Week Adjourned: 10.29.10

Bank of America under fire for foreclosure tacticsTop Class Actions

What’s the word de jour? Foreclosure—actually—make that Foreclosure Class Actions. This week saw several foreclosure lawsuits filed against big banks. Possibly the most recent, was filed against BAC Home Loans Servicing, which is a subsidiary of Bank of America Corporation, and successor in interest to Countrywide Home Loans Servicing; Deutsche Bank National Trust Company; and U.S. Bank National Association. The suit was filed on behalf of all those property owners who lost title to their property in foreclosure proceedings based on false and perjurious affidavits filed by the banks and their servicing companies. 

Perjurious affidavits? What the heck are those, you ask? Well like everything, foreclosure is a business—a business that seemingly works on volume. Apparently, the banks have been hiring so-called “robo signers” or “affidavit slaves”—employees who literally sign hundreds of foreclosure documents a day, according to the Wall Street Journal, without carefully reviewing their contents. The Washington Post recently ran a story on a man who has signed as many as 10,000 foreclosure documents in one month. 

Back to the lawsuit. The BAC suit alleges that the defendant banks obtained wrongful foreclosures by abusing the court process and submitting affidavits that were false, even though sworn to under penalty of perjury, as the basis for obtaining foreclosure judgments. They seek to restore title to the property owners.

Another foreclosure class action filed this week also named the omnipresent Bank of America (BoFA) as a defendant, not surprising since BoFA reportedly holds one in five mortgages in the Continue reading “Week Adjourned: 10.29.10”

Week Adjourned: 10.15.10

Citigroup women coming up empty-handed?Top Class Actions 

Equality? What equality! Where’s Gloria? A gender discrimination lawsuit was filed against Citigroup this week, brought by five former directors and analysts and one current employee.

Interestingly, Bloomberg crunched the numbers and found out that Citigroup’s female finance managers, which include bank tellers as well as executives, earned 63.9 cents for every dollar of income men earned in 2000, based on median salaries. Bloomberg analyzed Government Accountability Office (GAO) statistics to produce its report. And, they also found that in 2007, the last year for which data are available, that figure was down—incredibly—58.8 cents. Not only is that number utterly depressing, but it’s going in the wrong direction! 

The suit, filed on behalf of women at job levels from analyst to managing director, alleges that Citigroup is an “outdated boys club” and claims “systematic and pervasive discrimination and retaliation” in decisions involving compensation, promotion and termination.

Top Settlements

Beat Finally Does Go On… Finally—unbelievably, a settlement of the lawsuits against Medtronic over defective Sprint Fidelis leads.

The leads were recalled three years ago in 2007, due to the alleged defect that made the Continue reading “Week Adjourned: 10.15.10”

Week Adjourned: 10.8.10

BMW under fire for turbo lag and more...Top Class Actions

“It’s Not Turbo Lag, it’s Foreplay”. Well, that’s what the t-shirts say, but clearly the makers of the ultimate driving machine—BMW—and their drivers must think foreplay’s a bad thing. BMW got hit with a national class action this week over high pressure fuel pumps (HPFP) and turbo chargers.

The allegations in the case concern certain BMW’s produced between 2007 and 2010, and focus on two design defects. 

First, the suit claims that BMW’s new fuel injection system that supposedly incorporates a new ‘state of the art’ fuel pump actually malfunctions at an alarmingly high rate. As a result, many BMW owners have had to repeatedly replace their fuel pumps, sometimes within 1,000 miles of vehicle ownership.

The second problem relates to the BMW turbo chargers. Specifically, the complaint alleges that owners of the affected vehicles were told that BMW’s new engine had eliminated ‘turbo lag.’ ‘Turbo lag’ is the delay between the time that the driver of a vehicle presses the accelerator and the time that turbo chargers on the engine essentially ‘kick in’ to provide added power to the engine.

However, shortly after the vehicles were released, BMW began to receive complaints from Continue reading “Week Adjourned: 10.8.10”

Week Adjourned: 10.1.10

Baby Food with Beetle Parts...Yum!Top Class Actions

Beetle Juice? Abbott—the makers of Similac infant formula–which was recalled this week due to the presence of small winged insects in the formula—and Sam’s East doing business as Sam’s Club—are facing a proposed federal class action lawsuit over the whole mess.

The products, in case you missed the recall, apparently may contain additional nutrients in the form of a ‘small common beetle.’ Nice. And while the FDA seems to think that no real harm can come from this, they do warn that infants who consume the contaminated formula could experience symptoms of gastrointestinal discomfort and refusal to eat as a result of small insect parts irritating the GI tract. And every parent wants their child to experience that.

So, Kathleen A. Brandner filed the suit individually and on behalf of her minor child alleging that the defendants unfairly and deceptively promoted the product as having safe ingredients for infant consumption when the ingredients may cause health problems including diarrhea. And, the suit also alleges that Abbott failed to properly exert quality control measures to ensure that the formula was safe for consumption and that it did not contain beetle particles. You think?

How Generous of DePuy…Not. A national class action lawsuit was filed against DePuy Orthopaedics Inc this week, this one also stemming from a recall on August 24, 2010, of its Continue reading “Week Adjourned: 10.1.10”