Common Law - The FindLaw Consumer Protection Blog

Common Law - The FindLaw Consumer Protection Law Blog


Consumers in California have filed a lawsuit claiming that the distributors of Kona Brewing Company beers intentionally misled them to believe the beer "originates from Hawaii," when in fact Kona beers available in the continental United States are brewed in Oregon, Washington, Tennessee, or New Hampshire.

The lawsuit claims consumers paid more for the beer based on their belief that the beer was brewed in Hawaii. The dispute is just the latest in a string of craft beer lawsuits.

Although toys have come a long long way over the past few decades, parents are right to be concerned about getting young kids toys that connect to the internet. If you were considering purchasing a 21st century stuffed animal for your 21st century kid, you might want to consider getting something other than a Cloudpet.

Actually, considering the massive data breach suffered by Cloudpets, you might just want to avoid getting kids any sort of toys that connect to the internet, or at least avoid being an early adopter.

You might think you're just pulling power out of that public charging kiosk in the mall or airport. But it turns out hackers could be pulling data from your phone at the same time. "Just by plugging your phone into a [compromised] power strip or charger, your device is now infected, and that compromises all your data," Drew Paik of security firm Authentic8 told CNN.

So you might want to think twice before just plugging your smartphone in to a public port to charge.

Last month, 11 diabetes sufferers banded together to sue the makers of the life saving insulin drugs they rely upon to manage their conditions as a result of alleged price fixing, fraud, and racketeering. Their complaint alleges that the manufacturers conspired to raise their prices at virtually identical times and by nearly identical amounts, such that over the last 20 years, the price has gone up 700 percent. One such drug went from $21 in 1996, to $255 in 2016.

While the allegations of conspiracy, fraud, and price fixing are yet to be proven, the 700 percent increase is an undisputed fact that is seen beyond just one drug manufacturer. The complaint alleges that the manufacturers continued to inflate the list prices in order to offer larger "secret" discounts to insurers, who were then free to keep the discounts for themselves while passing on the added costs to consumers.

A Colorado study found that children and young adults with cancer were more likely to live near an oil and gas well. The study looked at hundreds of cases and discovered that subjects aged 5 to 24 with acute lymphocytic leukemia were over four times as likely to live among the highest concentrations of oil and gas wells.

At this point the findings indicate a correlation between well proximity and certain cancer rates rather than causation between them, and conclude "further study is clearly needed to substantiate both our positive and negative findings."

We all hear about the massive, multi-million dollar class action settlements. These cases make headlines both for the stunning verdicts, and also frequently for resolving claims for hundreds or thousands of individuals all in one fell swoop.

While many people ignore the class action notices that get sent to them, failing to review these and file your claim could result in you never actually getting your slice of the pie. Below, you'll find general tips on how to claim your slice of the class action pie.

Consumer concerns have clearly shifted since the new administration took office. Recently, the Consumer Product Safety Commission's chairman, Elliot Kaye, stepped down, following other democratic leaders facing pressure from the Republican administration. Although it is unclear why exactly Mr. Kaye stepped down as chairman, he still retains his tenacity as well as his position as a commissioner and key decision maker.

Kaye headed the commission during an exciting time where it finally was able to enforce significant fines against businesses that violate consumer protection laws. Under Kaye, the CPSC was able to achieve numerous multi-million dollar settlements from companies that ignored consumer safety issues. The new chairman, Ann Marie Buerkle, is a former Republican congress woman, and current commissioner as well. However, she opposes the CPSC's new found ability to fine businesses heavily.

The FCC and 'Zero-Rating'

The phrase 'zero-rating' might sounds like the worst news a business can get from customers on Yelp. Instead, recent news coming out of the Federal Communications Commission might be the best that media companies offering sponsored data programs have heard recently.

Zero-rating actually refers to the practice of data carriers not counting certain data usage against their customers' caps, allowing some companies to pay those carriers to exempt their data. While net neutrality advocates and even the former FCC Chairman aren't fans of certain zero-rating plans, it looks like the new FCC won't mind.

There are hearts breaking wide open all over the world. It was recently discovered that the nearly 60-year-old Sophie the Giraffe children's chew/teething toy could potentially be dangerous due to mold. While the moldy chew toy problem is not unique to Sophie the Giraffe, owners of the $25 piece of rubber are up in arms after the recent discovery. The toy has been heralded by celebrities, including Madonna, and was even featured in the Tom Selleck, 80s classic, "Three Men and a Baby."

Basically, toys like Sophie the Giraffe, which have air trapped inside with virtually no air circulation inside, can easily develop mold if water finds it way inside the toy. Frequently, and extremely commonly, anytime you give anything to a baby, they're going to put it into their mouths. If it falls on the floor, parents frequently will wash a toy that gets frequently chewed on. However, all that exposure to water increases the risk of water getting inside and mold forming.

Parents, beware! Those brightly colored, bite-sized laundry pods not only shouldn’t be eaten by your kids, but if your kids play with them, you need to watch out for eye injuries. While most people don’t expect laundry detergent to cause eye burns, those packets of detergent frequently contain stronger chemicals than one might expect. In fact, the detergents are designed to be diluted by water in order to not cause damage to clothing. The detergents frequently react differently when put in contact with skin or eye tissue.

If the packet bursts, the chemical detergent can cause burns on a person’s eyes, even if the liquid does not spill in a person’s face. Frequently, when children break one of these packets, or pods, the detergent is transferred to their eyes from their hands or fingers as a result of rubbing their face or eyes. What is most shocking is that apparently over a quarter of all eye injuries for children aged 3 to 4 are from these pods.