Reese Witherspoon’s clothing label Draper James has been hit by a lawsuit over its recent dress giveaway for teachers.
In April, Witherspoon announced she was showing her appreciation for U.S. teachers affected the coronavirus lockdown by giving away dresses to those who filled out a form on the brand’s website.
She came under fire from teachers shortly afterwards as many felt they were misled into thinking it was a free giveaway for all applicants, when they were simply entering a lottery for one of 250 dresses.
Now, it has emerged some teachers filed a putative breach of contract class-action lawsuit back in April. In the action, they claim Witherspoon and Draper James used the teachers’ sensitive personal information for commercial purposes and “suddenly renounced” the offer after getting almost a million sign-ups.
“Defendants failed to disclose the material fact they only intended to provide goods for 250 people – which with the average retail cost of their least expensive goods, was an estimated paltry $12,500 in actual cost to defendants, at a time when other individuals of Ms. Witherspoon’s renown were offering millions of dollars to Covid-19 victims,” the complaint reads, with them going on to claim that Draper James “misrepresented and omitted facts (that) would be and are presumptively material to a reasonable consumer”.
The teachers were allegedly asked to provide their work email addresses, teacher IDs, and copies of their work badges, among other information, and have been “bombarded” with promotional emails from the company since.
In a statement to Footwear News, Draper James’ representative insisted the details of the offer were disclosed and called the suit “an unjust attempt to exploit Draper James’ good intentions to honour the teacher community by gifting hundreds of free dresses”.
The lawsuit, which was filed in California state court, was removed to California district court last week, according to editors at the publication. The plaintiffs are asking to recover $48 (£38) per person.
© Cover Media