Toys R Us ordered to pay to settle pricing error case

SAN DIEGO - A judge Monday ordered retail chain Toys R Us to pay about $178,700 to resolve a consumer case involving purported overcharges to customers at the company's stores in California, including San Diego County.

Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Ernest Hiroshige handed down the judgment, which resolves a consumer lawsuit alleging pricing errors at checkstands in the Delaware-based corporation's toy stores and Babies R Us outlets.

Pricing inspections conducted by county and state agencies between late 2009 and mid-2012 revealed a pattern of inaccuracies in prices charged at many Toys R Us and Babies R Us stores in California, including some of the 10 in the San Diego area and 30 in Los Angeles County, according to the plaintiffs.

The checks found overcharges in 5 percent of a survey of about 4,200 purchases, court documents state. Higher percentage errors were found in selected areas and stores, despite a pricing-compliance program that Toys R Us had implemented.

Under the terms of the settlement, entered without admission of liability, Toys R Us-Delaware Inc. is enjoined to fully comply with California's pricing-accuracy and false-advertising laws, and must implement an additional internal compliance program with annual reporting to the Los Angeles County and San Diego County district attorneys' offices.

The corporation also agreed to pay agency investigative costs of $28,730 -- including $3,962 to the San Diego County Department of Agriculture, Weights and Measures -- and civil penalties totaling $150,000, to be divided equally among the two prosecuting counties.

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