Ford is not in the driver’s seat on this one…They got hit with a defective design class action this week, alleging certain Ford Explorer, Ford Edge and Lincoln MKX models allow carbon monoxide to enter the passenger compartment. Yeah, not so good guys. The suit covers 2011-2015 Ford Explorers as well as Edge and MKX models from 2011-2013 with 3.5L and 3.7L TIVCT engines.
The proposed Ford class action was filed on behalf of New Jersey owners or lessors of the vehicles in question. The complaint also proposes a subclass of consumers with claims under New Jersey’s Lemon Law for claimants who reported the defect to Ford in the first two years or 24 months of ownership.
According to the legal documents, Ford has known of the defect since 2012 but has not warned owners to get it fixed. Surprised? Apparently Ford has issued two technical safety bulletins to dealers about the problem but to date, has not notified owners, despite the related safety hazard. Ford has attempted to fix the problem on customers’ vehicles with a variety of remedies but none have proved effective, according to the complaint.
“Given that the defect renders driving the subject vehicles a health hazard that is potentially deadly, the vehicles are valueless,” the lawsuit states.
The lawsuit alleges breach of implied and express warranty, violation of the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act, of the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, and of the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Warrant Act, also known as the Lemon Law. Love that Lemon Law!!!
Capital One should change its tag line…from “What’s in your Wallet” to “If at first you don’t succeed.” These guys are frankly, incorrigible—nay—unrepentant. They are facing yet another robocalls class action lawsuit—this one against Capital One Financial Group. Filed by plaintiff Nakia Pitr, this latest lawsuit alleges Capital One is in violation of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act by calling consumers through robodialing without their consent. Yeah, know this one off by heart.
Pitre claims in the Capital One lawsuit that within the space of two months, she received 37 calls on her cellphone from the bank, despite not being a customer. Capital One ignored her requests to stop calling, she claims.
According to the lawsuit, the calls were from the company’s credit card division. During each of the calls she received and answered, she told the bank they had the wrong number and asked them to stop calling. However, she continued to receive calls. According to the suit, the frequency and nature of the calls indicates they were made from an automatic telephone dialing system.
Pitre further alleges she has never been a Capital One customer, has never given the bank her number or given her consent for them to call her.
If approved, the class would include anyone contacted by Capital One using a robodialing system from July 1, 2014, through July 2, 2015, without prior consent and who received calls after asking not to be contacted.
FYI—the case is Pitre v. Capital One Financial Corporation, case number 1:15-cv-00869, in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia.
Not a class action settlement—but a significant settlement none the less. Sadly, at great personal expense. Boston Scientific has been ordered to pay a $100 million settlement by a jury hearing the case of a women who suffered injury from the company’s Pinnacle and Advantage Fit vaginal mesh. Fifty-one year old Deborah Barba was awarded $25 million in compensatory damages with an additional $75 million in punitive damages.
In her personal injury lawsuit, Barba alleged she received a Boston Scientific’s Pinnacle mesh product in 2009 for pelvic organ prolapse (POP) and stress urinary incontinence (SUI). However, following the implant she began experiencing serious medical complications and despite two subsequent surgeries to rectify the problems, parts of the vaginal mesh implant remain in her body and continue to cause her pain.
The trial took just two weeks, after which the jury reached a decision within seven hours. They found Boston Scientific was negligent in designing and making the devices and that it had failed to warn patients and doctors about potential risks.
To date, this verdict is the largest regarding litigation over transvaginal mesh devices against Boston Scientific or any other mesh manufacturer. The company announced last month it had reached agreements to pay about $119 million to resolve 2,970 cases about transvaginal mesh. There are more than 25,000 defective product lawsuits pending against Boston Scientific concerning injuries resulting resulting from the Pinnacle mesh implant.
Reuters reports that this latest verdict is the sixth so far against the company by women who say that the devices are poorly designed and use subpar materials, resulting in painful physical injuries such as bleeding, infection and pain during sex.
That’s a wrap folks…See you at the Bar!
Toyota not Taking TCPA Siriusly? Toyota’s off to a banner start this year—they got hit with a Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) class action lawsuit this week alleging the automaker gave customer information to Sirius XM Holdings Inc., which made a number of unsolicited calls to the plaintiff’s cellphone in violation to the Telephone Consumer Protection Act.
According to the Toyota lawsuit, plaintiff Brian Trenz claims he and others were victims of an information-sharing agreement between Toyota and Sirius. The alleged agreement enables Toyota to share customer data with Sirius in exchange for temporary free trials of Sirius’ radio entertainment services in new and preowned cars Toyota sells. The lawsuit claims that Sirius then used that information to make unauthorized calls to Trenz’s cellphone, which is a violation of the TCPA.
