Investigation of 2013-2014 Toyota Camry, Avalons, Siennas, and Tacomas, and 2014 Corollas or Tundras over potentially defective seat heaters

Toyota announced that it would stop the sale of Camrys, Avalons, Siennas, Tacomas, Corollas and Tundras because of a defective seat heaters that contain padding that does not meet flammability standards. While Toyota felt it was important to prevent the further sale of 36,000 of its vehicles equipped with these seat heaters, it has refused to recall the 2013-14 models it has already sold, claiming it is not a significant safety risk

Ironically, the problem was discovered by a safety agency in South Korea. The Korean Automotive Test and Research Institute, which found that the fabric backing material used near seat heaters did not meet U.S vehicle flammability standards

Toyota has recently been plagued with a variety of problems in its vehicles and has not always been responsive to consumer safety concerns.  Lawyers have opened an investigation of this matter and are interested in speaking with of 2013-2014 Toyota Camry, Avalons, Siennas, and Tacomas, and 2014 Corollas or Tundras that are equipped with seat heaters.

If you are interested in speaking with an attorney about your legal rights, please use the contact box below.  If you would like to share your experiences on this issue we also welcome your public post.

Kaiser Permanente named in class action lawsuit over data breach affecting 49,000 patients

The complaint names Kaiser Foundation Hospital Orange County – Anaheim Medical Center and is brought on behalf of nearly 49,000 patients who were affected by Kaiser’s September 25 data breach.

The breach involved loss of a flash drive with protected health information such as patient names, medical record numbers and dates of birth. The lawsuit claimed that Kaiser violated California’s Confidentiality of Medical Information Act which requires medical facilities to keep patient information confidential.

 

 

Rheem named in class action lawsuit over corrosive degredation of evaporator coils

Rheem large

 

Rheem is a large manufacturer of heating, ventilation, and air conditioning products for residential use in the United States. Defendant manufactures and sells consumer central air conditioning units under its own trade name and under the Ruud trade name (hereinafter the “Rheem ACs”).

Air conditioners, including Rheem ACs, contain a component known as an evaporator coil, which is an essential component to the system. Inside the evaporator coil, refrigerant (such as Freon, Puron, etc.) absorbs heat from the air passing over a tube and acts as a heat exchange, thereby cooling the home’s air. Air conditioner manufacturers such as Rheem have traditionally manufactured evaporator coils using copper tubing. However, copper coils are uniquely vulnerable to a type of degradation known as “formicary corrosion.”

Formicary corrosion is caused by a chemical reaction between molecules known as volatile organic compounds and the copper tubes, and results in microscopic tunnels within the tubing which causes the coil to leak refrigerant Formicary corrosion is a particularly insidious defect in an evaporator coil because the resultant leakage is difficult to detect, and usually results in consumers being forced to repeatedly refill their air conditioners with refrigerant, often at significant cost, which only works to mask the defect for a period of time, until the Coil fails.  As alleged, Rheem Coils are defective because they are manufactured with materials that, within the industry, are well known to be prone to formicary corrosion, which makes the Rheem Coils unreasonably susceptible to premature rupture and refrigerant leaks under normal use and conditions Rheem has not informed its customers of the Rheem ACs’ susceptibility to formicary corrosion, nor of the current availability of replacement coils which are not susceptible to formicary corrosion. Rheem knew, or reasonably should have known, that the Coils in its air conditioners were unreasonably susceptible to formicary corrosion and thus defective, but has failed or refused to inform consumers or initiate other similar action.

Rheem has not informed its customers of the causes of formicary corrosion, even when replacing failed Coils, which would allow customers to make an informed decision about their risks.

The classes are defined as : All persons residing in the United States who purchased a Rheem AC containing a Rheem Coil, primarily for personal, family, or household purposes.  Also, All persons residing in the United States who purchased a Rheem AC containing a Rheem Coil, primarily for personal, family, or household purposes, and who paid to replace a Rheem AC evaporator coil.

NIBCO, Inc., named in class action lawsuit over cross-linked polyethylene plumbing tubes

Nibco

This case concerns cross-linked polyethylene plumbing tubes (“PEX Tubing”), the brass fittings required to connect the PEX Tubing together (“PEX Fittings”), and the stainless steel clamps (herein “PEX Clamps”) required for joining the PEX Tubing and PEX Fittings. As discussed below, the PEX Tubing, the PEX Fittings and the PEX Clamps at issue are all manufactured or distributed by Defendant NIBCO, Inc. (“NIBCO” or “Defendant”) and suffer from undisclosed design and/or manufacturing defects that inevitably cause them to fail prematurely Specifically, the PEX Tubing suffers from a design and/or manufacturing defect because it is prone to premature oxidative failure and creep rupture.

