Paragraph of the day

by Ted Frank on January 3, 2008

Certainly some corporate defendants deserve to take it in the shorts. Judge Easterbrook, in affirming a well-deserved $16 million FTC fine against a late-night infomercial purveyor of fraud, opines:

For the Q-Ray Ionized Bracelet, by contrast, all statements about how the product works—Q-Rays, ionization, enhancing the flow of bio-energy, and the like—are blather. Defendants might as well have said: “Beneficent creatures from the 17th Dimension use this bracelet as a beacon to locate people who need pain relief, and whisk them off to their homeworld every night to provide help in ways unknown to our science.”

FTC v. QT, Inc. (via Lattman).


1 Jason Barney 01.03.08 at 6:15 pm

That’s a good ruling, but one can’t help but wonder who falls for such fanciful claims about a product.

And, the “fine” is apparently a disgorgement of profits, ill-gotten. But, what I like is that (presumably) since the government brought the suit on behalf of consumers, private plaintiff lawyers don’t walk off as multi-millionaires after carving 1/3 or more from the fine/judgment.

2 OBQuiet 01.03.08 at 7:07 pm

Not all infomercials are fraud.

I remember channel surfing one night and finding a refreshingly honest woman telling viewers that her product, “…will literally take years off your life!”

What more could a lawyer ask for?

3 Richard Nieporent 01.04.08 at 9:05 am

He spends much of the opinion addressing the Q-Ray company’s defense that the Q-Ray Ionized Bracelet is legit because it exhibits the placebo effect.

The only thing I can say is that the lawyers for Q-Ray give new meaning to the word chutzpah. Their argument adds insult to injury. Did they really believe that the judge would be stupid enough to fall for such a defense?

4 mojo 01.04.08 at 1:55 pm

What, you mean you’ve never been snatched by the 17th Dimensioners?

5 Canada Bill Jones 01.05.08 at 4:17 pm

The Judge is wrong.

It is immoral to let a sucker keep his money.

6 tanj 01.05.08 at 9:47 pm

Don’t worry the judge was not acting immorally, the money will go to the FTC.

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