Michael Kors Creative Merchandising? Michael Kors LLC may be getting more than it bargained for—the retailer got hit with a consumer fraud class action lawsuit alleging the discount prices it offers at its outlet stores and which are marketed as providing deep discounts over the suggested retail prices, are based on fabricated original prices. Surprised?
Specifically, the Michael Kors outlet store lawsuit claims 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.
Filed by lead plaintiff Tressa Gattinella, the lawsuit claims that Gattinella purchased a pair of jeans at a Kors Outlet in California earlier in the month for $79.00, believing she was paying significantly less than the original price of $120 listed on the tag, the suit states. That would be a reasonable assumption. But … of course there’s a but…
But… the Kors lawsuit contends that despite the Gattinella’s belief that she purchased the goods at a 33 percent discount, Michael Kors never intended to sell the jeans at the artificial $120 price listed on the tag, the suit says. By listing the false price comparison, Michael Kors deceived the plaintiff into making a full retail purchase with no discount, the complaint alleges.
“Plaintiff would not have made such purchase, or would not have paid the amount she did, but for Michael Kors’ false represented of the former price … of the items she purchased, as compared with the supposedly discounted ‘our price’ at which Michael Kors offered the items for sale,” the lawsuit states.
The lawsuit is seeking certification for a class of all California residents who purchased apparel from a Kors Outlet store and urges the court to issue an injunction ordering the company to comply with California’s comparative price advertising laws and prohibiting Michael Kors from using deceptive practices moving forward.
The lawsuit is Gattinella v. Michael Kors (USA), Inc. et al., case number 1:14-cv-05731, in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.
Canada following suit….a class action testosterone lawsuit has been filed by plaintiffs in Canada who allege that they were never warned about the increased risk of cardiovascular events with the low testosterone injection Delatestryl. The case was filed on July 22, 2014 in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice.
FYI—a multidistrict litigation involving over 150 testosterone lawsuits is also pending in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. The case is In Re: Testosterone Replacement Therapy Product Liability Litigation (MDL No. 2545).
Testosterone products, used to treat so-called “Low T,” have been linked to serious cardiovascular problems such as pulmonary embolism, deep vein thrombosis (DVT), stroke, heart attack, and death. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration(FDA) began investigating the cardiovascular risks associated with testosterone products in late January; the agency reminded consumers that testosterone products are only approved for men who do not produce enough of the hormone due to specific medical conditions. Testosterone replacement therapy is not approved for Low T or other non-medical conditions.
Testosterone safety reviews were also launched by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) and Health Canada. Recently, the FDA warned the public that there is a growing body of evidence suggesting that testosterone therapy may increase the risk of cardiovascular events in men.
The reviews were prompted by two research studies linking testosterone products to a higher risk of blood clot, stroke and heart attack. One study, published in last November in the Journal of the American Medical Association, found that older men were more likely to suffer cardiac death if they took testosterone. Older men and younger men with pre-existing heart problems were more likely to suffer a heart attack, according to another study published January in the journal, PloS.
Unsolicited Phone Calls Elicit Settlement…Well, it’s not the largest settlement in class action history—but it’s a victory none-the-less. After all, one less unsolicited phone call has got to be a good thing!!! This week, a settlement has been reached in a Telephone Consumer protection Actclass action lawsuit that alleges the polling and public opinion research company Mountain West Research Center LC violated the Act by contacting consumers by phone without their permission.
The preliminary $1.5 million settlement will resolve the class action which was filed by Plaintiff Paul Mankin in September 2013 alleging Mountain West called people’s cellphones without prior express consent, using an automatic telephone dialing system and using an artificial or prerecorded voice.
Under the terms of the proposed settlement, Mountain West will create a $1.5 million fund to for a settlement administrator, a website, preparing an opt-out list, preparing a list of persons submitting objections to the settlement, and disbursing payments to all class members who do not opt-out.
Settlement members who do not opt out will receive a direct payment via check in the amount of approximately $65, according to court documents.
FYI—the case is Paul Mankin v. Mountain West Research Center LC, number 2:13-cv-06447 in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California.
No info on a fairness hearing date yet—so stay tuned…
Ok – Folks –time to adjourn for the week. Have a fab weekend –see you at the bar!
