Last week, a class action settlement between Uber and the company's riders was approved by the federal district court in San Francisco. The ride share company was facing class action claims for deceiving riders about tipping drivers. The settlement refunds to riders all tip monies purportedly wrongly taken by the company.
Recently in Contract Law Category
A Virginia man is breathing a sigh of relief after the court ruled that his ex-fiance must return the $26,000 engagement ring for the marriage that will never happen. The court ruled that the ring was aptly characterized as a conditional gift, which meant that if the marriage didn't take place, it would need to be returned. Since the marriage has been off for a few years now, the court ordered the ex-fiance to return the ring or pay the $26,000.
Despite marriage seeming like so much more, it really boils down to a financial agreement between two adults, akin to a business partnership. Engagement rings can be viewed as earnest money, or a security deposit, in a business venture. Sometimes it's refundable, sometimes it isn't. Generally, it boils down to how the ring is characterized at the time it is given, or maybe at the time of the breakup.
An Illinois judge recently ruled against Dennis Hastert, allowing the victim of the former politician's sexual abuse to proceed with his contract enforcement action. The case stems from a recently entered into oral settlement agreement between Hastert and an unnamed individual whom Hastert abused in the 1970s while the individual was a minor.
In 2010, Hastert agreed to pay $3.5 million to the unnamed individual in installments over a period of time. When Hastert had neared the half way point, in about 2014, Federal authorities became suspicious of Hastert's banking activity. As a result of the incremental withdraws from his bank account, Hastert was charged with the crime of structuring, which makes it a crime to attempt to hide certain banking transactions. The unnamed victim filed suit back in April of this year.
Airbnb, the popular site for short-term lodging, just had a race discrimination case dismissed because of the arbitration clause buried in the site's terms of service. The case alleged that an African American customer was denied accommodations by various Airbnb hosts when using his normal account, but he was allowed to rent when he used a fake account pretending to be white.
While Airbnb has since revamped its anti-discrimination policies and required the hosts to sign a "community commitment," their lawyers are likely breathing a sigh of relief after the federal court ruling. The ruling requires all user grievances against the company, even civil rights complaints and class actions, to be settled via the arbitration process outlined in the website's terms of service.
The 2nd Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals upheld the $450 million settlement in a case charging Apple with fixing prices on e-books. The settlement had been challenged by one e-books purchaser, who questioned the fairness, reasonableness, and adequacy of the class action settlement.
Pending Apple's appeal to the Supreme Court, the company will be forced to reimburse consumers for playing a "central role" in a price-fixing scheme designed to undercut their major competitor, Amazon. The settlement calls for Apple to pay $400 million to compensate consumers and another $50 million in legal fees.
This has been a big year for landmark decisions and settlements, and FindLaw's Decided was there to cover all of 2014's big legal moments.
There were Supreme Court decisions and denials, companies settling over less than honest business practices, and even a reminder on how social media can screw up a perfectly good legal agreement.
Here's to 2014, and here's the Top 10 cases you loved most from this year:
Injured skiers and snowboarders got a win in the Oregon Supreme Court on Thursday; the state's highest court ruled that a ski resort's blanket liability waivers were not enforceable.
The ruling focused on the case of Myles Bagley, a snowboarder who was paralyzed in 2006 after an accident at the Mount Bachelor terrain park near Bend, Oregon. The Associated Press reports that Bagley had his injury claim against the ski resort thrown out of a lower court, because his lift ticket and season pass contained a liability waiver.
Why did the Oregon Supreme Court find that the waiver wasn't binding?
SiriusXM agreed to pay out $3.8 million to settle charges that it stuck consumers with unwanted charges and used misleading advertising.
According to The Plain Dealer, the settlement includes at least 45 states whose attorneys general had received complaints from consumers about trouble canceling contracts or "higher-than-expected fees." As part of the nationwide settlement, SiriusXM will change its billing practices, change advertising, and revamp its cancellation policy.
But what, if anything, will consumers get in this deal?
Cable giant Comcast has agreed to a $50 million settlement in a class action that accused the company of overcharging its cable TV subscribers.
This case has been bouncing around in court for over 10 years now with plaintiffs alleging that Comcast had monopolized the cable-TV market in Philadelphia and unfairly raised prices. Reuters reports that the suit once covered more than 2 million subscribers, but the settlement reached on Tuesday covers just over 800,000.
What are the details of this Comcast settlement, and when will current and former subscribers see a dime of it?
Ticketmaster has proposed a $400 million settlement with 50 million customers over misleading fees.
Plaintiffs in the class action suit against Ticketmaster, now owned by Live Nation, complained as early as 2003 that the "order processing fees" and "delivery fees" were not spent on those services, but actually just being pocketed by the company. The Hollywood Reporter claims the settlement would cover customers who paid these fees from October 1999 through February 2013.
But where would this multimillion-dollar settlement money go?