Legal Wrinkle for Estee Lauder? Estee Lauder has come under fire this week, for claiming it’s Advanced Night Repair skin care products can make you look younger… Bottom line, Donna Tomasino of New York has filed a consumer fraud class action lawsuit against the cosmetics company, alleging Lauder practices misleading advertising regarding its Advanced Night Repair skin care products suggesting that the products promote DNA repair and other anti-aging effects.
The Estee Lauder class action, entitled Donna Tomasino v. The Estee Lauder Cos. Inc., et al., Case No. 1:13-cv-04692, in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York, claims that Tomasino purchased Estee Lauder’s Advanced Night Repair Synchronized Recovery Complex and Advanced Night Repair Eye Synchronized Complex because of claims made by the company’s advertisements. However, Tomasino claims, there is no product testing to back up the alleged anti-aging claims.
“The clinical studies and other data that Estee Lauder represents as supportive of the claimed efficacy results are nothing more than a continuation of defendants’ misleading practices—each of the studies is designed to be used in the marketing materials to support the claimed efficacy and defendants know that consumers will not see the results these studies purportedly represent,” the lawsuit states.
Tomasino also alleges Estee Lauder created the claims in its advertising campaign for the Advanced Night Repair products even though the company knows the advertising claims are false. And, because EL is allegedly motivated by profit, it deliberately misleads its customers into believing that the products have anti-aging effects so that they will spend a higher price for the Advanced Night Repair line of products.
“In sum, Estee Lauder dupes consumers with false and misleading promises of product results based on purported scientific discoveries that it knows it cannot deliver. Estee Lauder does so with one goal in mind, reaping enormous profits at the expense of consumers,” the Estee Lauder skin cream class action lawsuit states.
If your wrinkles haven’t disappeared with the use of these products, you may be interested in signing up.
HP Communication Breakdown? Also in consumer fraud spotlight this week—Hewlett Packard. Apparently their wireless printers are not good at communicating with computers. Filed in California federal court by plaintiff Vincent Ferranti, the HP defective products lawsuit, entitled Vincent Ferranti v. Hewlett Packard Co., Case No. 5:13-cv-03847, alleges that Ferranti purchased two HP wireless printers, both of which were found to contain faulty receivers, which negatively affected the printers in that they were unable to maintain consistent connections with the computers.
Ferranti further alleges users of HP wireless printers are forced to plug the printer into a computer in order to print something. “The HP printers’ wireless connectivity intermittently stops working for no reason,” the class action lawsuit states.
The HP printer lawsuit names HP’s Officejet Pro 8500 and 8600 Wireless All-in-One printers as defective, and states that HP either knew or should have been aware of the connectivity issue on or before April 2009. Ferranti further alleges HP “actively concealed” the defect from consumers and continues to sell these printers without warning consumers “that the printer’s wireless function was defective and would fail with normal use.”
The lawsuit seeks to represent a class of thousands of consumers who purchased or leased the HP Officejet Pro 8500 or 8600 Wireless All-in-One printers.
Heads up NFL! (pardon the pun). A landmark settlement has been reached between 4,500 former football players, their families and the National Football League (NFL) this week, ending a deceptive business practices class action focusing on the impact of concussions on the brain.
“It’s been a struggle to get to this point, but today I will say I’m very proud that the NFL has decided to stand up for all the former players who are suffering from brain injuries,” Kevin Turner, a former NFL running back who has been diagnosed with ALS, said during a teleconference. “Today is so important for those who are…hurting. This will bring help for them today.”
The NFL concussion settlement, according to reports from CNN.com requires the NFL to pay $765 million to fund medical exams, concussion-related compensation, medical research for retired NFL players and their families, and litigation expenses.
The settlement, filed in US District Court in Philadelphia, is pending final court approval.
Former U.S. District Judge Layn Phillips, the mediator in the lawsuit, called the settlement “a historic agreement, one that will make sure that former NFL players who need and deserve compensation will receive it, and that will promote safety for players at all levels of football.”
“My hope is that any players or ex-players that are suffering, or begin to suffer, from symptoms of dementia, will be taken care of in a respectable manner through this settlement,” said Chris Dronett, one of the plaintiffs, whose husband Shane Dronett committed suicide in 2009 at age 38. Scientists found evidence of chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE, in Shane’s brain after his death, CNN.com reported.
The lawsuit alleged that the NFL led a deliberate misinformation campaign—primarily through its Mild Traumatic Brain Injury Committee—to deny scientific data being presented in the medical community about health risks associated with concussion. And, the lawsuit claimed, that misinformation, trickled down to players so that they were unaware of the real nature of the risks they were taking while playing football.
Included in the settlement is the establishment of a $675 million fund to compensate players who have suffered brain injury, or their families; a maximum of $75 million for retired players’ medical exams, which could be used to diagnose future neurodegenerative disease; and $10 million devoted to research and education. The funds will be dispersed over the next 20 years.
Well done, and not a moment too soon.
Ok Folks, That’s all for this week. Enjoy that 3-day weekend and we’ll see you at the bar!
