Number of Unauthorized Wells Fargo Bank Accounts Significantly Larger Than Initially Reported

Unauthorized Wells Fargo Bank Accounts Significantly Larger Than Initially Reported

Court documents included as part of an imminent class action settlement with Wells Fargo Bank indicate that the banking giant created 1.4 million more phony bank and credit card accounts than it had previously reported. As Law360 notes, “The San Francisco-based bank and a class of account holders estimate that between 2002 and 2017 Wells Fargo employees allegedly opened approximately 3.5 million unauthorized accounts, replacing the previous 2.1 million estimate.”
[Read more…]

City of Philadelphia Files Lawsuit Against Wells Fargo for Discriminatory Lending

High-cost mortgage loans

Lawsuit Alleges the Bank Targeted Minority Borrowers with High-Cost Loans

The City of Philadelphia has filed a federal lawsuit against Wells Fargo in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania claiming that Wells Fargo has engaged in discriminatory lending practices that target minority borrowers. The Complaint alleges that commencing in 2004 and continuing through the present, Wells Fargo violated the federal Fair Housing Act (“FHA”) by steering African-American and Latino borrowers towards high-cost or high-risk loans even where those borrowers’ credit permitted them to obtain more advantageous loans. [Read more…]

Statement on Court Granting Final Approval of Volkswagen, Audi, Porsche 3.0-Liter Emissions and Bosch Settlements

VW Diesel Emissions Case Settlement

San Francisco, CA (May 11, 2017) – Elizabeth Cabraser, lead counsel for the consumer plaintiffs in the Volkswagen “Clean Diesel” Marketing, Sales Practices, and Products Liability Litigation, released the following statement regarding the Court granting final approval of the Volkswagen, Audi and Porsche 3.0-Liter Emissions Settlement and the related Bosch settlement. The final approval hearing was held today in the Northern District of California as part of the multidistrict litigation currently being overseen by Judge Charles M. Breyer. Judge Breyer informed the parties that orders would be entered no later than May 17, 2017. [Read more…]

FCC Creates Task Force to Block Unwanted Robocalls

FCC Creates Task Force to Block Unwanted Robocalls

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) wants to move forward in its crackdown on unwanted and intrusive robocalls. Consumers find these automated “robocalls” and text messages to be inherently offensive and harassing, particularly when they are made on a repeat basis, often outside of normal business hours. [Read more…]

Court Grants Final Approval to Volkswagen Emissions 3.0-Liter Vehicle Settlement

Volkswagen Diesel Emissions

U.S. District Court Judge Charles Breyer has granted final approval to a settlement over emissions fraud on Volkswagen’s 3.0-liter engine vehicles in the U.S. with a value of at least $1.2 billion. The settlement covers approximately 82,500 cars and suvs with the larger capacity engines, and follows the previous $14.7 billion settlement for drivers of 2.0-liter engines. The new settlement brings the total measure of VW’s civil payments over the emissions scandal to about $17.4 billion. U.S. Justice Department attorney Joshua Van Eaton noted in court that the result “sends a message to Volkswagen and to others who would consider gaming the system that it does not pay to cheat.” [Read more…]

Supreme Court Clears Way for Cities to Sue Major Banks Over Discriminatory Lending Practices

predatory bank lending

On Monday May 1, 2017, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that cities have standing to sue major banks over the kinds of discriminatory lending practices that caused significant harm to low-income neighborhoods through and after the foreclosure crisis and the 2008 recession. Until now, the banks claimed that while forbidding racial discrimination, the Fair Housing Act protected only individuals who suffered discrimination, not entire cities. [Read more…]

Mark Chalos in The Tennessean on United Airlines as the Iceberg’s Tip of Bad Corporate Behavior

Mark Chalos in The Tennessean on United Airlines as the Iceberg's Tip of Bad Corporate Behavior

Lieff Cabraser Nashville office Managing Partner Mark Chalos is no fan of unleashed corporations. As an opinion piece in The Tennessean makes clear, Chalos sees incidents like United Airlines’ recent behavior with respect to a physician manhandled off a flight to make room for an airline employee as emblematic of a system where critical regulation has been steadily eroded, of years of corporate efforts to “eliminate the mechanisms that hold them accountable for their bad behavior.” [Read more…]

