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Recently in Class Action Lawsuits Category

Of all the hacks and data breaches going around lately, the last place you'd expect or want to get hacked is a credit reporting agency. After all, they're entrusted with an enormous amount of personal information and financial history -- a one-stop-shop for identity theft data.

So you'd hope that one of the largest consumer credit reporting agencies would have the latest and greatest when it comes to data security. You'd also hope that if one of those agencies were hacked, they'd address the issue ASAP. And maybe that addressing the issue wouldn't require victimized consumers to forfeit their right to sue.

Sorry to break it to you, but you're going to have to say goodbye to those hopes and hello to the Equifax hack.

We all hate robocalls -- those pre-recorded telemarketing calls that always seem to interrupt dinner, which, in my house, is really the third hour of binging "Cake Boss." But most of us don't hate them enough to file a lawsuit about it. Lucky for us lazy litigants, there's a nifty little thing called the class action lawsuit, where one person can file a suit on behalf of all the other people in the same situation, and we can just ride their coattails to a nice little judgment or settlement.

So by now you're wondering, has there been a class action lawsuit filed over those annoying robocalls from cruise lines? (Yes.) How do I know if I'm a member of the class? (It's pretty easy.) And how much money are we talking about here? (See below.)

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.

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.

Staking its reputation on being honest, The Honest Company was founded over 5 years ago by actress Jessica Alba, and 4 others, to profit by selling non-toxic household goods to ethical consumers. However, despite not admitting liability, The Honest Company just settled a rather large class action lawsuit that alleged the company wasn't being honest about its products' ingredients.

The purveyor of household products is alleged to have mislabeled several of their products as being SLS-free. The problems started early last year when a Wall Street Journal story explained that The Honest Company wasn't being so honest when it came to SLS-free goods. In response, the company asserted that SLS had been replaced by SCS, and that SCS actually contains SLS. The problem is that many consumers suffer from allergic reactions to SLS and purchased the products specifically for this reason.

In an odd twist, Alba started this company after a baby product she used on her own child caused welts and skin irritations.

A class action lawsuit against Whole Foods that was dismissed last year has been revived by the Second Circuit Court of Appeals. The main claim in the case is that Whole Foods overcharges shoppers who purchase pre-packaged weighed food items.

The district court dismissed plaintiff's case because it stated that he did not have sufficient proof that he suffered any injury or loss. However, the Second Circuit, after reviewing the matter, found that there was sufficient evidence to allow the case to move forward.

Did your kids go crazy making in-app purchases on an Amazon device without you finding out until the credit card bill showed up? Well, good news! Amazon has finally agreed to a settlement in the case brought against them by the FTC in 2014 for failing to safeguard users from unauthorized purchases. It is estimated that there were $70 million in unauthorized in-app purchases.

Soon after in-app purchases became a "thing," parents were subjected to shock, at random, in the form of unexplained credit card charges due to a lack of restrictions on in-app purchases. Both Apple and Google settled similar claims almost immediately in 2014 and implemented changes to safeguard against unauthorized in-app purchases.

In 2015, it was discovered that Volkswagen had been cheating consumers and regulators worldwide when it came to the emissions testing of their Turbo Diesel Injected (TDI) engines. The aftermath of the discovery led to mass recalls, several lawsuits, negative PR, and worldwide controversy.

The most recent settlement for $1.2 billion, which is set to be approved by a federal judge, means that all affected US consumers who purchased or leased vehicles with the TDI 3.0L engine will be compensated as a result of the deception. In addition to VW being required to repair these vehicles to bring them into compliance with existing emissions standards, owners and lessees will be entitled to compensation for being defrauded. The per consumer compensation being awarded by this settlement can range from $5,000 to $7,500 or more. Additionally, lease holders will be entitled to terminate their leases without paying a cancellation penalty.

Owners of the newest luxurious, all electric, Tesla automobiles have filed a class action lawsuit against the automaker over the allegedly "half-baked" autopilot software. The class action case alleges that the software not only doesn't work, but is dangerous to use. Despite the hefty, often six-figure price tags, Tesla has a history of poor quality control.

The autopilot feature, which costs an additional $5,000, began going on sale in late 2016. Since the public release, owners have found that the system regularly fails to work as stated, which has led to dangerous situations and accidents. The allegations include Tesla vehicles on autopilot failing to stay in their lanes, inexplicably lurching, braking, and accelerating, as well as failing to slow down or stop for other vehicles. Owners have described the autopilot as worse than a drunk driver.

The online payment powerhouse PayPal is facing a public image fiasco as a result of a recent class action lawsuit alleging they lied to people making charitable contributions. Essentially, the lawsuit claims that people were tricked into donating to charities of their choosing, when in fact, many of the chosen charities were ineligible to receive the funds donated through PayPal.

Although the charitable contributions people made still were given to charity, many of the intended recipients never received funds. PayPal is alleged to have redirected the undeliverable charitable contributions to other organizations that were eligible.