NCAA Concussion Lawsuit Filed. Again. It’s about time! Two former college football players who suffer from the residual effects of head injuries filed an class-action lawsuit against the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), accusing the governing body of neglecting to protect student-athletes from concussions and their aftermath.
The class action lawsuit accuses the NCAA of turning a blind eye to coaches who teach players to use their heads for tackling, failing to establish a NCAA-wide system for screening head injuries and shirking its financial obligations to injured student-athletes who need medical treatment after they’ve left college.
The case alleges that despite a mounting body of scientific evidence linking concussions to depression, dementia and early-onset Alzheimer’s, among a host of other medical problems, the NCAA has failed to enforce the safety measures it introduced in the 1970s. The lawsuit further claims that NCAA football coaches continue to encourage players to use tackling methods that promote head trauma, including helmet-to-helmet hits. The harshest penalty ever imposed on coaches who teach this tactic was a letter of reprimand, according to the complaint.
The lead plaintiffs in the suit are former University of Central Arkansas wide receiver Derek K. Owens and former Northwestern University offensive lineman Alex Rucks, who say their lives have been fundamentally altered as the result of brain trauma that could have been prevented.
Owens, 22, was hit in the head from behind while taking part in a voluntary practice the summer before his freshman season. According to the complaint, Owens never received medical attention from the team despite feeling dizzy, having difficulty seeing and being unable to drive home. The 2008 incident was the first of numerous head injuries for Owens, who was named Arkansas’ Top Offensive Player and one of the state’s top Scholar-Athletes his senior year of high school.
The second week of his first season, a linebacker knocked Owens unconscious in practice, according to the lawsuit. UCA’s trainers told Owens’ roommates he had a “severe concussion” and to wake him up every couple of hours. He sat out for several weeks until he was cleared to return to the practice team. During a 2010 game, Owens was returning a punt when he was leveled by an opposing player, who later called the play “the highlight of his career,” according to a story in the Tulsa World. Owens experienced memory loss, headaches, an inability to concentrate, anxiety and depression. His grades plummeted despite his once-sterling academic record. In May of 2011, he dropped out of school and football as a result of the debilitating effects of repeated head trauma.
Rucks, who played at Northwestern from 2004 to 2008, was never formally diagnosed with a brain injury, but suffered numerous blows to his head that led to symptoms consistent with a concussion. The NCAA never tested or followed-up with Rucks to determine whether he’d been concussed, or if he was experiencing post-concussion syndrome, the lawsuit alleges.
Since his playing days, Owens has suffered from the symptoms of post-concussion syndrome, including the loss of concentration and memory, according to the complaint.
The lawsuit alleges the NCAA never encouraged football players to report or complain about their physical well-being, nor does it educate players about head-injury prevention or the telltale symptoms of a concussion.
The lawsuit, a class action, seeks to represent current or former NCAA football players who have medical or team records indicating they sustained a concussion(s) or suffered concussion-like symptoms while playing football at an NCAA school, and who have, since ending their NCAA careers, developed chronic headaches, dizziness, dementia, Alzheimer’s disease or other physical and mental problems as a result of the concussion and have incurred medical expenses from such injuries.
All class members would be notified that they may require frequent medical monitoring. NCAA-wide return-to-play guidelines would be established. The NCAA would mandate that team physicians learn to detect concussions and sub-concussions, as well as determining when a player is at an increased risk of harm. It also seeks to redress the intangible losses suffered by these class members.
Asbestos Mesothelioma Lawsuit Settlement. Another asbestos settlement to report this week. A jury in Orleans Parish Civil District Court has ruled that three companies are liable for $7.55 million in damages for exposing former employee Thomas Kenney to asbestos. Kenny has been diagnosed with malignant asbestos mesothelioma.
Mr. Kenney sued Rexam Beverage Can Co., John Crane Inc and Haveg Inc, among others, claiming that he was exposed to asbestos while working in a canning factory and a refinery in the 60s and 70s. The jury hearing his case found John Crane, Rexam and Haveg liable for Kenny’s asbestos exposure and Rexam liable for the dangerous levels of asbestos, which was located in its canning factory in New Orleans’ Mid-City neighborhood. The old canning factory has since been refurbished and converted into an apartment complex.
Reebok to Atone for its Toning Shoes Claims: While the jury may be out on whether or not these shoes actually do tone your butt and abs, the Federal Trade Commission isn’t wasting time making up its mind. Reebok has agreed to pay $25M to settle charges brought by the Federal Trade Commission alleging that the athletic shoe manufacturer falsely advertised its “toning” shoes, making claims that the shoes could measurably strengthen the muscles in the legs, thighs and buttocks.
Among the claims the FTC found offensive–and possibly downright misleading—are that the EasyTone footwear is proven to increase the strength and tone of your gluteus maximus muscles by 28% (really?) and give you 11% more strength in your hamstring and calf muscles—(really)—compared with regular walking shoes—whatever those are.
The FTC settlement is the first, and results from its investigation into the advertising claims made by Reebok. However, other companies such as New Balance and Sketchers have also aced lawsuits over their advertising claims.
Ok—That’s it for this week. See you at the bar!