Description: Class action lawsuit alleging that shoe company made misleading claims regarding the environmental impacts of its wool shoes as well as misleading animal welfare claims.
Dwyer v. Allbirds, Inc.
Filing Date Type File Action Taken Summary 04/18/2022 Opinion and Order Download Motion to dismiss granted. New York Federal Court Dismissed Lawsuit Alleging that Company Made Misleading Carbon Footprint Claims for Wool Shoes. The federal district court for the Southern District of New York dismissed a lawsuit alleging that the shoe company Allbirds, Inc. made misleading claims regarding the environmental impacts of its wool shoes as well as misleading animal welfare claims. The plaintiff asserted claims under New York General Business Law §§ 349 and 350, which prohibit deceptive acts or practices and false advertising. The court found that the plaintiff failed to plausibly allege that the company’s statements were materially misleading. The court noted that the plaintiff took issue with tools and methodologies used by the company to calculate its product’s environmental impact—the life cycle assessment (LCA) used to estimate its products’ carbon footprint and the Higg Material Sustainability Index (Higg MSI) developed by the Sustainable Apparel Coalition—but did not allege that the calculations were wrong or that the company falsely described them. Nor did the plaintiff allege that a reasonable consumer would expect the company to use another methodology or that a reasonable consumer would be misled by the defendant’s use of the LCA tool or the Higg MSI. The court also rejected the contention that the defendant had improperly omitted information related to the wool industry’s methane emissions, land occupation, and eutrophication; the court found that the plaintiff “provides no basis to find it plausible that a reasonable consumer would expect that calculation to include non-atmospheric effects or effects from the farming that precedes the production of the raw materials.” The court also dismissed claims for breach of express warranty, fraud, and unjust enrichment on the same grounds and also because they were inadequately pleaded. 08/25/2021 Complaint Download First amended class action complaint filed. 06/13/2021 Complaint Download Complaint filed.