C’mon now—you simply cannot make this stuff up. You can’t help but think of “Green Eggs and Ham”, too as you’re thinking about the plaintiff attorney who may have been approached about the pleasure of taking on this baby…”Would you, could you…take on this case?” So here goes…
If at first you don’t succeed…and Nigel Sykes surely has nothing to lose by trying. He apparently doesn’t have an attorney…he’s just filed his fourth complaint against the officers of the Delaware Police department and Seasons Pizza restaurant alleging his civil rights were violated during his attempted robbery of the pizza place. Yep. HIS rights during HIS attempted robbery.
The 23-year old convicted felon is currently serving out his 15-year sentence for robbery and attempted robbery. It seems that in addition to attempting to rob Seasons, he was also linked to 8 other robberies in the area. But I digress.
The subject of Sykes lawsuit is his treatment at the hands of the restaurant employees and the attending police officers. The story goes that on November 30, 2010 Sykes entered Seasons Pizza located in Wilmington, Delaware, armed with a gun. But he hadn’t banked on the employees swinging into action.
According to his complaint, “The defendant handed me $140.” Then, it all went to hell in a handbasket. Sykes alleges he was grabbed by one of the employees as he tried to leave the store. “After a short struggle, the defendants successfully obtained the handgun from me,” the complaint states. “That is when the assault began.”
Sykes alleges the employees punched and kicked him and poured hot soup over his body. Ouch—that’s really gotta hurt. For $140? I don’t think so.
“I was unarmed and defenseless and had to suffer a brutal beating by all the employees of Seasons Pizza,” Sykes wrote. He also claims he was eventually knocked unconscious during which time he was assaulted by three responding Newport Police officers. Vigilantism or responding to a threat? Would depend on which side of the courtroom you’re on, I’m guessing.
In a complaint filed in February 2011, without an attorney, Sykes that he was knocked unconscious at least twice by Seasons’ employees at the restaurant, then tasered several times by the responding police officers. He also alleged that he was led to a police vehicle where he was punched in the stomach and head then slammed against the trunk.
“They handcuffed me behind my back,” Sykes wrote. “I was aroused from my state of unconsciousness only to realize that I was handcuffed and being tasered. I was tasered a total of three consecutive times while handcuffed.” Racial slurs are also alleged.
That complaint was dismissed in May, 2011, but Sykes filed a second amended version in July 2013, having pled guilty to the attempted robbery. That complaint was also dismissed without prejudice. So, in February 2014, he filed the latest version naming Seasons Pizza, the Newport Police Department and three officers rather than the Delaware State Police as defendants. He also alleges in this version that he was denied medical care at the scene despite the presence of paramedics. Nice.
He was seeking compensatory damages, claiming he continues to suffer the effects of the beating, including bruises, headaches, contusions and burns. Specifically, $100,000 from the Newport Police Dept, $60,000 from the three officers, $100,000 from the pizza joint, and $120,000 from six employees at Seasons.
On April 17, the court dismissed the claims made against the Newport Police Dept and one of the officers… but the court has allowed Sykes to proceed on the assault claims against Seasons and its employees, as well as the claims of excessive force brought against two other Newport officers.
This ought to be interesting…
So, who’s lost count of how many defective auto recalls we’re up to now? Here’s a couple more…this time it’s Kia and Lexus…
Surprise! Kia Motors America Inc. got hit with a defective products class action lawsuit this week, filed in California federal court over allegations the car maker failed to disclose a defective brake switch in certain models. The defect can cause the brake light to fail to illuminate and cruise control to remain on, increasing the risk for accidents. Ok—that could be dangerous.
The Kia lawsuit, filed by lead plaintiff William Precht, claims that Kia was aware of the brake switch defect for years, and went as far as to initiate recalls for a number of different models in 2009. The company also initiated recalls in May 2013 which did not include its 2011 Sportage, 2008-2010 Optima and 2008-2011 Sedona vehicles, despite the fact that those models were also affected. Kia allegedly expanded the recall to include the vehicles in November 2013 but did not notify consumers, the complaint states.
According to the lawsuit, “Defendant does not dispute the safety risk caused by the brake switch defect, yet it has not effectuated any purported recall of the class vehicles and has left class members with an acknowledged safety risk and unreimbursed repair bills.”
The backstory—Precht alleges he purchased a new Sportage vehicle in 2011, but began having difficulty engaging the car’s automatic transmission during the winter of 2013. Precht alleges he was repeatedly unable to put the car in gear even after depressing the brake pedal, causing the anti-lock brake and front-wheel drive slippage icons to illuminate on the dash. He claims he was forced to manually access an override in order to place the vehicle into drive again.
According to the complaint, Precht took the car to an authorized Kia repair facility for assistance, only to be told that such repairs were not covered under the warranty, causing him to pay $140 to have the defect repaired.
The lawsuit alleges Kia knowingly hid from consumers that the vehicles’ brake switch contained a defect that leads to brake light failure, cruise control not cancelling with depression of the brake pedal, the push button start not functioning and the shift interlock remaining stuck in park so the vehicle cannot be moved.
The complaint states that once the defect occurs in the cars, it poses a safety risk to both driver and passengers, with the brake light failure increasing the risk of rear-end collision, and the failure of cruise control failure increasing the risk for a front-end collision. Further, if the push button start doesn’t function, the car cannot be shifted into drive or reverse from park, leaving individuals stranded, the lawsuit states.
The defect typically manifests itself shortly after the vehicles’ warranties expire, the suit claims, resulting in the automaker refusing to cover repair costs of an issue it hid from consumers.
The lawsuit is seeking certification of a nationwide class of owners and lessees of the affected models, as well as a Florida subclass, and includes claims for state law violations, breach of warranty and negligence.
The suit is Precht v. Kia Motors America, Inc., case number 8:14-cv-01148, in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California.
Lexus—what’s their tagline—something about the relentless pursuit of perfection? They are also facing a defective products class action lawsuit filed by two independent Lexus owners who allege the luxury vehicle company, and its parent, Toyota Motor Corp, sold defective vehicles with interiors that are unable to withstand the Florida heat. Are you kidding?
Nope. The Lexus lawsuit, contends that the dashboards and other, similar interior components of their Lexus vehicles grew sticky, oily, shiny, cracked and otherwise degraded in appearance when exposed to the natural heat and humidity in Florida. Yuk.
The skinny—Daniela Perez and Jesus del Rio allege that Lexus was aware of the problem with the dashboards but refused to make repairs in the affected vehicles once the warranties expired. While Toyota sent out a service bulletin to its dealerships in 2011, alerting dealers to the defect and instructing them to make repairs on the burned dashboards, the dealerships refused to repair damages in vehicles that are no longer covered by the Lexus comprehensive warranty.
Further, Perez and del Rio allege that the vehicles were marketed as being suitable for the climate in Florida yet the product disintegrated in the heat under normal conditions in the vehicles, “These vehicles are marketed as luxury vehicles and as the product of Lexus’ never-ending ‘pursuit of perfection,’” the plaintiffs alleged in the suit, and they state that the dealerships refused to do anything about it. The complaint names two Lexus dealerships, Lexus of Kendall, which serves Miami, Coral Gables and South Florida, and Scanlon Lexus of Fort Myers. It also names Toyota Motor Sales USA Inc.
The case is Daniela Perez et al. v. GFB Enterprises LLC d/b/a/ Lexus of Kendall et al., in the Circuit Court of the 11th Judicial Circuit In and For Miami-Dade County.
This is just bad all round. A $190 million settlement has been awarded against Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore in settlement of a medical malpractice class action lawsuit that alleges a gynecologist secretly photographed his patients. I don’t know—I’m thinking malpractice doesn’t quite get to the heart of this one.
The Johns Hopkins lawsuit, with more than 9,000 plaintiffs, claims that Dr. Nikita Levy used hidden surveillance cameras on his patients, including one hidden in a camera pen.
Levy, an obstetrician-gynecologist, was employed at Johns Hopkins from 1988 to 2013. The lawsuit claimed that the hospital should have been award of what Levy was doing, and that they failed to supervise him properly or investigate him.
In February 2013 Levy was fired from the hospital and just 10 days later he committed suicide.
Ok – Folks –time to adjourn for the week. Have a fab weekend –see you at the bar!
It’s a lawsuit brought by a New Jersey doc—a cardiologist at Robert Wood University Hospital—Zyad Younan, just 41-years old and busted. Well, taken to the cleaners more like. Seems when it comes to matters of the heart, he may be a bit more book-smart than street-smart…
Dr. Younan allegedly got done in by a group of girlies who falsely presented themselves as sisters and cousins—and who showed him a good time, which cost him $130K. Oh yes my friends, that old ploy. While he’s presumably not disputing he was up for the party, he is disputing the price, and claims he can’t even remember any of what happened. The lawsuit alleges the girls drugged him during their frivolities. That’s sucks (pardon the pun), so no good memories at all out of this one.
The backstory, a 26-year old brunette bombshell, Karina Pascucci, who claimed to be a “nursing major” but in reality is a former bartender with a couple of years community college under her skirt, made cozy with the good doctor in Manhattan last fall.
“She claimed to be a nursing student who had recently moved back to New York to pursue her education,” the bachelor cardiologist claims in his recently filed lawsuit. According to the lawsuit, Pascucci, “the RN-in-training,” pursued the doctor fervently, joining him for a Van Morrison concert at Madison Square Garden and three dinners in Manhattan for “what [Younan] believed were dates.”
Younan claims he did not get suspicious when Pascucci showed up with her gorgeous “cousin” Samantha, and “sister” Kimberly. Really? Like, he didn’t even think to Google any of them? According to the lawsuit, there were other striking women who joined them on the outings as well. OK, I am having a wee bit of difficulty believing he was so believing—although I get the biology behind it.
“Unbeknownst to Younan, Karina along with Marsi, Samantha, [another woman named] Roselyn and Scores [the jiggle joint where the girls work] agreed to participate in a scheme to defraud and steal money from Younan and others by luring them into supposed romantic relationships, then drugging and taking advantage of them by obtaining their credit cards and charging unauthorized amounts,” the lawsuit says.
It took American Express to wake Dr. Younan up. Hey, membership has its privileges. And thankfully AMEX raised that little, “gee, doc, are you sure those purchases are legit?” red flag as it helped kick off an 8-month investigation into the swindling strippers’ M.O.
According to the New York Post, Younan confronted Pascucci, who allegedly tried to blackmail him with video footage of the doctor at Scores. Hey, a girl’s gotta make a living.
But the doc wasn’t having it, according to the lawsuit, despite the best efforts of Samantha Barbash, another alleged ringleader, who tried to persuade Younan to pay the bill, saying, “I thought you were a god? Why would you not wanna pay your bill?” in a Nov. 26, 2013, text message. (New York Post)
A third member of the girl group, Marsi Rosen, sent a message a day later saying, “This isn’t the Zyad I know and love. It’s the holidays babe these poor girls need there [sic] $, have a heart.”
The doctor shot back, “I don’t need to speak with swindlers.” Well done! That’s telling them.
At the moment, Younan is seeking unspecified damages from Pascucci, her colleagues and Scores. And in a crazy twist, the club is suing Younan for the $135K in unpaid bills, which Younan says are false bills.
So, pick your side and lawyer up…. know which one I’d choose.
Suing Subaru… that’s right folks…if you own or lease certain Forester, Legacy, Outback, Impreza and Crosstek models you can join a Subaru class action lawsuit alleging the company knowingly sold vehicles containing a defect that causes the cars to consume excessive amounts of oil. Also known as consumer fraud…
According to the complaint, filed by Lead plaintiffs Keith Yaeger and Michael Schuler, Subaru concealed from consumers the fact that certain Forester, Legacy, Outback, Impreza and Crosstek models have defective piston rings that prevent the engine from maintaining the proper level of oil and cause an abnormal amount of oil consumption, leading to engine failure and increasing the risk of accident.
“Not only did Subaru actively conceal the material fact that particular components within the class vehicles’ engines are defective, they did not reveal that the existence of the defect would diminish the intrinsic and resale value of the class vehicles and lead to the safety concerns described herein,” the lawsuit states.
Yaeger and Schuler bought new Subarus in 2012 and 2013 respectively, after which they independently noticed their new vehicles were consuming engine oil at an “unacceptable” rate. They were forced to add oil to their cars between Subaru’s recommended engine oil change intervals in order to avoid engine failure, the complaint states.
Further, the lawsuit states that both plaintiffs took their vehicles to their Subaru dealerships for repairs, but despite extensive servicing, the Subarus continued to burn through oil rapidly.
The plaintiffs allege Subaru has known of the oil consumption defect in model years 2011-14 Subaru Forester 2.5L, 2013 Legacy 2.5L, 2013 Outback 2.5L, 2012-13 Impreza 2.0L and 2013 XV Crosstek 2.0L vehicles, for some time, through numerous complaints received from dealers and consumers through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Regardless, the lawsuit states, Subaru actively concealed the defect from consumers. The company has also “routinely refused” to repair the vehicles without charge, according to the complaint.
Subaru updated its online information to acknowledge that certain vehicles run through oil quickly, but has not recalled the vehicles to repair the defect, offered its customers a suitable repair or replacement free of charge or offered to reimburse customers who have paid to repair the cars, the lawsuit states.
The putative class alleges violations of New Jersey and California consumer protection laws, breach of express warranty, common law fraud and more. The complaint asks the judge to certify a nationwide class of current or former owners or lessees of the affected vehicles, in addition to California, Florida and New Jersey state subclasses.
The lawsuit is Yaeger et al. v. Subaru of America Inc. et al., case number 1:14-cv-04490, in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey.
Overworked and underpaid… The grocery chain Kroger Co. and several of its units are facing a wages and overtime class action lawsuit filed by its delivery drivers in California. According to the putative class in the Kroger lawsuit, the workers weren’t fully paid for the many overtime hours they worked. Know this story?
Defendants Kroger and its units Ralphs Grocery Co., Foods Co. and two Food 4 Less entities allegedly failed to pay more than 1,000 drivers, dispatchers and delivery-support staff wages and overtime, while requiring them to work extra hours the complaint states.
Lead plaintiff, Jesse Blanco, alleges the stores “routinely required plaintiffs to work more than eight hours per day and, in some instances, more than twelve hours per day, and more than forty hours per workweek and, in some instances, seven days for extended, ongoing time periods.” Further, Blanco claims the companies cut wages by rounding time; “failed and refused to pay overtime”; and cheated the workers of meal and rest breaks required by California law.
FYI—the putative class includes all hourly delivery drivers, dispatchers and support staff employed by the stores in the four years leading up to the complaint. The plaintiffs are asking for a permanent injunction, compensatory damages and a variety of penalties. Yeah Baby!
Sony singing the “I will pay you” blues…to the tune of $15 million—at least according to a preliminary settlement reached in the pending data breach class action lawsuit. If approved, the settlement would see $15 million in games and online currency made available to class members as well as identity theft reimbursement. The lawsuit was brought by PlayStation Network (PSN) users affected by a massive 2011 Sony Corp. data breach.
Eligible class members include all persons residing in the US who had a PlayStation Network account or sub-account, a Qriocity account, or a Sony Online Entertainment account at any time prior to May 15, 2011, when it was revealed that hackers had broken into Sony’s network and obtained data on as many as 31 million account holders.
According to the Sony settlement agreement, Sony will provide affected consumers with “various benefits,” depending on the type of accounts they had and if they can prove that their data was misused, to resolve the dispute over the 2011 breach.
Following the discovery of the data breach, Sony offered its PSN users free identity theft protection, among other benefits. However, under the terms of the settlement agreement any class members who didn’t take that deal can choose two items from a mix of games, online display themes and a three-month subscription to Sony’s PlayStation Plus service, with a cap set at $6 million.
For those class members who did take Sony’s initial package, they will receive one of the items, with a cap set at $4 million. Class members who weren’t part of PSN but had accounts for a different Sony gaming service will get $4.50 of in-game currency, with a $4 million cap.
Sony agreed to reimburse up to $2,500 per class member for the identity theft claims, up to $1 million. It also allowed users to transfer any unused online currency into cash and give some class members a one-month subscription to its music streaming service.
Sony customers that fall within the class definition will be automatically bound to the settlement unless they opt out. Class members who wish to opt out from the settlement class have 21 days prior to the date of the final fairness hearing in May to notify the court of their intention to opt-out.
The case is In re: Sony Gaming Networks and Customer Data Security Breach Litigation, case number 3:11-md-02258, in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California.
Ok Folks—We’re Done Here—Have a wonderful weekend—we’ll see you at the bar!