Consumer Protection

  • September 21, 2017

    Herbalife Scams Consumers With 'Event System,' Suit Says

    Global nutrition supplement company Herbalife Ltd. and 44 of its top distributors have been hit with a putative class action in Florida federal court that plaintiffs say has the potential to result in up to $1 billion in damages on allegations the company is using a pyramid scheme to bait consumers with the "promise of riches."

  • September 21, 2017

    Gatorade Won’t Talk Trash About Water After Settlement

    In a $300,000 settlement with California, Gatorade has agreed not to show water unflatteringly in any advertisements, after releasing an app game that misleadingly depicted water as a hindrance to athletic performance, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra announced Thursday.

  • September 21, 2017

    Allscripts Seeks Pause For 7th Circ. Ruling On TCPA Consent

    Allscripts Healthcare Solutions Inc. asked an Illinois federal judge Wednesday to stay a proposed class action against the company over advertising faxes that lacked opt-out clauses, arguing the court should first see whether the Seventh Circuit decertifies a Telephone Consumer Protection Act class in a related suit.

  • September 21, 2017

    Toys R Us Allowed To Continue Customer Rewards Programs

    Loyal customers of Toys R Us were given reassurance Thursday that the bankrupt retail giant will make good on gift cards and other consumer-friendly deals after it received court permission to maintain its customer programs, shortly after gaining access to $2.2 billion in post-petition financing.

  • September 21, 2017

    Tribal Lender Claims Immunity From Challenge To Immunity

    An online lender accused of striking “rent-a-tribe” deals with a Native American tribe in order to benefit from tribal immunity urged a Virginia federal judge Tuesday to dismiss a proposed class action over its lending practices, saying it is, in fact, a sovereign arm of the Chippewa Cree tribe and therefore immune from the litigation alleging false immunity.

  • September 21, 2017

    Delta Settles Fraud, TM Suit With Travel Website

    Delta Airlines and a travel website accused of duping customers into believing it was a representative for the airline asked a New Jersey federal judge Thursday to sign off on a permanent injunction that would prevent the website from using Delta trademarks.

  • September 21, 2017

    Hyundai Consumers Send Peeling Paint Claims To 9th Circ.

    A proposed class of Hyundai drivers on Wednesday said that they’re planning on appealing to the Ninth Circuit a California judge’s decision to ax their claims that the automaker sold cars with defective paint that peels and flakes far too soon.

  • September 21, 2017

    Home Depot 'Scorched Earth' Plan Merits $18M Fee, Attys Say

    Attorneys who secured a $27.25 million settlement for banks and other financial institutions against Home Depot over the retailer’s 2014 data breach blasted opposition to their $18 million fee request on Thursday, arguing that the company’s own “scorched earth” litigation tactics dragged the case out longer than necessary.

  • September 21, 2017

    Tesla Uses Test-Drivers’ Personal Info For Marketing: Suit

    Tesla Inc. stores and transmits consumers’ personal information to credit companies that assess drivers’ creditworthiness for the automaker’s marketing and sales purposes, a driver has alleged in a proposed class action filed in California federal court.

  • September 21, 2017

    FDA Must Respond To Teething Safety Petition, Suit Argues

    Liberal consumer advocacy group Public Citizen on Thursday asked a D.C. federal court to make the U.S. Food and Drug Administration respond to its July 2014 citizen petition regarding safety concerns about an ingredient in infant teething products and medicines.

  • September 21, 2017

    Health App Settles FTC Claims Over Broken Customer ‘Pacts’

    Pact Inc. has agreed to pay $940,000 to settle allegations that its mobile application falsely promised to pay users for meeting weekly exercise or diet goals, which the company calls “pacts,” and for continuing to charge them after the service was canceled, the Federal Trade Commission announced Thursday.

  • September 21, 2017

    FCC's Wireless Report Is Misleading, Media Org. Charges

    A forthcoming Federal Communications Commission report on investment in the wireless industry is effectively a setup for an anticipated push by the agency to roll back net neutrality rules, media advocacy group Free Press charged in a letter to FCC Chairman Ajit Pai this week.

  • September 21, 2017

    Mott's Beats Fruit Snack False Labeling Class Action

    Mott’s fruit snack labels couldn’t have tricked consumers into thinking they were “nutritious and healthful,” a California federal judge said Wednesday, finding that claims in a proposed class action were contradicted by the snacks’ labels themselves, which said they were “not intended to replace fruit in the diet.”

  • September 21, 2017

    Auto Software Maker Accuses Rival Of IP Cybertheft

    An Illinois-based maker of software designed to let car enthusiasts and repair shops tune vehicle computers went after a rival in Washington federal court Wednesday for allegedly hacking into the company's systems and making off with trade secrets.

  • September 21, 2017

    SoulCycle Customer Can’t Intervene To Challenge Settlement

    A California federal judge presiding over a lawsuit accusing SoulCycle of selling illegally expiring certificates for its classes blocked a bid by a customer bringing his own lawsuit against the indoor cycling club to intervene and challenge a pending settlement, saying Wednesday that the request came too late.

  • September 21, 2017

    Truffle Tiff Targeting Trader Joe's Oil Expands To 3 Suppliers

    Shoppers who say that Trader Joe's charged them premium prices for imported truffle-flavored olive oil that contains no "black truffle whatsoever" added a California importer and two Spanish food companies Wednesday to a Manhattan class action targeting the grocery giant.

