Home Depot U.S.A. and Telebrands Corp, the maker of the “As Seen On TV” logo, were hit by a class action lawsuit Tuesday alleging that they sold a line of defective expandable garden hoses that are prone to breaking.
Lead plaintiff Michael Klemballa alleges in the class action lawsuit that the “Pocket Hose” and “Mini Max Hose” products sold by the companies are not “strong enough for any job,” as advertised.
The Pocket Hose and Mini Max Hose are expandable garden hoses first introduced through TV infomercials by Telebrands in August 2012 and later displayed and sold in Home Depot stores. The hoses come in various lengths and retail between $12.99 and $42.99 depending on length. A number of national chains display and sell the hoses using Telebrand’s marketing logo, “As Seen On TV.”
Klemballa filed the Pocket Hose class action lawsuit on Feb. 25, alleging the 50′ Pocket Hose he bought from Home Depot for $19.98 in June 2013 burst within a month and a half of purchase. He claims that he relied on statements made by Telebrand during an infomercial that the hose was “a rugged and durable garden hose that was strong enough for any job.”
Klemballa points to claims made by the manufacturer in infomercials that “the Pocket Hose is ‘strong enough to pull [a] 5,000 pound SUV,'” and “that the Pocket Hose product is made utilizing ‘heavy duty fire hose construction,'” as well as statements touting “Pocket Hose’s expandable accordion design that helps it grow long and strong enough for any job.”
Klemballa also alleges that national retailers, including Home Depot, Sears and Walgreens, utilized the same promotional materials on their websites and in their displays. The class action lawsuit further claims that thousands of others have had similar problems with their Pocket Hose by complaints are found on message board and consumer review websites.
In sum, Klemballa states in his proposed class action lawsuit “the claims that Pocket Hose is ‘durable,’ ‘made of heavy duty fire hose construction’ and ‘strong enough for any job,’ are false and misleading” and that “[u]sing Pocket Hose in the exact manner as advertised causes the device to leak or burst, rendering it useless and unsuitable for the ordinary purposes for which they were advertised, marketed and sold.”
Klemballa alleges that Telebrands and Home Depot’s advertising, marketing and selling Pocket Hoses affected potentially millions of individuals who purchased the Pocket Hose based on promises made by Telebrand and Home Depot both in the United States and in New York in particular and harmed those individuals when the Pocket Hoses they bought burst or were damaged when used normally. Klemballa’s legal allegations include violations of the Magnuson-Moss Act, breach of warranty, breach of implied warranty of merchantibility, unjust enrichment, false and misleading claims, misrepresentation, fraud and unlawful business practices, and violations of New York’s General Business Law.
The lead plaintiff, Michael Klemballa, is represented by James E. Cecchi and Lindsey H. Taylor of Carella Bryne Cecchi Olstein Brody & Agnello PC and by Antonio Vozzolo and Courtney E. Maccarone of Faruqi and Fariqi LLP.
The Defective Pocket Hose Class Action Lawsuit is Klemballa v. Telebrands Corp. and Home Depot U.S.A. Inc., in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey.
UPDATE: Telebrands has agreed to a class action settlement that will provide cash benefits to consumers who purchased Pocket Hose products between Nov. 6, 2009 and Jan. 30, 2014. For detailed claim filing instructions, click here.
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