Target Accused of Misleading Consumers as to Quality of Furniture Line

Elizabeth DiNardo, Esq. | Associate Counsel

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On October 20, 2017, popular retail giant Target Corp. was hit with a proposed class action suit alleging that the company has been purposefully misleading customers about the quality of its furniture line. Specifically, named plaintiff, Shana Harris, claims that Target markets certain pieces of its house brand furniture line as genuine leather when in reality the pieces are constructed of synthetic low-quality material made to imitate high-end leather products.

Harris says that she purchased a $400 ottoman from Target’s Global Bazaar Collection in 2008 based on the company’s promotional material proclaiming the line of furniture to be made of genuine leather. Based on Target’s reassurances that the product was constructed of leather, Harris reasonably believed it would therefore last for a considerable period of time. However, Plaintiff claims that after just seven years of light use the ottoman began to flake and peel. Harris argues that had she known the ottoman was not genuine leather, as Target lead her to believe it was, she would not have completed the purchase at the price point. 

The complaint accuses Target of intentionally and negligently misrepresenting the type and quality of its furniture collection in an attempt to lure customers away from its competitors. In addition to the claims of negligent misrepresentation, the suit also accuses Target of breach of implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing, breach of implied and express warranties, as well as asserts claims under California’s False Advertising Law, Consumer Legal Remedies Act and the California Unfair Competition Law.

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Harris is seeking to represent a proposed class of Target customers who purchased imitation leather furniture from the store based on the company’s advertisements proclaiming the products to be genuine leather. The class will ideally reach from 2006 to present. The plaintiff is seeking restitution in addition to punitive, statutory and actual damages. Harris is also looking to enjoin Target from implying or suggesting that any of its furniture products contain leather when they do not. Out of the 3,713 living room furniture products listed on Target’s website, 112 are labeled as “leather” or “bonded leather.” The proposed class also requests Target run a corrective advertising campaign. 

The case is: Shana Harris v. Target Corp. et al., Case No.: 4:17-cv-06025, in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.


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