Common Law - The FindLaw Consumer Protection Law Blog

June 2018 Archives

Erupting volcanoes (and earthquakes). Massive flooding. The world's deadliest hiking trail. A rash of snorkeling deaths. Few destinations in the world are as picturesque and relaxing as the Hawai'ian Islands. And few places seem as dangerous. And while Americans have been dreaming of a tropical vacation since Elvis strummed a guitar on its shores in 1961, many of them are now wondering if the risk is worth the trip.

The obvious answer is, yes -- you can safely travel to Hawai'i for vacation this summer. But there are a few things you'll want to watch out for, lest your dreams of an island paradise turn into a nightmare holiday.

A salmonella outbreak that spread to 70 cases across seven states has been tied to fruit salad mixes that include pre-cut melons, according to the Food and Drug Administration. At least 34 people have been hospitalized due to the illness, and the FDA is advising consumers to avoid recalled fresh cut watermelon, honeydew melon, and cantaloupe, as well as fruit medley products containing any of these melons.

Ford's Unsafe Touchscreens Class Action Ends in Settlement

These days, there's a touchscreen for everything -- your phone, fridge, soda fountain, restaurant menu. You can even FaceTime your dog while you're at work. And of course, all new cars come equipped with a touchscreen imbedded into the dash. Where you used to turn a knob or press a button, most of your car's functions can only be accessed through the touchscreen's menu options. So, you can see why it might be a problem if that touchscreen freezes. It's hard to defrost the windows in the winter or turn on the AC in summer if those buttons don't work.

These types of issues prompted a number of car owners to sue Ford after their vehicles' touchscreens weren't functioning properly. After years of litigation in the class action lawsuit, Ford has agreed to a settlement regarding its unsafe touchscreens.

Pfizer Fined $24M for Medicare Kickbacks

The pharmaceutical industry is very profitable and highly competitive. Like any industry, its players are always looking for ways to increase those profits. But sometimes they go too far. The Department of Justice says pharmaceutical company Pfizer has done just that by working a scheme to offer Medicare patients kickbacks for using their medicines. Now, the drug giant has agreed to pay nearly $24 million to settle the case.