On Friday, September 23, 2016, Yahoo Inc. ("Yahoo" or the "Company") was hit with three proposed class action lawsuits, two in California and one in Illinois, just one day after the Company announced it had been hacked in 2014. The Company revealed that over 500 million people had their personal information, including names, passwords, security questions and answers, dates of birth, email addresses, and telephone numbers stolen from Yahoo's online database. The Company believes that the hack was executed by a state-sponsored actor - in other words, an unidentified foreign government.
Trying to stay healthy by avoiding sugar in your diet? Well that may be difficult if the label listing ingredients on a product uses creative terms such as "cane juice" instead of explicitly listing sugar.
In light of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's proposal to ban arbitration clauses, U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff recently denied Uber Technologies Inc.'s ("Uber" or the "Company") push for customers to arbitrate their claims with the Company.
The connotation of the word "natural" may be followed by images of flowers growing in a large field or a glacial waterfall rushing down a forest mountainside. So, naturally, consumers may be surprised to see synthetic ingredients such as Methylisothiazolinone or Benzisothiazolinone on their natural-labeled products. In fact, a class action lawsuit against Seventh Generation Inc. ("Seventh Generation" or the "Company") accused the Company of illegally misleading consumers by labeling its cleaning products as "natural," despite its use of synthetic preservatives.
Many consumers would be thrilled to find they get a free trial subscription for Sirius XM's ("Sirius") satellite radio with their car purchase. But once the free trial is over, many of those same customers who did not continue their subscription become less than pleased to receive phone calls from Sirius encouraging them to re-subscribe. At least, that is what happened to Francis W. Hooker Jr. ("Hooker"), who filed a class action on behalf of himself and others similarly-situated against Sirius for allegedly violating the Telephone Consumer Protection Act ("TCPA").
Arbitration clauses have changed significantly as online transactions have become even more ubiquitous. In a consumer transaction, arbitration clauses dictate the venue and means by which a consumer complaint may be brought. While traditionally easy to enforce, the "clickwrap" or "browsewrap" formatting of online consumer agreements create new legal questions surrounding enforceability that have not existed before.
Drug makers are required to list potential side effects on labels and take the necessary and reasonable steps to ensure that prescribing doctors are aware of any risks to patients. Unfortunately, a mistake at any point, whether in the testing, packaging or taking a drug to market, can have a negative impact on consumers, who may then have to sue the drug company for product liability.
Class action lawsuits relate to a specific area of law, and many people are not aware of how class actions work. Here let's go over the basics.
In October we discussed a New Jersey bill that, if passed into law, would reduce penalties for some companies that commit technical violations of the state's Consumer Fraud Act. One aspect of the bill, which you can read more about in our previous post, allows companies to avoid having to pay plaintiffs' legal fees and other costs if the violation in question did not result in loss to the consumer.
Honda Motor Co. and Takata Corp. are the targets of a recently filed lawsuit alleging the manufacturers prioritized profits over customer safety. The suit, which seeks class-action status, claims that Takata built cheap airbags to cut costs and that Honda bought the airbags to cut manufacturing expenses. Consequently, the airbags are "killing and maiming drivers and passengers involved in otherwise minor and survivable accidents."