Week Adjourned: 11.15.13 – Kia Soul, Garnier Fructis, Miley Cyrus, Starbucks

The week’s top class action lawsuits including Kia Soul, L’Oreal Garnier Fructis, Miley Cyrus jewelry and Starbucks coffee.

Kia SoulTop Class Action Lawsuits

An Explosive Situation… Heads up to Kia Soul owners and anyone leasing the 2010-2013 models. Kia Motors is facing a defective automotive class action lawsuit alleging that some of its vehicles have fuel tank placements that place vehicle occupants at risk for fire in the event of collision. The specific models cited in the consumer fraud class action lawsuit are the 2010-2013 Kia Soul.

The Kia Soul class action lawsuit contends that there was a scenario in Texas, in which a Kia Soul exploded in a collision, and as a result of the defective gas tank design all three passengers in the rear compartment of the car burned to death.

Filed in California federal court, the lawsuit, entitled Constance Sims, et al. v. Kia Motors America Inc. et al., Case No. 13-01791, in the United States District Court for the Central District of California, alleges that Kia Motors America Inc, falsely misrepresented some of its vehicles as being constructed with “world-class quality.”

The design of certain Kia vehicles has the gas tank located directly under the rear seat. Further, the lawsuit alleges there are no means of protecting or reinforcing the fuel tank with reinforcing straps or a whole-tank shield, which is a practice commonly used by other automakers.

Therefore, the lawsuit contends, Kia passengers are unknowingly put at risk in certain types of collisions. Plaintiffs allege that placing the fuel tanks under the rear seat “increases the risk that the gas tank will dislodge and ignite in a major collision.”

The Kia defective automotive lawsuit also alleges the fuel pump cover is placed directly under the rear seat cushion, in order to allow mechanics easier access in the event of problem: mechanics would not necessarily have to remove the entire gas tank. However, should the gas tank become dislodged, the covering is plastic, “increasing the likelihood of a ‘blow torch’ [sic] fire in the rear compartment,” the lawsuit states.

The plaintiffs are seeking to represent anyone who purchased, leased and/or currently own or lease a Kia vehicle model that has a gas tank that is not properly secured or is covered by a plastic fuel pump service cover. They are also seeking damages for violations of the state Consumer Legal Remedies Act, Unfair Competition Law, false advertising, breach of implied warranty and fraudulent concealment.

Having a Bad Hair Day? Wait till you read this… L’Oréal is facing a defective product class action lawsuit over claims that it failed to warn customers that Garnier Fructis Sleek and Shine Anti-Frizz Serum has, as its main ingredients, cyclopentasiloxane and dimethiconol, which are flammable. According to the class action, the anti-frizz serum can catch fire at temperatures above 171 degrees and can cause substantial risk of burns to face, head and neck. One teenager has suffered significant burns to her face and scalp.

The Garnier Fructis lawsuit has received certification by strict Court Judge Christina A. Snyder of the Central District of California. The class action alleges that L’Oréal USA Inc, and L’Oréal USA Products Inc., failed to label the frizz-reducing product as combustible or flammable near flame, ignition or high-heat-producing styling appliances, and misrepresented the product as safe to use with such implements, according to court documents.

Filed by plaintiffs Jill Guido and Catherine Altamura of California; Natalie Lefebvre of Texas; and Lisa Pearly of New York, the lawsuit seeks to represent any person who purchased the Serum during the period from February 4, 2008, to the present. According to court documents, during the class period, L’Oréal sold some 9.9 million units of Garnier Fructis Sleek and Shine Anti-Frizz Serum in the US. So—heads up ladies… and gents.

Top Settlements

All that Glitters is not Gold…and now there’s a settlement as a result. That’s right folks. A settlement has been reached in the consumer fraud class action lawsuit alleging that Miley Cyrus-branded jewelry manufactured by BCBG Max Azria Group Inc., and sold through Wal-Mart stores, contained cadmium.

The lawsuit, entitled Canamore v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., Case No. CV-2010-534, claims that had the plaintiffs known the Miley Cyrus jewelry contained cadmium, they would not have purchased it.

The Miley Cyrus jewelry lawsuit was filed on July 2, 2010. Defendants have denied and continue to deny any and all allegations of wrongdoing and liability. The Court has not decided which side is right.

FYI—you are a Settlement Class Member if you purchased Miley Cyrus-branded jewelry from a Wal-Mart retail store after July 1, 2005. A Final Approval Hearing will be held on December 30, 2013. There’s a little light reading with this one, so to find out your options, download forms, etc., visit: http://www.canamoresettlement.com.

Were you Scooped by Starbucks? If so, you may be entitled to some dosh. A proposed settlement has been reached in a consumer fraud class action lawsuit pending against Starbucks. The global coffee company has agreed to reimburse consumers who purchased less than one pound of scooped (not pre-packaged) Starbucks coffee beans between December 9, 2007 and November 7, 2011. The beans may have been purchased from any company-owned Starbucks store in the United States, other than half-pound purchases during January to March 2008 of coffee that had half-pound prices posted on menu boards during that time.

Among the allegations in the Starbucks consumer fraud class action, is that Starbucks (“Starbucks” or “Starbucks Coffee Company” or “Defendant”) failed to disclose to certain Starbucks customers who bought Starbucks scooped coffee beans in amounts less than 1 pound that the price was greater per pound than the amount charged for purchases of 1 pound of Starbucks coffee beans, according to the Starbucks settlement website.

According to the terms of the proposed settlement, Starbucks would provide a common settlement fund of $1,733,025.71, inclusive of settled claims, administrative expenses, attorneys’ fees, and costs. Starbucks would credit the My Starbucks Rewards accounts of Class Members who are My Starbucks Rewards Members in an amount calculated by multiplying $0.45 (an estimate of the weighted average Upcharge of all transactions by Class Members in the Class Period) by the number of Covered Purchases on each My Starbucks Rewards Member’s account identified in Starbucks’ business records or $5.00, whichever is more.

For consumers who are Starbucks Class Members but who are not My Starbucks Rewards Members, claims forms can be accessed online at: https://scoopedcoffeesettlement.simpluris.com/pages/ClaimForm.aspx or by downloading a claim form from the settlement website at www.starbucks.com/scoopedcoffeesettlement that can be printed out and mailed to Simpluris, Inc. P.O. Box 26170, Santa Ana, CA 92799.

Again, if you think you’re affected by this settlement there’s a little light reading involved, which you can access at www.starbucks.com/scoopedcoffeesettlement.

Ok Folks, That’s all for this week. And have a good weekend.

 

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