Class Counsel Announce Proposed Settlement of Wells Fargo Student Loan TCPA Litigation

TCPA Settlement Announced Against Wells Fargo

A proposed settlement has been reached in a class action lawsuit against Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. (“Wells Fargo”). The lawsuit alleges Wells Fargo violated the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”) by using an automatic telephone dialing system and/or an artificial or prerecorded voice to initiate calls to cell phones (“Automatic Calls”) in connection with student loans, without prior express consent. Wells Fargo denies the allegations, and the Court has not decided who is right. Instead, both sides agreed to a settlement. [Read more…]

United Airlines Involuntary Passenger Removal Incident Sparks Further Controversy On Flight Overbooking

Air Travel Complaints

The past weekend’s incident on a United Airlines flight where a passenger was forcibly removed by security from an aircraft after refusing to give up his seat to a United employee has shed increased light on the all-too-common practice of airlines bumping passengers off planes when flight are overbooked. The practice is an ongoing problem as so many flights are routinely overbooked. A viral video of the United passenger being violently being dragged off the flight has sparked outrage, concern, and a social media uproar towards the airline and its policies and passenger dealings. [Read more…]

Trump Administration Guts US Internet Consumer Privacy Rules Even as Illegal Harvesting of Children’s Data By Game and App Studios Continues

Help stop illegal child data collection

Even as the Trump administration eliminated significant privacy protections enacted by the FCC under Obama to expose the browsing information of hundreds of millions of Americans, the broadband industry and its Washington insider allies have leapt in to trumpet what a great thing it is to let Comcast, Verizon, and AT&T, et al. monitor and sell info about our every step online. This includes the now-permissible passive tracking of adult activity across apps and devices that is still illegal when applied to kid’s data under special separate laws enacted to protect children. [Read more…]

Elizabeth Cabraser Doing a Q&A Live on Jalopnik Auto News Website Wednesday March 22, 2017

Elizabeth Cabraser, Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein

Auto news and culture website Jalopnik will be hosting a live Q&A with Lieff Cabraser founding partner Elizabeth Cabraser at 8 a.m. Pacific (11 a.m. Eastern time) on the Volkswagen “Clean Diesel” emissions fraud settlement on Wednesday, March 22, 2017. As Lead Counsel and Chair of the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee in the litigation, Elizabeth spearheaded the development of the 2.0-liter and 3.0-liter Volkswagen Dieselgate settlements, which provide substantial compensation for owners of affected VW diesels as well as significant environmental mitigation plans. [Read more…]

New Videos Explain Benefits Available to VW, Audi, and Porsche Owners and Lessees Under the 3.0-Liter Volkswagen TDI Emissions Fraud Settlement

New VW Videos

Two new videos have been released providing in-depth information on the benefits available to class member owners and lessees of Volkswagen, Audi, and Porsche vehicles with 3.0-liter engines affected by the diesel emissions fraud. One video relates to “Generation One” vehicles, Volkswagen Touareg (models years 2009-2012) and Audi Q7 (model years 2009-2012), and a second video relates to Generation Two vehicles, VW Touareg (model years 2013-2016), Audi Q7 (model years 2013-2015), Audi A6, A7, A8, A8L, and Q5 (model years 2014-2016), and Porsche Cayenne (model years 2013-2016). [Read more…]

VW Pleads Guilty in Diesel Emissions Scandal

VW Pleads Guilty in Diesel Emissions Scandal

German automaker Volkswagen pleaded guilty in federal court in Detroit to criminal felony charges relating to its diesel emissions deception. The company was “charged with fraud, obstruction of justice and making false statements about vehicles it imported into the United States, using software designed to cheat on emissions tests during lab testing that helped deceive environmental regulators,” as reported by the New York Times. [Read more…]

The Tennessean Reports on Newly-Filed North Carolina Mutual Insurance Fraud Lawsuit

