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Recent Class Action Lawsuits via Class Actions Reporter

Every month, the wonderful people at Class Actions Reporter share with us their newsletter discussing all the most recent class action lawsuits. Often times, Consider The Consumer has already reported on these cases, but it is always nice to have a more concise list. Below is the most recent group of class action lawsuits!

Your Car And Your Home

Several important (to me at least) class actions in the news since my last newsletter.  First, German auto makers have been hit with a class action alleging systemic anti-trust violations.  If you purchased a German vehicle in the last two decades, you may be part of this class.  Second, purchasers of new homes face the daunting problem that some joists (the horizontal beams that hold up your walls and ceilings) are off-gassing formaldehyde.  Third, Wells Fargo continues to face new class actions over its admitted practice of force placing auto insurance on car buyers.

Class Action Lawsuits

German Automakers Collusion Against Innovation and Competition Class Action

This class action names BMW, Volkswagen, Audi, Porsche, and Daimler as defendants, alleging that these famed car manufacturers colluded, over a period of twenty years, to keep innovation and competition down while keeping prices up. The complaint claims that the five car makers formed a Circle of Five to create a perception of innovation, competition, and superior engineering to keep prices high on German cars while colluding to reduce competition and stunt initiatives to innovate. The complaint alleges that German auto sales in the US therefore violated the Sherman Antitrust Act and some state antitrust laws, such as California’s Cartwright Act.

Five German Brands

Weyerhaeuser Formaldehyde Off-Gassing Flak Jacket Joists Class Action

The Esanbocks’ new home in Savage, Minnesota was built in 2017 using Weyerhaeuser Flak Jacket Joists, which were coated with formaldehyde resin. In late July, the complaint says, the home’s builder informed the family that the Weyerhaeuser joists had been found to be off-gassing formaldehyde. The family moved out the next day, and the complaint alleges that a test performed on the home showed excessive formaldehyde levels above OSHA safety levels. Weyerhaeuser has stopped making the joists, has admitted problems with the coating, and claims to be working with homeowners to address the problem, but, the complaint says, the company’s offers are insufficient.

Flak Jacket Joists

Wells Fargo Fraudulently Force-Placed CPI Auto Insurance Class Action

When plaintiff Paul Hancock bought a vehicle in Februrary 2016, the complaint for this class action says, he financed it with a loan from Wells Fargo and purchased an auto insurance policy through Allstate. However, in May 2016, the complaint says, Wells Fargo force-placed an insurance policy on his vehicle and charged him $598 for it. The complaint alleges that Hancock repeatedly contacted Wells Fargo to tell them that he already had the necessary insurance coverage, but that the bank refused to return the money they had collected and continued to try to force him to pay for the insurance, including being charged a late fee as soon as the CPI policy was established. According to the complaint, Hancock was only one of 800,000 auto loan customers ensnared in the Wells Fargo and National General Insurance Company scheme, one that pushed 250,000 of them into delinquency and caused the unlawful repossession of nearly 25,000 vehicles.

Wells Fargo Logo

German Luxury Automaker Collusion and Antitrust Class Action

The pride of German industry are its automakers, which employ over 800,000 people and bring in roughly a fifth of its industrial revenue, with a worldwide reputation for precision and quality. But new class actions claim that the Volkswagen/Audi emissions scandal was just the tip of an iceberg that could rip away that fine reputation. This complaint alleges that for the past two decades, Volkswagen, Audi, Porsche, BMW, and Daimler (Mercedes), along with Robert Bosch, a supplier, participated in a cartel which suppressed innovation and undercut engineering in favor of cost savings, while keeping prices high and pretending to be competitive, cutting-edge companies.

German Automaker Brand Symbols

Bed Bath & Beyond Deceptive Advertising “100% Egyptian Cotton” Class Action

If you look up “Egyptian cotton” in Bed Bath & Beyond’s own glossary, the complaint for this class action says, you will read, “The world’s finest cotton, it has the longest, strongest staple, resulting in the softest, most luxurious fabric and feel.” Egyptian cotton is thus highly desirable, says the complaint, and more desirable to those with textile allergies. According to the complaint, however, Bed Bath & Beyond’s Damask Stripe 500 Thread Count 100% Egyptian Cotton Bed Sheets are only 16% Egyptian cotton, with the rest of the fabric made up of inferior types of cotton.

BB&B Damask Bed Sheets

Walmart Negligently Assembled Bicycles Class Action

According to the complaint for this class action, plaintiff Boyd Johnson bought a bicycle from Walmart and took advantage of their free, in-store assembly offer. But as he was riding his new bicycle in the bike lane on the road, the improperly-installed handlebar bolt came loose and the handlebars shifted completely to the right. Johnson lost control of the bike, the complaint claims, and flew over the handlebars, hitting the pavement with his face, shoulder, and the right side of his body. The complaint alleges that the Walmart assemblers do not have proper training and that they are pressured to assemble the bicycles as fast as they can. The complaint alleges that Walmart is guilty of negligence in not taking proper measures to see that the bicycles are assembled correctly by properly-trained employees.

