As reported by Law360, a pending class action against Wilson Sporting Goods Co has settled. The case involved a claim that Wilson falsely advertised that its baseball bats for kids could be used in a variety of leagues because they met the United States Specialty Sports Standards, a volunteer sports-governing body which sets rules for bats used in USSSA-sanctioned leagues and games. Plaintiff claimed that several models did not actually meet those standards and that therefore the bats, some selling for as much as $450, could not be used in USSSA-compliant leagues and could not be returned for a refund.
While consumer class actions alleging non-compliance with laws and regulations are the norm, this case underscores the fact that non-compliance with private standards -- if the advertising states otherwise --- can trigger a claim, particularly if an expensive purchase is involved.
The agreement would end a lawsuit that Sheeley first brought in April 2017 over the labeling on DeMarini youth baseball bats that sold for as much as $450. The bats are advertised as complying with manufacturing and performance standards established by the USSSA, according to a March amended complaint, but a recent inspection discovered that several models of the DeMarini youth baseball bats do not meet USSSA standards.