A King County Judge earlier this year made a ruling in the Value Village vs. WA State case (AG Bob Ferguson) and it could wind up costing the state at least $5.7 million from legal fees.

  Judge rules AG Ferguson violated the company's 1st Amendment Rights.

 The judge ruled the company would be able to recover at least legal fees. WA state Superior Court judge David Whedbee said as part of his ruling:

(the state) “failed to show that any shopper had in fact been deceived or otherwise injured by its advertising and marketing."

At issue was the claim from the state several years ago that Value Village marketed itself as a not-for-profit company. The company, based in Bellevue, operates 316 stores in the US, Canada and Australia.

According to company officials, for every pound of donated items, Savers Value Village pays what are called designated non-profit partners for those goods. The company says this helps these groups accomplish a wide variety of goals and fund programs in their communities.

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Ferguson claimed in a lawsuit the company falsely claimed it was a non-profit. The judge also said Ferguson's office continued to release statements making these claims even after the litigation period had begun. The Value Village court documents showed despite efforts by the store to meet with Ferguson's office, the state refused to do so.

According to MyNorthwest.com, Judge Whedbee agreed with the company that the lawsuit was needless. He ruled the company's 1st Amendment rights concerning the freedom to market etc. had been violated.

The judge has apparently said the court will consider a fee award (to Value Village) but the amount has not yet been determined.

Value Village had a store in Kennewick, but it closed a few years ago. The lease expired and the location was occupied by a Planet Fitness gym on Columbia Center Boulevard.


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