LOS ANGELES — A federal judge has denied a request by Macy’s Inc., Citizens of Humanity LLC and Shopbop.com to dismiss a lawsuit alleging they mislabeled American-made jeans based on California’s stricter statute covering domestically produced merchandise.
In a decision issued April 8, Judge Janis Sammartino echoed the argument made by Judge Dana Sabraw, who in October denied a request in a similar lawsuit filed against AG and Nordstrom. Sammartino asserted that the state law took precedence over a national standard overseen by the Federal Trade Commission, noting that while the FTC allows manufacturers to use the “Made in USA” label on clothing that is “all or virtually all” made domestically, companies can use the label in California only if “the product is 100 percent made in the U.S.” Moreover, the court papers said “the California law does not completely extinguish a right [to use the label] because manufacturers can still use the unqualified label [per FTC regulation] in other states.”
The lawsuit against New York-based Macy’s and Huntington Park, Calif.-based Citizens of Humanity was filed by Louise Clark in June 2014. Bop LLC, which operates Shopbop.com and is owned by Amazon, joined the motion to dismiss in January. Clark’s law firm, Del Mar Law Group in San Diego, is also responsible for the lawsuit filed on behalf of David Paz against AG and Nordstrom.
Citizens of Humanity declined to comment. Macy’s and Shopbop.com couldn’t be reached by press time.