BMW named in class action over 014-2016 year BMW i3 vehicles with a Range Extender

BMW small

 

This class action is brought on behalf of those who purchased or leased 2014-2016 model year BMW i3 vehicles with a Range Extender (hereafter “i3 REx” or “Class Vehicles”).

The i3 is part of BMW’s new line of electric and electric-hybrid vehicles. The i3 is offered with an additional feature called a Range Extender –a gasoline-powered, two-cylinder combustion engine with a small fuel tank that engages when the i3 electric battery level drops to a certain level. The Range Extender supposedly allows the vehicle to operate for many miles (double the mileage, according to BMW) after the electric battery in the i3 loses power and is a large selling point for BMW to prospective owners and lessees of the i3.

As alleged, BMW’s i3 vehicles were widely touted by BMW as being “ideal for everyday use.” The actual performance of the i3 REx, however, is far from ideal. Unfortunately for consumers like Plaintiff, model years 2014-2016 BMW i3 Rex vehicles suffer from a serious defect that manifests when the Class Vehicles transition from running on the electric battery to the fuel-powered Range Extender. Specifically, within minutes after this transition occurs, Class Vehicles experience a drastic loss of power and reduction in speed, referred to as “limp mode,” creating a serious safety risk for owners and lessees of Class Vehicles, as well as other drivers on the roads.

In addition to affirmatively touting the Class Vehicles as “ideal for everyday use,” BMW also fails to inform prospective owners and lessees of the i3 REx that the vehicle is plagued with this defect and that owners and lessees of the Class Vehicles will inevitably experience a significant power loss or deceleration in certain driving scenarios, including under conditions where the defect can pose a significant threat to safety.

Despite several complaints by consumers about this issue, BMW has done nothing to satisfactorily remedy the defect. The only action BMW appears to have taken is to provide a software update that results in a five-word electronic warning on Class Vehicle dashboards when the vehicle’s electric battery level is low that states “Low Batter: Power reduction possible.” This response is woefully inadequate and clearly does nothing to eliminate the clear safety concerns created by the deceleration defect in Class Vehicles, nor does it fix the actual deceleration problem itself.

Complaint

FTC issues warning Letters to 45 contact lens prescribers and 10 contact lens sellers warning them of potential violations of the agency’s Contact Lens Rule

FTC

 

According to the law, an eye doctor must give the consumer a contact lens prescription after a fitting. It’s the law. The Contact Lens Rule is intended to facilitate the ability of consumers to comparison shop for contact lenses while ensuring that sales occur only in accordance with a valid prescription.  Under the Rule, prescribers fitting patients for contact lenses are required to give them their prescription at the end of the fitting. Prescribers also are prohibited from charging additional fees for releasing the prescription and from obligating a patient either to buy contact lenses from them, or to sign a waiver, before releasing a prescription.

Sellers may provide contact lenses to consumers only after either obtaining a copy of a valid prescription or, alternatively, verifying the prescription with the prescriber. Sellers may not dispense lenses using an expired prescription, and may only substitute lenses under certain conditions, as specified in the Rule.

The letters issued by the FTC warn the prescribers and sellers that violations of the Rule may result in legal action, including civil penalties of up to $16,000 per violation.

Has this happened to you? Share your story or contact us directly to inquire about your legal rights.

Colgate-Palmolive sued over unnatural ingredients in Tom’s of Main products

The class action lawsuit was brought against Colgate-Palmolive Company and its subsidiary, Tom’s of Maine, Inc.  for the deceptive practice of marketing their Tom’s of Maine toothpaste products as “Natural” when they contain non-natural, highly chemically processed ingredients such as Glycerin and Sodium Lauryl Sulfate.

As alleged, glycerin is a chief ingredient in all of the formulations of Tom’s of Maine® toothpastes, including the (1) Whitening, (2) Multi-benefit, (3) Fresh Breath, (4) Anticavity, (5) Sensitive, (6) Children’s, (7) Fluoride-Free and (8) SLSFree product lines. Sodium Lauryl Sulfate is a chief ingredient in all formulations but the SLSFree product line, which explicitly eliminated Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, or SLS, from the formula.

