Common Law - The FindLaw Consumer Protection Blog

Common Law - The FindLaw Consumer Protection Law Blog


Despite the numerous warnings we hear every year from local fire departments, police, news stations, family, friends, neighbors, and even bloggers, unattended Christmas trees cause hundreds of home fires every single year. Generally, tree fires are the result of a combination of factors, including bad lights, bad wiring, improper placement, and letting the tree dry out. If you are careless with your tree and it catches fire, not only can you potentially ruin your own family's Christmas, you could be legally liable for ruining your neighbors or whole neighborhood's Christmas.

Below, you'll find four important safety tips to prevent a Christmas tree fire.

San Diego, Riverside, and Los Angeles District Attorneys prosecuted Allstate as a result of the insurer's 'Accident Forgiveness' advertising campaign. Under California law, auto insurers may not offer consumers accident forgiveness in their insurance policies. Allstate's national advertising campaign reached California consumers and failed to clearly disclose that accident forgiveness was not available to California consumers. Now, they've agreed to pay a $600,000 settlement.

If this sounds familiar, that's because Liberty Mutual learned a $300,000 more expensive lesson at the hands of the same DAs for the exact same thing just over a month ago. While the Liberty Mutual advertisements had a disclaimer, it was deemed to be too small to be an effective one. Both Liberty Mutual and Allstate settled out the claims against them and entered into a stipulated judgment, which, of course, did not admit any wrongdoing.

There is no bright line rule that says once a driver reaches a certain age that they must give up their license. While a few states have laws requiring older drivers to confirm they are physically able to continue driving, most do not. Instead, drivers must use their best discretion when deciding to stop driving and not renew their driver’s license.

For many seniors, making the decision to stop driving is not easy. Giving up driving might feel like giving up their independence. However, when the warning signs start to present themselves, older drivers that continue to drive not only endanger themselves, but also the public at large.

Below, you will find some of the common warning signs that should make older drivers consider giving it up.

Unfortunately, or maybe fortunately, for the grandson of a Bellingham, Washington couple, he won’t be getting a 12V Ride-On Tonka Dump Truck this Christmas. While bringing home the large popular toy in the back of a pick-up truck, it spontaneously caught fire on the way back from Toys R Us, twice!

Delmond Harden purchased the dump truck from Toy R Us and was bringing it home in the back of his pick-up truck when he noticed the toy was on fire in the back. He pulled over, put out the fire, and immediately started to head back to the store to return the toy truck. However, en route back to the store, the truck caught fire again. This time however, the flames would not be contained as easily as before. The toy truck caused Harden’s real pick-up truck to catch fire, sending flames nearly 20 feet high in the sky, requiring the fire department, and a road closure. Toys R Us has pulled the toy truck from their stores while they wait for investigators to figure out the cause of the fire.

While there are countless individuals who swear by homeopathic medicines, and there are even doctors who will endorse them, the FTC has recently called into question the legitimacy of the entire homeopathic medicine industry. This week, the FTC released an enforcement policy statement clarifying their position that homeopathic drugs will face the same standards as other any other product that makes a claim about its safety or efficacy.

This means that for a homeopathic drug, medicine, remedy, or any other product, that claims to have an affect, and/or be safe, a company is required to substantiate those claims with credible and reliable scientific evidence. If a homeopathic drug maker does not have the required substantiating proof for their claims, the FTC provided two specific disclaimers that both should be included on the label:

Manufactured housing has long been a mainstay in American culture. Before the term manufactured housing was coined, these homes were called mobile homes or trailers. The defining characteristic shared by these types of housing is their ability to be transported. As a result of the mobile nature of manufactured housing, owners don't always share the same rights and obligations as other homeowners.

Manufactured housing can take many forms, ranging from permanent placements to a life on the road. While some manufactured home owners own the property that their home sits on, many rent the land from manufactured housing communities, often called mobile home parks. This distinction is often the most important one when it comes to the rights of manufactured home owners.

While many people may have heard of lemon laws, most people have not heard of the Used Car Rule, despite it being in place since 1985. Don't be shocked though, as the rule really only applies to used car dealers and those pieces of paper that are taped up on the windows of used cars for sale at dealerships. However, this month, the FTC updated the Used Car Rule.

The updates to the rule are meant to help clarify used car sales for consumers, as well as protect consumers from making poor decisions and uninformed purchases. The new rule seeks to provide consumers with some common sense advice and clarification on used car warranties. All car dealers who sell used cars are required to place a Buyer's Guide (which is just a piece of paper that lists out specific information about the vehicle) in a clearly visible location on or in any used vehicle for sale.

The internet has the potential to bring people together for all sorts of purposes. Craigslist.org, for example, helps people connect, find jobs, and even buy and sell stuff. Unfortunately, Craigslist is also a haven for scammers and criminals.

Apart from the concern of buying stolen goods, users must be wary of the spammers that have also started to exploit Craigslist in order to perpetrate a host of different types of scams. One of the first things that scammers try to do is route out the most gullible. One way they accomplish this is by creating a massive amount of fake, low quality ads. Frequently the ads are created by bots, or programs that live on the internet and perform tasks that their makers assign. If a person responds to an ad that is clearly bot generated, there is a good chance a scammer will reach out and attempt some sort of swindle.

It's not enough that you need to worry about Indian call centers impersonating IRS agents, or fake emails from courts demanding information for jury duty, now consumers need to be on the lookout for phone calls from fake government officials demanding payment via gift card.

The Federal Communications Commission issued a warning regarding the gift card scam last week, even hosting a Twitter "town hall" to answer questions about the scheme. So what can you do to stay safe?

Over the summer, a New Jersey woman, who happens to be deaf, filed a lawsuit against Taco Bell for discriminating against her at their drive-through window. The woman attempted to order by providing the employee at the drive-through window with a note that had her order on it, but she was refused service. On a previous occasion, she was allowed to order via note, but was told that the employee was making an exception just that one time.

When she was denied service, she entered the Taco Bell to find out what was going on and order food, but, as her court complaint alleges, not a single employee would even acknowledge her. She left without being served food and justifiably felt humiliated and frustrated.