A company which made Power Balance bracelets and claimed that they had “performance-enhancing” qualities for athletes has reportedly been forced to pay $57 million to settle a class action lawsuit from disgruntled customers.
Power Balance, a company based in California, has sold more than 3 million of the rubber bracelets, which it claimed were inspired by “Eastern philosophy” and had qualities which could enhance athletic performance. Many famous athletes were spotted wearing the bracelets, which sold for around $30 each, including Los Angeles Lakers players Lamar Odom and Kobe Bryant and NBA star Shaquille O’Neal.
However, the company’s founders Troy and John Rodarmel, have now admitted that the claims made about Power Balance bracelets were false. The brothers released a statement saying:
“In our advertising we stated that Power Balance wristbands improved your strength, balance and flexibility. We admit that there is no credible scientific evidence that supports our claims and therefore we engaged in misleading conduct in breach of s52 of the Trade Practices Act 1974.”
Power Balance has now had to pay out $57 million as a settlement to a class action lawsuit filed by customers who felt they were misled into buying the product. It is not known whether Power Balance had professional indemnity insurance in place to cover such a huge settlement, but the latest rumours, particularly from the entertainment website TMZ, suggest that the outcome of the case has left the company facing bankruptcy.