Lieff Cabraser and Co-Counsel File Nationwide Federal Fraud Lawsuit Over Mercedes-Benz A/C Mold Defects

Vehicle Air Conditioning Mold Defects

Lieff Cabraser and Corpus Law Patel have filed a consumer fraud class action lawsuit against Mercedes-Benz USA and Daimler AG in the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey on behalf of all persons in the U.S. who purchased or leased certain Mercedes-Benz vehicles equipped with an allegedly defective air conditioning system. [Read more…]

American Association for Justice “Worst Corporate Conduct of 2018” Features Numerous Lieff Cabraser Cases

Silhouette row of businessmen sitting in meeting room

The American Association for Justice has published its annual analysis of the “worst corporate conduct” of 2018. The AAJ’s report “examines how civil justice is the most powerful tool to hold corporations and institutions accountable when they cause harm. From the energy companies who spent decades denying their role in climate change, to a university and sports program that for years protected a pedophile instead of students and athletes, institutions have shown time and again they will not act in the public’s best interest unless something forces them to. In these cases, and others involving unscrupulous student lenders, defective airbags, child slave labor, and corporate attempts to rig justice, the civil justice system has allowed Americans to hold bad actors accountable and change the way they do business.” [Read more…]

Mark Chalos Named Co-Lead Interim Counsel for Plaintiffs in Ford F-150 Brake Failures Class Action

Motion blurred cars and trucks driving on the highway

Lieff Cabraser partner Mark P. Chalos has been named Co-Lead Interim Class Counsel for plaintiffs in litigation filed on behalf of hundreds of 2013-2016 Ford F-150 pickup truck owners who are experiencing sudden brake failures in their vehicles. The suit was filed after the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration received more than 200 complaints from Ford F-150 drivers who said the trucks’ brakes suddenly fail without warning during driving. [Read more…]

Fitbit Slammed for Arbitration “Gamesmanship” by Federal Judge

Fitbit Slammed for Arbitration “Gamesmanship” by Federal Judge

Court finds bad faith by Fitbit and its counsel in class action over allegedly malfunctioning heart rate monitors; notes Fitbit’s conduct bolsters the perception that “arbitration is where consumer lawsuits go to die”

A San Francisco federal judge has ruled that Fitbit Inc. and its lawyers acted in bad faith reflecting an “absolutely unacceptable level of gamemanship” in machinations over arbitration and arbitration fees after a plaintiff declined a settlement offer over allegations of defects in its heart rate monitors. As reported by Law360 (subscription), the judge sanctioned Fitbit for acting in bad faith, saying it owes attorneys’ fees “after getting a proposed consumer class action removed to arbitration only to reveal they had no intention of arbitrating the claims.” [Read more…]

Fitbit Gets Extreme Exercise Backpedaling on Its Own Statements on “Irrationality” of Consumer Arbitration

Fitbit Gets Extreme Exercise Backpedaling on Its Own Statements on ‘Irrationality’ of Consumer Arbitration

After effectively undermining its own case by forcing disgruntled consumers into arbitration it then tried to escape because such proceedings would be “irrational,” digital fitness tracker manufacturer Fitbit found itself having to do some serious explaining in federal court last month. As reported by Reuters, at a May 2018 hearing before U.S. District Judge James Donato in San Francisco, Fitbit’s lawyers stated that “no rational party would pay hundreds of dollars in fees to initiate arbitration over a $162 fitness tracker.” They made this claim after a plaintiff rejected the fitness product company’s settlement offer of more than $2,800 to drop the arbitration case, Fitbit decided that the customer’s American Arbitration Association proceeding was therefore officially “concluded.” [Read more…]

Federal Court Denies Fitbit’s Motion to Dismiss Class Action Lawsuit Alleging Gross Inaccuracies and Recording Failures in PurePulse™ Heart Rate Monitors

Federal Court Denies Fitbit's Motion to Dismiss Class Action Lawsuit Alleging Gross Inaccuracies and Recording Failures in PurePulse™ Heart Rate Monitors

San Francisco, CA—On June 5, 2018, Judge James Donato of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California issued an order denying Fitbit’s motion to dismiss the class action lawsuit alleging that its PurePulse™-equipped devices are grossly inaccurate and frequently fail to record any heart rate at all. The lawsuit brings claims for false advertising, unfair competition, common-law fraud, fraud in the inducement, unjust enrichment, breach of express warranty, breach of implied warranties under the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, and under the consumer protection statutes of California and Arizona. While the court removed plaintiff’s unjust enrichment claim, the motion to dismiss was otherwise entirely denied, subject to plaintiff’s agreement to amend the complaint to include product packaging statements and further allegations of reliance. [Read more…]

Consumers Reach Deal in Exploding Samsung Top-Loading Washers Case

Consumers Reach Deal in Exploding Samsung Top-Loading Washers Case

Consumers have reached a settlement in the multidistrict litigation against Samsung and retailers over exploding top-loading washing machines, which consumers report can vibrate and blow themselves apart. Some owners of affected machines may receive a new Samsung or other brand washing machine, rebates, or a “free in-home repair to reinforce their washers’ top.” [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…]

New California Federal Court Decision Denies Mercedes’ and Daimler’s Attempts to Dismiss Moldy Vehicle Air Conditioning Lawsuit

Mold in vehicle air conditioning

On April 16, 2018, Judge Terry J. Hatter, Jr. of the United States District Court for the Central District of California issued an Order rejecting defendants Mercedes-Benz USA and Daimler AG’s motions to strike and dismiss plaintiffs’ First Amended Complaint in the litigation over allegations of defective, mold-harboring climate control systems in numerous Mercedes-Benz vehicles. The defendants had moved to strike the claim for damages under California’s Consumer Legal Remedies Act and to dismiss the common law implied warranty claims and all of the express warranty claims, along with all amendments to the original filed complaint. [Read more…]

Annika K. Martin Named Co-Lead Counsel for Plaintiffs in GM Air Conditioning Defects Litigation

Annika K. Martin Named Co-Lead Counsel for Plaintiffs in GM Air Conditioning Defects Litigation

On April 11, 2018, Judge Matthew F. Leitman of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan issued an order appointing Lieff Cabraser partner Annika K. Martin as Co-Lead Counsel for Plaintiffs in the consumer fraud class action lawsuit against General Motors Company in federal court on behalf of all persons who purchased or leased certain GM vehicles equipped with an allegedly defective air condition system. [Read more…]