Judge Grants Final Approval to $250 Million State Farm RICO Lawsuit Settlement

Final Settlement Approved in State Farm RICO Lawsuit

As reported by Law360, U.S. District Judge David Herndon has granted final approval to a $250 million settlement in the class action lawsuit brought by State Farm policyholders accusing the auto insurer of using campaign donations to buy the vote of an Illinois Supreme Court Justice. [Read more…]

Judge Orders Fiat Chrysler and DOJ to Meet With Settlement Master in Emissions Fraud Suit

fiat chrysler emissions fraud

As reported by Law 360, after significant delays in the settlement process, a California federal judge has ordered Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV and the U.S. Department of Justice to meet face-to-face with a court appointed Settlement Master in order to reach an agreement to end the government’s suit over the automaker’s excessive diesel vehicle emissions. [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…]

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…]

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…]

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…]

“Backfired: When VW Lied To America”

Backfired: When VW Lied To America

New Documentary Captures VW Diesel Emissions Scandal & the Clean Air Movement in California

A new documentary titled “Backfired: When VW Lied To America” will soon be coming to TV screens and movie theaters around the country. Produced by Dale Bell, co-founder of The Media and Policy Center in Burbank, California, the film provides the most detailed video examination to date of the Volkswagen diesel emissions fraud scandal. [Read more…]

Lieff Cabraser Announces That New University Study Finds Fitbit Charge 2 Can Underestimate Heart Rates by As Much As 30 BPM (UPDATED)

Lieff Cabraser Announces That New University Study Finds Fitbit Charge 2 Can Underestimate Heart Rates by As Much As 30 BPM

New Independent Study Confirms That Fitbit’s Heart Rate Monitors Are Highly Inaccurate

SAN FRANCISCO−A team of researchers from the University of Leeds (UK) and TSW xp LAB in Italy have published a new peer-reviewed study on the Fitbit Charge 2 fitness tracker that confirms findings in previous studies that the “PurePulse™” technology used in Fitbit’s popular fitness trackers can be extremely inaccurate during moderate and high-intensity exercise. [Read more…]

Complaints About Automated Robocalls Rose Dramatically in 2017

Complaints Over Automated Robocalls Has Risen in 2017

A Federal Trade Commission (FTC) report reveals that consumer complaints about harassing unwanted automated telemarketing calls jumped significantly in 2017, and have quadrupled since 2009. There were a total of 4.5 million robocall complaints last year, and the agency received an additional 2.5 million complaints about live telemarketing calls; on average, the FTC received over 375,000 per month. [Read more…]