Week Adjourned: 5.22.09

Everyone must be busy getting ready for the Memorial Day weekend—I just hope everyone’s making sure those beef patties for the weekend barbeque aren’t part of the recent recall for E Coli…hmm. Well, while you’ve been doing party prep, here’s what’s been going on…

Top Class Action Suits

Bringing good things to life? General Electric and Samsung are now the focus of what could amount to a large class action lawsuit over defective microwave ovens. While the class is pending certification there doesn’t appear to be any uncertainty surrounding the defect. In a nutshell, the ovens can turn themselves on…good trick, just not very safe. I’m sure you could imagine some potential scenarios. The guy who filed the suit has smoke damage to his house—he was lucky.

Will that be on your Sears charge? And it seems Sears has been in the business of selling things it doesn’t own, specifically, its cardholders’ personal and private information. Who’s buying? Interested third parties—companies who want to sell you things that Sears isn’t selling you—like insurance. Shame on Sears! The retail giant is a founding member of American retail…

Top Settlements

Goldman Sachs Subprime Mortgages. Finally, a little justice in the subprime mortgage nightmare. Goldman Sachs Group has agreed a settlement of $60 million, $50 million of which will go to homeowners as compensation, and reductions on loan principals by as much as 50 percent. Problem is this settlement only applies to homeowners in Massachusetts, where the bank holds 714 mortgages. Just imagine the math if this were a national suit!

Google AdWords. Those infamous purveyors of “Do No Evil”—Google—appear to have in fact ignored their own advice and “Done Some Evil” with the pricing of AdWords. So Google was sued. The complaint charged Google with breach of contract, unfair competition, and false advertising, based on the search engine company’s practice of charging AdWords advertisers more than their per day daily budget. Google has proposed a settlement of $20 million, which has yet to be approved, but I think that’s a little small, given the number of people who are running AdWords campaigns…come on guys…

In other news…

Cigarette manufacturers lost their legal battle in federal appeals court this week after the court upheld earlier requirements that the companies change the way they market cigarettes. In short, expect to see terms like “light”, “low tar”, “ultra light”, or “mild”, disappear from cigarette packaging and, possibly, more lawsuits against big tobacco.

That’s a wrap—have a great long weekend…We’ll be at the bar…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.