Week Adjourned: 6/24/16 – TD Bank, Banana Boat, Whirlpool

TDTop Class Action Lawsuits

Canadians are Following Suit…literally, this week, by filing a consumer fraud class action lawsuit against Toronto Dominion (TD) Bank in Canada alleging that its “Penny Arcade” coin counting machines located across Canada shortchanged customers. The bank has faced lawsuits in the state over the very same issue.

Short version:  Plaintiff Lisa Ram (“Ram”), claims that on or about June 23, 2014, she used TD Bank’s coin counting machine in Kitchener, Ontario to count coin currency. Before taking them for deposit in the machine, Ram claims she counted and sorted them and knew she had a total of $854.25. After depositing the coins into TD Bank’s coin counter, she was not credited for amounts totaling $159.50. Despite complaining to the bank, Ram claims it failed to remedy her losses. So, who’s making money here?

According to the TD Bank complaint, customers using TD Bank’s coin counting machines expected the machines to operate accurately. However, based on its extensive experience with operating coin counting machines in its US branches since 2007, TD Bank knew or ought to have known that its coin counting machines were not capable of achieving accuracy for many reasons, resulting in undercounted funds of several percentage points in some cases. TD Bank failed to take any steps to warn customers of these risks, causing them harm.

Heads up Canadians—the class action is brought on behalf of a proposed class of persons who used TD Bank’s coin changing machines in Canada between January 1, 2013 and May 25, 2016.

Limited Protection? Meanwhile, back in the US, Banana Boat got hit with a consumer fraud class action lawsuit alleging its sunscreen  products do not contain the amount of sunscreen advertised. That is not cool.

According to plaintiff Paul Lambrakis, he bought tube of Banana Boat Kids SPF 50 in May after a Consumer Reports study found that it and many other sunscreens were overstating their protection factor. Lambrakis then sent the tube to a laboratory in Winston Salem, NC for testing, according to the lawsuit. The results showed that while the product stated it was SPF 50, it turned out to have less than half the sunscreen stated on the packaging.

The investigation concluded that Banana Boat Kids SPF 50 sunscreen, clearly labeled as containing SPF 50, shockingly contained only an SPF of 12.69 and a measured UVA protection factor of 4.88,” according to the lawsuit.

“Defendants have known, or should have known, for years that Banana Boat Kids SPF 50 products contain less UV protection than Defendants advertise,” the lawsuit states. Defendants named in the suit are Playtex Products, Edgewell Personal Care Company and Sun Pharmaceutical.

According to the complaint, Lambrakis and others in the class action suit were forced to “overpay for the sunscreen based upon false, inflated SPF.”

The lawsuit comes after a Consumer Reports investigation found that 43 percent of the more than 60 sunscreens they tested failed to measure up to the SPF claims advertised on their bottles.

“In May of 2016, Consumer Reports research revealed that among ‘the most problematic products were Banana Boat Kids Tear-Free, Sting-Free Lotion…which [was] labeled as SPF 50 but [was] found to have only SPF 8,’” according to the complaint.

Did you buy and fry with Banana Boat sunscreens? 

Top Settlements

Whirlpool Washers finally Settle… Finally! Remember those moldy front loading washing machine lawsuits? Well—a settlement was reached this week, with defendants (“Whirlpool”) and Sears, Roebuck and Co. (“Sears”).

So, if you purchased or owned a front-loading washing machine manufactured by Whirlpool, you may be entitled to cash or other compensation from a class action settlement.

Quick back story—the lawsuits alleged certain front-loading washing machines manufactured between 2001 and 2010 fail to self-clean and tend to accumulate bacteria and mold, resulting in bad odors and ruined laundry. Specifically, the lawsuit cites certain Whirlpool, Maytag or Kenmore front-loading washing machine that were manufactured by Whirlpool and are referred to as the “Class Washers”.

The Settlement Class includes all residents of the United States and its territories who either: (a) purchased a new Class Washer; (b) acquired a Class Washer as part of the purchase or remodel of a home; or (c), received a new Class Washer as a gift.

If you are included in the Settlement, you may qualify for one of a variety of benefits including a cash payment, a rebate on the purchase of a new washing machine or dryer, or reimbursement for out-of-pocket expenses incurred due to past mold or odor problems in your washing machine.

In order to claim a Sears or Whirlpool settlement benefit, if you are qualified, you must complete and submit a Claim Form, including required documentation October 11, 2016.

Better go find those receipts!

Ok, that’s a wrap folks…Have a good one. See you at the Bar!

