Week Adjourned: 2.19.16 – Amazon, Maytag, Uber

amazon logoTop Class Action Lawsuits

Amazon Primed for a Lawsuit? How much was that again? Amazon got hit with a consumer fraud class action lawsuit this week, alleging false advertising and consumer fraud. Brought by named plaintiff Gregory Harris, the lawsuit claims Amazon charged Harris, and others similarly situated, fees that were additional to advertised products’ purchase prices. Heard this one before? Oh yeah baby!

Specifically, Harris claims that Amazon represents to consumers they can use its services to purchase products directly from its website at no cost to the consumer besides the cost of the product. However, the lawsuit alleges, Amazon.com charged Harris and others in the class additional fees, specifically an “Amazon Prime” membership fee.

The Amazon lawsuit claims violations of the Electronic Funds Transfer Act, violations of California’s Consumer Legal Remedies Act, and violations of California’s Unfair Competition Law.

Harris and others in the class seek injunctive relief, actual damages, punitive and statutory damages, interests, attorney fees and other costs of the suit. The case is: Superior Court of California County of Los Angeles Case number BC606984 

All Coming out in the Wash..? Round and round and round we go… what number lawsuit is this for Whirlpool? We’ve lost count. This consumer fraud class action lawsuit alleges the company misrepresents the efficiency of certain models of its washing machines.

Specifically, that Whirlpool promoted certain Maytag Centennial model washing machines as Energy Star-qualified, labeling the machines with the Energy Star logo. However, these washing machine models do not meet the Energy Star efficiency standards and in fact use more water and energy than stated on the labels. Oh, that’s great. So, just slap a sticker on and you’re good to go, is that the idea? Maybe…

According the Whirlpool Maytag lawsuit, the US Department of Energy requires that Energy Star-qualified washing machines must use approximately 50 percent less water and 37 percent less energy than standard models. However, the plaintiffs claim that he and others similarly situated paid more for these models but did not save as much as they should have on water and energy bills over time using the machines.

Filed by Walt Famular, individually and for all others similarly situated, the lawsuit alleges breach of express warranty, unjust enrichment, and violations of the New York General Business Law.

The lawsuit seeks statutory, compensatory and punitive damages, plus interests, restitution and disgorgement, injunctive relief, attorney fees and other costs of the suit. U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York Case number 7:16-VC-00944-VB.

Plaintiffs are represented by attorneys Scott A. Bursor, Joseph I. Marchese, Frederick J. Klorczyk III and Neal J. Deckant of Bursor & Fisher PA in New York. 

Top Settlements

Uber Feeling the Sting…of high fees—in the form of a settlement, that is. The ride share and taxi company has agreed to pay $28.5 million to settle a consumer fraud class action lawsuit involving some 25 million riders who allege it mislead customers about its fees and safety procedures.

Specifically, the lawsuit claimed that Uber, which uses a smartphone app to receive ride requests and then sends the requests to its drivers, charged an extra “safe rides fee” to cover what the company called “industry-leading background checks” on its drivers.

Additionally, under the terms of the Uber settlement, Uber will not describe or title any fee that it charges for its services, including any charge for its rideshare services, as the “safe rides fee.” Further, the company agreed that it will not use the terms “best available,” “industry leading,” “gold standard,” “safest” or “best-in-class” in connection with its background checks, in any of its commercial advertising.

Uber has also agreed not to use the phrases “safest ride on the road,” “strictest safety standards possible,” “safest experience on the road,” “best in class safety and accountability,” “safest transportation option,” “background checks that exceed any local or national standard” or “safest possible platform” to describe its rideshare services.

Uber said it will rename the safe ride fee a “booking fee,” explaining that “It will be used to cover safety as well as additional operational costs that could arise in the future.”

Better buckle up! 

Ok…So, that’s a wrap folks… See you at the Bar!

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