Fans of Sunday Night Football are making an end run at the NFL and DirecTV, having filed an antitrust class action lawsuit, over the bundling of games in the NFL Sunday Ticket package. Specifically, the lawsuit claims that Sunday Ticket subscribers should not be forced to pay several hundred dollars for the NFL’s entire spectrum of out-of-market games just so they can follow one team or see an individual game.
Filed in California by Thomas Abrahamian, the NFL Sunday lawsuit states: “The league and DirecTV offer NFL Sunday Ticket only as all-or-nothing….Purchasers of NFL Sunday Ticket must buy all out-of-market games for all teams even if they are only interested in watching the games of a particular team. Likewise, consumers must buy the complete season of games and may not purchase individual games.”
“A Cleveland Browns fan living in California cannot watch the Browns play, except occasional games on network television, unless he purchases the entire package of League games from NFL Sunday Ticket,” according to the complaint. The lawsuit is Case 2:15-cv-04606-BRO-JEM.
I’ll Drink to That! A settlement has been reached in a consumer fraud class action lawsuit pending against Beck’s Beer. The lawsuit alleges that the beer is produced in St. Louis and brewed with water from Missouri, not imported from Germany, as customers may have been led to believe.
Anheuser-Busch, the makers of Beck’s, ‘tricked’ consumers into thinking Beck’s was a German beer, according to the lawsuit. The beer used to be brewed in Germany by its German owners until 2002 when it was sold to Belgium’s Interbrew, which then merged with Brazil’s AmBev, to become InBev, which in turn acquired Anheuser-Busch. Production of Beck’s moved to St. Louis in 2012, according to the lawsuit.
According to the Beck’s settlement terms, eligible class members are entitled to a refund of up to $50. Settlement class members include customers who purchased Beck’s beer, including Beck’s Dark and Beck’s Light, since May 2011. The settlement has yet to receive final approval but if approved, class members can fill out an online form to claim a refund. Beck’s drinkers can get 10 cents back for every individual bottle purchased; 50 cents for a six-pack or $1.75 per 20-pack.
Refunds will be capped at $50 for claims backed by a valid proof of purchase. Consumers who didn’t keep receipts are entitled to no more than $12. Full terms will be made public upon final approval of the settlement.
Additionally, under the settlement terms, Anheuser-Busch agreed to make labeling adjustments. A statement on the bottle saying it’s made in the USA will become more visible. The green boxes in which the bottles are packaged will also say the beer is made in the USA. So much for “who reads the packaging anyway?”
Patient Privates Undergo “Review” During Colonoscopy… You can’t make this stuff up! An unidentified patient in Virginia has been awarded $500,000 by a jury hearing his medical malpractice lawsuit which claims his anesthesiologist made defamatory comments while he was under sedation for a colonoscopy. The award includes $200,000 in punitive damages.
The unidentified plaintiff, referred to as DB, had left his smart phone on record so he could ensure he got his doctor’s post-surgical instructions, according to the Washington Post. (What ever happened to the patient consult?) However, during the procedure his trousers were placed under him, (Why?) which resulted in the inadvertent recording, court papers indicate.
When DB listened to the recording on his way home from the surgery, he discovered Dr. Tiffany Ingham mocking and disparaging him. Among the comments was a referral to a rash on the plaintiff’s penis, which Ingham incorrectly suggested indicated syphilis and tuberculosis. Nice.
The jury awarded $50,000 in compensatory damages for defamation for the doctor’s remarks about each of these diseases, and another $200,000 for overall medical malpractice. Ingham also allegedly said she was going to note in the man’s chart that he had hemorrhoids, which he didn’t.
DB also sued a gastroenterologist, Soloman Shah, who, while present for the procedure, did not directly participate in most of the commentary by Ingham. Smart…That portion of the case was dismissed.
And it’s off to the rodeo!
That’s a wrap folks…See you at the Bar!
Shutterfly may have its wings clipped. The company that developed the facial recognition software has been hit with a putative class action lawsuit over alleged privacy violations—actually—violations of Illinois state’s Biometric Information Privacy Act.
Filed by Illinois resident Brian Norberg, the Shutterfly complaint asserts that online image publisher Shutterfly and its subsidiary ThisLife LLC collect facial recognition data from user-uploaded photos without first notifying individuals and receiving their written consent, and by failing to inform them how long the information will be stored and how it will be used.
“Specifically, defendants have created, collected and stored millions of ‘face templates’ (or ‘face prints’)—” highly detailed geometric maps of the face—” from millions of individuals, many thousands of whom are non-Shutterfly users residing in the state of Illinois,” the complaint states.
“Defendants in this case made no effort whatsoever to obtain consent from unwitting third parties when they introduced their facial recognition technology,” the complaint state. “Not only do defendants’ actions fly in the face of FCC guidelines, they also violate the privacy rights of Illinois residents.”
Notably, Illinois law also prohibits companies that collect biometric data from selling it to third parties.
