Toys ‘R’ Us Agrees to Settlement in Price-Overcharge Case

Retail chain Toys R Us agreed to pay about $178,700 to resolve a consumer case involving purported overcharges to customers at the company’s stores in California, including Los Angeles County, prosecutors said Tuesday.

Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Ernest Hiroshige approved the settlement payment, under which the Delaware-based corporation did not admit any wrongdoing. The settlement resolves a complaint by Los Angeles and San Diego county prosecutors alleging pricing errors at checkstands at the corporation’s toy stores and Babies R Us outlets.

Pricing inspections conducted by county and state agencies between late 2009 and mid-2012 revealed a pattern of inaccuracies in prices charged at many Toys R Us and Babies R Us stores in California, including some of the 10 in the San Diego area and 30 in Los Angeles County, according to the plaintiffs.

The checks found overcharges in 5 percent of a survey of about 4,200 purchases, court documents stated. Higher percentage errors were found in selected areas and stores, despite a pricing-compliance program that Toys R Us had implemented.

Under the terms of the settlement, Toys R Us-Delaware Inc. is enjoined to fully comply with California’s pricing-accuracy and false-advertising laws, and must implement an additional internal compliance program with annual reporting to the Los Angeles County and San Diego County district attorneys’ offices.

The corporation also agreed to pay agency investigative costs of $28,730 and civil penalties totaling $150,000, to be divided equally between the two prosecuting counties.

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