Consumer Protection

  • March 29, 2017

    Kimberly-Clark's Cost-Cutting Caused Gown Issues, Jury Told

    A former Kimberly-Clark director testified in California federal court Wednesday as the first witness in a class action trial alleging the health care products maker passed off porous surgery gowns as essentially impermeable, saying in a recorded video that the problems resulted from product changes made “to improve the bottom line.”

  • March 29, 2017

    7th Circ. Says Collector Misled Consumer About Old Debt

    The Seventh Circuit on Wednesday affirmed a ruling that debt collector Portfolio Recovery Associates had run afoul of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act in its efforts to recoup an old consumer debt, finding the letter it sent to the debtor failed to clearly communicate that the debt had expired. 

  • March 29, 2017

    Ambit Energy Gets RICO, Rate Suit Thrown Out

    An Illinois federal judge has granted summary judgment to natural gas supplier Ambit Energy Holdings LLC and tossed a proposed class action brought by a ratepayer who alleged the company broke its promises, jacked up rates and violated the Racketeer Influence and Corrupt Organizations Act, ruling the company's conduct did not constitute mail or wire fraud.

  • March 29, 2017

    LA Hotel Owner Adds Tips Without Warning, Suit Says

    SBE Entertainment Group LLC is advising customers to add a tip on room service orders at the Mondrian Los Angeles in West Hollywood, but that gratuity is already included, according to a proposed class action in Los Angeles Superior Court on Tuesday.

  • March 29, 2017

    5 Ways IPO Prospects Can Boost Cybersecurity Readiness

    Cyberattacks are a big enough headache for a private company, but the risks take on new meaning for a company considering going public, where they will face far more regulatory scrutiny and risk investor backlash should their sensitive data be breached. Here are five ways IPO prospects can boost their cybersecurity readiness before catching the public's eye.

  • March 29, 2017

    DOL Fights Request To Halt Fiduciary Rule At 5th Circ.

    The U.S. Department of Labor on Wednesday urged the Fifth Circuit not to halt its fiduciary rule for retirement account advisers while the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and other groups attempt to revive their challenge of the rule, saying the “extraordinary relief” is not warranted.

  • March 29, 2017

    2nd Circ. Judge To Lead Supreme Court Unclaimed Funds Suit

    The U.S. Supreme Court appointed a high-ranking special master on Wednesday in a dispute between Delaware and several other states over more than $162 million in unclaimed MoneyGram funds. 

  • March 29, 2017

    Justices Set Tough Standard For State Credit Card Fee Laws

    A Wednesday U.S. Supreme Court ruling that a New York law restricting credit card fee disclosures regulated retailers' speech puts similar statutes around the country on shaky ground.

  • March 29, 2017

    PG&E To Pay $86.5M Over San Bruno Explosion-Linked Talks

    Pacific Gas and Electric Co. has agreed to pay $86.5 million to settle allegations over its closed-door communications with state regulators following the 2010 San Bruno gas line explosion, according to a Tuesday filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

  • March 29, 2017

    Ford To Spend $295M On Door Latch, Fire Risk Recalls

    Ford Motor Co. on Wednesday announced two recalls — one for a fire risk, and another for a door latch problem — covering about 440,000 cars in North America, saying in a securities filing that it expects to spend around $295 million to fix the issues.

  • March 29, 2017

    BNY Mellon Ducks Calif. Wrongful Foreclosure Class Action

    The Bank of New York Mellon and a handful of mortgage businesses dodged a proposed class action over wrongful foreclosures on Wednesday when a California federal judge found the Orange County homeowner who filed the case doesn’t have standing to sue.

  • March 29, 2017

    J. Crew Dodges Suit Over Terms Of Service Liability Statement

    A would-be class action alleging J. Crew Group Inc.’s online terms of service illegally absolved the company of legal liability for customer claims cannot proceed, a New Jersey federal court ruled Wednesday, finding there was no concrete harm suffered by the plaintiffs per the U.S. Supreme Court's Spokeo decision.

  • March 29, 2017

    FCC’s Pai Seeks Internet Without ‘Heavy-Handed’ Regs

    Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai doubled down Wednesday on his theme of a new “light touch” approach that promotes investment at the FCC, advocating for an internet freer from “heavy-handed” regulation in a speech that also touted new telecom cooperation between India and the U.S.

  • March 29, 2017

    Charter Internet Users Sue Over Slow Speeds

    Charter Communications was hit with a putative class action in California federal court on Tuesday that seeks to bring together millions of consumers who experienced slower-than-advertised internet speeds.

  • March 29, 2017

    Santander Settles Probe Of 'Predatory' Car Loans For $26M

    A division of Santander on Wednesday agreed to pay $26 million to settle allegations that it made unfair subprime auto loans to buyers who couldn’t actually pay them off in a scheme reminiscent of the one that led to the housing collapse.

  • March 29, 2017

    Rehab Co. Wins Arbitration Bid After Forum Availability Tussle

    A family’s medical negligence lawsuit against a Diversicare Healthcare Services Inc. rehabilitation facility has to go into arbitration, a Texas federal court ruled Tuesday, finding the unavailability of the originally specified arbitration forum did not render the agreement invalid.

