JOOLA Pickleball Paddles Lawsuit: Mislabeled and Out of Play?

pickleball paddle

Pickleball Players Sue Over Allegedly Misrepresented Gen3 Paddles

A new proposed class action lawsuit accuses JOOLA, a major pickleball paddle manufacturer, of misleading consumers. Pickleball player Greg Matus filed the complaint, alleging JOOLA sold Gen3 paddles advertised as USA Pickleball approved, despite the approval being revoked. This is a significant blow for pickleball players seeking top-of-the-line equipment for competitive play, as USA Pickleball approval signifies adherence to rigorous standards for sanctioned tournaments.

Priced at around $280 each, JOOLA's Gen3 line initially received the coveted USA Pickleball approval in November 2023. However, just six months later, the situation took a dramatic turn. JOOLA informed the governing body they had submitted incorrect paddles for certification the previous year, attributing it to an "administrative error." This resulted in USA Pickleball removing the Gen3 paddles from its approved list on May 16, 2024.

Matus filed the proposed class action lawsuit, seeking to have JOOLA issue full refunds to all consumers who purchased the following pickleball paddle models under the impression they were USA Pickleball approved.

  • Tyson McGuffin Magnus 3 14mm 
  • Tyson McGuffin Magnus 3 16mm 
  • Collin Johns Scorpeus 3 16mm 
  • Anna Bright Scorpeus 3 14mm
  • Simone Jardim Hyperion 3 16mm 
  • Ben Johns Hyperion 3 16mm 
  • Ben Johns Hyperion 3 14mm
  • Ben Johns Perseus 3 14mm 
  • Ben Johns Perseus 3 16mm 
  • Perseus Alpha 2024 16mm
  • Perseus Alpha 2024 14mm
  • Magnus Alpha 2024 16mm
  • Magnus Alpha 2024 14mm
  • Hyperion Alpha 2024, 16mm
  • Hyperion Alpha 2024 14mm
  • Scorpeus Alpha 2024 16mm
  • Scorpeus Alpha 2024 14mm

From Approved to Disapproved: Confusion Over JOOLA Gen3 Paddles

Matus's lawsuit throws a curveball at JOOLA's Gen3 paddles. Initially approved for sanctioned tournaments by USA Pickleball in November 2023, things went awry just six months later. The lawsuit alleges JOOLA admitted to submitting incorrect paddles for certification the prior year, a "administrative error" that led to USA Pickleball removing Gen3 paddles from the approved list on May 16, 2024.

Despite this de-certification, the lawsuit contends JOOLA continued to advertise and sell the Gen3 paddles with the "USA Pickleball Approved" logo. This practice is argued to be misleading, causing confusion for consumers who rely on this designation for tournament eligibility and performance standards.

“Defendant’s systematic business practice of advertising and selling ‘USA Approved’ paddles has resulted in Plaintiff and Class Members lacking information and receiving misleading information about the true condition, permitted use, approvals, and value of the paddles, which was likely to mislead and did mislead reasonable consumers, including Plaintiff and Class Members,” the complaint states.

The lawsuit highlights the explosive growth of pickleball, with participation surging 52% from 2022 to 2023. To ensure fair play and equipment quality, USA Pickleball established the Equipment Evaluation Committee. They partner with NTS Technical Systems, the "undisputed leader in equipment testing, inspection and certification," to develop testing standards and ensure all approved equipment meets rigorous criteria. This, according to the lawsuit, is essential for maintaining "a level playing field for players and manufacturers."

Refunds Demanded: Did JOOLA Pull a "Bait and Switch" with Gen3 Paddles?

The lawsuit accuses JOOLA of a deliberate "bait and switch" with their Gen3 paddles. According to the complaint, JOOLA claims a simple "administrative error" led them to submit incorrect paddles for certification in November 2023. However, the lawsuit contends JOOLA knew, or should have known, these paddles wouldn't meet approval standards. This "error" resulted in USA Pickleball pulling the Gen3 paddles from the approved list on May 16, 2024.

“News of the de-certification of the Subject Paddles sent shockwaves through the pickleball community, causing panic for players registered to compete as both amateurs and professionals in USAP sanctioned events,” the lawsuit contends. Players registered for sanctioned tournaments were left scrambling as their JOOLA Gen3 paddles were suddenly deemed illegal.

The impact wasn't limited to competitive play. Many recreational players also prioritize using approved equipment, and the lawsuit argues JOOLA's continued sale of these misleadingly labeled paddles leaves consumers frustrated and stuck with equipment "completely worthless for any purpose."

In the JOOLA pickleball paddle lawsuit, Matus wants to hold JOOLA accountable for their alleged deceptive marketing practices. The lawsuit seeks class action status, full refunds for all consumers who purchased any of the listed JOOLA Gen3 paddles between November 2023 and the present. Additionally, the lawsuit demands an injunction to prevent JOOLA from continuing to advertise and sell the Gen3 line with the misleading "approved" logo.

Case Details

  • Lawsuit: Matus v. Sport Squad, Inc. d/b/a Joola
  • Case Number: 0:24-cv-60954-XXXX
  • Court: U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida

Plaintiffs' Attorneys

  • Brittany N. Henderson and Bradley J. Edwards (Edwards Henderson)
  • David Boies and Sigrid McCawley (Boies Schiller Flexner LLP)



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