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Published: Monday, 6/13/2011

Lawsuit against Kardashian sisters over debit card promotion struck down by Calif. judge

ASSOCIATED PRESS

A judge has thrown out a $75 million lawsuit filed against the Kardashian sisters after they yanked their endorsement of a prepaid debit card that was criticized for its high fees, saying the reality show stars had no duty to promote a product that might be considered unlawful.

The ruling issued June 7 by Fresno Superior Court Judge Jeff Hamilton states attorneys for Revenue Resource Group LLC hadn't sufficiently shown they could win their breach of contract case. The ruling also states the sisters could not sued for voicing concerns about the debit card because the claims would violate their First Amendment rights.

The Fresno-based company sued sisters Kim, Khloe and Kourtney in January, blaming them for heavy losses after the "Keeping Up With the Kardashians" stars publicly severed ties with the company. A phone message for the company's attorney Nathan Miller was not immediately returned.

The sisters withdrew their support for the debit card three weeks after the product launched following a warning from Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal that the card's fees were "predatory."

According to Hamilton's ruling, Revenue Resource Group argued that they lost other celebrity endorsements because the Kardashians pulled out of their deal.

The company "has not met its burden to show that it is likely to prevail, because it has not addressed the claim the contract involved an unlawful/fraudulent product or how damages could be proven even had the defendants remained silent, given the record before the Court of apparently universal condemnation of the product's profit making features," the judge wrote.

He ordered Revenue Resource Group to dismiss the case by the end of the month and pay the Kardashians $6,825 in attorney's fees.

The judge stated that the Kardashians' criticism of the card wasn't what harmed Revenue Resource Group, but rather the widespread coverage of fees and charges associated with the card.

Consumer advocates attacked the Kardashian Kard shortly after its release in November, citing that buying the card emblazoned with the sisters cost $59.95 for six months, or $99.95 for a full year. That did not include any spending money on the card and there was a $7.95 upkeep fee charged after the initial term ended. Canceling the card also cost money — $6.



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