  • September 20, 2017

    Data Theft Not Enough To Keep OPM Breach Suit, Judge Says

    A D.C. federal judge on Tuesday nixed multidistrict litigation brought against the U.S. Office of Personnel Management and contractor KeyPoint Government Solutions in the wake of a massive data breach that compromised personal data belonging to 21.5 million current, former and prospective government employees, ruling that the theft of data alone was not enough to establish standing.

  • September 20, 2017

    Pathogen-Killer Claims Unfair, Medical Co. CEO Testifies

    Medical garment maker Vestagen Protective Technologies has gained an unfair market advantage by making false and unlawful claims that its products kill 99 percent of all pathogens, the CEO for rival Strategic Partners testified Wednesday in a California federal trial where his company is defending against theft of trade secret claims.

  • September 20, 2017

    Wilmington Trust Fights Student Loan Fund's Block On Exit

    Wilmington Trust Co. accused a troubled student loan investment fund of seeking to “conscript” WTC into extended administrative service Tuesday, despite the company's formal resignation in the wake of chronic control disputes, alleged improper instructions and widening litigation.

  • September 20, 2017

    9th Circ. Upholds Amazon's Win In List-Price Class Action

    A Ninth Circuit panel Tuesday affirmed a lower court’s use of Washington law when it dismissed an Amazon shopper’s putative class action over alleged inflation of comparative discounts, rejecting the shopper’s argument that California law is substantially different.

Expert Analysis

  • Keys To Estimating Damages In Deceptive Pricing Cases

    Stephen Hamilton

    The liability fundamentals of deceptive pricing cases are easy to understand: to the extent that consumers are influenced by the perception of a bargain, a false or misleading reference price can result in higher prices and greater sales. But providing defensible estimates of classwide damages has remained a stumbling block, say Stephen Hamilton and Dan Werner of OnPoint Analytics.

  • Mass. Digital Health Developments: What To Know Now

    Ellen Janos

    Digital health is now an accepted part of the health care delivery system and has been widely adopted by both health providers and consumers. However, technology is evolving quickly and counsel for businesses entering this market in Massachusetts must keep up with a complex legal and regulatory landscape, says Ellen Janos of Mintz Levin Cohn Ferris Glovsky and Popeo PC.

  • CFPB Says Using Multiple Debt Collectors Poses ECOA Risk

    Jonathan Joshua

    In light of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's recent consent order with American Express, creditors, debt buyers and collection agencies should ensure that segmentation criteria for internal collection strategies, placement with external collection agencies, and the collection strategies employed by multiple external third-party debt collectors do not result in the disparate treatment of protected classes, says attorney Jonathan Joshua.

  • The Role Legal Finance Can Play In Firm Year-End Collections

    Travis Lenkner

    Payment collection delays have caused law firms to seek new options, one of which is litigation finance. In this context, litigation finance can offer alternative avenues to firms as they approach the end of a fiscal year or partnership distribution dates, says Travis Lenkner of Burford Capital LLC.

  • It's On Plaintiffs To Prove No Scientific Substantiation

    Brett Taylor

    Historically, plaintiffs rest false advertising claims upon allegations that marketing claims are unsubstantiated and not supported by reliable scientific evidence. But two recent decisions out of California suggest courts may not recognize a private right of action for false advertising claims arising out of alleged improper scientific substantiation, say Brett Taylor and Amy Alderfer of Cozen O'Connor.

  • 'Per-Doc' Pricing Can Improve Document Review

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    Imagine going to a restaurant and ordering your steak medium-rare. The steak arrives burned. You expect the kitchen to bring you another one properly done, right? And you don’t expect to pay for two steaks, do you? Paying a vendor for document review should be no different, says Lisa Prowse, an attorney and vice president at e-discovery firm BIA Inc.

  • Opinion

    We Must Protect Consumers From Illegal Debt Collectors

    Maura Healey

    Companies are allowed to collect the money they are owed, but they cannot break the law or cheat people in the process. Some of the biggest players in the debt collection industry are not focused on getting it right, says Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey.

  • As Medical Food Industry Grows, So May FDA Scrutiny

    Kyle Diamantas

    An important regulatory advantage enjoyed by "medical food" products is the ability to make affirmative claims that a particular medical food may assist in treatment or management of a disease condition. But the category is poised to attract increased attention from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, says Kyle Diamantas of Baker Donelson Bearman Caldwell & Berkowitz PC.

  • Managing Digital Vendor Risk — The Next Compliance Frontier

    Chris Olson

    Unfortunately, heightened awareness of third-party cyberrisk and the urgency of identifying third-party activity has not fully extended to the consumer-facing digital assets — websites, mobile applications, social media — that form the backbone of modern business-to-consumer communications, says Chris Olson, CEO of The Media Trust.

  • Fast And Frictionless: Key Legal Issues In POS Loans

    David Bright

    In order to deliver the fast lending experience that today's consumers want, the strategic partnerships in a point-of-sale loan program must be carefully negotiated and crafted to arrive at an approach that complies with consumer loan regulations and other laws. In addition, these partnerships must allow for critical "behind the scenes" sharing and coordination, says David Bright of Holland & Knight LLP.