Week Adjourned: 2.9.18 – Lawsuit News for Google Pixel, Tobacco, Stericycle

Top Class Action Lawsuits

Got a defective Pixel? Do no evil… well, maybe just a little? Google got hit with a potential consumer fraud class action this week, over allegations the microphones and speakers in its Pixel phones have a tendency to fail, a defect Google is aware of, yet it continues to advertise and sell the phones anyway. Continue reading “Week Adjourned: 2.9.18 – Lawsuit News for Google Pixel, Tobacco, Stericycle”

Week Adjourned: 12.12.14 – SeaWorld, CA Temp Workers, Nissan

The week’s top class action lawsuits and settlements. Top stories for the week include SeaWorld, California Temp Workers and Nissan.

SeaWorld LogoTop Class Action Lawsuits

Is SeaWorld EZPay not EZ to get out of? Jason Herman, Florida believes so. He filed a consumer fraud class action lawsuit against SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment in Florida this week, alleging the marine park automatically renewed annual passes without consumers’ consent and didn’t follow the terms as stipulated in its own contract when confronted by consumers who allege they were charged excessively. Nice. Know this song…

The SeaWorld lawsuit claims Herman, a Florida resident, purchased a one-year adult EZPay to SeaWorld in Orlando and Busch Gardens in Tampa. He anticipated his first payment of $35.40 on March 18, 2013 would be followed by 11 additional monthly charges of the same amount. However, payments continued to be charged to his credit card through to September 18, he alleges.

According to the proposed class action, Herman was later told by a SeaWorld customer service representative that the wording on the contract stated that if a pass was not paid for in less than 12 months, it would renew automatically on a month-to-month basis. Herman contends that this wording was not included in confirming emails, receipts, tickets or passes, and that his request for a refund was declined.

The lawsuit claims that two separate telephone conversations with SeaWorld customer service representatives failed to provide access to a contract with that wording. Herman found the information online at a later date.

The lawsuit further contends that despite SeaWorld’s allegedly hidden contract, the company was not authorized to automatically renew the passes. In Herman’s case, he purchased his pass on March 18, 2013, and the 11th subsequent payment was charged to his credit card on February 18, 2014 – fully paying off the cost of the annual pass in 11 months.

The lawsuit seeks to represent a class of SeaWorld customers from Florida, Texas, Virginia and California who continued to be charged for their EZpay passes after fully paying for them in less than 12 months.

California Temp Workers Getting Temporary Paperwork? According to a California woman, the temporary employment agency Career Strategies Temporary Inc., (CST), she worked for is in violation of  California labor law and she’s filed a class action lawsuit against CST as a result. She alleges CST intentionally failed to provide her and at least 1,000 others with accurate wage statements. That’s handy. The only thing worse than having to do paperwork is not having the paperwork to do the paperwork with, if you follow…

Heads up—the temp worker lawsuit seeks to represent a class of CST workers who were employed in California at any time from November 1, 2013, through the present and who were similarly deprived of accurate wage statements.

So, the allegations, specifically, are that CST violated California state labor law by issuing weekly wage statements that did not include the dates of the associated pay period. “Plaintiff and each class member suffered and suffer injuries as a result of the missing pay period because a reasonable person could not promptly and easily determine the pay period from the wage statement alone without reference to other documents or information,” the complaint states.

According to the employment class action, if an employer knowingly and intentionally fails to accurately itemize a wage statement, an employee can recover the greater of actual damages or statutory fines of $50 for the first violation and $100 for each subsequent violation up to $4,000.

Offering temporary and direct-hire staffing services, California-based CST has offices in seven states. It employed Bengel as a temporary employee “during the applicable statutory period,” during which time Bengal was paid on a weekly basis, according to the complaint. Wonder if anything else will come out of the woodwork on this one… 

Top Settlements

Nissan Settlement puts the Brakes on…a defective automotive class action lawsuit it’s facing. Under the terms of the deal, Nissan North America Inc.will  pay vehicle owners up to $800 each. If you’re confused as to exactly which defective automotive class action this settlement is for—cast your mind back—to a lawsuit that alleged the braking system in certain Nissan trucks and SUVs is prone to sudden failure, increasing the risk for injury and death.

The lawsuit was originally filed in April 2011 by Brandon and Erin Banks. It alleged the defective sensor posed a serious safety threat to consumers because it controls critical safety aspects of braking and was prone to failure. The defect caused drivers to be suddenly unable to stop their vehicles within a reasonably safe time and distance, or at all.

The complaint states the automaker knew about the defect but hid it from consumers “to [Nissan’s] significant financial gain.”

So to get to the deal, the proposed Nissan settlement terms would see current and former owners of approximately 350,000 2004-2008 Nissan Titans, Armadas and Infiniti QX56 vehicles in the US be able to file claims seeking reimbursement for out-of-pocket expenses they incurred in replacing or repairing a defective delta stroke sensor, which is a component of the faulty braking system.

According to court documents, the plaintiffs asked the court to certify a proposed nationwide class of consumers who own or formerly owned the affected vehicles and were forced to replace the faulty sensor. Plaintiffs with personal injury claims relating to the affected vehicles are excluded from the class.

Nissan will begin reimbursement at $20 for vehicle owners who had in excess of 120,000 miles at the time of the repair. Reimbursement will go up to $800 for vehicles that had less than 48,000 miles at the time of repair.

