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August 5, 2011

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DaVinci faces suits over furniture sales

THREE Shanghai consumers will launch a lawsuit against DaVinci Furniture Co Ltd today, demanding compensation totaling 1.5 million yuan (US$232,920) from the company amid accusations that it lied about where its furniture was made.

Next week things will get worse for DaVinci, as a larger group of consumers plans to file suit for many times that amount. Combined, the lawsuits will be seeking compensation that may add up to more than 40 million yuan, lawyers said.

The Yingke Law Firm Shanghai said the three consumers filing today bought furniture from the company at a total price of 1 million yuan. The company claimed that the furniture was made in Italy or Spain.

Last month, however, the company was accused of lying about where some products were made. The firm claimed that all of its pieces of furniture bearing Italian brands were produced in Italy, but the China Central Television ran investigative pieces saying the furniture was in fact made in southern China's Guangdong Province.

Later, Shanghai entry-exit inspection authorities confirmed that 10 percent of the products "imported" during the first half of the year were in fact made in China. Officials, however, haven't yet announced any punishment.

Today the consumers' indictment will be handed over to the Jing'an District People's Court. The law firm said it has collected evidence proving the company's lies but would not reveal what it was yesterday.

Li Renzheng, a lawyer with the law firm, said more than 40 consumers in Shanghai have joined the group planning to sue DaVinci.


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