Week Adjourned: 6.19.15 – Shutterfly, Michael Kors, Hip Replacement

Shutterfly logoTop Class Action Lawsuits

Shutterfly may have its wings clipped. The company that developed the facial recognition software has been hit with a putative class action lawsuit over alleged privacy violations—actually—violations of Illinois state’s Biometric Information Privacy Act.

Filed by Illinois resident Brian Norberg, the Shutterfly complaint asserts that online image publisher Shutterfly and its subsidiary ThisLife LLC collect facial recognition data from user-uploaded photos without first notifying individuals and receiving their written consent, and by failing to inform them how long the information will be stored and how it will be used.

“Specifically, defendants have created, collected and stored millions of ‘face templates’ (or ‘face prints’)—” highly detailed geometric maps of the face—” from millions of individuals, many thousands of whom are non-Shutterfly users residing in the state of Illinois,” the complaint states.

“Defendants in this case made no effort whatsoever to obtain consent from unwitting third parties when they introduced their facial recognition technology,” the complaint state. “Not only do defendants’ actions fly in the face of FCC guidelines, they also violate the privacy rights of Illinois residents.”

Notably, Illinois law also prohibits companies that collect biometric data from selling it to third parties.

Heads up—Norberg is seeking $5,000 for each intentional and reckless violation, and $1,000 for each violation resulting from defendants’ negligence. Go get’em!

The case is Brian Norberg v. Shutterfly Inc. et al., case number 1:15-cv-05351, in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.

Top Settlements

Settlement in the bag…to the tune of $4.88 million. That’s the number reached in a preliminary settlement between Michael Kors Holdings Ltd and plaintiffs in a class action lawsuit alleging the company engages in consumer fraud.

Ok—you’ve read this song sheet before. The specific allegations are that Michael Kors represents on the price tags of its Kors Outlet Products artificial “suggested retail prices” that do not represent a bona fide price at which the designer formerly sold the products. The tags also offer a price termed “our price,” which represents a steep discount off the false original price.

But the [prices] used by Michael Kors … were a sham. In fact, Michael Kors manufactures certain goods for exclusive sale at its Kors Outlets, which means that such items were never sold, or even intended to be sold at the … price listed on their labels,” the complaint states.

Under the terms of the preliminary Kors settlement Michael Kors will replace “MSRP” with “Value” on its price tags and display signage explaining that term, or stop using reference prices for products made exclusively for its outlets.

If approved, the settlement will include shoppers who bought products from Michael Kors outlets in the four years ending July 25, 2014.

The case is Gattinella v. Michael Kors (USA) Inc et al, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, No. 14-05731.

Here’s one for the record books…  A jury hearing the first product liability lawsuit against Wright Profemur hip replacement systems has awarded the plaintiff $4.5 million in damages. Brought by Alan Warner, the lawsuit is the first of several hundred to go to trial with allegations that the hip replacement Warner received failed after just three years: the average life span of the system is between 15 and 20 years.

There are over 1,200 similar defect product lawsuits pending against Wright Profemur hip replacement alleging the plaintiffs suffered health problems when the modular femoral neck stem broke.

Warner’s trial lasted two weeks and is the first case to go to court. It is not part of the federal MDL.  

Hokee Dokee—That’s a wrap folks…See you at the Bar!

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”