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Deceptive and Unfair Pricing Practices

By: WISCONSIN LAW JOURNAL STAFF//July 8, 2024//

Deceptive and Unfair Pricing Practices

By: WISCONSIN LAW JOURNAL STAFF//July 8, 2024//

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7th Circuit Court of Appeals

Case Name: Yoram Kahn v. Walmart Inc.

Case No.: 23-1751

Officials: Sykes, Chief Judge, and Hamilton and Lee, Circuit Judges.

Focus: Deceptive and Unfair Pricing Practices

Yoram Kahn, a consumer, accused Walmart Inc., the largest retailer in the United States, of engaging in deceptive and unfair pricing practices. Kahn alleges that discrepancies exist between the prices displayed on Walmart’s shelves and the prices actually charged at the cash register, which he claims collectively amount to hundreds of millions of dollars annually. According to Kahn, these practices violate the Illinois Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act, the Illinois Uniform Deceptive Trade Practices Act, and similar consumer protection statutes in other states. He also seeks damages for unjust enrichment and represents a class of consumers in his lawsuit.

Initially, the district court dismissed Kahn’s case based on the pleadings and denied his request to amend the complaint. The court’s rationale was that providing customers with a receipt showing the actual price charged after payment was sufficient to address any potential deception or unfairness resulting from inaccuracies in shelf pricing. Additionally, the court concluded that Kahn failed to allege that Walmart intended for customers to rely on the inaccurate shelf prices.

The Seventh Circuit determined that Kahn’s complaint presented viable claims. It disagreed with the district court’s reasoning that issuing a receipt post-payment resolved any potential deception or unfairness stemming from incorrect shelf prices. Moreover, the Seventh Circuit found that Kahn had sufficiently alleged deceptive or unfair practices and demonstrated the necessary intent on Walmart’s part.

Reversed and Remanded.

Decided 07/03/24

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