Week Adjourned: 1.9.14 – DAP XHose, Nissan, Honda

The week’s top class action lawsuits and settlements. Top cases include Nissan, DAP Xhose and Honda.

DAP XhoseTop Class Action Lawsuits

Did you get hosed by DAP? A defective products class action lawsuit has been filed against hose manufacturer Dap Products, Inc, alleging the the Xhose and the Xhose Pro are defective and do not perform as advertised. No comment.

According to the DAP Xhose complaint, the hose is made out of a thin plastic internal tube with a thin cloth layer on the outside. Dap advertises the hose as providing an alternative to standard garden hoses because it is lightweight and can contract without “kinking.” “Defendants’ marketing and packaging states that the XHose is tough, durable, and long-lasting,” the lawsuit states. “Contrary to defendants’ representations, however, the XHose is defective and predisposed to leaking, bursting, seeping and dripping due to no fault of the consumer.”

According to Cynthia Finnk, who filed the complaint, she purchased two XHose Pros in December 2013 both of which eventually exploded during use. Oh yes—that could send you over the edge. Apparently, the company sent her a total of eight replacement hoses after the products continued to explode when in use, according to the lawsuit. Ok, what’s your first clue that quality control is an abstract concept here. The company allegedly refused to give a refund because the 90-day refund period had expired. Bingo!

The lawsuit was filed on December 24th, by plaintiffs Michael Carton, Cynthia Finnk, Rocco Lano, Laurina Leato, Marilyn Listander and Roger Mammon filed the lawsuit also names National Express and RPM International as defendants. The plaintiffs are seeking class status for the suit, and in excess of $5 million in damages. The case is United States District Court for the Northern District of Maryland case number 1:14-cv-04015.

Naughty Nissan! They got hit with a federal defective automotive class action lawsuit  this week, alleging Nissan North America failed to warn consumers about dangerously defective transmissions in 2013-2014 Pathfinder vehicles. The alleged defect poses a potentially serious problem at any time, particularly when a car is merging onto high-speed traffic on a freeway, according to the lawsuit. Really?

The Nissan lawsuit alleges that, on acceleration from 15 to 30 mph, the vehicles are subjected to unexpected shaking and violent jerking (“juddering” or “shuddering”), preventing the vehicles from accelerating. And no doubt putting fear into the hearts of drivers and passengers alike.

The lawsuit states: “This transmission defect creates an unreasonably dangerous situation and increases the risk of a crash; it is inevitable that an individual will be injured or killed due to a collision caused by this safety defect.” But hey—if it hasn’t happened yet—why worry about it, right?

The lawsuit alleges that Nissan concealed and knowingly sold and leased vehicles with the dangerously defective transmissions, and through its dealers failed to honor express and implied warranties to repair and replace the dangerously defective transmissions. Instead, the 77-page lawsuit claims, consumers’ complaints were delayed, deflected, and ultimately denied.

Heads up folks—this defect potentially affects tens of thousands of consumers throughout the country. The Consumer Class Action Complaint seeks damages in excess of $5 million, injunctive and declaratory relief, and punitive damages for claims of breach of express and implied warranties, violations of the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, and violations of the Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act.

The action, filed December 15, 2014, is Batista vs. Nissan North America, Inc., no. 1: 14-cv-24728-RNS, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida.

Top Settlements

Honda got its knuckles wrapped this week, as they agreed to pony up $70 million in fines to resolve allegations made by US federal regulators that from 2003 to 2014, the auto maker failed to report 1729 deaths and injuries related to possible safety defects in its vehicles. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), Honda will pay two $35 million civil penalties, effectively resolving its alleged lapses in early-warning reporting.

The early-warning reporting requirements are part of the Transportation Recall Enhancement, Accountability and Documentation (TREAD) Act, which requires car manufacturers to submit reports to the NHTSA every quarter to alert the agency of deaths or injuries arising from possible safety defects. The NHTSA states that Honda failed to provide early-warning reports to the agency to alert it about safety-related issues. The fines also address Honda’s alleged failure to report some warranty claims and customer satisfaction-related claims during that time, according to the agency.

Honda faced a barrage of class actions related to defective Takata air bags late in 2014, after which the NHTSA issued a special order directing Honda to explain its failure to fully report deaths and injuries related to possible auto safety defects, as required under the TREAD act.

According to the early-warning reports filed with the NHTSA, the 1,729 unreported injuries and deaths that Honda allegedly failed to report constituted more than double the number of incidents the automaker reported to the NHTSA during the past 11 years.