As alleged, Glycerin is a factory-produced texturizer that is created by complex processing and does not occur in nature. It is commonly used in processed foods as a sugar substitute, filler and thickening agent.

Sodium lauryl sulfate is factory-produced foaming agent that is created by complex processing and also does not occur in nature. It is commonly used in hygiene and cleaning products as a thickening and foaming agent in shampoos, dishwashing liquids, and laundry detergents.

Investigation of Volkswagen, Porsche & Audi over use of soy-based wiring susceptible to destruction by vermin

Volkswagen, Porsche & Audi drivers have complained of numerous electrical issues and failures caused by a variety of vermin gnawing, chewing and ultimately eating through the electrical wires powering these cars.  Upon information and belief the manufacturers of these vehicles use soy based sheathing on the electrical wires that attracts a wide variety of vermin such as mice, rodents, rats, squirrels and even animals as large as possums. Depending on the wires that are damaged, this may lead to a variety of problems resulting in hundreds, if not thousands of dollars in repairs.  In addition to the effect on a variety of electrical systems, which itself poses a safety hazard to drivers and vehicle occupants, these animals may carry disease and therefore pose an additional health hazard by their presence in vehicles.

Volkswagen, Porsche & Audi manufacturers are manifestly aware that use of an organic based sheathing on wiring components has attracted a variety of vermin, and caused hundreds, if not thousands of dollars’ worth of damage to affected vehicles.  Despite this knowledge, manufacturers have refused to accept responsibility for the damage and routinely reject consumer claims both in and out of warranty, placing the onus of the entire bill on the car owners.

We believe this practice is unfair and potentially actionable. If your car has been affected by this issue and you wish to discuss your legal rights and potential remedies please use the contact attorney box below.  Also, if you wish to share your story publicly, we welcome your comments below.

 

Walden University and Laureate Education, Inc named in class action lawsuit over systematic prolonging of the thesis and dissertation process

Walden big

 

The dissertation and thesis processes lack institutional oversight and operate in complete disregard for Walden University’s own policies creating an endless process that drags on for quarter after quarter, year after year for students. This prolonged process causes students to spend more money on tuition than was represented to them by Walden University.

As alleged, the process for students to obtain a dissertation or thesis supervisory committee chair and member is extremely difficult. Even worse, retaining the committee chair and committee member throughout the entire process is an additional challenge.

The Complaint claims that most Walden University doctoral and master’s students experience a loss of a supervisory committee chair or member at least once – and usually many more times – during the course of their dissertation or thesis. Walden University’s failure to regulate the supervisory committee program thus unnecessarily prolongs students’ efforts to obtain their degrees, and results in students extending their enrollment in their respective dissertation or thesis course and paying additional tuition.

Walden University Complaint

Stipulation of Dismissal

NEW LAWSUIT (OCTOBER 2016) www.waldenuniversitylawsuit.com

General Nutrition Corporation named in class action lawsuit over advertisement of Staminol

This is a class action regarding Defendant’s false and misleading advertisement of its health-supplement, Staminol, which it falsely represents will serve to increase male sexual performance and vitality and, additionally, will treat prostate and urinary flow issues. None of those claims regarding Staminol are true and none have been evaluated or tested by the FDA. To the contrary, each of Defendant’s claims is flatly contradicted by scientific research and testing.

Defendant distributes, markets, and sells Staminol, an over the counter dietary supplement for men which Defendant claims, on the product packaging and, additionally, via its nationwide marketing, will enhance the sexual performance of its users. The primary ingredients in Staminol include “Horny Goat Weed” (Epimedium Extract), “Maca Root Powder,” “L-arginine,” “Catuaba Bark,” “Oat Straw Stems,” “Damiana Leaf,” “Saw Palmetto Berry,” and “Muira Root.” Specifically, Defendant represents, via an extensive and uniform nation-wide advertising campaign, that Staminol “supports male vitality” and “sexual health,” “supports urinary flow and prostate health,” and is “formulated with premium ingredients to provide maximum potency.”

