Welspun has agreed to pay up to $36 million to consumers who purchased bed linens, comforters, towels, or pillowcases labeled as either being “Egyptian Cotton” or “Pima Cotton” to resolve a putative class action lawsuit alleging these items are improperly marketed. If you purchased Welspun home textile cotton products between Jan. 1, 2012 and July 2, 2019, you could get up to $9.20 per item from this class action settlement. Ring of Fire’s Farron Cousins discusses this with Scott Hardy, the President of Top Class Actions.


*This transcript was generated by a third-party transcription software company, so please excuse any typos.

Farron Cousins:                  Human beings will spend roughly 30% or more of their lives in bed and as such, we like to make sure that that bed is as comfortable as possible. And that’s why we spend the extra money to get the better sheets, the better pillows, whatever it is to help make our sleep more comfortable. But a recent class action that has now resulted in a major settlement says that some of those products we’ve been purchasing aren’t exactly what they claim to be. Joining me now to talk about this is Scott Hardy, president of Top Class Actions, and Scott, this is the Welspun Egyptian and Pima cotton settlement. Before we talk about the settlement itself, tell us what happened with this particular case. What was this all about?

Scott Hardy:                          Sure. So it’s interesting. If you actually drive through Southern Arizona, you will find a lot of cotton farms. And so Pima cotton is a thing, it’s soft, it’s wonderful. Of course, Egyptian cotton is also very famous for being very soft and wonderful to sleep on. And so this class action was alleging that the sources of cotton for the Egyptian cotton and Pima cotton sheets weren’t exactly verifiable as to, you know, being in the premium areas such as Egypt or Southern Arizona or even Australia, because Pima cotton doesn’t necessarily just need to be from Pima County, Arizona. It’s a, a type of sheep. And so that class, that class action was filed because they didn’t have, according to the attorneys, a very traceable and trackable source of their cotton that they were charging a premium for.

Farron Cousins:                  And so now, the class action has led to a settlement here and this is pretty massive. You know, we’ve, we’ve discussed some big settlements before. This one being for, you know, this not necessarily authentic cotton source, this is big, $36 million. So I mean, what does this mean for consumers? Because obviously again, that is a huge chunk of change for them.

Scott Hardy:                          It is, and so there are a couple of different settlement classes here. You know, of course, if you have proof of purchase, it’s worth your time to, to track down those receipts, send them in, you’ll get some extra money. But even if you don’t have proof of purchase but you bought these sheets, you’ll be able to claim a couple of dollars. And that’s where it’s important to remember and people say, oh my gosh, I can only get, you know, $4.60 back on this class action. Well, it’s going to take you about two and a half minutes to submit your claim, and so the dollars per hour is quite high.

You don’t want to miss out and, and miss submitting a claim and getting a check back in the mail because this is $36 million back. I think with this settlement you will actually see that maximum claim go back to consumers instead of a lot of class actions where they underpay and people end up getting their, their claims shredded in half. I think in this one you actually have a good shot at actually getting that, your whole claim back.

Farron Cousins:                  And this is another good example too of why it’s always important for people, if you can’t keep the physical receipt, you know, either a scan it in to your computer or take a quick photo of it with your phone so that you do have that there for situations like this because you could be looking if you have your receipt at closer to $10, you know, than the $4 or $5 without the receipt. So that is a big deal and that’s another reason people need to hang onto these receipts or, or some kind of copy of it if at all possible.

I know it’s not always, but it’s definitely a good habit to get into. Just take a quick photo of it with your phone, then you have it should something like this arise, especially if you buy these, you know, at a, at a big box store where you’re also getting your groceries. We’ve talked about plenty of those items that have been involved in class actions. So that’s a good habit for people to get into.

Scott Hardy:                          Exactly. And part of this settlement includes the injunctive relief where now they’ve agreed to have an independent expert take a look at where their cotton is sourced. So if they say Egyptian cotton on their sheets, it’ll actually be able to be traced back to Egypt. If they let, label their sheets or other cotton products as Pima cotton, they’ll be able to be traced back to sources in the Southwest US like here in Arizona, Australia, Peru, Israel or Israel to a license Supima cotton grower. So part of this class action is, is making sure that Welspun stands by their labels and if they tell you it’s Egyptian cotton, then doggone it, that cotton has come a long way to make it to your bed.

Farron Cousins:                  And that’s obviously one of the most important parts and that’s why these class actions exist. Not just to get people some money, but to change the way companies do business. For more information about this settlement, please follow the link in the description of this video and head over to Top Class Actions and while you’re there, make sure you sign up for their weekly newsletter. Scott Hardy with Top Class Actions. Always a pleasure talking to you.

Scott Hardy:                          Great talking to you too, Farron. Thank you, sir.

Farron Cousins is the executive editor of The Trial Lawyer magazine and a contributing writer at DeSmogBlog.com. He is the co-host / guest host for Ring of Fire Radio. His writings have appeared on Alternet, Truthout, and The Huffington Post. Farron received his bachelor's degree in Political Science from the University of West Florida in 2005 and became a member of American MENSA in 2009. Follow him on Twitter @farronbalanced