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Consumer Fraud Archives

A Nightmare for Connecticut Homeowners: Defective Foundations

Many Connecticut homeowners who likely expected to hear happy sounds emanating from family gatherings, graduations and grandkids years down the road from their property purchase are instead hearing noises of horror coming from the foundations of their homes.

Enforcing Online Arbitration Clauses is Losing in Courts

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.

Some Debt Collection Tactics Aren't Just Annoying, They Are Also Illegal

According to the Pew Charitable Trusts, 80 percent of U.S. adults are in debt. This number includes debts related to mortgages, auto loans, credit cards, medical services and student and personal loans. A 2015 Nerdwallet analysis of Americans' debt revealed that, on average, U.S. households carry debts of roughly $130,000 with those related to mortgages and student loans being the most costly.

CFPB to Issue Proposal on Class Action Bans in Consumer Contracts

Later this week, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau ("CFPB") is expected to issue a proposal that would prevent the use of class action bans in contracts between consumers and banks, as well as other firms. This proposal may, in fact, prove tantamount to a ban on arbitration clauses altogether, because it doubly burdens affected businesses with the costs of both defending against class actions and covering the costs of arbitration proceedings in individual cases, which may prompt them to remove arbitration clauses from their contracts. Proponents believe that the effects of this action will better equip consumers to seek and receive recompense from businesses, particularly in situations in which the individual damages would be too small to justify the costs of arbitration.

Supreme Court Decision May Increase in Medicare and Medicaid Qui Tam Lawsuits

Through Medicare and Medicaid, The U.S. government provides and subsidizes medical care for individuals who meet certain qualifying criterion. Doing so, comes at a hefty cost and during 2014 federal Medicare spending topped $618 billion while Medicaid spending totaled more than $495 billion.

Chipotle Accused of Lying About GMOs in Food

In recent years, there have been many questions and concerns raised about the safety and possible negative heath effects associated with the consumption of genetically modified organisms. According to the non-GMO Project, while many countries have enacted strict bans on GMO products, GMOs "are in as much as 80 percent of conventional processed food," that is made, marketed and sold in the U.S.

Did Your Car Dealer Fail to Disclose a Recall Notice?

According to Carfax, during 2015, some 51 million motor vehicles in the U.S. were impacted by recalls-the highest number on record. From faulty ignition switches to defective airbags, in many cases these recalls relate to problems that, if not repaired, could result in a driver or passenger suffering serious or fatal injuries.

PHH Case Poised to Test CFPB's Constitutionality

PHH Mortgage Corp. ("PHH") filed a case that will bring into question the constitutionality of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau ("CFPB") in light of a recent decision made by its Director, Richard Cordray. PHH is challenging Cordray's interpretation of violations under the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act ("RESPA") that allowed him to change a $6 million penalty handed down by an administrative law judge, to the $109 million that the CFPB director handed down when PHH appealed the original decision.

Uber Settles Another Case

Previously, we have written about cases involving Uber Inc. ("Uber" or the "Company") and its ridesharing safety checks. In February, Uber agreed to settle a class action pending in California federal court that raised questions about the Company's "safe ride" fees. The proposed $28.5 million settlement will benefit roughly 25 million riders that utilized the ride hail company from January 2013 to January 2016. Now, Uber has chosen to settle another case in which the State of California filed suit because Uber allegedly misled consumers because of the way it claimed to screen drivers.

Medical equipment maker settles qui tam lawsuit, whistleblower to receive $5.38M

During 2012, the medical device and equipment industry in the U.S. grossed revenues of more than $64 billion. Since that time, revenues have only increased and are expected to continue to skyrocket in the coming years. With so much money at stake, competition between medical equipment and device makers is fierce. At times, some companies may resort to business practices that teeter on or cross over the line of not only being unethical, but also illegal.