Supreme Court Upholds Ruling Supporting California Consumers in Predatory Lending Class Action Against BofA

predatory bank lending

The U.S. Supreme Court has declined to review a Ninth Circuit ruling reinstating a proposed consumer class action against Bank of America over its allegedly predatory lending activities. As reported by Law 360, the banking giant’s failed attempt to get the ruling reviewed leaves in place a Ninth Circuit panel ruling from earlier this year that reinstated a proposed consumer fraud class action brought against Bank of America NA by lead plaintiff Donald Lusnak, a California homeowner. According to Law 360, the suit “sought to force the North Carolina-based bank to comply with a California law requiring mortgage lenders to pay at least 2 percent interest on borrowers’ escrow accounts.” [Read more…]

Court Grants Final Approval to $42.5 Million Settlement of British Airways Frequent Flyer Ticket Surcharges Class Action

Air Travel Complaints

In 2012, Lieff Cabraser filed a class action lawsuit against British Airways over what its frequent flyers alleged was the imposition of extortionate “fuel surcharges” on individuals who wanted to redeem their British Airways frequent flyer miles for air tickets. After months of concerted investigation, Lieff Cabraser’s team tenaciously pursued a six-year course of litigation against an opponent that took the most aggressive positions on every possible issue.

Our firm won every dispute in the case — two motions to dismiss, class certification, Rule 23(f) appeal, summary judgment, Daubert motions, motions in limine, and numerous contested discovery issues.   [Read more…]

Lieff Cabraser Announces Class Action Consumer Fraud Lawsuit Against Westgate Resorts, Ltd.

Log Cabins in the Smoky Mountains

September 26, 2018, Nashville, TN—(BUSINESSWIRE)—Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, LLP; Farmer Purcell White & Lassiter, PLLC; Ritchie, Dillard, Davies & Johnson, P.C., and Wallace & Associates announce the filing of a class action consumer fraud lawsuit in federal court in the Eastern District of Tennessee on behalf of purchasers of timeshare interests at the Westgate Smoky Mountain Resort in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, against Westgate Resorts, Ltd. and its related entities.  [Read more…]

California Department of Insurance Intervenes in Lieff Cabraser’s Lawsuit Against AbbVie Alleging Kickbacks and Improper Marketing of Top-Selling Drug Humira

Hospital

Joint Complaint Filed Under the California Insurance Frauds Prevention Act

On September 18, 2018, Lieff Cabraser and California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones sued AbbVie, Inc. for violations of the Insurance Frauds Prevention Act (“IFPA”) by providing kickbacks to healthcare providers throughout California relating to sale of the immunosuppressive drug Humira. Humira, used to treat arthritis, colitis, and other diseases, is a widely-prescribed drug that led the list of top-selling pharmaceutical products until its 2016 U.S. patent expiration, having global sales of $16 billion in 2016 alone. [Read more…]

State Farm Settles Rigged-Judge Auto Parts RICO Fraud Trial for $250 Million

State Farm Settles Rigged-Judge Auto Parts RICO Fraud Trial

Hale, et al. v. State Farm, No. 3:12-cv-00660 (S.D. Illinois) began over 20 years ago with a class action suit by State Farm insureds alleging State Farm wrongly replaced their post-accident vehicle parts with non-OEM in violation of the terms of their insurance policies. In 1999, an Illinois state court jury awarded plaintiffs $456 million for breach of contract by the company, and the trial judge added $730 million in punitive damages. An appellate court reduced the verdict to $1.056 billion, at that time one of the largest class-action verdicts in U.S. history. [Read more…]

State Farm Will Settle Rigged-Judge Trial for $250 Million

State Farm

Law360 has reported that on the same day trial was to begin in the case, State Farm has agreed to pay $250 million to settle the RICO lawsuit wherein plaintiffs alleged the company secretly paid millions to help elect an Illinois Supreme Court judge in order to overturn a billion-plus dollar judgment against it from a case originating back in 1997. [Read more…]

Hundreds of Wells Fargo Customers Lose Their Homes to Foreclosure Due to Bank’s Mistakes and Aggressive Actions

Hundreds of Wells Fargo Customers Lose Their Homes to Foreclosure Due to Bank’s Mistakes and Aggressive Actions