As alleged, the packaging of Staminol states that the product is designed to “enhance male sexual performance.” Defendant has also represented, on the packaging of Staminol, that the product is “scientifically formulated to provide maximum potency.” The statements represented on the Staminol product packaging are “structure-function” claims which must be limited to a description of the role that a dietary ingredient is “intended to affect the structure or function in humans.” 21 U.S.C. § 343 (r)(6). In order for a dietary supplement manufacturer to make a structure-function claim, the manufacturer must have substantiation that such statements are truthful and not misleading.

According to the complaint, the Defendant does not have any credible, competent scientific evidence that substantiates its representations regarding the sexual health and performance benefits of consuming Staminol. In fact, even a cursory examination of reliable scientific evidence relating to Defendant’s representations strongly indicates that Staminol has no efficacy at all, is ineffective in the treatment of prostate related health issues, and provides no benefit relating to enhancing the sexual performance and vitality of its users. Multiple valid scientific studies have been conducted on the aforementioned primary ingredients in and these studies have revealed that the ingredients in question are not reliable means of treating health issues related to prostate functioning, or enhancing the sexual performance, vitality, and potency of its users.

The complaint also alleges GNC makes an unsubstantiated disease claim.  Federal regulations prohibit Defendant from making “disease claims” about s product. See 21 C.F.R. § 101.93. Disease claims are generally described as statements which claim to diagnose, mitigate, treat, cure or prevent disease where the statements claim “explicitly or implicitly, that the product…Has an effect on the characteristic signs or symptoms of a specific disease or class of diseases, using scientific or lay terminology.” Id. Defendant clearly makes such representations on the product label for Staminol, which directly relate to the treatment of health issues related to urinary flow and prostate health.

Defendant did not secure the requisite New Drug Application before marketing and selling Staminol. Accordingly, making these statements and representations without a New Drug Application (“NDA”) approval from the FDA constitutes misbranding and false and misleading conduct in violation of 21 C.F.R. § 101.93.

As a result of Defendant’s deceptive advertising and false representations regarding the efficacy of Staminol, Plaintiff and the proposed class have purchased a product which does not perform as represented and they have been harmed in the amount they paid for the product, which, in the Plaintiff’s case is approximately $19.99 bottle.

Plaintiff brings this action on behalf of himself and other similarly situated consumers who have purchased Defendant’s Staminol product to halt the dissemination of this false, misleading, and deceptive advertising message, correct the false and misleading perception it has created in the minds of consumers, and obtain redress for those who have purchased this product. Based on violations of state unfair competition laws and Defendant’s breach of express warranty, Plaintiff seeks injunctive and monetary relief for consumers who purchased Staminol.

Fluidmaster Inc. named in class action lawsuit over latent defect in “No Burst” Toilet Connectors

This action seeks to redress the latent defects in Fluidmaster’s “No Burst” Toilet Connectors with acetal coupling nuts (“Toilet Connector”). Fluidmaster claims to be a world leader in toilet repair and plumbing products. During the relevant period, Fluidmaster designed, manufactured, distributed, and sold flexible Toilet Connectors. To permit water flow into the toilet tank, a Toilet Connector connects the water fixture shut-off valve to the base of the toilet using a plastic coupling nut. These plastic coupling nuts are uniformly defective in their design and labeling. As a result, the Toilet Connector poses a substantial risk of failure by permitting the unrestricted flow of water into the home causing damage to property.

As alleged in the complaint, Fluidmaster knew about the defects with its Toilet Connectors and that they were prone to failure following routine installation. Fluidmaster also knew that as early as 2003, a mechanically and financially feasible, safer alternative design for the Toilet Connector that presented no adverse consequences to the product or to the consumer was available in the marketplace. Rather than replace these defective Toilet Connectors, the complaint alleges that Fluidmaster concealed and suppressed its knowledge of these defects, exposing Plaintiffs and the putative Classes to a substantial risk of significant property damage.

Fluidmaster remediated many of the design defects with its Toilet Connectors, including a wholesale change of the plastic material. Fluidmaster, however, never notified Plaintiffs and the members of the putative Classes that a remediated product was available. Instead, Fluidmaster left Plaintiffs and the putative Classes exposed to the risk of catastrophic water damage by the defective product, while it slipped its remediated Toilet Connectors into the market undetected.