Heads up—Norberg is seeking $5,000 for each intentional and reckless violation, and $1,000 for each violation resulting from defendants’ negligence. Go get’em!
The case is Brian Norberg v. Shutterfly Inc. et al., case number 1:15-cv-05351, in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.
Settlement in the bag…to the tune of $4.88 million. That’s the number reached in a preliminary settlement between Michael Kors Holdings Ltd and plaintiffs in a class action lawsuit alleging the company engages in consumer fraud.
Ok—you’ve read this song sheet before. The specific allegations are that Michael Kors represents on the price tags of its Kors Outlet Products artificial “suggested retail prices” that do not represent a bona fide price at which the designer formerly sold the products. The tags also offer a price termed “our price,” which represents a steep discount off the false original price.
But the [prices] used by Michael Kors … were a sham. In fact, Michael Kors manufactures certain goods for exclusive sale at its Kors Outlets, which means that such items were never sold, or even intended to be sold at the … price listed on their labels,” the complaint states.
Under the terms of the preliminary Kors settlement Michael Kors will replace “MSRP” with “Value” on its price tags and display signage explaining that term, or stop using reference prices for products made exclusively for its outlets.
If approved, the settlement will include shoppers who bought products from Michael Kors outlets in the four years ending July 25, 2014.
The case is Gattinella v. Michael Kors (USA) Inc et al, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, No. 14-05731.
Here’s one for the record books… A jury hearing the first product liability lawsuit against Wright Profemur hip replacement systems has awarded the plaintiff $4.5 million in damages. Brought by Alan Warner, the lawsuit is the first of several hundred to go to trial with allegations that the hip replacement Warner received failed after just three years: the average life span of the system is between 15 and 20 years.
There are over 1,200 similar defect product lawsuits pending against Wright Profemur hip replacement alleging the plaintiffs suffered health problems when the modular femoral neck stem broke.
Warner’s trial lasted two weeks and is the first case to go to court. It is not part of the federal MDL.
Hokee Dokee—That’s a wrap folks…See you at the Bar!
A 17-year old girl, sorry, actress, who was arrested last August for possession of alcohol by a minor and disorderly conduct, is suing the NYPD for false arrest. Sounds simple enough, right? Well, Winnifred Bonjean-Alpart alleges the evidence was planted. Noteworthy here, is that the charges against her were dropped by Manhattan Criminal Court Judge Ann E. Scherzer.
Winnifred, a “rising star in feminist theater and star of Slut: The Play” (source NYPost), (soon to be Slut: The Movie? – I think that one’s likely been done, but maybe not from the feminist viewpoint) isn’t satisfied with getting off ‘scott free’ as it were (pardon the pun). She and her mother, a lawyer (is that the sound of a penny dropping?) are alleging the NYPD violated Winnifred’s constitutional rights and planted evidence in her purse.
The backstory, Winnifred had a few friends over and they were drinking. Apparently it got loud and a neighbor called the police, as one does. When the police arrived they asked for identification from the party-goers but Winnifred apparently took it upon herself to inform her guests that they didn’t have to comply with that request.
Big surprise, the police responded by arresting Winnifred, claiming they found a fake Maryland’s driver’s licenses in her purse and a couple of empty bottles of booze. She claims the booze and ID were planted because she asserted her First Amendment rights. Um. Possible. But is it probable? Or does it even matter now?
Apparently it does. Winnifred and her mother have filed a civil suit. I guess she really does want her day in court. She and her mother are alleging the police cuffed her too tightly, slammed her against a wall, and put her in a holding cell with men for 18 hours in central booking. Mother and daughter are suing the city for $2 million. Wow—that’s some payday.
Only problem, mummy forgot to get the filing in by the deadline. Jennifer Bonjean, an experienced defense attorney who has apparently won lawsuits against the authorities in the past, missed a 90 day deadline. Seems, in New York, you must file a Notice of Claim with the city within 90 days of the incident. Once the notice is filed, you have one year to actually file the lawsuit. Bonjean missed the 90 day deadline. Now, she must petition the court for permission to proceed with her lawsuit against the city, according to the Post.
So will Winnifred fire her mother—or wait to see if the situation improves? We’ll have to wait and see. One thing’s for sure—the publicity can’t be hurting her. Might even improve ticket sales—or launch a sequel.
Been charged for tickets you couldn’t purchase? Schuyler Hoffman was. He was trying to book tickets online with US Airways, and it just wasn’t working. So, he’s filed a consumer fraud class action lawsuit alleging the airline doesn’t honor its online ticket prices for certain tickets. Filed in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California, the complaint states that US Airways online ticket prices were made “incompletable” after he tried to purchase tickets. Now there’s a new word, but likely not a new experience.
Specifically, the US Airways complaint alleges that the US Airways website states consumers won’t be charged for the attempted purchase of a ticket. However, Hoffman’s card was charged by the airline and it held onto the funds. Hoffman states that he attempted to purchase two tickets on U.S. Airways’ website for $1,372 but an error message came up stating the transaction could not be completed. The lawsuit goes on to state that Hoffman attempted the transaction two other times, receiving the same message both times.
