Common Law - The FindLaw Consumer Protection Law Blog


Recently in Class Action Lawsuits Category

The class action lawsuit is one of the few tools consumers and the public have against misbehaving large corporations. They've been utilized in environmental protection cases against polluters and consumer safety cases against dangerous products. A proposed new rule would allow similar protections for victims of predatory, deceptive, or unfair business practices by banks and other financial institutions, but that rule was voted down today.

Vice President Mike Pence broke a 50-50 tie in the Senate as Republicans continue to roll back Obama-era policies designed to reign in Wall Street.

We all know that soda is bad for us. The sugar, the high fructose corn syrup, and phosphoric acid (!) can't be too healthy. But diet soda, on the other hand, is better, right? Fewer calories mean diet sodas might actually help us maintain a healthy weight or even lose weight, right?

Wrong, according to three federal lawsuits filed against the three largest makers of carbonated beverages in the U.S. Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, and Dr Pepper Snapple Group, are all being sued for their marketing of diet sodas that plaintiffs claim mislead consumers into thinking those beverages are healthy, or at least healthier than regular soda.

Let's be honest, most of us aren't reading every word of our warranties, and we're certainly not doing it before we purchase a product. And while that might save us a ton of time, it may cost us our ability to take companies to court if their products don't perform as advertised. That's because more and more manufacturers are tucking mandatory arbitration clauses deep in their warranties.

But the Supreme Court is pushing back on those clauses, handing a small victory to consumers. Here's how.

If you read the name Honey Bucket and first thought of Winnie the Pooh or fried chicken, I have some foul smelling news for you. Honey Buckets are actually portable toilets, the stench from which some neighbors in Pacific, Washington are not too pleased with.

"Hazardous odors, gases, fumes, and contaminants have been and are being released from the Honey Bucket Facility property," their lawsuit claims, "interfering with the use and enjoyment of the Plaintiff's and the Class Members' properties, have substantially impaired the value of their properties, and have caused adverse personal impacts such as annoyance, irritation, discomfort, and other similar physical ailments." That lawsuit was certified as a class action this week, allowing more neighbors to join the case.

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.