According to Honda, the under-reporting of those death and injury notices was due to “errors related to data entry, computer coding, regulatory interpretation, and other errors in warranty and property damage claims reporting.” Yeah—blame it on the help. Good one guys.

So, under the terms of the settlement, Honda has also agreed to conduct third-party audits of its reporting, train its staff in fulfilling TREAD Act requirements and devise compliance procedures.

Hokee Dokee—That’s a wrap folks…Time to adjourn for the week. See you at the bar.


Week Adjourned: 10.25.13 – Unpaid Overtime, Hershey’s, Honda

Top Class Action Lawsuits for the week: Honda Defect Settlement, Hershey’s workers and BJC Healthcare unpaid overtime.

Punch Time ClockTop Class Action Lawsuits

Paycheck Rounding Error? Seems unpaid overtime is a popular theme these days. This week, a new unpaid overtime class action lawsuit was filed in the City of St. Louis on behalf of current and former nurses and medical professionals employed by BJC Healthcare System for violations of Missouri’s wage and hour laws and other violations of Missouri law. The lawsuit seeks unpaid overtime and straight-time wages resulting from BJC’s wage and hour practices. The lawsuit is entitled Speraneo v. BJC Health System Inc., d/b/a BJC Healthcare.

The BJC class action lawsuit alleges that BJC failed to properly pay employees for all time worked through its time recording policies and failed to pay overtime compensation to employees working over forty hours per week.

BJC’s timekeeping rounds down the amount of time employees work to the nearest quarter hour, despite having the exact times employees clocked into work and having computerized documentation of exact work times. This practice deprived employees of pay for compensable work time in violation of established work time regulations.

BJC automatically deducts time for meal breaks resulting in employees, such as nurses, not being paid for time actually worked. The lawsuit alleges that BJC knew that its employees, such as nurses, worked during the automatically deducted break time and as a custom and practice failed to pay employees for such compensable work.

The lawsuit also alleges that BJC failed to properly compensate employees for shift differential bonuses and pay overtime compensation at statutorily required rates of pay.

Top Settlements

A sweet ending for Hershey employees? Seems that way—if a preliminary $500,000 settlement gets the green light. The preliminary settlement has just been approved in a California unpaid overtime and wage and hour class action lawsuit pending against Hershey.

The Hershey lawsuit alleges that the class members are owed wages including unpaid overtime and minimum wage pursuant to several sections of the California labor law and are owed premium pay for missed meal and rest periods also pursuant to various Labor Code sections. The lawsuit further claims that the class is entitled to “waiting time” penalties, and penalties for non-compliant wage statements and payroll records pursuant to various Labor Code sections, and that they are entitled to reimbursement for business expenses.

The lawsuit is brought by Shelley Rodrigues on behalf of herself and other similarly situated who were or are employed as retail sales merchandisers, as well as all other current and former hourly-paid or non-exempt merchandisers or person who held similar job titles and/or performed similar job duties in California.

The settlement class is defined as all current and former hourly part-time retail sales merchandisers employed by the Hershey Company in California at any time between July 23, 2008 and June 3, 2013, the Class Period.

Time for Honda to Feel the Burn? This is a biggie…Honda looks as if it’s ready to pony up some cash over a defective automobile class action lawsuit pending against it. The Japanese automaker was sued over allegations it made over 1.59 million vehicles that burn oil excessively and also require frequent spark plug replacements. That’s convenient.

The Honda lawsuit, filed in March 2012, alleges the Honda vehicles had a “systematic design defect that enables oil to enter into the engine’s combustion chamber.” The alleged defect led to “premature spark plug degradation and engine malfunction,” court documents state.

The lawsuit claims that Honda was aware of the problem but failed to notify consumers, allegations Honda denies, despite having issued a technical service bulletin notifying its technicians to check for the defect. The auto maker did not issue a recall because a safety issue was not discovered.

The preliminary Honda class action settlement includes all US purchasers and lessees of 2008-12 Accord, 2008-13 Odyssey, 2009-13 Pilot, 2010-11 Accord Crosstour and 2012 Crosstour vehicles equipped with six-cylinder engines that have variable cylinder management. Accord vehicles with four-cylinder engines are not included in the settlement.

Settlement terms include Honda extending the powertrain limited warranty for up to eight years after the original sale or lease of the vehicle. The preliminary settlement approval was given October 9, 2013, and the final fairness hearing is scheduled for March 21, 2014.

Ok Folks, That’s all for this week. Have a good one—see you at the bar!