Hoffman then called US Airways and as told by a representative that his card wasn’t charged. However the representative couldn’t determine why the purchase hadn’t gone through, and when Hoffman later contacted his bank, he found he was charged for the first attempted purchase of the tickets, according to the complaint.
According to the lawsuit, Hoffman contacted the airline again and was told the price for the tickets had risen between when he selected the tickets and when he entered his payment information.
The lawsuit is U.S. District Court Southern District of California case number: 3:15-cv-01214
Almond milk… ever wondered how many almonds it takes to make a large container of say Almond Breeze of Silk brand almond milk? Not so much, as it happens. In fact, the two manufacturers of Almond Breeze and Silk almond milk are facing a consumer fraud class action lawsuit over the percentage of almond contained in its milk.
Filed by Tracy Albert and Dimitrios Malaxianis in US District Court in New York, the almond milk lawsuit names Blue Diamond Growers and WhiteWave Operating Co. as defendants, alleging that contrary to the companies’ advertising, which states that the milk is made mostly from almonds, in fact they only contains about two percent almond milk.
Blue Diamond’s brand is Almond Breeze brand and WhiteWave sells its organic milk under the Silk brand name. The two companies combined are the largest producers of almond milk in the United States, the lawsuit states.
In addition to seeking class action status to represent people who purchased Blue Diamond and WhiteWave products from May 27, 2009, up until the present, the plaintiffs are asking for over $5 million in damages plus court costs.
The lawsuit is seeking class status for those that purchased Blue Diamond and WhiteWave products from May 27, 2009, up until the present. The plaintiffs are also seeking more than $5 million in damages plus court costs.
The lawsuit is United States District Court for the Southern District New York case number 1:15-cv-04087
Looks like the Feds won this one—and it’s a whopper. A $212.5M settlement has been reached ending a consumer banking fraud lawsuit brought by the US Attorney General against First Tennessee Bank NA, in which the federal government alleged the bank approved loans that failed to meet the government’s requirements. The lawsuit also alleged violation of the False Claims Act.
According to a statement by Benjamin Mizer, principal deputy assistant US attorney general, First Tennessee Bank N.A. was accused of originating and underwriting mortgage loans insured by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Federal Housing Administration even though they didn’t meet the program requirements.
The settlement resolves allegations that First Tennessee failed to comply with First Horizon Home Loans Corporation origination, underwriting and quality control requirements.
Onwards! To the bar folks—that’s a wrap for this week.
Heads up boys…
You’re not the first but you will definitely be the last, according to the wife. What could she be referring to? The latest lawsuit by the latest mistress, who alleges her 88-year old lover was to afraid to leave his wife—therefore—he must be sued. The 67-year old mistress is after Mr. James Greenwald for $2 million, for services rendered during the previous six years they were “together”. You gotta love this stuff–you just can’t make it up.
The mistress, one Theodora Lee Corsell, a retired fundraiser from the Upper East Side in NYC, claims to have been both romantically and professionally involved with Greenwald—who has wandered down this path before, apparently. A previous mistress (not sure which number she would be) tried suing for $3 million—Corsell only wants two—stating that is what her work during those 6 years was worth.
That work involved Corsell handling everything from getting rid of unused New York Giants tickets to promoting Greenwald’s unpublished memoir. (That could be an interesting read). She even helped him make that $3 million threat by the other mistress disappear—a threat that involved outing Greenwald to his wife, according to court papers.
For her part, Mrs. Greenwald is not feeling the love, nor is she in the mood for sharing. “According to Greenwald, [his wife] Marilee told him, ‘I will see them bury you six feet under before I grant you a divorce. I’m the last Mrs. Greenwald,’ ” according to court papers. Yes, well, that narrows your options down a bit. FYI—This Mrs. Greenwald is the second one, so I’m guessing she knows the drill.
Why is Greenwald so popular? $$$$. From the 1970s through to the 1990s, Greenwald headed a national TV and radio sales advertising company, Katz Communications, which was sold for a sizeable chunk of dough—$300 million. You don’t have to be Einstein to figure out the law of attraction here.
That bastion of investigative journalism—The New York Post—reports that according to court documents filed by Corsell, she dug up information on Mrs. Greenwald’s telephone calls and purchases, in an attempt to find some means to leverage a divorce, but came up empty.
Greenwald’s attorney, Steven Mintz, said his client “remains happily married to his wife” and called the suit a “shameless shakedown.” That’s some definition of “happily married.”
According to Corsell’s suit, Greenwald promised Corsell: “I owe you everything and I will compensate you.” Hey—never make a promise you’re not willing to keep…Corsell’s claiming she’s due the money because her “professional services were separate and apart from form the parties’ romantic relationship.”
All I can say is Mr. Greenwald certainly likes to stay busy in retirement. He’s a regular one-man job creation program.