Firms can be found liable for deceptive public statements, justices decide. Critics call the decision a blow to free speech.
The California Supreme Court ruled that Nike Inc. can
be sued by a man who claims the company broke advertising laws with an ad campaign that defended the wages, treatment and safety conditions of workers at overseas factories.
The lawsuit says Nike falsely stated that it guarantees a "living wage" to all workers, that its workers in Southeast Asia make twice the local minimum wage and are protected from corporal punishment, and that it complies with government rules on wages, hours and health and safety conditions.