This action seeks to both compensate those who have already suffered damages caused by the Toilet Connector and minimize any future damages by publicly disclosing the existence of the defects and establishing a protocol to remove them from properties.

 

Nissan named in class action lawsuit over defective transmissions

Nissan-logo-loan large

This action arises from the sale or lease of more than one hundred thousand vehicles throughout the United States manufactured by Defendant Nissan that are equipped with defective transmissions. These defective transmissions were installed in all model year 2013 – 2014 Nissan Pathfinders sold or leased to consumers, including Plaintiff.

The defective transmission supplied in all of the affected vehicles is a continuously variable transmission (“CVT”) known as the “JATCO CVT8HT.” This CVT is defective in design, and as a result is prone to causing sudden, unexpected shaking and violent jerking (commonly referred to as “juddering” or “shuddering”) when a driver attempts to accelerate an affected vehicle. This pronounced juddering or shaking of the transmission prevents an affected vehicle from accelerating as intended by the driver, despite his or her input with the accelerator pedal. The combination of an affected vehicle’s transmission judder and its failure to accelerate according to driver input is associated with a “CVT belt slip condition” (the “defect”). This transmission defect creates an unreasonably dangerous situation and increases the risk of a crash; it is inevitable that an individual will be injured or killed due to a collision caused by this safety defect.

According to the complaint Nissan sold, leased, and continues to sell and lease the affected vehicle despite its awareness of the defect and the danger it poses to consumers and other drivers.

The class consists of All consumer residents in the United States who own, owned, lease, or leased a 2013 or 2014 Nissan Pathfinder.

Complaint: Nissan 12-18-14

 

Sam’s Club named in class action lawsuit for failing to comply with its “200% Freshness Guarantee”

Plaintiff brings a class action against Sam’s Club on behalf of persons (a) who were, or are, members of Sam’s Club, (b) who purchased from Sam’s one or more “Fresh Product” (meat, seafood, produce, or bakery) items, (c) who returned “Fresh Product” to Sam’s during the class period, and (d) to whom Sam’s failed to refund 200% of the purchase price of the returned item(s) (or to refund 100% of the purchase price and replace the item(s)) in accordance with Sam’s Membership.

According to the complaint Sam’s Club offers a 200% guarantee whereby returned items receive Double the Member’s money back OR a refund of the original purchase price and replacement of the item.

The Plaintiff has been a member of Sam’s Club for approximately eight years, paying the yearly membership fee each year. Plaintiff has bought most of her groceries at Sam’s Club since becoming a member.  Over the years, Plaintiff has bought a large amount of fresh meat, bakery and produce items. She has also returned a significant number of those items in the last several years. Until May 2014, she has never been refunded more than the purchase price of the items nor ever been offered the return of her purchase plus a replacement product as she was entitled to under the terms of her membership with Sam’s.

Plaintiff believes that she has returned hundreds of dollars of products covered by the 200% Freshness Guarantee over the last several years without receiving what she was contractually entitled to under the guarantee in her membership contract.

Upon information and belief, Sam’s has treated numerous members who have returned goods covered by the 200% Freshness Guarantee in the same manner as it has treated Plaintiff: it has failed to honor the 200% Freshness Guarantee as required by the terms of its Membership Agreement. Given that Sam’s has, on information and belief, over 47 million members, Plaintiff alleges that Sam’s has failed to honor the 200% Freshness Guarantee for many thousands, if not millions, of its members.

See a copy of the complaint: Sam’s Club 9-10-14

Toyota named in class action lawsuit over defective power lift gates

This class action lawsuit contends that certain Toyota Highlander vehicles including, but not limited to the following models: Toyota Highlander XU20, Toyota Highlander XU40, Highlander Hybrid MHU28, Toyota Highlander XU50 have defective power lift gates that fail to operate and costs thousands of dollars to fix.

Despite receiving complaints, Toyota has denied liability and failed to reimburse vehicle owners for costs incurred resulting from damages related to the failures of the lift gate and/or refuse to provide repairs free of charge.

Plaintiff brings claims individually and on behalf of a class of all other similarly situated purchasers of Highlanders.

See a copy of the complaint below

Toyota LiftGate 6-19-14