Common Law - The FindLaw Consumer Protection Law Blog


According to investigative journalists at ABC 11 in Durham, North Carolina, a popular powder makeup marketed to teens may contain asbestos and other harmful ingredients. The team sent "Just Shine Shimmer Powder," sold at Justice Stores, to the Scientific Analytical Institute in Greensboro, where samples of the makeup tested positive for four heavy metals, including asbestos.

"I would treat it like a deadly poison, because it is," Sean Fitzgerald, the Director of Research and Analytical Services told the station. "In this powder designed for children, they could die an untimely death in their thirties or forties because of the exposure to asbestos in this product."

The Federal Aviation Administration is now offering to refund all drone and model aircraft hobbyists that had to register their flying machines and pay the FAA's $5 fee. Over 800,000 people have registered drones since 2015, however, not all drone owners will qualify for a refund.

A recent decision for the Court of Appeals for the Federal District invalidated the drone-hobbyist registration requirement.The decision explained that under a prior law, the FAA was prohibited from making new rules covering model aircrafts, and the registration requirement qualified as a new rule.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau just issued the finalized wording on the new arbitration rule. In short, the new rule allows consumers that have agreed to an arbitration clause in an agreement for consumer financial services to avoid being forced into arbitration when filing, or joining, a class action lawsuit.

As the CFPB explains, the arbitration clauses in a consumer finance agreement, such as bank, credit card, or other provider of consumer financial services, usually served to make it a financially bad decision to file a low value arbitration claim.

Unfortunately, in real life, hackers are not wiping out all our credit card and student loan debt. While there are legitimate and positive benefits to hacking, and many hackers never do anything malicious, some do engage in illegal, fraudulent, and exploitative actions. With new data breaches being reported almost weekly, many people often wonder what hackers even do with all that stolen data.

Typically, we think of stolen data as a problem for businesses, or in terms of corporate espionage; however hackers have learned to get much more creative, and even more elusive, with what they do with stolen data. Individuals are at as much as risk as businesses, but unlike businesses, individuals often cannot afford to suffer the consequences.

Simply stated, a keylogger is a piece of hardware or software that logs every single keystroke made on a computer's keyboard. Basically, it's an invisible set of eyes watching and recording every single press of a key on a keyboard. The use of keyloggers has been portrayed in television and movies as an easy way for hackers to steal usable information.

In real life, hackers use keylogging to steal account numbers, usernames, passwords, financial information, ATM pin codes, and more. However, it is worth noting that there are some legitimate uses for keylogging, such as industrial design, and when the good guys need to engage in hacking or espionage.

After battling for nearly two decades, cigarette makers are finally being forced to add new warning labels that reflect the outcome of the case over "low-tar" and "light" cigarettes. The 1999 case found that cigarette makers, including R.J. Reynolds and Phillip Morris, had conspired to deceive the public as to the negative health effects of smoking.

Today, it is well known that there is no such thing as a "safe cigarette," and that "light" cigarettes are not any healthier. However, when "lights" and "low-tar" varieties were released, the cigarette industry promoted these as safer, despite knowing this to be false. This case exposed the deception and ordered cigarette makers to issue corrective statements publicly in newspapers, online, on TV, and even on the packaging, about the negative health effects of smoking.

When it comes to summer road trips, having a good emergency safety kit can make the difference between a miserable experience and a great story. If you think that since we live in the 21st century digital world, it means you can forgo having an emergency safety kit, you are so very wrong.

Although most problems on the road can be solved by calling roadside assistance, like the services provided by AAA or your insurance company, getting service can sometimes take several hours. As such, having the right supplies to keep you, and your passengers, safe while stranded on the side of the road in the summer heat is essential.

Below, are a few tips on the types of things you should make sure to have in your summer road trip roadside emergency safety kit.

Laundry pods, brightly-colored packets of detergent supposed to make washing clothes easier, can pose a significant poisoning risk to children. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates there were around 32,000 calls to poison help lines in 2015 for children ingesting candy-resembling laundry pods.

But it turns out those packets can be dangerous for adults, too -- especially those with dementia.

It looks like the tech giant Apple is finally responding to the many lawsuits that have been filed against it related to distracted driving injuries and deaths. However, the response wasn't filed in court. Rather, at the company's annual Worldwide Developers Conference (known as the WWDC), a new iPhone feature was unveiled as part of iOS 11: Do Not Disturb While Driving mode.

Along with the overwhelming public adoption of smart phones, the number of distracted driving crashes has naturally increased. After all, those bright screens, and that warm ambient feeling of acceptance and connection that these little magically devices provide, make them literally, and virtually, irresistible, even while operating a three ton chunk of metal hurling itself over a concrete motorway at 80 miles per hour. Whether Apple, or other manufacturers, are liable for distracted driving accidents caused by their devices is another question entirely though.

A new report, issued by the Environmental Defense Fund, probably has some parents ready to get litigious. The report explains that in looking at over 10 years of FDA data, from 2003 to 2013, approximately 20 percent of the 2,000 baby food products tested contained lead. That's one in every five products. Unfortunately, neither the FDA's data, nor did the report, name the names of the offending products.

Before parents start climbing the walls, clearing out the cabinets, and calling their lawyers, know that the products still fell within what the FDA determined to be an acceptable level of lead contamination. However, what may come as a real surprise is that the baby food products tested had an overall higher average for testing positive for lead than adult food products, which came in at about 14 percent.