A press release issued by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) on Monday detailed its win in lawsuits filed against QYK Brands and American Screening LLC, companies that failed to deliver personal protective equipment (PPE) ordered in the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Specifically, the FTC alleged that “both companies deceived consumers about the availability of PPE gear at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.” Combined, the defendants are now responsible for more than $17 million.
The defendants both marketed and sold bulk quantities of different types of PPE, including face shields and hand sanitizer, which were in high demand in the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic. Both QYK and American Screening made false promises about the PPE that they would be able to provide to customers, including individual consumers, targeted local governments, hospitals, nursing homes, and more, the FTC said.
Many of the orders the QYK and American Screening took weeks or months to be fulfilled, or were never fulfilled at all. Additionally, refunds were never made to customers who never received their orders.
The complaint added that defendant QYK had marketed a protein powder to consumers which it claimed could prevent COVID-19.
The Central District of California ruled that the defendants, who promised that the products would be shipped within 48 hours, failed to ship PPE out for weeks or months. Further, the court found that the defendants did not issue refunds or allow customers to consent to the delay.
Defendant QYK received a permanent injunction requiring it to stop selling products relating to COVID-19, misleading consumers regarding the timing of delivery, making unsubstantiated health claims, and to provide refunds to consumers, which will total around $3 million. Defendant American Screening is responsible for $14 million in monetary relief.
QYK is represented by Kelley Drye & Warren.