Walmart Bicycle

Tranzvia Telemarketer-Agent Responsibility TCPA Class Action

The complaint for this class action alleges that Tranzvia violated the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) through unwanted telemarketing calls to a cell phone—even though the calls were placed not by Tranzvia but by a third party acting on its behalf. Companies are responsible for the TCPA violations of telemarketing calls made on their behalf by other parties.

Robo-Call Illustration

AUS Marketing Research Stop-Calling Cell Phone TCPA Class Action

The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) prohibits the use of automatic dialers in calling cell phones for telemarketing purposes, but according to the complaint for this class action, such calls are also prohibited for marketing research and surveys, such as those made by AUS Marketing Research Systems, Inc. to Lucas Alex Ambrezewicz. Abrezewicz claims that AUS made two calls to his cell phone on the same day, both made with automatic dialing systems, and that the second call was made even after he had requested, on the first call, that the company stop calling him.

TCPA symbol
Settlements

Always happy to hear from you, but you must click on the link and go to the official settlement page to submit a claim.

HSBC California Call Recording Settlement

This agreement settles three California class actions alleging that HSBC Card Services, Inc. and HSBC Technology & Services (USA), Inc. violated CIPA by recording or monitoring telephone calls to cardholders without the cardholders’ consent.

Read more

Skeeter Snacks “All Natural” Settlement

Skeeter Snacks has agreed to settle a class action alleging that it deceptively advertised and packaged some of its snacks, claiming that they were “all natural” even though they contained artificial or synthetic ingredients such as anhydrous dextrose, lecithin, soy lecithin, and cocoa (processed with alkali).

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Skeeter Snacks Cinnamon Grahams

Rust-Oleum Restore Class Action Settlement

The plaintiffs in this lawsuit allege that Rust-Oleum Restore Products are defective because they prematurely peel, chip, or degrade after application. As a result, it is alleged, the marketing and warranty promises made in connection with the sale of the products are false and misleading.

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image of rustoleum restore can

Instaflex Glucosamine Sulfate Supplement Settlement

Direct Digital LLC has settled a class action suit alleging that its glucosamine sulfate joint support supplement, Instaflex Joint Support, does not provide the benefits advertised on its labels.

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Instaflex Joint Support

RehabCare and Polaris Junk Fax TCPA Settlement

This settles a class action alleging that RehabCare Group, Inc. and Cannon & Associates, doing business as Polaris Group, violated the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA). The complaint claims that the company or companies sent unsolicited telemarketing faxes that did providing the TCPA-required opt-out notice.

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Fax Button

Real Ham Bone for Dogs Settlement

The complaint for this class action alleges that Dynamic Pet Products, LLC and Frick’s Meat Products, Inc. violated Missouri law in marketing and selling the Real Ham Bone for Dogs product as safe. In fact, the bones splintered into needlelike shards which caused injury and even death to some dogs when they chewed or ate the bones.

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Jason Sodium Laurel Sulfate Chemical in Products Settlement

Hain Celestial has agreed to settle a class action case that alleges that certain of its Jason products contained the chemical sodium laurel sulfate, even though they were advertised as not containing it.

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Jason Long and Strong Jojoba

Lithium-Ion Batter Antitrust Class Action Lawsuit

The plaintiffs in this lawsuit allege that the defendents, including SONY, LG, Hitachi, Maxell and NEC, conspired to raise and fix the prices of cylindrical Li-Ion Cells for over ten years, resulting in overcharges to indirect purchasers of portable computers, camcorders, and power tools containing Li-Ion Cylindrical Batteries.

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image of a lithium ion battery

Eggs and Egg Products Antitrust Settlement

This combined class action alleges that the many defendants illegally conspired to reduce the supply of eggs in the US domestic market, by means such as agreements to limit or dispose of hen flocks, a pretextual animal welfare program designed to reduce the egg supply, agreements to export eggs to remove them from the domestic market, and unlawful coercion to make sure others complied.

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Eggs

PHH Mortgage Corporation Lender Force-Placed Insurance Settlement

LPI (lender-placed insurance) is placed on a property by a lender when a borrower’s insurance policy lapses or when the borrower does not maintain an acceptable homeowner insurance policy. When PHH Mortgage placed an LPI policy on a property, it paid the premiums to the insurer and then charged the borrower for the premiums.

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Lender-Placed Insurance

Honeywell International TrueSTEAM Humidifier Settlement

This is the settlement of a class action against Honeywell International, Inc. claiming that TrueSTEAM humidifiers were defective in their design and manufacturing and that they were deceptively marketed because of the alleged effects of mineral scale and sediment build-up on the units.

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Vital Nutrients Made In USA Class Action Settlement

The plaintiff in this class action alleges that RHG & Company, Inc., doing business as Vital Nutrients, falsely labeled and advertised some of its products as being made in the USA, even though some of their components were sourced outside the USA.

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Amazon In-App Purchase Settlement

A court has found Amazon liable in a case brought by the Federal Trade Commission alleging that Amazon permitted children to rack up charges to their parents, within “free” games, without their parents’ permission. The purchases, for virtual goods like coins, stars, and pet foods, were not password-protected, and the charges ranged anywhere from 99 cents to $99.99.

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If you are affected by any of these cases, please let us know immediately! We can be reached via our online complaint portal, or directly through email at ConsiderTheConsumer@gmail.com.

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