Do You Trust John Hancock Insurance?…The John Hancock ad campaigns center on “trust”, but after a bad faith insurance class action lawsuit was filed against John Hancock Life Insurance Company over allegations it fails to settle death benefits, that trust may be out the window for some.
This latest class action lawsuit, filed by Richard Feingold and entitled Richard Feingold v. John Hancock Life Insurance Company, Case No. 13-cv-10185, U.S. District Court Massachusetts, Boston, claims that John Hancock only paid him as a beneficiary of his late mother’s life insurance policy, four years after her death in 2006, when Feingold discovered she had the policy. Feingold alleges he found information on the Illinois treasurer’s website which showed he had unclaimed property owed to him from John Hancock through his late mother’s policy. Up until that point, Feingold was unaware, he claims, that his mother had a life insurance policy, or that he was owed death benefits. He subsequently contacted the insurer and was paid, however John Hancock refused to provide him with a copy of his late mother’s policy, or any explanation about the benefits he received.
The potential class action claims that John Hancock routinely checks the Social Security Administration’s master death list so it can halt payments to annuity holders who have become deceased; however the insurer fails to check the same database to see if a life insurance policy holder has died so the company can promptly pay beneficiaries. Essentially, the John Hancock class action lawsuit claims, the insurer uses the information solely for its own benefit.
FYI—John Hancock recently ponied up $13 million to settle allegations brought by six states that it didn’t work hard enough to pay life insurance benefits. Slow learners maybe? Um. Maybe not.
More on Granuflo Lawsuits. This has been all over the news recently. DaVita Healthcare, a national dialysis treatment provider that uses Granuflo and Naturalyte during hemodialysis, is facing four potential personal injury class action lawsuits.
The DaVita dialysis class actions allege the clinics should have known of the risks for serious adverse health effects associated with Granuflo and Naturalyte and acted accordingly to reduce those risks to patients. Those serious health issues include cardiac arrest and sudden death.
Granuflo and Naturalyte are dialysis products made by Fresenius Medical Care. In March 2012, prompted by reports of adverse events, the Food and Drug Administration issued a Class I recall of both Naturalyte and Granuflo.
The four class action lawsuits have been filed by plaintiffs Donald Thornton, Melvin Nunes, Donald Young and Armando Moreno, all in the US District Court for the District of Colorado. The lawsuits seek to represent any person treated at a DaVita Healthcare clinic with Granuflo or Naturalyte products.
3-Minute Abs? Really? How are your abs, by the way? Feeling a tad underutilized, ignored even? Are they retaliating by morphing into some indistinguishable, gelatinous shape that is slowly obliterating any view you had of your feet? Yeah, you know what I’m talking about…
So do the folks at Ab Circle Pro. Problem is, their fix ain’t on the level. So the makers of Ab Circle Pro have agreed to pay as much as $25 million to settle charges of consumer fraud brought by The Federal Trade Commission (FTC). You may be familiar with the consumer fraud claims, but if not, according to the FTC, Ab Circle Pro claimed, among other things, that their device could cause rapid and substantial weight loss and that three minutes of exercise on the Ab Circle Pro was equal to 100 sit-ups. (Oh yeah baby—sign me up!)
The official short version…According to the FTC, in advertisements, the defendants promised that a three-minute workout on the Ab Circle Pro—which is a fiberglass disk with stationary handlebars and two knee rests that roll on the edge of the disk, allowing consumers to kneel and rotate side-to-side—was equivalent to doing 100 sit ups. In the infomercial, pitchwoman Jennifer Nicole Lee compared the Ab Circle Pro to a gym workout, saying, “You can either do 30 minutes of abs and cardio or just three minutes a day. The choice is yours.” The infomercial claimed that consumers using the Ab Circle Pro for three minutes a day would “melt inches and pounds,” and featured Ab Circle Pro users claiming they had lost as much as sixty pounds. Consumers buying through the infomercial typically paid $200 to $250 for the device, while the price for those buying from retailers varied more widely. I think $250 could buy a lot of situps…
And, the FTC charged all the defendants except Lee and her companies with making false and/or unsupported claims, including that using the Ab Circle Pro caused rapid or substantial weight and fat loss; resulted in loss of weight, fat, or inches in specific parts of the body, such as the abdomen, hips, buttocks, and thighs; provided fat loss and weight loss equivalent to, or better than, a much longer gym workout; and provided the same rapid and substantial weight loss that people who provided testimonials for the infomercial said they experienced. The complaint also charges the Fitness Brands, Inc. defendants with providing the means to Direct Holdings Americas, Inc. and Direct Entertainment Media Group, Inc. to deceive consumers.