As alleged in the complaint, the PEX Fittings suffer from a design and/or manufacturing defect because they are prone to dezincification corrosion. The PEX Clamps suffer from a design and/or manufacturing defect because they are prone to failure by chloride-induced stress corrosion cracking. When any of these components fail, it leads to the release of water which causes significant damage to surrounding property and/or prevents the plumbing system from functioning as intended.

NIBCO has manufactured and advertised its PEX Products for use in plumbing systems throughout the United States. It has repeatedly represented that consumers should trust NIBCO to provide the highest quality PEX Products because the company has over 100 years of industry experience and is an industry leader in the manufacture of PEX Products. NIBCO warranted that its PEX tubing would be free from any defects in materials and workmanship for a period ranging from ten (10) years to twenty-five (25) years, dependent upon whether NIBCO PEX fittings and NIBCO valves and installation accessories were also used in the installation.

The complaint contends that contrary to these affirmative statements, the PEX Products suffer from design and/or manufacturing defects. Specifically, and as a result of such defects, the PEX Tubing is predisposed to premature oxidative failure and creep rupture, the PEX Fittings are predisposed to prematurely fail as a result of dezincification corrosion, and the PEX Clamps are predisposed to prematurely fail as a result of chloride-induced stress corrosion cracking.

The PEX Product Defects have caused plumbing systems to catastrophically fail and release water, which has caused and will continue to cause Plaintiffs and the Class to incur damages through no fault of their own.

Plaintiffs seek relief for damages sustained by Plaintiffs and the Class that were proximately caused by NIBCO’s Defective PEX Products used in Plaintiffs’ and Class members’ homes and other structures, or which otherwise were installed in the homes and structures of Plaintiffs and the Class.

Class: All persons or entities who sustained damages proximately caused by NIBCO’s Defective PEX Products used in the water plumbing systems of Plaintiffs’ and Class members’ homes and other structures, or which otherwise were installed in the homes and structures of Plaintiffs and the Class and require remediation.

COMPLAINT

United Parcel Service named in class action alleging over charges for insurance

This is a class action seeking relief on behalf of all persons who used UPS to ship a package and purchased and paid for additional coverage for loss or damage from UPS. UPS has for years been systematically overcharging customers for the first $100 of declared value coverage, which UPS in its standardized published rates claims to provide for free for each package sent. UPS thus accepts liability for loss or damage for all packages up to $100.00 as part of its service fee and there is no additional charge for the $100 of coverage. Customers shipping products with a value in excess of $100 are able to purchase additional coverage for a fee. The exact UPS disclosure states that “UPS’s liability for loss or damage to a shipment is limited to $100.00 without a declaration of value” and that “The maximum declared value is $50,000.00 per package. UPS’s liability for loss or damage can be increased up to $50,000.00.

UPS plainly states in its Terms that the first $100 of coverage is free or at no charge, whether or not purchases additional declared value coverage. Despite the clear UPS has systematically charged and caused its agent and sales network to charge customers an additional amount for coverage for the first $100 when they purchase additional declared value coverage.

Class: All persons residing in the United States who purchased additional Declared Value coverage from UPS for a declared value in excess of $300.00.

Investigation of systematic overcharges by hospitals of uninsured patients who received emergency room services

Attorneys are investigating systematic overcharges by hospitals of uninsured patients who received emergency room services. The investigation applies only to “uninsured” patients who were provided emergency treatment and care (i.e., not scheduled care or elective services at a Hospital.

A recent class action complaint alleged various hospitals have has engaged in a pattern and practice of billing unfair, unreasonable and inflated prices to its uninsured patients for emergency care. These patients are under substantial duress when seeking treatment and are not provided pricing rates or terms in advance or their care, but are subsequently billed far more than the reasonable value of the emergency treatment and services that Hospital provides. Additionally, such uninsured emergency care patients are not informed that they are billed far more than other patients are required to pay for the same treatment and services, despite the fact that they are generally the least able to pay inflated and unreasonable prices.

