US apparel companies beware. A federal judge recently ruled, in the case of Paz v. AG Adriano Goldschmeid Inc. et al, that California’s “Made in the USA” labeling law is not pre-empted by federal apparel labeling laws and thus its rigorous standards for domestic labeling would apply in a class-action lawsuit alleging improper labeling.
As summed up by the law firm of Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg, P.A.,
U.S. apparel companies that use de minimis amounts of foreign-made components such as zippers or buttons in their garments were dealt a blow recently when a federal judge declined to throw out a class action lawsuit alleging that clothing labeled as “made in USA” is in violation of California’s strict false advertising law. The case will thus continue and could still result in settlements, damages or other expensive alternatives for affected companies.
This is not the first time that the California labeling law has been litigated. See this Law360.com article about recent cases on this topic (site registration may be required).