Consumer Protection

  • November 23, 2020

    World of Warcraft Co. Faces Privacy Suit Over Tracking Code

    Blizzard Entertainment Inc. has been spying on World of Warcraft players' mouse clicks and keystrokes in violation of California privacy law with the help of a tracking code supplied by Mouseflow Inc., according to a class action filed Friday in California federal court, the second such suit filed last week.

  • November 23, 2020

    Teva's Bid To Duck MDL Trials Slammed As 'Fool's Errand'

    A group of drug buyers and states asked a Pennsylvania federal judge Friday to reject Teva Pharmaceutical's bid to scrap a bellwether trial in multidistrict litigation over civil price-fixing claims to await the outcome of related criminal charges, calling the drugmaker's efforts to keep witnesses from overlapping a "fool's errand."

  • November 23, 2020

    Trade Groups Press Case In CFPB Payday Rule Suit

    Two payday lender trade groups told a Texas federal judge that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau still hasn't shown why it should be allowed to move forward with the remainder of its 2017 payday lending rule, pressing to bring their more than two-year-old court challenge to a close.

  • November 23, 2020

    Supplier Sued Over $5.4M In FDA-Barred Sanitizer Wipes

    A logistics and distribution company on Friday hit a supplier with a breach of contract suit in Georgia federal court seeking to recoup $5.44 million for money spent on sanitizing wipes that don't comply with U.S. Food and Drug Administration standards and can't be sold legally in the U.S.

  • November 23, 2020

    Jacoby & Meyers Slams Renewed Cert. Bid In Billing Suit

    Jacoby & Meyers LLP and Finkelstein & Partners LLP slammed a motion by a proposed class of ex-clients to renew a class certification bid in a billing suit, arguing Friday that the members are not typical of most certified classes and that they don't show that common issues dominate their action.

  • November 23, 2020

    CFPB Insists Student Loan Biz And Exec Must Cough Up $53M

    The U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau asked a California district judge on Monday — for a second time — to make a business owner and his firm pay more than $53 million for their role in an alleged $11.8 million student debt relief scheme.

  • November 23, 2020

    NHTSA Eyes New Self-Driving Car Regulatory Framework

    The U.S. Department of Transportation has signaled that it may eventually adopt new safety standards for vehicles with automated driving systems, taking a big step that could boost development of passenger-carrying autonomous vehicles while ensuring that new technologies still undergo sharp scrutiny.

  • November 23, 2020

    UK's CMA Mulling Complaint Over Coming Google Changes

    The U.K.'s competition enforcer said Monday it is reviewing a complaint from a coalition of online marketers contending that changes Google plans to implement to its browser will further cement the search and advertising giant's "dominance of online business."

  • November 23, 2020

    Tobacco Cos. Seek Extra Delay Of Graphic Cigarette Warnings

    Big Tobacco on Monday asked a Texas federal court to further postpone the effective date of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's new requirement for graphic warning labels on cigarette packs, saying questions over the validity of the rule still remain unanswered.

  • November 23, 2020

    LinkedIn 'Recklessly' Overreported Ad Metrics, Ad Buyers Say

    An individual and a corporate ad buyer filed a putative class action against LinkedIn in California federal court after the workplace social media giant announced it overreported some advertising metrics, alleging the ad buyers paid for ineffective ads while LinkedIn knowingly hid the true metrics or should have known its metrics were off.

  • November 20, 2020

    Apple Wants Data Withheld From Google's In-House Attys

    Apple Inc., AT&T, advertising company GroupM and a slew of others urged a District of Columbia federal court Friday to only allow Google's outside counsel to access their most sensitive confidential information in the U.S. Department of Justice's suit accusing the internet giant of illegally maintaining its monopolies.

  • November 20, 2020

    FTC Wants Bannon Forced To Talk About Cambridge Analytica

    The Federal Trade Commission is urging a D.C. district judge to force former top White House adviser Stephen K. Bannon to testify about his involvement in the harvesting of personal information from millions of unwitting Facebook users by his now-defunct political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica, asserting that Bannon has been dodging requests to appear at a hearing for more than a year. 

  • November 20, 2020

    11th Circ. Nixes Widow's Win In Engle Tobacco Suit

    Big Tobacco scored a win in one of the last Engle progeny cases pending in federal court Friday, with the Eleventh Circuit finding that a widow can't collect on her husband's death because neither of his conditions qualified him as a member of a historic tobacco class action.

