SAN FRANCISCO — The state Supreme Court today called for creation of a novel consumer group to safeguard against antitrust and other violations, approved an award to a million people who bought Levi's jeans in the early 1970s, and took a swipe at Gov. George Deukmejian.
Led by Chief Justice Rose Elizabeth Bird, the court by a 5-2 vote affirmed a lower court ruling that grants a few dollars each to roughly 1.2 million Californians who bought men's and boys' Levi's jeans in the early 1970s.
But the lasting importance of the ruling will be the consumer trust.
"For the first time it allows consumers to join together to effectively combat corporate fraud, false advertising and price fixing," said Robert Gnaizda of the public interest law firm, Public Advocates.
Today's ruling left details of the fund to be worked out by a lower court. The high court noted that without the fund few people would benefit from the $12 million settlement reached in 1981.