“Sirius makes these telemarketing calls in order to convert the recent purchasers of these Toyota vehicles into paid subscribers of Sirius,” according to the lawsuit.
According to the complaint, Trenz bought a Chevy truck from a Texas Toyota dealership in September 2014, after which, the plaintiff alleges, Sirius made more than 30 calls to his cellphone using an automatic dialing system, in violation of the TCPA. Trenzclaims that none of the sales documents from the Toyota dealership included a warning that Trenz’s information might be given to a third-party like Sirius, and Sirius never sought or received his consent for the call. When Trenz asked Sirius call representatives how they obtained his information, they were allegedly forthright about having obtained it from Toyota, the lawsuit states.
Similarly, Trenz claimed a Toyota dealership employee assured him it was “common knowledge” that the information would be passed along. According to the lawsuit, Trenz was unaware of a free trial of Sirius’ services included in the purchase of his truck, and did not become aware of the availability of the service until he began receiving the calls. Further, Trenz claims that Sirius radio never worked in his vehicle, and he never listened to it.
Even though Sirius is responsible for the calls, Toyota is vicariously liable for the TCPA claims because the company provided the customer information, the complaint states.
The lawsuit seeks certification of a nationwide class consisting of anyone who received unsolicited calls from Sirius in the four years prior to the complaint, regardless if they first bought a car from a Toyota dealership. In addition, the suit seeks a separate nationwide subclass of individuals who first bought a new or preowned car from a Toyota dealership with a free Sirius trial and received unsolicited calls from the company in the last four years.
The lawsuit is case 3:15-cv-00044, in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California.
Is the Overdraft Fee Straggler Finally Settling? Capital One Bank NA has been ordered to pay in excess of $31.7 million to settle a multidistrict litigation (MDL) alleging several banks processed customer transactions in an order that would make the banks the most in overdraft fees.
The Capital One MDL settlement received preliminary approval Wednesday, and follows earlier settlement agreements made with several other banks named in the suits, which were filed in 2010. Hello!
A final approval hearing has been requested for May. The plaintiffs state that the agreement is “an outstanding result for the settlement class.” If approved, it will see a cash payment amounting to roughly 35 percent of the most likely maximum recovery the settlement class could have recovered through a trial.
Class members who do not choose to opt out of the settlement will automatically receive pro-rated shares from the settlement fund.
What’s Cooking in Wolfgang’s Kitchens? A $1.7 million settlement for a California unpaid overtime class action lawsuit, that’s what. The lawsuit was brought against Spago Beverly Hills, Wolfgang Puck Bar & Grill in Los Angeles, and Chinois in Santa Monica, California by some 900 current and former employees at the restaurants.
According to the terms of the Wolfgang Puck settlement, $7,500 will be paid to lead plaintiff Ruben Sanchez, who filed the lawsuit in December 2012. He claimed Wolfgang Puck’s restaurants violated wage and hour laws, and failed to reimburse employees for business-related expenditures, among other labor violations. According to court documents, there are 888 eligible employees who will participate in the settlement.
Additionally, the restaurant company will pay $10,000 to the California Labor and Workforce Development Agency, and if more than $10,000 of the class checks should turn out to be uncashed, undeliverable or expired, the difference would go to class members who cashed their checks within 90 days of the mailing on a pro rata basis. If the amount is less than $10,000, it will instead go to the Los Angeles Center for Law and Justice.
The case is Ruben Sanchez et al. v. Wolfgang Puck Fine Dining Group et al., case number SC119342, in the Superior Court of the State of California, County of Los Angeles.
Hokee Dokee- That’s a wrap folks…Time to adjourn for the week. Happy New Year!
Not “What’s in your wallet?” but… “Who’s in Your Wallet – Again?” Can you guess? Yup—Capital One Bank. This time they’re facing a consumer fraud class action lawsuit alleging its Best Buy co-branded credit cards have an annual fee, in contrast to the advertising for the card, which claims there is no fee. Make sense?
Here’s the backstory. Filed by John Graham, the potential Capital One class action entitled, John Graham v. Capital One Bank (USA), NA, Case No. 13-cv-743, U.S. District Court, Central District of California, alleges that Graham applied for a “no annual fee” Best Buy Reward Zone Credit Card from Capital One but was issued a card that had an annual fee of $39. According to the lawsuit, disclosures for the credit card clearly stated in large type: “Annual Fee: NONE.” Graham claims that had he known there would by an annual fee, he would not have applied for the Capital One Best Buy credit card. FYI Best Buy is not named as a defendant.
