Common Law - The FindLaw Consumer Protection Blog

Common Law - The FindLaw Consumer Protection Law Blog


Can I Return an Adopted Dog to a Shelter?

Adopting a dog is a big responsibility and one not to be undertaken lightly. You have to walk Fido, feed and love the creature, as well as make sure the dog visits the veterinarian as needed.

But what happens if you adopt a dog and discover that this is not what you thought you wanted, or if you're suddenly offered a new job that will keep you on the road all the time? Can you return a pet dog to a shelter?

SEC Warns Investors of Impersonators Offering Fake Relief

Last month, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) issued a frightening warning to investors who've been the targets of fraud. There are impersonators targeting these victims again, offering fake legal services and other fraudulent relief.

The SEC warns that not all correspondence appearing to come from the agency is real. Whether or not you have been the victim of an investment fraud in the past, be very careful when considering mail supposedly originating from the government. Let's consider what the SEC knows and how you can spot a fake.

Hackers Stole Customer Data in Security Breaches, Wendy's Says

If you have used a credit card at a Wendy's fast food chain lately, your personal data may have been compromised. Wendy's has again announced bad news about data breaches and how it has been dealing with multiple cyberattacks, some of which went on for months.

The fast food chain says it is working with the payment card industry, federal law enforcement, and forensics experts throughout its investigation and said it will beef up security across all of its system. It's also offering fraud and identity restoration consultation services to affected customers.

CPSC Recalls Half a Million Hoverboards

At first, hoverboards seemed awesome and everyone wanted one. Lots of people bought them and the wheeled balance boards seemed poised to take off (as their name indicates). Sales were very strong, fueled by trendsetting celebrities adopting them, according to the Smithsonian.

At one point last year, there were thousands of boards coming into the country every day that didn't meet safety standards. But then bad news about hoverboards emerged: the lithium ion batteries catch on fire. It turned out that we are not yet ready for the future. Last week, more than half a million hoverboards were recalled.

New GMO Labeling Law in VT Sparks National Food Kerfuffle

As of this month, foods sold in Vermont must have a label that indicates whether they contain genetically modified organisms, better known as GMOs. It is the first such law in the nation and the controversy it sparked looks likely to lead to a national law addressing genetically engineered food labels.

Big food companies have reportedly lobbied legislators in Washington, D.C., opposing the Vermont measure, Act 120. Also, the Grocery Manufacturers Association challenged Act 120 in federal court, calling it unconstitutional. Meanwhile, some U.S. senators are working on a bill to override the state measure by creating national GMO labeling standards that critics call less informative. Anticipating national GMO labeling, some companies have embraced the future, changing their labels nationwide.

In the first known fatality in a self-driving car, a Tesla driver was killed when his car's Autopilot function failed to recognize a tractor-trailer turning onto the road in front of it, sending the vehicle underneath the trailer and into the back of the truck. Allegedly, the Model S could not distinguish between the big rig or the trailer and "brightly lit sky" behind it and never applied the brakes.

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) is now investigating the accident, so what could that mean for self-driving cars in general, and Tesla's Model S in particular?

Child's Death Prompts Recall of Ikea Dresser Sets

Anyone who has ever bought furniture from Ikea knows it can be frustrating to assemble the pieces. Perhaps for this reason people have not been securing some of the company’s dresser drawer sets to walls as instructed. Apparently failure to do so has grave consequences and the company is now recalling the deadly dressers.

Volkswagen Offers $15 Billion to Settle Diesel Scandal Case

Volkswagen owners may be happy to hear that the car company that rigged its diesel emission tests has submitted a $15 billion settlement offer for review with a federal court in San Francisco. The settlement, if approved, would set aside about $10 billion dollars for owners and pay about five billion dollars in fines to state and federal agencies.

According to Bloomberg News, which first reported the settlement, the car maker is also going to announce a settlement with states in another separate case soon. The settlement amount under consideration now is reportedly more than any other automaker has ever paid to settle a civil suit, and the automaker is still facing cases on three continents.

Chrysler has had its share of recall problems lately, especially with its Jeeps. For the most part, these issues might've flown under the radar, but those days may be over. Actor Anton Yelchin, perhaps most famous for his role as Chekov in the recently rebooted Star Trek movies, was killed when his Jeep Grand Cherokee rolled over him in his own driveway.

And now, what would be seen as a tragic accident has exposed more issues with Jeeps, as Yelchin's death has been linked to a known defect with the vehicle's gear shifter that was already subject to a recall from Chrysler.

What You Need From a Mattress Return Policy

You bought a fancy mattress online and were very excited but now you're finding that there is no rest for the weary. You toss and turn and are burning with a desire to send this mattress back to wherever it came from. Can you?

The answer is most likely yes, but it depends. Returns are governed by the law and by seller policies. There is no blanket prohibition on returning mattresses, but retailers may put prohibitions on returns for particular items if those limitations are in line with state law. Let's consider what the shopping experts at Consumer Reports say you should seek in a mattress return policy.