A new class of debonair Jay Gatsbys has emerged to instant wealth (and, presumably, inevitable tragedy) this week, as the Federal Trade Commission began parceling out $40M in checks to idiotic lazy boneses all over this great land. Office workers; toll booth operators; big boned teen girls with body types that might be described as "athletic" (but not by an athlete)—all of them (509,175 in total) called up their bosses and said "I'm quitting my job because starting today, I am rich!"
The source of their sudden windfall? Think of it as a fairy's reward for a pure, childlike belief in magic. These are the folks who forked over about $100 a pair for some truly heinous oval-shaped sneakers they believed might possess a mysterious, intrinsic quality that would help the wearer "lose weight, and strengthen and tone their buttocks, legs, and abdominal muscles." Never mind that the company marketing these "Skechers Shape-Ups" has sketch right there in the name. Never mind that the only shoes that could ever help you lose weight simply by virtue of being the shoes that they are, are the red dancing slippers from Hans Christen Anderson's ghastly story The Girl Who Got The Cutest Pair of Shoes.
The FTC previously found that one Skechers advertisement contained an endorsement from a chiropractor—married to a Skechers marketing executive—who was paid to conduct research that found Shape-Ups were better athletic shoes than normal sneakers. He also didn't even really find that. In a roundabout way, because the Federal Trade Commission determined that Skechers' claims about the magic workout sneakers were false and misleading, Skechers agreed last spring to pay $40M to customers who had purchased the shoes between 2008 and 2012. (Technically, Skechers continues to maintain its innocence, and says it agreed to the settlement simply to avoid a drawn-out legal battle. OH OK.)
The deadline to file claims in the class action lawsuit against the footwear company closed in April of this year. Checks were mailed out to the nouveau riche gods and goddesses of America on July 12th. They must cash in their winnings by October 10th.
According to an FTC press release, "The amount consumers will receive is based on the portion of their claims that was approved."
It was originally anticipated that check amounts would be in the range of $20 - $80.
[Image via Getty]
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