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Company Settles Case on Sales Tactics to Latinos

March 11, 2000

LOS ANGELES — A firm accused of using high-pressure tactics to get Latino families in the Los Angeles and Bay areas to buy expensive pots, pans and water filtration devices will pay a $250,000 fine and offer refunds to settle a consumer protection lawsuit, according to the state attorney general's office.

Hy Cite Corp. of Wisconsin will offer full refunds to more than 400 consumers named in the judgment issued in San Francisco Superior Court, said Sandra Michioku, a spokeswoman for state Atty. Gen. Bill Lockyer.

The agreement ends a February 1999 lawsuit filed by Lockyer and district attorneys in Los Angeles, San Francisco and Alameda, which alleged deceptive business practices.

The company did not admit any wrongdoing.

The judgment bars the company, its employees and agents from making misleading sales representations about the benefits of its Royal Prestige cookware and water filtration products.

The lawsuit alleged that during lengthy, in-home presentations and without any scientific basis for the pitch, salespeople promoted Royal Prestige products as a "health system," that could prevent cancer, high blood pressure and high cholesterol.

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