Consumer Protection

  • March 8, 2018

    Home Depot Settles $28M Suit Over Hazardous Waste Disposal

    Home Depot USA Inc. has agreed to a $27.84 million settlement with the state of California after investigations found that stores had illegally disposed of waste batteries, aerosol cans, paints and electronic devices, in violation of the state’s Hazardous Waste Control Law, the state attorney general’s office announced Thursday.

  • March 8, 2018

    9th Circ. Revives Zappos Users' Data Hack Suit Over Risk

    The Ninth Circuit on Thursday revived privacy claims brought by a putative class of Inc. customers following a 2012 data breach that affected over 24 million shoppers, reversing a lower court’s decision to toss the suit after finding an increased risk of identity theft gave the customers standing.

  • March 8, 2018

    Tool Marketer Hit With TCPA Suit Over Marketing Calls

    An Illinois man hit California-based industrial tool marketer Ace Industrial Supply Inc. with a putative class action in Illinois federal court Thursday over claims that the company is violating the Telephone Consumer Protection Act by placing excessive product-solicitation calls to customers despite their phone numbers being placed on the company's do-not-call list.

  • March 8, 2018

    Ala. Man Gets 30 Years For ID Theft, $22M Tax Fraud

    An Alabama man found guilty of defrauding the government as part of an identity theft ring that sought more than $22 million in fraudulent tax refunds was sentenced Thursday to 30 years in prison, according to an announcement from the U.S. Department of Justice.

  • March 8, 2018

    Ulta Repackages Used Products As New, Consumers Say

    Beauty supplies retailer Ulta Beauty Inc. repackages used and outdated products as new, prioritizing profits over consumers' well-being, according to a proposed class action filed Wednesday in Illinois state court.

  • March 8, 2018

    Supervalu, Albertsons Are Checked Out Of Data Breach MDL

    A Minnesota federal judge has tossed multidistrict litigation against Supervalu and Albertsons over two 2014 data breaches, holding Wednesday that the sole shopper leading the action failed to state valid claims against either retailer.

  • March 8, 2018

    US Coachways Wins Coverage Of $50M TCPA Deal

    Illinois Union Insurance Co. must cover a nearly $50 million class action settlement that resolved claims that US Coachways Inc. violated the Telephone Consumer Protection Act with text message blasts to potential customers, a New York federal judge ruled Thursday, holding that multiple sections of the insurer's policy clearly extend coverage for the claims.

  • March 8, 2018

    New Route For Privacy Suits Revives Aaron's Spying Case

    A Pennsylvania federal judge on Wednesday revived a putative class action against Aaron’s Inc. and a franchisee that alleges the rent-to-own company installed spying software on computers it leased, saying that the claims can proceed now that Wyoming’s high court has recognized the tort of invasion of privacy.

  • March 7, 2018

    UK Officials Lay Out Plan To Boost Connected Device Security

    The UK government on Wednesday rolled out a proposal to require makers of internet-connected devices such as televisions and toys to take certain steps to better insulate these products from growing cybersecurity threats, including embedding stringent security measures in the design process and labeling products with their security features. 

  • March 7, 2018

    Senate Banking Debate Lurches Toward Vote

    The Senate continued to debate a rollback of some Dodd-Frank Act banking rules Wednesday, with backers claiming reforms would take away pressure that had choked lending by smaller banks in the wake of financial institution reform.

  • March 7, 2018

    FBI Director Vows To Treat Hacked Companies As ‘Victims’

    FBI Director Christopher Wray on Wednesday promised to "treat victim companies as victims” and withhold potentially damaging corporate information from other regulatory agencies when data breaches occur.

  • March 7, 2018

    Frito-Lay Can't Duck False-Ad Claims Over ‘Natural’ Chips

    A California federal judge ruled on Wednesday that Frito-Lay Inc. must face a proposed consumer class action that alleges the company falsely marketed its vinegar-flavored chips as containing only natural ingredients, saying she could not yet determine if one ingredient, malic acid, is an artificial flavor.

  • March 7, 2018

    CFTC's Cryptocurrency Authority Backed By Fraud Suit Judge

    A New York federal judge ruled Tuesday that cryptocurrencies can be regulated by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission as commodities, rejecting a fraud defendant's argument that he and his cryptocurrency trading advice company are outside the commodities watchdog’s jurisdiction.

  • March 7, 2018

    Popcorn Snack Maker Hit With Slack-Fill Suit

    The maker of popcorn chips called Popcorners fills the bags more than halfway with unnecessary empty space, essentially making consumers pay for air, says a proposed class action filed Wednesday in New York federal court.

  • March 7, 2018

    Bancorp To Pay $3.3M In FDIC Suit Over Transaction Fees

    The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation said Wednesday that it has ordered Bancorp Bank to pay nearly $1.3 million to approximately 243,000 consumers who were assessed transaction fees greater than what the bank disclosed, as well as a $2 million civil penalty.

  • March 7, 2018

    Walmart, Collection Firm Face Class Cert. In TCPA Suit

    A consumer asked a Florida federal court Tuesday to certify a class of cellphone owners whom a Walmart-hired law firm allegedly bombarded with collection calls intended for other people, contending that the individuals are united by common questions regarding the Telephone Consumer Protection Act claims.