According to the settlement motions, Nissan will distribute notices to the class members via direct mail and to addresses obtained through Nissan or public records utilizing vehicle identification numbers, the motion says. Class members will be directed to a website and a toll-free number maintained by the settlement administrator that will provide information concerning the settlement, including, if requested, a copy of the long form notice.

The case is Banks et al v. Nissan North America, Inc. et al, case number 4:11-cv-02022, in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.

Hokee Dokee—That’s a wrap folks…Time to adjourn for the week.  Have a good one!

Week Adjourned: 6.15.12 – Gamestop, Novartis, Krossland Calling Cards

The weekly wrap of top class action lawsuits and settlements for the week ending June 15, 2012. Top stories include Gamestop, Novartis Pharma Sales Reps and Krossland Calling Cards.

It’s been a week for wage and hour lawsuits and settlements…

Top Lawsuits

Paycheck Games? Gamestop got hit with a wage and hour class action lawsuit this week, alleging the company  committed several California Labor Code violations including systematically neglecting to pay their employees for all hours worked. Really?

In the Gamestop wage and hour class action, employees alleged in their lawsuit that they were required to clock out of Gamestop’s timekeeping system and continue working off the clock to fulfill their daily tasks. Additionally, the lawsuit alleges that Gamestop “consistently does not allocate enough labor hours such that there is not enough time for the employees to complete their required duties within the allocated labor hours.” As a result, the Complaint claims that these employees were systematically denied compensation for the actual number of hours worked. Sound familiar?

Wait—there’s more. The lawsuit also asserts that the Gamestop employees were regularly denied meal and rest breaks, and there was no policy in place to compensate employees for missed meal or rest breaks. Specifically, the lawsuit claims that, “Plaintiff and California Class Members are required by [Gamestop] to work alone, or with an employee that cannot be left alone in [a Gamestop] store, for the first five (5) hours of their scheduled shift.”

The case, filed June 5, is pending in San Diego, CA, in case you know anyone…

Top Settlements

Continuing with our theme of wage & hour lawsuits…

Pharma Sales Reps Get Their Due. This time a settlement—a final approval, in fact,—of a $99 million settlement in the nationwide wage and hour class action brought by Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corp. sales representatives.  http://www.lawyersandsettlements.com/settlements/16682/99-million-settlement-approved-in-novartis-sales.html

On May 31, Judge Paul A. Crotty of U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York approved the settlement following a fairness hearing held the same day. This follows the preliminary approval of the settlement granted by Crotty in January. The settlements are the result of two lawsuits filed in 2006 citing violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act and California and New York laws (30 HRR 91, 1/30/12).

The final order and judgment allocated $70,758,500 to settlement awards for class members; $27,608,000 to attorneys’ fees; $400,000 to reimbursement of litigation fees; and $233,500 to class representatives and others involved in the case.

The $233,500 included compensatory damages and service awards ranging from $20,000 to $40,000 for each of five named plaintiffs.

And now for something completely different—how about a little consumer fraud? (Served with a healthy portion of “Oh no you don’t”.)

Kross To Bear? Krossland Communications—Krossland calling cards?? Ringing any bells? Well, a settlement has been reached. Here’s the summary notice, “issued in accordance with the Court order dated May 21, 2012 preliminarily approving the settlement of a consumer fraud class action entitled Carol Galvan, et al. v. Krossland Communications, Inc., United States District Court, Central District of California, Case No. 8:08-CV-00999-JVS (ANx).”

Lolis Tackwood represents a class of pre-paid calling card customers who purchased certain calling cards distributed by Krossland between August 26, 2004 and May 21, 2012, other than for purposes of re-sale, and other than calling cards distributed by Locus, AT&T, T-Mobile, Boost, Total Call and IDT. A list of those cards affected by this settlement can be reviewed by accessing http://www.KrosslandSettlement.com .

If consumers who purchased these calling cards submit a Claim Form, they can receive a Refund PIN that can be used to make telephone calls to any location in North, Central or South America, at the rate of 20 cents/minute to any telephone number within the United States and any landline telephone number in North, Central or South America, and 50 cents/minute to any cellular telephone number outside the United States in those locations.

There is a total cap of $250,000 on the dollar amount of Refund PINs, less certain fees and costs. Individual claims are capped at $16.00 in Refund PINs, rounded up to the nearest 50 cent increment, based on 30% of the face value of consumers’ eligible Krossland Calling Card purchases during the Class Period, subject to possible proration as described in the full class settlement notice. The Refund PIN may be used within 1 year of activation, and a deadline for using this PIN shall be provided with the PIN. Settlement Class members can submit a Proof of Claim Form online at http://www.KrosslandSettlement.com or by requesting a Proof of Claim Form from the Settlement Administrator and submitting it to the address below.

To be excluded from this settlement, or to object to the settlement, Settlement Class Members must follow the instructions in the Notice described below. The deadline to opt out of the settlement is August 6, 2012. The deadline to submit any objection is July 27, 2012.

This is only a summary of the settlement. For additional information regarding this settlement, the full Notice of Class Action Settlement (“Notice”) is available at http://www.KrosslandSettlement.com.”

Ok—Happy Friday Folks. See you at the bar! Oh yes!