A popular bracelet company based in San Diego which makes bracelets worn by celebrities is a fraud, says a new class action lawsuit filed in San Diego Superior Court.
Pura Vida Bracelets was started by San Diegans Paul Goodman and Griffin Thall after taking a trip to Costa Rica in 2010. Once there they came across two street vendors were selling bracelets. They bought 400 of them and returned to San Diego.
Shortly after the two formed Pura Vida.
Soon celebrities such as David Beckham and Rihanna were seen wearing them.
Goodman and Thall ramped up production. They allegedly employed 150 Costa Ricans to begin making the bracelets.
They have generated approximately $9 million in revenue according to the lawsuit.
But claims that they were made in Costa Rica and profits were given to the artisans making them are now under question.
San Diego resident Imanda Marcus bought one of the bracelets at Pura Vida's La Jolla storefront.
She bought into the company's mission statement, that they were made in Costa Rica and the money is returned to those artisans. She followed the company on Instagram.
Then in August 2017 former director of supplies for Pura Vida, Shannon Eagle, filed a lawsuit against the company for fraud.
Eagle said that shortly after she was hired she discovered that the bracelets were not made in Costa Rica but came from El Salvador and had been since at least 2015. Eagle quit her job after finding out and filed her lawsuit.
Now, consumers such as Marcus are jumping on board.
Marcus filed the class action lawsuit in December of last year.
"[Claims the bracelets were made in Costa Rica], which has been made for years on Pura Vida’s extensive online and social media marketing, as well as the product packaging itself, to all its customers and many of its employees, is false," reads the lawsuit.
Marcus and others in the class action are asking for full refunds as well as punitive damages.