Inmate alleges overpriced t-shirts lose shape

By Angelica Saylo Pilo | Nov 20, 2018

EAST ST.LOUIS — An inmate alleges overpriced, defective Hanes t-shirts lost their shape after becoming stretched out. 

Firas Ayoubi filed a complaint on Oct. 4 in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois against Hanesbrands Inc., Keefe Group LLC and Access Catalogue Company, alleging violations of the Illinois Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practice Act. 

According to the complaint, Ayoubi claims he was transferred to the Pinckneyville Correctional Center in January. The Center provides commissary for inmates that allows them to buy various items, such as food, clothing and hygiene products. Included in the clothing items for purchase is a Hanes t-shirt product, which consists of three white, tag-less t-shirts. 

The suit states that the t-shirts are sealed in original Hanes packaging and trademarked as "preshrunk cotton" and "cool comfort fabric."

Ayoubi alleges the packaging boasted that the shirts would not lose their shape and had a "perfect fit." However, the plaintiff claims that after washing the shirts, the shirt stretched, the collar lost its shape and the sleeve seems became defective. 

"The package's markings were not consistent with the true nature and performance of the product," the suit states. 

The plaintiff alleges Keefe/Access sells the shirts to Pinckneyville Correctional Center at a high cost, which ends up being sold to inmates for $16 for the pack. The suit alleges the price for inmates is more than what they are sold to the general public. 

"Hanes knew of their products defective design and factor reject nature and formulated a deal with Keefe/Access to sell the product anyway for the purpose of targeting it to inmate and prison populations," the suit states.

Ayoubi claims he continued buying the product in hopes of getting a "good batch and assumed it was an isolated incident."

"Defendants made profit off of plaintiffs detriment," the suit states. "Being a consumer and having the right to know about the true nature of their product and his status as a prisoner and not having many choices."

The plaintiff requests a trial by jury and seeks compensatory and punitive damages.

U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois East St. Louis case number 3:18-cv-01806-JPG-SCW

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