  • March 29, 2017

    Monsanto Denied Pause Of Doc Handover In Syngenta MDL

    A Kansas federal judge has denied Monsanto’s bid to pause a magistrate’s order last week that its former in-house counsel hand over documents to a group of corn producers in multidistrict litigation over Syngenta’s allegedly false promotion of genetically modified corn.

  • March 29, 2017

    Spectrum-Surfing NY Judge Bails Out Of AG's Net Speed Suit

    New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman's big-dollar suit accusing Charter Communications of fleecing 2.5 million Empire State web surfers with false promises of fast internet over its Spectrum service will have to wait for a judge who surfs with Verizon — or not at all — after a Wednesday recusal.

  • March 29, 2017

    High Court Says NY Credit Card Disclosures Regulate Speech

    The U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday asked a federal appellate court to determine whether a New York law that restricts the disclosures retailers can make to customers about credit card surcharges violated retailers’ First Amendment rights, vacating the lower court’s ruling that upheld the law.

  • March 28, 2017

    Ford Nears Coordinating Hundreds Of Defect Cases In Calif.

    A California state appeals court indicated Tuesday it was likely to let Ford Motor Co. coordinate hundreds of additional cases alleging defects in Focus and Fiesta transmissions, saying the panel was split but inclined to find a trial court erred in refusing the request.

Expert Analysis

  • Series

    Advocate For An Agency: Ex-FERC GC Cynthia Marlette

    Cynthia Marlette.jpg

    Cynthia Marlette, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's general counsel from 2001 to 2005 and from 2007 to 2009, reflects on how she addressed the job's many responsibilities, including advising the commission on laws and enforcement actions, developing policy, seeking consensus among commissioners, and overseeing defense of agency actions in court, as well as dealing with historic events like the California energy crisis.

  • EU Endocrine Disruptor Fights Could Lead To US Litigation

    David Schwartz.jpg

    A battle is raging in the European Union over the regulatory status of endocrine disrupting substances. This debate could have dramatic implications for U.S. litigation over personal care products, food, household cleaners, agricultural chemicals, pharmaceutical products and other substances. Relevant product manufacturers must be ready for the coming onslaught, says David Schwartz of Innovative Science Solutions LLC.

  • And Now A Word From The Panel: MDLs And The High Court

    Alan Rothman

    On the heels of last week’s confirmation hearings for U.S. Supreme Court nominee Judge Neil Gorsuch, this month’s column by Alan Rothman of Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer LLP explores the impact that various high court decisions have had on multidistrict litigation practice, and the statutory role that the Supreme Court plays with respect to the panel and MDLs.

  • Rising Student Loan Defaults Signal Litigation Ramp-Up

    Vaishali S. Rao

    When default rate increases begin to trend in particular markets, regulators take policy, legislative and enforcement actions in an attempt to correct the marketplace. Current student loan market signals, notably the rise in student loan defaults, make student lending market participants susceptible to increased regulatory scrutiny, and likely resulting spikes in follow-on private litigation as well, says Vaishali Rao of Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP.

  • ITC False Ad Decision Shows The Breadth Of Section 337

    Beau Jackson

    The U.S. International Trade Commission’s recent decision in Certain Woven Textile Fabrics highlights the advantages of using Section 337 to combat a variety of harmful imports, not just those associated with intellectual property infringement, say Beau Jackson and Michael Doman of Adduci Mastriani & Schaumberg LLP.

  • Judge Gorsuch's Dubious Commitment To Legal Textualism

    Max Kennerly

    In practice, being an “originalist” or a “textualist” is a lot like being “gluten-free” except when it comes to pasta and bagels. Most “textualists” are happy to apply these concepts rigorously when it will produce the result they want — but they’ll relax or ignore them if it produces a politically inconvenient outcome. Judge Neil Gorsuch seems to fit this profile, says Max Kennerly of Kennerly Loutey LLC.

  • Are Your In-House Lawyers Happy?

    Aric Press

    What is the mood of the nation’s in-house lawyers? Aric Press — a partner at Bernero & Press LLC and former editor-in-chief of The American Lawyer — shares the findings of a recent survey of more than 800 in-house counsel.

  • Proposed Rules Pose Challenges For Pharma Reps In Chicago

    Erik Snapp

    Pharmaceutical companies and their representatives must prepare to navigate new licensing regulations in Chicago in order to market or promote their products to health care providers. Attorneys with Dechert LLP explain the proposed rules and analyze what the changes will mean for pharmaceutical companies and their representatives.

  • Plaintiffs Continue To Target Retail Text Programs

    Michael P. Daly

    One of the most vocal critics of the Federal Communications Commission’s 2015 Telephone Consumer Protection Act ruling was now-Chairman Ajit Pai, and his predictions have been borne out. Amid the millions of consumers shopping for goods and services is a small but steadily growing number of plaintiffs shopping for something else — a class action seeking staggering statutory damages, say Michael Daly and Meredith Slawe of Drinker Bi... (continued)

  • Challenging Personal Jurisdiction In Online Conduct Cases

    Blaine C. Kimrey

    A discussion of personal jurisdiction is conspicuously absent from an Illinois federal judge's recent opinion in Rivera v. Google. However, it seems that a company like Google could rely on past Seventh Circuit and U.S. Supreme Court decisions to dispute personal jurisdiction when there are no contacts between the defendant and the forum state, other than those created by the plaintiffs, say Blaine Kimrey and Bryan Clark of Vedder Price PC.