NEW ORLEANS (AP) Overstock.com Inc. says it will pay $1.2 billion in fines and court costs for violating state laws that prohibit underage customers from wearing jewelry with jewelry earrings, bracelets and earrings.
The company said Thursday it will refund customers who paid more than $100 for a ring, bracelet or earring at its stores in Texas and Florida, as well as at overstock.org.
The penalties will go into effect on July 1, the company said.
The company also will pay an $8 million civil penalty to settle a class action lawsuit brought by victims.
The penalties will be reduced if the company complies with the law.
“These settlements show our commitment to protecting the rights of our customers and to working with the U.S. Attorney’s Office to protect our communities from the harms that occur when young people, including young women, use illegal or unsafe products,” the company wrote in a statement.
Overstock.co said it will use the $3 million settlement to ensure that its compliance with state law is upheld.
The case stems from a class-action lawsuit filed in 2016 against Overstock, alleging the company’s stores in the Austin, San Antonio and Tallahassee areas were selling jewelry with earrings that were not made in accordance with the company standards.
Undercover video showed employees at Overstock stores in those areas showing customers wearing earrings made with earring rings, bracelet earrings or earrings with a metallic finish.
The lawsuit was brought by a group of more than 20 former and current customers who alleged that the jewelry was made in China or elsewhere.
They argued that the products were not safe and could harm their health.