CHASKA, Minn. - Some may say it's the most comfortable pillow they've ever owned, but Minnesota-based MyPillow can't claim to cure snoring, migraines, fibromyalgia, or other health maladies... at least not in California.
The pillow maker was fined $1 million for deceptive advertising practices after charges were brought by prosecutors in nine California counties. NBC News reports that MyPillow will pay civil penalties of $995,000 and donate $100,000 to homeless and domestic violence shelters.
MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell says he made no medical claims whatsoever, and simply posted customer comments on his website. He is settling the charges simply because it makes financial sense, and is not an admission of guilt. "We did nothing wrong. We did not make any misleading claims," Lindell told NBC News. "Rather than fight this, I made a business decision to prevent long and costly litigation, pay this and move on."
The consumer watchdog group truthinadvertising.org (TINA.org) sounded the alarm about MyPillow back in February and shared its findings with prosecutors in those nine counties. TINA.org's investigation concluded that the company made unsubstantiated claims that its pillow could treat or cure a variety of sleep disorders, including insomnia, sleep apnea, and restless leg syndrome.
MyPillow's legal problems aren't over. Three class-action lawsuits have been filed against the company. A preliminary settlement has been reached in one of these cases. It would require the company to refund $5 to people who bought the pillow and prohibits MyPillow from making unsubstantiated health claims in the future.