U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer is giving German automaker Volkswagen an additional month to cultivate a proposal to fix its diesel vehicles that violate U.S. emissions standards. The car manufacturer failed to meet the judge’s initial deadline of March 24 to come up with a solution to fix the 600,000 U.S. diesel-powered VW, Audi, and Porsche vehicles still on the road.
The Justice & Diversity Center of The Bar Association of San Francisco (JDC) has received the largest cy pres award in its history. JDC received $800,000 as part of the conclusion of a settlement of multiple cases filed in California Superior Courts against Providian Financial Corporation. [Read more…]
As mandatory arbitration clauses become more prominent within company contracts, “attempts to protect businesses at the expense of consumers are underway,” according to an opinion piece by law professor Jeff Sovern published by USA Today. Consumer laws have historically been enforced in two ways – through the government and via lawmakers. [Read more…]
A specter is haunting consumer contracts. In the last few years, there has been a veritable explosion of forced arbitration clauses thrust into contracts in industries ranging from banking to insurance, medical to retirement care. GrubHub food delivery service just updated their user agreement to force their customers into mandatory arbitration over any disputes that might arise as a result of their using the service to get Chicken Masala or local pizza. This routine addition to many companies’ dealings with customers has resulted in the deprivation of consumers’ basic constitutional rights, as these forced arbitration agreements require individuals to give up certain fundamental legal protections, including the right to a fair court trial in front of a neutral judge.
As reported in Bloomberg News, the Wall Street Journal, Automotive News, and numerous other news outlets, the Judge in the Volkswagen “Clean Diesel” emissions fraud litigation ordered the company to come up with a fix for the 600,000 U.S. diesel Volkswagen, Audi, and Porsche vehicles still on the road in the wake of VW’s admission that it rigged its emissions testing software in violation of U.S. environmental standards. [Read more…]
As reported by the Los Angeles Times, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is examining so-called arbitration clauses in financial products. Last week, bureau Richard Cordray sent a strong signal that the regulatory hammer may come down on banks and other lenders denying customers their rights in a court of law if they feel mistreated. [Read more…]
German publication Die Zeit recently published an in-depth profile of Lieff Cabraser partner and co-founder Elizabeth J. Cabraser, newly appointed sole lead class counsel in charge of conducting the U.S. nationwide multi-district litigation on Volkswagen’s “clean diesel” emissions fraud. Chosen by U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer, Ms. Cabraser was one of more than 150 attorneys seeking lead roles in this litigation. The profile was then picked up and translated for English-language publication by Handelsblatt Global Edition.
A recent investigation by The New York Times discovered that top executives at Volkswagen Group may have had previous knowledge that their diesel vehicles contained emissions control-cheating software as early as 2014. Internal documents, emails, and memos obtained by the publication suggest that Martin Winterkorn, the former CEO of Volkswagen, may have been aware of this illegal conduct as well. [Read more…]
President Obama is requesting additional funding to bolster the government’s for-profit college investigative unit following increasing reports alleging that for-profit colleges are defrauding American students, U.S. taxpayers, and the federal government. As reported The Chronicle of Higher Education this week, the $13.6 million request, part of the annual budget proposal to be submitted to Congress next week, will boost the U.S. Department of Education’s Student Aid Enforcement Unit, which investigates alleged for-profit education schemes.
Tech blogger Troy Hunt has published a scathing piece on Hong Kong-based electronic toy maker VTech for what he calls “allowing itself to be hacked” in November 2015, resulting in the exposure of the personal information of more than 2.8 million children. Though bad now, the damage may well grow far worse as the hackers store this data against the children coming of age over the next few years, at which point their adult status will skyrocket the potential harm as accounts and other financial operations may be made in their names and with their full identity records.
During the January 21, 2016 hearing in San Francisco, it was calculated that the number of diesel vehicles in the U.S. affected by the Volkswagen emissions fraud amounted to a total of 575,000, higher than previous estimates. The German car manufacturer currently faces hundreds of class action lawsuits from consumers who were harmed by VW’s deception and fraud concerning deceptively “clean diesel” engines in their vehicles.
Lieff Cabraser name partner and co-founder Elizabeth J. Cabraser has been appointed sole lead class counsel in charge of coordinating and conducting the nationwide multi-district litigation against Volkswagen over its use of software cheats to commit emissions fraud. In the pretrial order issued late on January 21st, U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer expressed his confidence that Ms. Cabraser would “effectively represent and guide the plaintiffs toward a resolution that is in their best interests.” He noted her “extensive experience with multi-district litigation” and “leadership positions in 17 different MDLs, including several that involved automobile defects.” Ms. Cabraser was one of more than 150 attorneys seeking lead roles in the litigation.
New policies issued by the Obama administration this month mandate that doctors and hospitals cannot deny patients access to their own medical records or health information, and must provide that individual with a copy of these records within 30 days of the request.
On October 7, 2015, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) announced its proposal to regulate the aggressive use of arbitration agreements in consumer financial services contracts and “give consumers their day in court.” These consumer financial services include: bank accounts, private student loans, credit cards, auto loans, money transfer services, small dollar or payday loans, and installment loans. [Read more…]
Law360 reviewed the landscape of 2016 consumer protection litigation, focusing in part on the Volkswagen diesel emissions fraud scandal and the more than 500 lawsuits filed on behalf of affected Volkswagen Porsche and Audi owners nationwide harmed by the company’s installation of scamming software designed to bypass federal emissions standards in its 2.0-liter diesel vehicles. [Read more…]
The chairman of Volkswagen’s supervisory board has admitted that Volkswagen employees began cheating on emissions tests more than a decade ago, after they determined they could not meet clean air standards in the U.S. legally. Board Chairman Hans-Dieter Pötsch admitted that the wrongdoing began in 2005 when the company decided to make diesel cars the focus of its United States marketing. Volkswagen saw diesel, which it promoted as delivering superior fuel economy and acceleration, as a way to set itself apart from competitors. The fake emissions testing results allowed the vehicles to pass U.S. clean air regulations. [Read more…]
On Tuesday, the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) consolidated more than 500 lawsuits accusing Volkswagen of cheating on vehicle emissions standards. The JPML stated that federal court in San Francisco would serve as the best venue, given that nearly one-fifth of the emissions fraud cases against Volkswagen had been filed in California. [Read more…]
In what could become one of the largest automotive lawsuits in recent years, consumers have filed more than 480 federal cases against German car manufacturer Volkswagen (VW) over its much-covered diesel vehicle emissions scandal. The consumer fraud litigation involves half a million American automobiles that have been sold since the year 2008. [Read more…]
The upcoming congressional budget bill includes a provision to amend the Federal Communications Act to allow the government to collect federal debts — such as federal student loans, mortgages, and taxes — through means that include the use of automated calls to consumers’ cellphones. [Read more…]