Week Adjourned: 5.11.12 – Overtime Pay, Smoking Dishwasher, Ormat

A wrap up of the week’s top class action lawsuits and settlements for the week ending May 11, 2012. Top stories include unpaid overtime, smoking dishwashers and Ormat green energy.

Top Class Actions

Holy Catfish Batman!—what’s that smoking thing in the kitchen? A defective dishwasher, perhaps? We’ll find out, as a defective products class action lawsuit has been filed against Whirlpool, the manufacturer of Kitchenaid, Sears Kenmore, Maytag and Whirlpool dishwashers, alleging that certain models of dishwashers have a design flaw that can cause the control circuit board to fail. Greg Adams, who filed the defective dishwasher lawsuit, alleges this happened to him.

Adams claims that on December 8, 2011, he started his dishwasher only to smell burning plastic and see smoke coming from his dishwasher, sometime shortly afterward. To stop the dishwasher, he tried to pull on the door handle, but said he burned his hand on the front panel, which had become extremely hot. In the end, Adams was forced to shut the power off, to prevent further catastrophe, and protect his family. (You know this puts a whole new spin on the benefits of take out.)

According to NBCnews.com, research suggests more than 600 people across the country have come forward on kitchenaid.com. Their products were manufactured by whirlpool, which produces Kitchenaid, Sears Kenmore, Maytag and Whirlpool dishwashers. So why no recall? Well, a recall is one of the things the lawsuit seeks to achieve. Why is this so hard?

Unpaid, unhappy and unafraid… drug sales reps from Medimmune Biologics filed an employment class action lawsuit this week, against the drug company alleging unpaid overtime wage and hour violations. Sound familiar? Novo Nordisk,  and Merck are also facing unpaid overtime suits by their sales reps. An industry-wide practice perhaps? Possibly. That is the $65 million question—and hinges on the definitions of ‘exempt’ and ‘non-exempt’.

According to the Medimmune wage and hour class action lawsuit, Medimmune Biologics violated California overtime laws by failing to pay drug sales representatives for overtime hours worked. Under California law, companies are required to pay all non-exempt employees overtime compensation whenever the employees work more than eight hours in a day or forty hours in a week.

The primary requirement to satisfy the outside salesperson exemption and thus not pay overtime under California law and the Fair Labor Standards Act is that the sales representatives are actually making sales. In the Medimmune Biologics overtime class action lawsuit, the drug sales representatives allege that they were not actually involved in making sales but rather promoting prescription drugs to physicians, doctors and other specialists. At most, the physicians the sales representatives promote the drugs to can agree to prescribe the medicine to patients as needed, but cannot actually buy the prescription medicine from the sales representatives directly.

Notably, all the pharma sales rep unpaid overtime class action lawsuits allege that the pharmaceutical sales representatives should be paid overtime compensation for working more than eight hour days under the California Labor Code and/or forty hour weeks under the Fair Labor Standards Act based on the contention that the drug sales representatives do not qualify for the outside salesperson exemption because they are not actually making sales. Incidentally, sales reps who filed unpaid overtime class actions against Schering Plough won.

Top Settlements

Green Energy Co. about to Hand Over Some Green? We have a potential settlement in the Ormat Technologies securities class action this week.

So here’s the not-so-skinny skinny:

To anyone who purchased or otherwise acquired Ormat Technologies Inc securities between May 7 2008 and February 24, 2010, inclusive, who incurred damages (the “class”):

You are hereby notified that this Class Action is pending and that a Settlement of it for Three Million One Hundred Thousand Dollars ($3,100,000) has been proposed. A hearing will be held on October 1, 2012, to determine: (i) whether the Settlement and Plan of Allocation should be approved by the Court as fair, reasonable, adequate, and in the best interests of the Class; (ii) whether Co-Lead Counsel’s application for an award of attorneys’ fees and the reimbursement of expenses should be approved; (iii) whether the Court should grant Lead Plaintiffs reimbursement of their reasonable costs and expenses (including lost wages) directly related to their representation of the Class; and (iv) whether the Court should approve the release of Released Claims against any and all Released Persons and dismiss the Litigation with prejudice.


To participate in the Settlement, you must submit a Proof of Claim no later than September 24, 2012. As more fully described in the Notice, the deadline for submitting objections to the Settlement and requests for exclusions from the Class is September 10, 2012. Further information may be obtained by visiting gcginc.com/cases/ormat.

Got that?

Good. See you at the bar. And—Happy Mother’s Day!