The defendants are Fitness Brands, Inc., Fitness Brands International, Inc., and the two individuals who control them, Michael Casey and David Brodess; Direct Holdings Americas, Inc. and Direct Entertainment Media Group, Inc.; infomercial producer Tara Borakos and two companies she controls, Tara Productions Inc. and New U, Inc.; and Jennifer Nicole Lee and two companies she controls, JNL, Inc. and JNL Worldwide, Inc.
So, in the interests of honesty and fair play, the defendants have agreed to pay money to provide refunds to eligible consumers who bought the Ab Circle Pro. The amount of the refund will depend on the number of claims submitted and approved. To find out about making a claim visit: http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/cases/abcirclepro/9—which doesn’t necessarily have to involve getting off the couch…
Ok—that’s a wrap. See you at the bar—and make mine a diet soda this time. Happy weekend!
I’m gearing up—with mere weeks to go—for baring what I can this summer in a bathing suit. After 3 kids and a grand exodus out of my 20’s (alright, 30’s too), hopes for a bikini bod may be right up there with my hope to have been creator of LinkedIn (#IPO!!). Delusional I may be, but hope rings eternal and—dammit—I’m going to get into a 2-piece this summer. Won’t be a D&G string bikini—my fantasies don’t extend to role-playing Eve donning a leaf or two for coverage and my wallet, well, just doesn’t extend period—but lose the Speedo I shall. So I’m shopping for fitness equipment, and I happen upon the Ab Circle Pro. Come check it out with me…
First stop, the Ab Circle Pro website. First question? Who the hell is Audrina Patridge? Ditto Jennifer Nicole Lee. And as for Amanda Beard, well, her “before” photo has her looking a bit pregnant and my guess on how she lost that 45 lbs is it was more a result of delivering her baby vs. the Ab Circle Pro. A bit dubious. But no, I am not jaded.
So the Ab Circle Pro website is beckoning me to “take the ride of your life”. The “ride” is a get-on-all-fours on what’s basically one of those disc sled saucers—knees resting on moveable pads that can rotate around the rim of the saucer. I wanted a better view, so I hopped over to Consumer Reports Ab Circle Pro video (above)—always good for some unbiased input. And what do you know? They pretty much slam the contraption as not worth it. Hmm.
Next, my interest piqued, I decided to search for Ab Circle Pro reviews—which landed me at the mother of all marketplaces, Amazon. Here’s a little depiction of what I found there (as of 5/19/11):
Seems the Ab Circle Pro only got a 1-star rating by close to 50% of those who bought and tried it. And there are two interesting trends in all those reviewers comments:
1. The Ab Circle Pro is described with words like “falls apart”, “cheap construction”, “paint peeling”, “wheels come off”, “quality sucks”. Described consistently I might add. Hmm.
2. The Ab Circle Pro seems as connected to the words “injury” and “damage” as downing a daily Klondike bar is connected to keeping the pounds on. No kidding—here are some comments:
Ab Circle Pro Knee Injury: “This is an excellent piece of crap. From the time it comes to your home it keeps on injuring you…when you are using it screws your knees“
Ab Circle Pro Knee Injury: “All buyers need to be careful of this machine. It is unsafe. Depending on the level of your workouts, you can throw yourself out of the knee holders. I did this and ended up having surgery on my shoulder for a torn rotator cuff! I found out, when I called and explained the situation to the customer service rep, that I could have gel knee pads to put in the cups for an extra fee! I told them that I was injured by this machine due to not having the gel inserts and required surgery! I got them for free, and I can see why, the gel inserts are garbage! I do not use this machine anymore. It scares me! The surgery I had was the worst in pain and now my ROM is restricted. If you buy this, please be cautious as to how you use it and if you are smart, you will avoid it all together.”
Not to mention several stories from people who resorted to either Vaseline® or Pam cooking spray to lubricate the Ab Circle Pro’s parts.
I Googled Ab Circle Pro a bit more—only to find my search revealed new keyword associations like “Ab Circle Pro Back Pain Damage to Lower Spine” as the headline of a user’s comment over at Complaints Board. Which also led me to two individuals who found themselves with fractured Humerus bones, apparently compliments of that “ride” of their lives on Ab Circle Pro.
Crowning touch? The handful of folks who’ve gone as far as to suggest an Ab Circle Pro lawsuit or an Ab Circle Pro class action. Hey, wait a minute! That just might make for a story over at LawyersandSettlements.com (wink-wink)…
This is not boding well for my get-a-bikini-bod plan. Or maybe it is—keep the Speedo, get in shape the tried and true old-fashioned way with some exercise and a few less Lindt truffles—and skip risking an Ab Circle Pro injury and the aggravation of a piece of junk that falls apart. Maybe for some folks the Ab Circle Pro is the way to go, but for my pre-buy review, I think it’ll be buyer beware…