James I. Cohn approved the settlement, and certified a nationwide settlement class of all customers who purchased Room to Go’s fabric protection products for their furniture.
The lawsuit was filed in 2015 by Florida plaintiffs Benjamin Hankinson, James Guerra, Ed Paulus and Jeanette Gandolfo. They alleged Rooms To Go, misled customers into buying ForceField fabric protection plans and ForceField leather protection plans. The fabric protection products, which cost 10 percent of the furniture purchase price, either were applied to the furniture in a haphazard manner or not applied at all, the lawsuit claimed.
Further, the plaintiffs asserted that they tested various furniture items they had purchased and found no evidence that the furniture had been treated with a stain-protection product. They claimed that the defendant encouraged its staff to sell the furniture protection plan to consumers as a means of increasing revenue.
In 2016, the lawsuit was amended to include plaintiffs from Texas and Georgia. A separate suit was filed in December on behalf of consumers in North Carolina and this proposed settlement resolves all these claims.
According to the proposed settlement terms, the plaintiffs can either receive cash valued at 10 percent of the total amount they paid for the fabric protection or a voucher that can be used in-store at Rooms To Go and is valued at 45 percent of what they spent on the fabric protection products.
Rooms To Go has also committed to retraining the staff members responsible for applying the fabric protection products, as stipulated in the settlement terms.
The case is Hankinson et al v. R.T.G. Furniture Corp., case number 9:15-cv-8113,9 in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida.
The North Carolina case is Triplett v. Rooms to Go North Carolina Corp., d/b/a Rooms to Go, R.T.G. Furniture Corp, case number 5:16-cv-00926, in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina.