Source Naturals a little light on the content? According to a consumer fraud class action lawsuit filed this week, it is. The plaintiff alleges the amounts of vitamins and minerals in the vitamins are inaccurate.
In her Source Naturals complaint, Jennifer Dougherty alleges she purchased the products online for about $20 in November. According to the lawsuit, Source Naturals advertised that its multivitamins contained 12,500 IU per serving of vitamin A. Dougherty claims that the amounts of the of six vitamins and minerals in its multivitamins were off by as much as 90 percent, which was shown in tests. Those same tests also revealed that the vitamin B-3 contained in the product was about 19 percent less than represented; calcium per serving was about 22 percent less; zinc was under by about 24 percent; manganese was under by about 36 percent; and magnesium was under by about 12 percent than what Source Naturals claimed, according to the lawsuit.
The Source Naturals lawsuit is seeking class action status for those that purchased the multivitamins and seeks less than $5 million plus court costs. The $5 million figure represents a threshold for removal under the Class Action Fairness Act.
Southwest Early Bird Check-In a scam? At least one passenger thinks so. Teri Lowry filed a consumer fraud class action lawsuit over allegations the airline misleads customers into purchasing early flight check-ins, billed as “Early-Bird” priority boarding.
Specifically, the Southwest Airlines lawsuit contends that the airline deceived her into purchasing an “Early-Bird” priority boarding cost for a flight she took in March 2014 from Los Angeles to Indianapolis.
Lowry claims she purchased a “Wanna Get Away” ticket offered by Southwest, and then added on the “Early-Bird Check-in” feature for $25 roundtrip. She states in her lawsuit that she purchased the feature based on previous experience when she traveled with Southwest and received a “B” boarding group assignment.
The lawsuit states that when Lowry contacted others who had received a higher boarding position than she did for her trip to Indianapolis, none of them had purchased the “Early Bird Check-In.”
According to the complaint, Southwest Airlines allocates boarding in the order in which a customer checks in online, with boarding broken into three groups of about 60 board positions each. According to the lawsuit, Southwest Airlines’ website states customers can obtain an A boarding position by purchasing an “Early Bird Check-in.”
In her complaint, Lowry alleges Southwest’s website says customers who purchased “Anytime” fares receive priority over other fare types including “Early Bird Check-ins.” The lawsuit alleges that contradicts other areas of the website that say “Anytime” or “Wanna Get Away” fares don’t have priority over other fares.
A $4.5 million settlement has been reached in a consumer banking deceptive practices violations class action lawsuit against a unit of Morgan Stanley (Saxon). The lawsuit was filed by homeowners who allege the finance company denied thousands of California homeowners new terms through the federal Home Affordable Modification Plan (HAMP), which they claim resulted in some people losing their homes.
The Morgan Stanley HAMP settlement is preliminary and requires final approval, which, if granted, would pay the approximate 2,705 class members an average of $1,663 each. According to court documents, the settlement represented about 15 percent of the roughly $30 million in total trial payments made by the class.
According to the lawsuit, plaintiff Marie Gaudin alleged Saxon delayed processing her loan while urging her to make trial payments as part of its Home Affordable Modification Program, meant for homeowners who were behind on loan payments. Saxon later pulled the offer of permanent loan modification without cause, according to the lawsuit.
If approved, 1,365 class members who lost their homes after Saxon denied them permanent loan modifications would be paid back. All class members would receive a base award of approximately $184, with tiered payments being made to those who lost their homes in foreclosures or short sales without being offered loan modifications, and to those who entered into alternative modifications elsewhere.
The class is defined as California borrowers who entered into HAMP TPPs with Saxon through October 1, 2009, and made at least three trial period payments but did not receive HAMP loan modifications.
Ok—that’s it for this week—see you at the bar!
Have your hangovers been getting worse recently? Ok—you don’t have to answer, but maybe—just maybe—it’s not only you… A defective products class action lawsuit has been filed against 28 California wineries alleging that they produced wine which contains dangerously high levels of arsenic, in violation of California law. Nothing like a bit of poison to help the relaxation process.
Don’t know how the ball got rolling, but someone/entity had a total 1,306 different types of wine tested by BeverageGrades in Denver. The results showed that 83 wines had dangerously elevated levels of inorganic arsenic. Two additional labs confirmed the results. According to the arsenic in wine lawsuit, some of the wines contained arsenic levels in excess of the safe daily intake limit by 500%. Oh great.
And the news gets worse, because the majority of the wines listed in the complaint are inexpensive white or blush varieties, including Moscato, Pinot Grigio and Sauvignon Blanc. Popular brands named in the lawsuit include Franzia, Sutter Home, Wine Cube, Cupcake, Beringer and Vendange.
