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Sears, Kmart to pay $1.1M for overcharging

July 19, 2010 3:18:46 PM PDT
Sears, Roebuck and Company and Kmart Monday agreed to pay $1.1 million Monday to settle a civil lawsuit alleging the retailers engaged in dishonest business practices that caused consumers to overpay for items advertised for less and subjected consumers to unlawful prices for certain beverage containers. The civil action stems from an investigation into pricing and scanning practices conducted by various California weights and measures agencies, including the Los Angeles County Weights and Measures Department.

The L.A. District Attorney's office says an investigation revealed that Sears and Kmart charged more than their advertised prices.

The investigation also revealed that Kmart violated the California Beverage Container Recycling and Litter Reduction Act by charging more for California Redemption Value (CRV) beverage containers than allowed by law. Kmart also charged consumers the CRV fee for containers not covered under state law, A District Attorney spokesman said.

"These retailers are established, trusted household names. When consumers set foot in their stores, they have a reasonable expectation to receive fair and lawful prices," L.A. District Attorney Steve Cooley said.

Both companies agreed to the settlement without admitting liability, a district attorney spokesman said.