This is a national lawsuit, so it seeks to represent all US residents who, between May 8, 2011 and the present, submitted a Best Buy Reward Zone Credit Card Application containing a promise of “no annual fee” but who were subsequently mailed a Capital One credit card that carries an annual fee. Gotcha! (pun intended).
H&R Block Lawsuits Piling Up. Another consumer fraud class action lawsuit has been filed against H&R Block, this time by a woman in Indiana on behalf of some 600,000 people allegedly affected by faulty tax returns prepared by the tax services company. H&R Block acknowledged the filing glitch earlier this year.
Plaintiff Lisa Marie Waugh filed the H&R Block class action lawsuit in federal court in April. The class action law suit claims that Missouri-based H&R Block incorrectly prepared hundreds of thousands of tax returns, and due to those errors tax refunds were delayed by as much as six weeks beyond when they supposed date of payment.
The problem specifically relates to a change in the way the IRS processes certain yes or no questions on this year’s tax forms. Previously, tax preparers like H&R Block could leave a space blank to indicate “no,” but now they must enter an “N.”
However, H&R Block did not update its software in time and follow the new IRS rule. According to an email H&R Block President Bill Cobb sent to customers, anyone that filed their returns before February 22 was affected by the technical glitch, the Indystar.com reports.
According to the lawsuit, some customers lost their eligibility for student loan and grant programs that are dependent upon proper tax filings.
QuickTrim—the Diet Product that’s not only Light on Calories…This week, a proposed settlement was announced, which, if approved, would end the consumer fraud class action lawsuit pending against the Kardashian sisters, their product QuickTrim, and several retailers. LawyersandSettlements.com first reported on the QuickTrim lawsuit back in March, 2012.
Specifically, the QuickTrim settlement resolves allegations that improper statements were made on the labels and in advertisements for the Quicktrim Weight Loss System® and its component products including QuickTrim Sugar & Carb Cheater®, QuickTrim Fast Cleanse®, QuickTrim Extreme Burn®, QuickTrim Burn & Cleanse®, QuickTrim Hot Stix®, QuickTrim Fast Shake®, QuickTrim Satisfy®, and QuickTrim Celluslim® (“The Products”).
Unless you purchased directly from QuickTrim you must submit a timely Claim Form to get compensation or a coupon. Direct Purchasers will automatically receive payments unless they chose to receive a coupon by submitting a Claim Form or exclude themselves from the Settlement.
To download claim forms, learn more about your options, and for general information on the lawsuit, visit https://www.anayasupplementsettlement.com.
The laundry list of defendants, who, not surprisingly, admit no wrongdoing, includes Quick Trim LLC., Windmill Health Products, LLC, Kimberly Kardashian, Khloe Kardashian-Odom, Kourtney Kardashian, Kris Jenner, Jenner Communications, Inc., Kimsaprincess, Inc., Khlomoney Inc., 2Die4Kourt, Inc., GNC Corp., CVS Pharmacy, Inc., Walmart Corp., Amazon.com Inc., Drugstore.com., Christopher Tisi, Vitaquest International, LLC. (“collectively “the Quick Trim Parties” or “Defendants”).
And on that note, it’s time to consume some calories…
That’s a wrap. See you at that bar…Happy Friday folks and Happy Mother’s Day to all moms out there!
Pay your staff overtime? Just do it! A former employee of the San Francisco NikeTown Store has filed a wages and overtime class action complaint against Nike alleging that the sporting goods manufacturer failed to compensate him for overtime, meals and rest breaks as well as any additional shifts he worked. The lawsuit has two (2) potential classes: “All employees of Defendants who worked as Sales Associates, or any other non-exempt job position, who were subject to Defendants’ policy of searching Defendants’ employees upon exiting one of Defendants’ store locations in California from December 28, 2007, to the date of filing this Complaint.” This group is hereinafter referred to as the “California Class.” This period of time is hereinafter referred to as the “California Class Period.”
And, “All employees of Defendants who worked as Sales Associates, or any other non-exempt job position, who were subject to Defendants’ policy of searching Defendants’ employees upon exiting one of Defendants’ store locations in the United States of America from December 28, 2008, to the date of filing this Complaint.” This group is hereinafter referred to as the “Nationwide Class.” This period of time is hereinafter referred to as the “Nationwide Class Period.”
The employment lawsuit was filed by Webster Proctor, on behalf of himself and behalf of others similarly situated. According to the complaint, Proctor was employed by Nike from approximately April 2010 until approximately May 2011. During that time he alleges in the lawsuit that he generally worked four (4) 8-hour shifts per week and was deprived of pay for all the hours he worked, meal and rest breaks, and proper overtime pay.
Specifically, the wages and hour class action lawsuit alleges: failure to compensate employees for all hours worked; failure to pay overtime; failure to provide meal and rest periods; failure to furnish accurate wage statements; failure to maintain employee time records; and unfair competition.