The lawsuit is seeking “injunctive relief, civic penalties, disgorgement and damages.”
Time to take up cocktails.
“All aboard whose coming aboard”…The operators of two cruise lines were hit with a Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) class action lawsuit, alleging they’ve been sending unsolicited text messages to thousands of people’s cellular phones. And that’s not annoying, right?
Consolidated World Travel Inc., which does business as both Holiday Cruise Line and Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line, is the named defendant in the suit, which was filed by plaintiff Jason Huhn. The cruise text complaint alleges the Florida-based company sent Huhn an automated text message on his cellphone in March 2014 offering a free cruise. Free cruise? Really?
Huhn alleges the company never asked him for his consent to send him advertisements. “Defendants sent similar text messages to thousands of individuals nationwide using an automatic dialing system and without the consent of those individuals,” the complaint states. “At no point did plaintiff consent to receiving such text messages. At no point did plaintiff enter into a business relationship with defendants.”
According to the complaint, CWT sends automated text messages to individuals advertising a “free cruise” and providing a phone number that an individual must call to redeem the cruise. When the number in the text message is called, the caller is connected with a company identifying itself as “Travel Services.” The operator explains that he or she sees the caller is calling about a free cruise, and immediately “transfers” the caller to “Holiday Cruise Line,” the complaint states.
The lawsuit also names the cruise line’s Tampa-based marketing firm, Elite Marketing Inc., as well as CWT owner James H. Verrillo as defendants.
Who said what you don’t know can’t hurt you? Well, Expose did sing it but…who knew about this? AT&T must pony up $25 million to resolve claims by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) that the phone carrier failed to adequately safeguard personal data of approximately 300,000 customers. The data was stolen from call centers in Mexico, Colombia and the Philippines. Read: massive data breach.
According to the FCC, employees at call centers used by AT&T in the three countries accessed records belonging to roughly 280,000 U.S. customers without authorization. Those records were accessed without authorization, in order to obtain names, full or partial Social Security numbers and other protected account-related data. Terrific.
FYI—Those data are also known as customer proprietary network information, which require requests for handset unlock codes for AT&T mobile phones.
The FCC alleged in its complaint that the call center employees provided that data to unauthorized third parties, which included an entity that went by the alias El Pelon in Mexico, who appeared to have been trafficking in stolen or secondary market phones that they wanted to unlock. That entity allegedly used the information to make more than 290,000 unlock requests through AT&T’s website. Ringing any bells?
According to the terms of the settlement, AT&T, in addition to the $25 million penalty for the alleged violations of Sections 222 and 201 of the Communications Act, must also improve its privacy and data security practices by appointing a senior compliance manager who is a certified privacy professional, conducting a privacy risk assessment, implementing an information security program, preparing an appropriate compliance manual and regularly training employees on the company’s privacy policies and the applicable privacy legal authorities. You think?
Hokee Dokee- That’s a wrap folks…See you at the Bar!
Heads up Toyota Camry owners! The car maker is facing a defective products class action lawsuit alleging the car maker was aware of a defect in its Camry models that causes the cars’ air conditioning system to become moldy, emitting foul odors and potentially causing health problems.
Filed in Los Angeles earlier this week, the Toyota Camry lawsuit claims that Toyota’s 2012 Camry models have a “uniform and widespread defect” in the heating, ventilating and air conditioning systems that causes emissions of noxious and foul odors from the growth of mold in the system.
“Defendant has actively concealed and failed to disclose this defect to plaintiff and class members at the time of their purchase or lease of the class vehicles and thereafter,” the complaint states.
Further, the lawsuit contends that the affected Camry models’ HVAC system contains one or more design or manufacturing defect that causes the emissions of the bad odors from the mold. The plaintiffs allege that exposure to mold and its related smells is “extremely dangerous” and can lead to sickness, nasal stuffiness, eye irritation, wheezing and other health problems. Well, if it smells bad, it can’t be good for you, right?
The mold emanating from the HVAC system in the 2012 Toyota Camry vehicles allegedly grows on a part known as the evaporator, which is located inside the car dashboard. When cold refrigerant passes into the evaporator, it absorbs heat from the air in the passenger compartment and collects moisture from condensation, which creates a favorable growing condition for mold, the complaint claims.
When a consumer complains of the mold build-up in his or her Camry, Toyota “merely replaces” the defective HVAC components with the very same components, and doesn’t repair the defect, in violation of warranty, according to the lawsuit.
According to the plaintiffs, Toyota knew, or should have known, about the defect as early as 1997. However, the automaker “actively concealed” the defect and didn’t inform consumers.
Further, the complaint states that Toyota had “already offered” previous model year Camry vehicles that had similar HVAC systems and acknowledged the defects as early as 1997 and as recently as 2009.