Homeowners’ homes foreclosed on after Wells Fargo’s software incorrectly denied available mortgage modifications

News sources have revealed that more than 600 Wells Fargo customers were incorrectly denied loan modifications under a federal assistance program set up by the Treasury Department in 2009, with 400 of the owners ultimately losing their homes to bank foreclosure. The bank claims the loan adjustment denials were the result of a “computer error.” [Read more…]

Fiat Chrysler & Bosch Try to Escape RICO Claims in Emissions Fraud Litigation

Fiat Chrysler & Bosch Try to Escape RICO Claims in Emissions Fraud Litigation

Fiat Chrysler and Bosch are trying to convince a federal judge in California to throw out RICO claims brought by drivers in multidistrict litigation centering on claims that the companies cheated on vehicle emissions testing. The companies argue that only regulators, and not the consumers bringing the current lawsuit, are entitled to relief under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, as the consumers who purchased affected vehicles were not direct victims of the alleged misconduct. U.S. District Court Judge Edward M. Chen seemed to disagree with the companies’ argument, noting that, “At the end of the day, they [the consumers] paid for a car that they didn’t get.” [Read more…]

Final Month for VW, Audi 2.0-Liter Diesel Owners, Lessees to File Class Action Settlement Claims and Receive Benefits

VW Diesel Emissions Case Settlement

Eligible consumers must file claims by September 1 to receive buyback or approved emissions modification plus additional cash compensation

Owners and lessees of Volkswagen and Audi 2.0-liter diesel vehicles who have yet to complete a claim in the 2.0-liter class action settlement have until September 1, 2018 to claim benefits for a vehicle buyback or an approved emissions modification, along with thousands of dollars in cash compensation. [Read more…]

Consumer Action Alert: Heads Up for VW 2.0-Liter Diesel Owners and Lessees to File Claims

Final claims deadline approaches for Volkswagen (VW) settlement

The Volkswagen “Clean Diesel” litigation settlement of more than $15 billion, announced in June 2016, is quickly approaching the deadline for 2.0-liter diesel owners and lessees to file claims and receive their benefits. This will ensure that these vehicles either are removed from the road or receive an approved emissions modification. [Read more…]

VIDEO: Consumers Win Victory Over Western Sky Financial in Litigation Over Abusive Payday Lender Scam

Successful consumer protection class action against malevolent payday lender highlights the benefits and power of individuals uniting in class action lawsuits

Successful consumer protection class action against malevolent payday lender highlights the benefits and power of individuals uniting in class action lawsuits

On Monday evening, the Public Justice Foundation held its 36th Annual Gala & Awards Dinner at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts. As part of the ceremony, Public Justice recognized victorious attorney efforts with its Trial Lawyer of the Year awards. This included a focus on and video describing Inetianbor v. Western Sky Financial. [Read more…]

Mandatory Arbitration Clauses Should Be Banned From Insurance Policies

Mandatory Arbitration Clauses Should Be Banned From Insurance Policies

Formal amendment to the Model Unfair Trade Practices Act seeks to prohibit pre-dispute forced arbitration provisions

According to Insurance Business America, pretty much everyone except big business hates forced dispute arbitration, a diversion of adjudication from open courts to closed, one-sided panels that has been shoved down the throats of consumers across nearly every industry. “Over the last 10 to 15 years, the practice of requiring individuals to agree to arbitrate rather than litigate any future disputes (or forgo the product, service or employment altogether) has been heavily criticized by government agencies, the media, academics and consumer groups.” [Read more…]

All Web Leads Deceptive Practices Class Action Gets Go-Ahead from Federal Court

TCPA Unconsented Intrusive Calls and Texts

Lawsuit may affect as many as 2 million class members

Lieff Cabraser represents plaintiffs in a federal class action lawsuit alleging that insurance contact and information provider All Web Leads uses deceptive practices to lure customers in the insurance industry. Plaintiffs claim that All Web Leads violated the federal Telephone Consumer Protection Act by harvesting the telephone numbers of prospective insurance quote customers, then making unwanted and unconsented customer calls in violation of the law. Plaintiffs also allege that All Web Leads improperly hid the required TCPA disclosure language in fine print on its websites. The company acts as a “middle man” between insurance agents, industry members, and customers. [Read more…]