Is it snake oil? An unfair business practices lawsuit against dietary supplement distributors Iovate Health Sciences Inc., and Iovate Health Sciences USA Inc., look certain to be settled as the companies have agreed to pay $1.5 million in civil penalties and costs. This is reportedly the second largest multidistrict attorney dietary supplement settlement of its kind in California.
The lawsuit was brought by the District Attorney’s Office in Santa Cruz, Napa, Alameda, Marin, Monterey,
What Happened to that ‘Good Will Toward Men’ Thing? ‘Tis the season–and this thing called good will towards men apparently hasn’t caught on yet–in some parts. Case-in-point–Capital One. They’re facing a class action over allegations that they illegally obtain background checks on folks applying for jobs with the company. What’s in your wallet indeed!
The lawsuit was filed on behalf of Plaintiff Kevin Smith and seeks to represent a class of all Capital One employees and job applicants for the past three years.
Essentially, the lawsuit accuses Capital One of violating the Fair Credit Reporting Act (“the Act”) Act in a two ways. First, the lawsuit alleges that Capital One’s authorization form is flawed. The law imposes strict formatting requirements on companies who do background checks. The lawsuit alleges that by burying its background check authorization in a job application, including extraneous information, Capital One violated the law. On this claim, Capital One may be liable to all employees and prospective employees who signed Capital One’s standard job application.
Second, the lawsuit also alleges that Capital One failed to provide copies of the reports when it used them to take adverse employment actions, such as refusing to hire an applicant, refusing to promote an employee or terminating an employee. This practice also violates the Act, which requires companies to provide employees with copies of their background checks.
The lawsuit is potentially valuable to class members. Employees and prospective employees may be entitled to statutory damages of up to $1,000 for each violation. “Based on our understanding of Capital One’s practices, everyone who has applied or worked for Capital One in the past three years should be eligible to receive statutory damages if our lawsuit succeeds,” attorneys for the plaintiff(s) state.
Next up–Apple. All I have to say about this is Really? Here’s the skinny…
Cheap to the (Apple) Core? The uber cool icon of new technologies for the 21st century has been hit with an employment class action lawsuit. The suit alleges that Apple devised an illegal scheme of classifying at-home call center employees as independent contractors in order to avoid paying Apple’s share of payroll taxes and other business related expenses through the use of a Yellow Dog Contract.
According to the lawsuit, Apple “hires workers to answer calls from its customers in regard to billing questions and technical support” but has devised an unlawful scheme of classifying the employees as independent contractors in order to avoid paying for regular and overtime hours worked as well as the “the cost of the employer’s share of tax payments to the federal and state governments for income taxes, social security taxes, medicare insurance, unemployment insurance and payments for workers’ compensation insurance.” The complaint specifically alleges that in order to avoid the payment of these costs as required by law, the at home call center employees “are required by APPLE to each form a separate Virtual Services Corporation to act as a shell corporation as part of the scheme to insulate APPLE from APPLE’s liability for APPLE’s Business Related Expenses.” The class action lawsuit against Apple refers to these agreements between Apple and the employees as “Yellow Dog Contracts” that violate not only employment laws, but also fundamental public policy.
A Fee-for-All at Walmart? Walmart has agreed to a $13.5 settlement of a securities class action this week. The lawsuit was brought by employee Jeremy Braden, and others, who alleged that the retail giant, together with Bank of America’s Merrill Lynch unit, passed along “unreasonably high fees and expenses” to its 2 million workers who had 401(k) plans. As with many 401(k) plans, Walmart’s contained a mixture of mutual funds representing investments in the bond and stock markets. The costs of managing those funds were passed along to employees.
According to a report in the AARP Bulletin the Walmart “settlement is a legal landmark because Walmart provides one of the largest 401(k) plans in the world and is the nation’s largest private employer, with more than $400 billion in annual sales.”
The timing is interesting in that the US Department of Labor is currently refining regulations around “fiduciary duty” and fee disclosure in 401(k) plans. And, the government is pressing for full disclosure of all fees paid to middlemen such as savings plan managers and wants stricter legal guidelines on how to provide the most prudent offerings at the lowest possible cost.
“I believe my account has experienced a loss in value, due to the reduced return on my investment in those plan investment options caused by the unreasonably high fees and expenses in those funds,” Braden stated in the lawsuit.
Under the terms of the settlement, Braden will collect $20,000. “Other employees covered by the class action suit will not receive payouts, but will benefit in the form of up to $9 million in reduced fees going forward. Lawyers for the plaintiffs will collect as much as $4 million,” AARP Bulletin reported.
Ok–That’s enough for this week. See you at the bar.