The complaint seeks certification of a class of California purchasers of 2012 Camry vehicles.
Who’s really reaping the rewards here? Babies “R” Us, according to a consumer fraud class action lawsuit over allegations its rewards program was misleading and misrepresented what consumers actually receive when purchasing items from the retailer.
Filed by Stacy Tongate, the Babies R Us lawsuit claims that the Endless Earnings program promoted and run by Babies “R” Us offers shoppers up to 10 percent back on registry items purchased. The program, the lawsuit contends , is run in order to attract more customers to use the baby registry services.
According to the complaint, the popular children’s toy store launched the program in April 2014, offering benefits with no limits. However, The company in fact offers five percent of the first $300 spent by consumers. After the first $300, consumers are bumped up to 10 percent, Tongate claims.
The lawsuit is seeking class status for those who made purchases during the Endless Earnings program’s duration.
JPMorgan Chase has agreed to pony up $950,000 …according to the terms of a preliminary settlement agreement reached in a California labor law class action lawsuit.The lawsuit was filed by the company’s California underwriters who alleged the bank failed to pay overtime and provide proper breaks. No comment.
The proposed agreement potentially ends the three-year-old lawsuit, which was filed by two loan modification underwriters who worked at a Chase location north of San Diego. They alleged the bank was in violation of federal and state labor laws and that they suffered from overwhelming workload requirements. Filed in 2012, by plaintiffs Mary Loeza and Angie Reveles, the suit claims that Chase saddled its underwriters with unrealistic quotas for processing mortgage loan modification applications that they could not achieve without working overtime.
The plaintiffs further claimed that Chase had a strict policy on approval of overtime and would punish employees who worked it without authorization, leaving employees to work off-the-clock and through meal breaks and rest periods to meet the elevated quota, according to the settlement agreement.
“Based on their knowledge of this action, plaintiffs determined that the settlement would constitute the best outcome for class members,” court documents state. “Likewise, Chase concluded that this action should be settled in order to avoid the expense, inconvenience and burden of further legal proceedings, and the uncertainties of trial and appeal.”
The proposed class consists of approximately 838 current and former Chase employees who worked at the bank between December 11, 2008, and the date the judge preliminarily approves the agreement. If certified, the settlement will see each class member receive a share of the settlement funds, fees and expenses are paid.
Hokee Dokee—That’s a wrap folks… Happy Easter! Go celebrate!
Heads up you pizza delivery folk!! Another proposed wage and hour class action lawsuit has been filed against 70 Domino’s Franchises stores, this time in California and Arizona, by a delivery driver who alleges Domino’s fails to reasonably reimburse drivers for the costs of using personal vehicles for work, in violation of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and California labor laws.
Field by driver Derek Gibbins, the Dominos delivery lawsuit alleges franchise operator Hishmeh Enterprises Inc. uses a flawed method to determine reimburse rates. Specifically, it typically pays $1 per trip whch that does not accurately reflect costs incurred by drivers.
The complaint further claims that Hishmeh’s “systematic failure” to provide adequate reimbursement constitutes a “kickback” such that hourly wages paid to its drivers are not free and clear, resulting in net wages that fall beneath federal and state minimum-wage requirements in violation of the FLSA and state labor codes.
“The net effect of defendant’s flawed reimbursement policy is that it willfully fails to pay the federal and state minimum wage to its delivery drivers,” according to the complaint filed in California federal court. “Defendant thereby enjoys ill-gained profits at the expense of its employees.” Otherwise known as screwing your employees—allegedly.
The complaint alleges all Hishmeh drivers have similar experiences because they operate under the same reimbursement policy. The suit seeks to include an estimate of several hundred current and former Hishmeh delivery drivers in California over the past four years.
Wen will my hair stop falling out? Wen you stop using the product, although this has yet to be established. Wen Hair Products and marketing company Guthy-Renker got hit with a defective products class action lawsuit this week over allegations the line of products cause hair loss. Oh. Not so good.
The Wen haircare lawsuit, filed by women living in Florida, Hawaii, Indiana, Minnesota, New Jersey and North Carolina, the plaintiffs all allege they have suffered severe hair loss after using ‘Wen Hair Products’.
The Wen line of products is designed, manufactured and sold by Chaz Dean, a Hollywood hair stylist, and Guthy-Renker. The defendants claim that the Wen hair products condition the hair, and limit or repair damage caused by regular hair treatments and daily styling. However, not advertised is the alleged severe and possibly permanent damage to hair, including hair loss to the point of visible bald spots and severe breakage, according to the plaintiffs.
According to the lawyer representing the plaintiffs, many of the women who have suffered damage called the companies for help, only to be told that their complaints were unusual. However, the companies had received prior, similar calls, which they did not disclose. You think?
