In the Courts: Bench Craft Company Faces Legal Firestorm – Bench Craft Company lawsuit

In the Courts: Bench Craft Company Faces Legal Firestorm – Bench Craft Company lawsuit

Written by Sophie Robertson, In News, Published On
November 24, 2023
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In the current world businesses often market themselves as the most law-abiding members of society. The legal disputes in the business world are often an opportunity to find out if these businesses follow what they claim. These lawsuits allow us to put business practices under a scrutinizing lens ask questions about their practices, and solve the ethical dilemmas that are constantly arising with the fast pace of technology and growth.  One such case was the Bench Craft Company Lawsuit. This article follows the legal proceeding giving us an insight into the issues discussed in this case.

Brief on Bench Craft Company

Founded in 1982, Bench Craft Company provides free scorecards, tee signs, yardage books, and ball washers to golf courses through sponsorship advertising. This business operation has partnered with more than 4500 golf courses across North America.

Brief on The Bench Craft Company Lawsuit

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In 2017, a lawsuit was filed against the company that alleged that the company violated the state’s Unlawful Trade Practices Act by engaging in false and misleading advertising, failing to honor its cancellation and refund policies, and failing to deliver its products as promised.

Parties involved in The Bench Craft Company Lawsuit

The former two parties involved in the case were the Bench Craft Company, the accused, and the State of Oregon, the plaintiff. The battle between the parties became a major legal battle unfolding over several years when it evolved into a class action lawsuit that allowed multiple individuals to become a plaintiff in the case since they were affected by the same allegations.

Allegations

There were three major allegations against the Bench Craft Company that were raised during this lawsuit:

  1. Misrepresentation of Advertising Reach: It was alleged that the company egregiously misrepresented its advertising reach, exaggerating the actual number of potential customers viewing the advertisement on the course.
  2. Failure to Deliver Promised Results: Some Businesses that invested in advertisement through the company claimed that it failed to deliver the expected return on their investments which led to them having to suffer financial losses and be left with unfulfilled expectations.
  3. Unfair Contract Conditions: It was alleged that the contracts offered by the Bench Craft Company contained unfair terms and conditions that only favored the company at the expense of the people dealing with them

Events Leading to the Lawsuit

The concerns regarding the Bench Craft Company business model surfaced when they started evolving and refused to be transparent. Critics were concerned about misleading operations and the use of aggressive sales tactics to get more partnerships. Even some businesses claimed to be led astray about the results of advertising through the company and the potential of return on investments.

The company’s reaction to the lawsuit

Bench Craft Company issued a statement the day after the lawsuit denying all the allegations of wrongdoing and called the lawsuit “baseless and irresponsible”. It argued that its advertising services provided value to its clients and that any discrepancies in results were not due to deceptive practices but rather market fluctuations and other external factors.

Court Proceedings

In 2019, the federal judge grants class-action status on the lawsuit, allowing the plaintiffs to represent all other clients who are affected by Bench Craft Company’s alleged deceptive practices.

Significant Rulings and Outcomes

The court ruled in favor of the plaintiffs on several main claims and found Bench Craft Company liable for deceptive business practices, breach of contracts, and misappropriation of funds in certain instances. It ruled for the company to pay a certain substantial damage to the plaintiffs. The legal proceeding did not result in a definitive satisfaction but it did lead to settlements, regulatory oversights, and a reform in the company’s business practices.

Conclusion

The Bench Craft Company Lawsuit led to an understanding of how trust and accountability are fundamental to businesses. Exposing the risk of deception in business, false claims, and bad advertising it told the impact on both the businesses and consumers. This lawsuit has influenced the companies to change their practices and business models. Keeping a certain amount of transparency has also changed the way people approach advertising and partnerships.

FAQS

What is a plaintiff and which party was it in this case?

A plaintiff is the one filing a case demanding justice in the court. In the Bench Craft Company Lawsuit, the State of Oregon is the plaintiff while the Bench Craft Company is the accused party.

What effect did the lawsuit have on the company?

The lawsuit led the Bench Craft Company to pay substantial damage to the plaintiffs. It led the company to be put under regulatory oversight and the company reformed its model.

Did the company defend itself?

Yes, the company defended itself by denying the allegations and arguing their services provided value to their clients. Any unwanted results were due to external factors only.

What is a class action lawsuit?

A class action lawsuit is when the court allows more individuals to join the current case because it has ill-affected them as well.

What can we learn from the Bench Craft Company Lawsuit?

The lessons from this lawsuit are about the importance of transparency and accountability in business in the current commerce industry.

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