If you were an uninsured patient that received treatment at a hospital and believe you were over billed for the services you received, please post your experiences and or contact of our attorneys to discuss your legal rights with respect to this matter.

Hyundai Motor Corp. and Kia Motors settled a class-action lawsuit alleging gas mileage ratings were overstated for $395 millon

After an investigation by the Environmental Protection Agency, Hyundai and Kia Motors agreed to restate expected gas mileage in November 2012 for 1.1 million vehicles in North America. The automakers admitted they after overstated mileage claims on vehicle window stickers for 900,000 vehicles in the United States. The settlement impacts about 600,000 of Hyundai’s 2011-13 models and about 300,000 of Kia‘s 2011-13 models in the U.S.

Hyundai and Kia agreed to provide a lifetime reimbursement program to cover additional fuel costs associated with the rating change — plus a 15 percent premium in acknowledgment of the inconvenience to customers. Owners and drivers leasing vehicles are compensated based on their actual mileage and the fuel costs for the region in which they live; they must go to a dealership to have their odometers read.

The 2012 restatement reduced Hyundai-Kia’s fleetwide average fuel economy from 27 to 26 mpg for the 2012 model year. Individual ratings, depending on the car, will fall from 1 mpg to 6 mpg. Most vehicles saw combined city-highway efficiency drop by 1 mpg.

The global settlement will resolve more than 50 lawsuits filed across the country to address the issue.

The proposed cash amount, which varies by vehicle model and ownership type, will result in an average payment of $353 to Hyundai owners and lessees. For Kia owners, the proposed average cash lump-sum amount will be about $667.

Hyundai and Kia owners can also elect other options such as a dealership credit of 150 percent of the lump sum amount, or a credit of 200 percent of the cash amount toward the purchase of a new Kia or Hyundai.

Additional information about the settlement can be found at hyundaimpginfo.com or www.kiampginfo.com.

Chrysler named in class action lawsuit over defect in headlight harness of Dodge Chargers

Chrysler

 

Plaintiff brings this lawsuit on behalf of a proposed class of consumers who purchased or leased 2011-2012 Charger vehicles in California claiming the headlight harnesses that Chrysler factory-installed in 2011-2012 Dodge Chargers are defective. A headlight harness is a set of wires that connects the vehicle’s headlight bulbs to its electrical system. In March 2012, Chrysler recalled the headlight harnesses in the 2011 and 2012 Dodge Charger police vehicles. The recall notice stated that the headlight harnesses connectors melt, causing the vehicle’s headlights to fail. The recall notice also stated a recall was necessary because a “loss of headlamps during nighttime driving could cause a crash without warning.”

As in the police vehicles, the headlight harness connectors in the 2011- 2012 Dodge Chargers purchased by Plaintiff and others overheat and melt, causing the vehicles’ headlights to suddenly fail. But Chrysler has not recalled the defective headlight harnesses that it factory-installed in civilian vehicles. Nor has it warned purchasers other than police departments that their vehicle headlights can suddenly fail or that replacing the headlight bulb will not fix the problem. Because Chrysler has not taken any action to remedy the defect in civilian models, Plaintiff and other Charger drivers must pay out of pocket to diagnose and repair the problem.

 

Teck Metals, Ltd. Named in class action lawsuit over pollution related sicknesses in the Northport, Washington area

The Plaintiff is a resident of Northport Washington as was diagnosed with breast cancer and diverticulitis and, brings this personal injury lawsuit for strict liability, nuisance, and negligence against defendants on behalf of herself and as a representative of a proposed class of similarly situated individuals. Plaintiff and the proposed class seek a declaratory judgment that the release of toxic and hazardous substances by Teck Metals, Ltd. and Teck Resources, Ltd. through the operation of the Trail Smelter is a public nuisance and an abnormally dangerous activity for which Teck should be held strictly liable for all personal injuries.

The complaint alleges that Teck’s discharges of toxins into the Columbia River  affected the Northport and Upper Columbia River region.  Among the supporting evidence in the complaint,  was a medical survey of 119 current and former Northport residents which found elevated occurances of ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease.

On information and belief, Teck’s toxic releases have directly and proximately caused numerous other current and past residents of Northport and the surrounding area to be personally injured, including thyroid and endocrine disorders, arthritis, cancer, inflammatory bowel disease, brain aneurisms, Parkinson’s disease, respiratory diseases, eye irritation, and chronic nosebleeds.

Complaint: Teck Metals