Week Adjourned: 11.26.10

Top Class Actions

More Buzz on Google…only this time it’s not about Buzz. A potential class action lawsuit was filed this week against the company that claims the mantra ‘do no evil’. The lawsuit alleges that Google violated privacy laws by scanning Gmail accounts in order to sell and place advertisements on account holder’s user screens. Ummm. That doesn’t sound like something a good corporate citizen would do, at least to me.

Specifically, the lawsuit claims that Google violates The Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA) of 1986 by scanning the content of all Gmail from any sender and uses the information to sell and place advertisements. (Kind of makes me think back to that old Rockwell song (above)—only Google wasn’t even around back then…) “As result of Google’s actions in intercepting non-Gmail account holders’ emails, Google obtains a monetary benefit without consent of the Class members and without compensation to them,” the lawsuit states.

I have to admit, I have often wondered how all those topic specific ads crop up on the side of my Gmail screen…

Top Settlements

Isn’t ‘Wholesale’ Supposed to Mean ‘Discount’? ‘AstraZeneca hit the news rather quietly this week, with the announcement that they have reached two settlements—one nationwide, one in Massachusetts—related to two different classes of purchases of the drug Zoladex.

FYI—Zoladex is used to treat prostate cancer, advanced breast cancer, endometriosis, and uterine fibroids. This class action is not about the safety—but rather the pricing of the drug.

According to a statement issued regarding the settlements, “The lawsuit claims, but AstraZeneca denies, that the company reported false and inflated average wholesale prices (“AWPs”) for Zoladex. The reported AWPs are used to set drug prices that are paid by private health insurers and consumers paying cash or making percentage co-payments under private health insurance plans.”

So, to get to the chase, AstraZeneca agreed to pay $90 million in the nationwide settlement, and $13 million in the Massachusetts settlement. Find out if you’re eligible

Roofer Reaches Settlement. A large settlement was reached recently involving a roofer who became paralyzed after suffering a fall in February 2006 on a job site. He was awarded $16.6 million in settlement of his construction site accident lawsuit.

Antonio Acevedo was in the process of tearing off a roof when he fell about 20 feet, resulting in paraplegia and a traumatic brain injury. Consequently, he is now in a wheelchair and requires 24-hour care. Acevedo fell as a result of working on a corroded metal roof—a condition the defendants failed to disclose, he contended in his lawsuit. Obviously the jury agreed with Acevedo, because they awarded him $16,437,648 in damages and his minor daughter $156,000 for her loss of parental support.

Chinese Drywall…Just a quick note here on the never-ending Chinese Drywall saga—Banner Supply has agreed to settle its part of a class action lawsuit brought by 79 South Florida homeowners over defective Chinese drywall. The settlement amount is confidential, however Banner has said it will replace its product in homes in this case and pay additional monies for related expenses homeowners have incurred. Those homeowners now have a choice to take this settlement or continue the lawsuit.

Ok—that’s it for this week. See you at the Bar…and hope everyone’s been having a Happy Thanksgiving! Gobble Gobble.

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