Appeals Court Affirms $10 Billion VW Diesel Emissions Deal, Noting “Substantial Benefits” to Class Members

Diesel Emissions Fraud

Settlement delivers “substantial, tangible benefits” to class members, with extremely high participation rates

As reported by Law360 (subscription), the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal has affirmed the $10 billion deal between consumers and Volkswagen covering over 475,000 diesel vehicles in the diesel engine emissions fraud scandal that first broke in 2015. The Court upheld the settlement relating to 2.0 liter engine VW, Porsche, and Audi vehicles after reviewing six separate appeals. [Read more…]

VW Diesel Emissions Claims Deadline is Rapidly Approaching for 2.0 Liter Engine Vehicles

September 2018 VW Emissions Deadline

As reported by Green Car Reports, U.S. owners of 2.0-liter 4-cylinder VW cars must complete the filing of their diesel emissions fraud settlement paperwork by September 1st, 2018, to be eligible for at least $5,100 in compensation from Volkswagen. After filing, all claims must be settled by December 31, 2018, but again, they must be submitted by the September 1 deadline to be eligible. [Read more…]

Judge Holds Racketeering Lawsuit Against State Farm Over Election Manipulations Can Go Forward

Judge Holds Racketeering Lawsuit Against State Farm Over Election Manipulations Can Go Forward

Insurer is accused of secretly and improperly funding state judge’s campaign so it could get a $1 billion judgment against overturned

U.S. District Judge David R. Herndon has ruled that Lieff Cabraser’s class action lawsuit can proceed against State Farm over charges the insurer acted illegally in spending millions on a secret campaign to get a judge elected to state court who would then rule in State Farm’s favor in a massive pending fraud lawsuit. After losing an earlier lawsuit where it was hit with a $1.05 billion judgment, plaintiffs allege State Farm defrauded them of the judgment by “handpicking Judge Karmeier, covertly funneling millions into his campaign and lying about its support for the judge in communications to the Illinois Supreme Court and counsel for the class.” [Read more…]

Vitafusion B Complex Adult Vitamin Gummies May Expose Consumers to Unsafe Levels of Folate and Folic Acid

Vitafusion B Complex Adult Vitamin Gummies May Expose Consumers to Unsafe Levels of Folate and Folic Acid

Recent investigations into Church & Dwight Vitafusion B Complex Adult Vitamin Gummies allege there are unsafe and dangerous levels of folic acid in these dietary widely-used supplements. According to the Nutrition Business Journal, vitamin gummies now represent more than 10 percent of the U.S. health supplement market, and that share is projected to grow by over 50 percent in the next few years. Originally targeted at children, gummy vitamins have turned into a huge market for adults and seniors. [Read more…]

Court Says Fitbit Gameplaying Around Arbitration Efforts Could Lead to Contempt

Court Says Fitbit Gameplaying Around Arbitration Efforts Could Lead to Contempt

Fitbit may be facing civil contempt charges for what U.S. District Judge James Donato says is “gamesmanship” after the company leveraged an arbitration agreement to shrink the class action lawsuit over alleged deficiencies in its heart rate monitors then quit the arbitration when the plaintiff didn’t like its settlement offer (hearing transcript). As reported by Law360, Judge Donato had directed Fitbit and the arbitrator to determine whether 12 plaintiffs’ claims about the Fitbit devices, which consistently mis-record heart rates, particularly during the vigorous exercise for which many consumers purchase the devices, should be heard in open and fair court or just in closed arbitration. [Read more…]

Lieff Cabraser Authors Amicus Brief Urging Rehearing in Ahearn v. Hyundai and Consumer Class Action Settlements

Lieff Cabraser Authors Amicus Brief Urging Rehearing in Ahearn V. Hyundai and Consumer Class Action Settlements

Three organizations joined the Impact Fund in filing an amicus brief with the Ninth Circuit urging reconsideration of a divided panel opinion in Ahearn v. Hyundai that overturned precedent and created a circuit split over the question of whether variations in state consumer laws can preclude national class action settlements. Lieff Cabraser wrote the brief on behalf of Public Justice, P.C., the National Association of Consumer Advocates, the National Consumer Law Center, and the Impact Fund. [Read more…]