TV Accusation Leads to Lawsuit

The owner of a jewelry firm in San Antonio, Texas, was slapped with a class-action lawsuit after a local TV news program accused him of selling clarity-enhanced, fracture-filled diamonds without disclosure. (See “San Antonio Jewelers Accused of Non-Disclosure,” JCK, August 2001, p. 48.) According to a report on KMOL-TV’s TroubleShooters program, Lloyd’s Jewelers didn’t reveal that a $4,000 stone bought by the show’s producers was fracture-filled.

The class action suit against store owner Lloyd Herrera was filed June 5, 2001, by Robert J. Perkins of the law firm Martin, Drought, & Torres. “We expect that the class might be anywhere from over 100 to 1,000 people at large,” Perkins says. “We won’t actually find that out until we get into the purchase invoices of Lloyd’s.”

“We’ve been here 28 years,” says Herrera. “We advertise pretty heavily that we buy diamonds from the public.” He says the stones in question “were stones that we happened to buy from individuals who came in to sell us.”

According to Herrera, the store did sell clarity-enhanced stones but informed customers that they were enhanced. “But what I found out is that they’re not telling their spouse that they bought them an enhanced diamond,” he says. “So far, we’ve had four people come in to ask us for a refund. They said that they hadn’t been notified that it was a fracture-filled diamond. And so, anybody that comes in, we’ll naturally take care of them.”