  • November 20, 2020

    Alsup Denies 'Convoluted' Class Cert. Bid In Lyft ADA Suit

    U.S. District Judge William Alsup has denied wheelchair users' renewed bid for class certification in their disability discrimination suit against Lyft Inc., stating in an opinion Thursday that the proposed class definition is "convoluted" and that the class action waiver and arbitration agreement is the "elephant in the room."

  • November 20, 2020

    Fla. Judge Says Attys On 'Thin Ice' After FCRA Claims

    A Florida federal judge issued a stern warning in lieu of sanctions Friday to two attorneys who lender BlueChip Financial and its CEO claimed had pursued frivolous Fair Credit Reporting Act violation claims against them, cautioning the lawyers that they were "on thin ice."

  • November 20, 2020

    Debt Relief Co. Sued By Feds For Telemarketing, False Claims

    An Illinois company that purported to provide debt relief and credit repair services baselessly told customers it could lower or eliminate their student loan payments and charged disproportionately high fees for the work, according to a suit filed Friday by the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection.

  • November 20, 2020

    FCC's Starks Urges Internet Access Equality Amid Pandemic

    Democratic Federal Communications Commissioner Geoffrey Starks is pressing his colleagues to do more to expand broadband access to minority and other marginalized communities during the COVID-19 pandemic, emphasizing that the public health crisis' disproportionate impact on those groups has also highlighted significant service gaps.

  • November 20, 2020

    Pep Boys Customer Can't Revive Tire Regs Suit For Now

    The Third Circuit ruled Friday that a Pep Boys Manny Moe & Jack Inc. customer, for now, can't pursue her proposed class claims that the company didn't assist her in registering her new tires with the manufacturer, reasoning that the alleged oversight didn't result in any injury.

  • November 20, 2020

    Conagra Says Buyer Is Playing 'Games' With Label Suit

    Conagra Brands Inc. on Friday slammed a bid by a buyer to amend her proposed class action alleging the company's cooking oils are not "pure and 100% natural" as advertised, saying the motion is "gamesmanship" and comes too late to save her claims.

  • November 20, 2020

    FCC Tells Inmate Calling Services To Limit Fees, Be Candid

    The Federal Communications Commission published an enforcement advisory reminding telecom providers of inmate calling services to abide by its rules, including following rate caps and complying with their "duty of candor" to the commission in their submitted reports.

  • November 20, 2020

    J&J Unit, PE Firm To Pay $11.5M Over FCA Claims

    A Johnson & Johnson unit and a private equity firm will pay a combined $11.5 million to resolve False Claims Act allegations in Pennsylvania federal court that a former J&J subsidiary had promoted a medical procedure for unapproved uses on children, prosecutors said.

  • November 20, 2020

    Salesforce, Clothier Ring Up $400K Data Breach Deal

    Hanna Andersson and Salesforce.com asked a California federal court Thursday to grant preliminary approval of a $400,000 settlement with customers of the clothing retailer over a data breach they say led to the information of over 200,000 being compromised.

  • November 20, 2020

    Marriott Investor Looks To Save Data Breach Suit

    A shareholder is fighting Marriott International Inc.'s bid to toss his lawsuit filed on the hotel giant's behalf in Maryland federal court following a 2018 customer data breach, saying he has successfully argued that most of the company's board members have a personal interest in the suit's outcome.

  • November 20, 2020

    Timeshare Owners Ask 11th Circ. To Revive Marriott Suit

    Timeshare owners urged the Eleventh Circuit on Friday to reverse the dismissal of their proposed class suit claiming Marriott Ownership Resorts Inc. duped them into buying invalid real estate deals via a points program, arguing the lower court decision turns Florida property law on its head.

  • November 20, 2020

    Airbnb Home Invasion Suit Sent To Arkansas, Not Arbitration

    Airbnb Inc. can't force arbitration of a family's claims blaming the reservation platform after they were robbed and held hostage by masked gunmen in an Argentina property, but the dispute should be litigated in Arkansas, an Illinois federal judge said Friday.

Expert Analysis

  • How Joe Biden Will Change The FDA: Part 1

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    During the Trump administration, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has tended to issue warning letters and other regulatory tools to secure voluntary corrective actions, but the Biden administration is likely to pursue more vigorous judicial enforcement, including through consent decrees and criminal referrals, say attorneys at Covington.

