Common Law - The FindLaw Consumer Protection Law Blog


Plaintiff Stephen Hadley has filed a lawsuit claiming that the many different Kellogg breakfast products he ate for breakfast were not as healthy as the breakfast maker has claimed. And while Kellogg denies these allegations, the company was not successful in having the case dismissed at the earliest possible stage.

Now, the case can continue on in the Northern District Court of California. Mr. Hadley is seeking to prove that nearly 30 different Kellogg products ranging from cereal bars to breakfast cereals contained more sugar than is actually healthy but nevertheless Kellogg advertised the products as "healthy." Perhaps most shockingly, one of the flagship cereals, Raisin Bran, has had its health benefits called into question, two scoops and all.

Everyone's favorite big box warehouse retailer, Costco, is learning a very expensive lesson in the jewelry business: There's big difference between a "Tiffany" ring, and a ring with a "Tiffany setting." The difference is so great, Costco's going to have pay Tiffany & Co. nearly $20 million.

World famous jeweler, Tiffany & Co., won their infringement case against the retailer on summary judgment by convincingly proving this point. While jewelers across the world use, and advertise certain rings as having, a "Tiffany setting," Costco advertised their rings with the world famous setting as "Tiffany" rings, rather than rings with a "Tiffany setting." When Tiffany & Co. discovered this after Valentine's Day 2013, the case against Costco was filed.

When a person goes into a pharmacy to pick up their prescription, they expect that only having to pay the required insurance co-pay is actually a good deal. Otherwise, what's the point of prescription coverage? But what if instead of a co-pay, you were being charged an "over-pay"?

A recent federal lawsuit filed by a San Francisco man against Walgreens in Northern District Court of Illinois alleges that insured customers are actually being charged more for their medications than those who don't use insurance. In fact, it is alleged that insurance co-pays can be significantly higher than the cash price of the same medication for a person without prescription coverage.

A new enforcement unit within the U.S. Justice Department in Chicago has been formed to fight health care fraud. The new Health Care Fraud Unit was announced around the same time as the announcement of the major $1.2 billion prosecution for a massive health care fraud scheme.

The goal of the unit is to seek out and prosecute the individuals and businesses that engage in all types of health care fraud. Acting U.S. Attorney Joel R. Levin, when announcing the new unit, explained that "Every year, health care fraud causes millions of dollars in losses to Medicare and private insurers" and that "Health care fraud also often exploits patients through unnecessary or unsafe medical procedures."

The kind of case you have on your smartphone has become almost as important as the kind of phone itself. You're not just keeping your iPhone safe from the odd slip or spill; you're making a statement. But what if that statement isn't keeping you safe?

Hundreds of thousands of iPhone cases have been recalled after customers suffered chemical burns when the cases broke, leaking glitter and liquid. How do you find out if you're walking around with one of the dangerous cases in your pocket or purse?

Few things are as terrifying as the thought of a loved one, especially a child, being kidnapped. So when the phone rings and someone says they have your daughter and will kill her immediately if you hang up or fail to wire $10,000, most parents will do whatever is possible to save their child.

That's exactly the kind of compliance scam artists are counting on when they call unsuspecting parents and relatives, a practice that's been on the rise in recent years.

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.