Life Insurance Fraud

The Tennessean reports on Lieff Cabraser’s lawsuit against North Carolina Mutual Life Insurance Company filed Wednesday in federal court in Tennessee on behalf of Marietta McClendon. The Brentwood resident’s suit alleges North Carolina Mutual took her family’s money by way of a fraud that halved the benefits she obtained after the death of her brother. “My mother and brother worked hard to protect our family,” said Ms. McClendon. “Losing them was hard on our family. We expected the life insurance company to stand behind their policy and to pay what they owed.” [Read more…]

Class Action Fraud Lawsuit Filed Against North Carolina Mutual Life Insurance Company

Class action fraud lawsuit filed against North Carolina Mutual Life Insurance

Nashville, Tenn. – Lieff Cabraser partners Mark Chalos and Annika K. Martin, and Montgomery Ponder partners Luke Montgomery and Brad Ponder, have filed a class action lawsuit in Tennessee federal court on behalf of Marietta McClendon of Nashville, Tennessee alleging that North Carolina Mutual Life Insurance Company (NCM) cheated her family and potentially thousands of other life insurance customers, often minority individuals and families, for financial gain. [Read more…]

Takata to Pay $1 Billion in Defective Airbag Lawsuit

Takata to Pay $1 Billion in Defective Airbag Lawsuit

Japanese auto parts maker Takata Corp. pled guilty to one count of wire fraud in Michigan federal court on Monday in the lawsuit over its allegedly defective airbags. Takata will pay nearly $1 billion for hiding test data and reports on the deadly airbag inflators and will repay those injured by the airbag defect. As reported by CNBC, “the penalties include $850 million in restitution to automakers, $125 million for victims and families, and a $25 million criminal fine.” [Read more…]

VW 3.0-Liter Diesel Settlement Valued at $1.2 Billion Receives Preliminary Approval Along with Separate $327.5M Bosch Deal

Cars in traffic

On February 16, 2017, Judge Charles Breyer of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California granted preliminary approval to a buyback, compensation, and repair settlement for owners and lessees of 3.0-liter diesel engine VW, Porsche and Audi vehicles. This preliminary approval signals a signal step on the path toward final settlement approval, expected to occur in May of 2017. The Court also gave preliminary approval to a separate $327.5 million settlement with German auto supplier Robert Bosch GmbH, which wrote and installed the secret emissions-manipulating software on the affected vehicles. [Read more…]

VW Litigation Update: Judge Approves $1 Billion 3-Liter Engine Settlement in Emissions-Cheating Scandal

Judge Approves $1 Billion 3-Liter Engine Settlement in Emissions-Cheating Scandal

U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer has granted preliminary approval to a new $1 billion settlement involving 78,000 Volkswagen, Audi, and Porsche diesel owners in the infamous VW emissions-cheating scandal. Under this newest settlement in the litigation, Volkswagen will compensate owners of these 3-liter diesel engine vehicles, and repair or buy back as many as 20,000 Touareg and Audi Q7 SUVs. [Read more…]

FTC Files Statement in Support of 3.0 Liter “Clean Diesel” VW Settlement

FTC Supports VW Consumer Settlement

On February 1, 2017, the Federal Trade Commission filed a Statement in support of the 3.0 Liter “Clean Diesel” Volkswagen, Porsche and Audi consumer settlements with Judge Charles Breyer of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. “As part of its effort to protect American consumers,” the Commission voted unanimously to approve the proposed FTC Order, which resolves its claims concerning 3.0-liter vehicles with “Clean Diesel” TDI engines in which Volkswagen employed defeat devices to cheat on emissions tests and deceived consumers through its extensive and brazenly false “Clean Diesel” marketing campaign. [Read more…]

Bosch Agrees To $327.5 Million Settlement in VW Diesel Emissions Fraud Case

Bosch Agrees To $327.5 Million Settlement in VW Diesel Emissions Fraud Case

German auto electronics supplier Robert Bosch has agreed to a $327.5 million settlement for Volkswagen owners and the United States Federal Trade Commission over claims the company helped develop secret software for Volkswagen that was used to cheat on U.S. standard emissions tests and violate the Clean Air Act. [Read more…]