Ansell Grimm & Aaron recently commenced a federal class action litigation against FieldTurf USA and its affiliates in the wake of revelations that the company made false claims about the durability of its artificial turf field systems for years despite knowledge of the product’s defects.
The lead plaintiff in the case is New Jersey Stallions Soccer Academy which installed a FieldTurf USA field in 2010 based on the deceptive information provided by the company.
According to an investigative report by NJ Advance Media, about a year after first beginning installation of the fields, internal communications of FieldTurf USA indicate that executives were concerned that the claims the company was making regarding the durability of the product were not accurate.
Despite being aware of the problems, and mounting evidence that the fields did not perform as claimed, the company continued to market the product with particular emphasis given to its purported durability.
In their advertising, the company claimed, “Making the wrong turf decision can cost you a million dollars”, their customers, such as the Stallions, may end up paying more to repair and replace the field than expected.
In a November 2007 email, a FieldTurf employee wrote that the company’s “claims made regarding the Duraspine… are ridiculous. Every day we are putting stuff out there that can’t and won’t live up to the marketing spin.”
Despite having such information in hand, “FieldTurf engaged in a systematic class-wide campaign to conceal Duraspine Turf’s numerous defects, of which FieldTurf had knowledge,” according to the complaint.
The complaint also noted, “As part of its investigation, NJ Advance Media commissioned the University of Michigan’s Breaker Space Lab to test turf fibers from three Duraspine fields in New Jersey. The tests confirmed the strength of the turf to be well below industry standards, and FieldTurf’s own standards.”
Because FieldTurf installed nearly 1,500 fields (164 in New Jersey) using the system between 2005 and 2012, and at no point during that time did they mention to potential customers the well-known issues with the product’s durability, the Class Action Complaint alleges, among other things, violations of the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act (N.J. Rev. Stat. § 56:8-1 et seq.) and Breach Of Express Warranty Under New Jersey Law (N.J. Rev. Stat. § 12A:2-313).
Ansell Grimm & Aaron is joined by co-counsel Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP; Critchley, Kinum & Denoia, LLC and McManimon, Scotland & Baumann, LLC.
Any organization similarly victimized by FieldTurf’s deceptive marketing is eligible to join the suit. Please contact Joshua S. Bauchner, Esq, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone at (973) 247-9000 for more information.