  • March 7, 2018

    Insurer Needn't Cover $5M HIPAA Probe Costs, 9th Circ. Says

    The Ninth Circuit on Wednesday upheld a California district court’s finding that Allied World Assurance Co. does not have to cover the $5 million Millennium Laboratories racked up defending against a federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act investigation.

  • March 7, 2018

    Yelp Wins $2M Judgment Against Online Review Co. Revleap

    A California federal court has entered a $2 million judgment in Yelp's favor, ruling online review company Revleap had violated a settlement agreement of a Yelp suit alleging Revleap had undermined it by publishing fake positive reviews.

  • March 7, 2018

    NJ Cites Cryptocurrency Co. For Unregistered Securities

    New Jersey has ordered an electronic cash investment vehicle to stop offering allegedly unregistered securities in the state as part of its efforts to crack down on cryptocurrency fraud, the attorney general announced Wednesday.

  • March 7, 2018

    Cert. 'Reluctantly' OK'd In Suit Claiming Misdated Debts

    A Pennsylvania federal judge on Tuesday “reluctantly” granted class certification in a suit against a debt collection company that allegedly misdated hundreds of debts owed to a local hospital, affecting consumers’ credit scores.

Expert Analysis

  • How Emerging Sources Of ESI Will Impact Discovery

    Charles McGee

    Late last year, the Sedona Conference released the third edition of its principles addressing electronic document production, updated to account for innovations like Snapchat and Twitter. It may be necessary for these principles to be updated more often in order to keep pace with technology, says Charles McGee III of Murphy & McGonigle PC.

  • Put The Brakes On Acceleration Bay Litigation Funder Ruling

    David Gallagher

    Last week, the District of Delaware raised eyebrows by ruling that documents provided to a litigation funder and its counsel in connection with their due diligence are categorically not attorney work product. Acceleration Bay v. Activision Blizzard seems to be a case of bad facts making bad law, says David Gallagher, investment manager and legal counsel for Bentham IMF.

  • 4 Tips For Applying Arbitration Agreements To TCPA Claims

    Michael Leffel

    With statutory damages of up to $1,500 for each call, text or fax, the Telephone Consumer Protection Act remains a hotbed of class action litigation. Attorneys with Foley & Lardner LLP discuss an additional, often overlooked, tool for defendants in TCPA cases.

  • Considerations For Attorneys Using Artificial Intelligence

    Ben Allgrove

    Artificial intelligence tools can empower attorneys to work more efficiently, deepen and broaden their areas of expertise, and provide increased value to clients, which in turn can improve legal transparency, dispute resolution and access to justice. But there are some common pitfalls already apparent in the legal industry, say Ben Allgrove and Yoon Chae of Baker McKenzie.

  • 4 Takeaways For Lenders From Recent TCPA Decision

    Eve Cann

    As Telephone Consumer Protection Act cases rarely result in favorable trial outcomes for creditors and loan servicers, there are several key practice points from a Florida federal court’s recent decision in Larry Harrington v. RoundPoint Mortgage Servicing, say Eve Cann and Keith Andress of Baker Donelson Bearman Caldwell & Berkowitz PC.

  • Auto Dealers Should Note FTC’s Deceptive Ad Actions

    Christian Scali

    The Federal Trade Commission recently announced it approved a final consent order settling charges against an auto dealership after it disseminated full-page Spanish-language advertisements in print and online. While this action is among the first taken by the FTC to explicitly pursue auto dealers who deceive consumers by switching languages, there have been similar crackdowns in recent years, say attorneys with Scali Rasmussen.

  • Series

    Judging A Book: Duncan Reviews 'Justice And Empathy'

    Judge Allyson Duncan

    In "Justice and Empathy: Toward a Constitutional Ideal," the late Yale Law School professor Robert Burt makes a compelling case for the undeniable role of the courts in protecting the vulnerable and oppressed​. But the question of how the judiciary might conform to Burt’s expectations raises practical problems​, says U.S. Circuit Judge Allyson Duncan of the Fourth Circuit. ​

  • A Fresh Look At CFPB's Enforcement Process

    Jean Veta

    In its most recent request for information the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau emphasizes seven aspects of its enforcement process that “may be deserving of more immediate focus.” Because the process is a series of interrelated steps, changes to any one of these areas may impact, or be impacted by, changes to other areas, say Jean Veta and Eitan Levisohn of Covington & Burling LLP.

  • Your Case Was Remanded By The MDL Court — Now What?

    Brandon Cox

    Multidistrict litigation is an ever-expanding driver of product liability litigation, but when the MDL process runs its course there is often still a trial to be had, and there are strategic and practical decisions to consider once a case has been remanded. Brandon Cox and Charissa Walker of Tucker Ellis LLP offer tips on how to navigate the remand process.

  • The Art Of The Litigation Funding Deal

    Julia Gewolb

    As litigation funding becomes more widespread, greater complexity and variability in funding deals are to be expected. All claimants should consider certain key questions on the economics of single-case funding when considering or comparing funding terms, says Julia Gewolb of Bentham IMF.