  • Ethics Considerations For Law Firms Implementing AI

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    Richard Finkelman and Yihua Astle at Berkeley Research Group discuss the ethical and bias concerns law firms must address when implementing artificial intelligence-powered applications for recruiting, conflict identification and client counseling.

  • What Calif.'s New Consumer Debt Law Means For Collectors

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    Brett Watson at Cozen O’Connor explains what California's recently enacted Debt Collection Licensing Act means for debt collectors, including how they should prepare to comply, how the act interacts with existing state laws, and whether to expect forthcoming enforcement actions.

  • Picking The Right Location And Tools For Virtual Courtrooms

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    Attorneys should consider the pros and cons of participating in virtual court proceedings from home versus their law firm offices, and whether they have the right audio, video and team communication tools for their particular setup, say attorneys at Arnold & Porter.

  • 5 Red Flags For Pandemic-Related Investment Scams

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    As the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission clamps down on fraudsters seeking funding for pandemic-related products and services, several warning signs can help identify investment scams, says Alan Rosca at Goldman Scarlato.

  • What To Expect From CPSC During The Biden Era

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    With President-elect Joe Biden set to take over the White House in January, we can expect new appointments to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, but longtime priorities of consumer advocates may have to wait for complete Democratic control of Congress, says Mike Gentine at Schiff Hardin.

  • Beware Atty Ethics Rules When Reporting COVID-19 Fraud

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    Attorneys considering blowing the whistle on False Claims Act violations by recipients of COVID-19 relief may face a number of ethical constraints on their ability to disclose client information and file qui tam actions, say Breon Peace and Jennifer Kennedy Park at Cleary.

  • Looking For Judicial Activists? Check The Footnotes

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    U.S. Supreme Court nominees typically face intense questioning over potential judicial activism, but a better way to gauge judges' activist tendencies may be to look at the footnotes in their opinions, say Christopher Collier at Hawkins Parnell and Michael Arndt at Rohan Law.

  • Rebuttal

    Courts Are Not Confused About Opioid Insurance Suits

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    Although a recent Law360 guest article claimed that confusion has seeped into decisions concerning insurance coverage for opioid lawsuits, courts have addressed the issue clearly and consistently in holding that commercial general liability policies cover the defense of such cases, say attorneys at Miller Friel.

  • Best Practices For Legal Technology Adoption

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    The pandemic has accelerated the need to improve the practice of law through technology, but law firms and in-house legal departments must first ensure they have employee buy-in and well-defined processes for new digital tools, say Dan Broderick at BlackBoiler and Daryl Shetterly at Orrick.

  • Opinion

    FTC Exceeded Its Authority In Zoom Cybersecurity Settlement

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    In light of the Federal Trade Commission's requirement, in excess of its statutory authority, that Zoom overhaul its data security as part of a recent deceptive practices settlement, companies shouldn't assent to unfounded relief even when challenging the agency could result in costly litigation, say attorneys at Orrick.

  • The Pandemic's Long-Term Impact On Law Firm Operations

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    Brian Burlant at Major Lindsey looks at how pandemic-era remote work has changed the way law firms operate — from shifts in secretarial functions to associate professional development — and explains why some alterations may be here to stay.

  • Treasury Stance On Ransomware Payment Could Hurt Targets

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    Recent statements from two U.S. Department of the Treasury offices indicate that paying off ransomware with cryptocurrency may trigger certain registration requirements and U.S. sanctions scrutiny, placing a significant regulatory burden on cybervictims and their incident response consultants, say attorneys at McDermott.

  • Opinion

    Lack Of Access To Remote Court Proceedings Is Inexcusable

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    Blanket rules that bar recording or dissemination of remote public court proceedings impede presumptive common law and First Amendment right of access, greatly expand courts' powers over nonparties, and likely run afoul of U.S. Supreme Court precedent, says Matthew Schafer at ViacomCBS.

  • OFAC Cyber Ransom Guidance Has Insurance Implications

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    A new advisory from the U.S. Department of the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control will likely cause delay in insurance coverage determinations for ransom payments, but there are steps policyholders can take to secure coverage for restoration costs when a ransom is not paid, say attorneys at Hunton.

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