And the fallout from the 2008 mortgage-backed securities financial crisis continues… this week with final approval of a $970.5 million settlement granted by a judge for the US District Court for the Southern District of New York. Yes folks, this effectively ends the securities litigation brought by shareholders of the insurance giant American International Group (AIG). Remember them?
The securities lawsuit alleged that AIG misled investors about the subprime mortgage exposure that led to a liquidity crisis and over $180 billion in federal bailouts, to put is very simply. The investors alleged AIG failed to disclose risks it took on through its portfolio of credit default swaps and a securities lending program, leading them to buy stocks they otherwise would not have bought.
This settlement is among the largest class-action settlements to result from litigation of mortgage-backed securities and the 2008 financial crisis. The judge noted that no potential class member objected to the terms of the deal, leading her to determine it was “fair, reasonable and adequate.”
The settlement affects shareholders who bought AIG securities from March 16, 2006, to September 16, 2008.
Hokee Dokee—That’s a wrap folks…Time to adjourn for the week. See you at the bar!
Uhh…Maybe not Everyone Deserves a Happy Home? You’d think with a name like ”Homejoy Inc”, there’d be a lot of joy to go around. Well, maybe for the customer and business owners, but maybe not so much for the workers. The company is facing two potential employment class action lawsuits, alleging the company is in violation of California labor laws.
The house-cleaning business allegedly fails to pay its workers minimum wage or overtime, denies workers legally mandated breaks and requires house cleaners to incur their own business-related expenses, among other infractions, according to one lawsuit. Specifically, the lawsuit claims Homejoy misclassifies its workers as “cleaning professionals”–as independent contractors–rather than employees.
Additionally, the lawsuits allege Homejoy workers must wear a shirt with the Homejoy logo on it while servicing homes and can be subject to “performance improvement plans” if their ratings are too low. The complaints further claim that “cleaners are an integral part of Homejoy’s business of providing cleaning services, among other services, to its customers.”
The plaintiffs are seeking damages in the amount of unpaid overtime compensation, unpaid minimum-wage compensation, unpaid reimbursed business expenses, one hour of additional pay for each workday completed without meal breaks and another hour of compensation for each work day without rest breaks” all with interest. The Private Attorneys General Act action seeks civil penalties and attorney fees. Go get’em!
Heads up all Target Customers: A $10 million settlement has been reached in the Target data breach class action lawsuit. If approved, the settlement will resolve multidistrict litigation (MDL) resulting from one of the largest data breaches to date, affecting as many as 110 million Target customers.
The data breach occurred late in 2013—one of many data breaches we’ve been reporting on recently—and compromised customers’ personal information including bank and debit card information. The settlement motion requests certification of a nationwide class of an estimated 110 million consumers whose credit or debit card information or other personal information was compromised following the breach.
If you ever needed a reason to keep your paperwork—this would be it. Under the terms of the proposed settlement, affected Target customers who can document their losses will be eligible for up to $10,000 in damages. For those who cannot produce documentation, a payment will be made from the remainder of the settlement fund, once outstanding costs are deducted. The remaining balance will be divided equally.
Additionally, the agreement stipulates that Target makes a greater effort to safeguard its customer data, which would include appointing a high-level executive as chief information security officer and maintaining a written information security program, as well as a process to monitor for information security events and to respond to any such events determined to present a threat.
Well, the proof is in the doing… we can only wait and see.
Sheetrock Settlement. A $55 million settlement has been reached in an antitrust multi-district litigation (MDL) alleging price-fixing among companies that make gypsum board, commonly called drywall, sheetrock or plasterboard. While that might seem like a lot for drywall—it’s reportedly a $5 billion dollar a year industry in the US.
Preliminary approval was granted by US District Senior Judge Michael Maylson of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. He has been overseeing the case since consolidation two years ago.
The defendant TIN has agreed to pay $5.25 million to settle claims from direct purchasers of drywall and $1.75 million to settle with indirect purchasers. Similarly, USG has agreed to pay $39.25 million to settle with the direct purchasers and $8.75 million to settle with indirect purchasers. The action isn’t quite over yet—as several defendants still need to settle.
Judge Baylson has also certified several classes of plaintiffs for the explicit purpose of facilitating the settlement and without having any effect on the still-ongoing litigation.
According to the complaint, the defendants account for more than 99 percent of drywall sold in North America. They are USG, National Gypsum, CertainTeed, Georgia-Pacific, American Gypsum, Lafarge, Temple-Inland (TIN) and PABCO. Well, if it wasn’t price-fixing it was certainly one hell of a coincidence.
Hokee Dokee—That’s a wrap folks…Time to adjourn for the week. See you at the bar!