Consumer Protection

  • April 12, 2024

    Patreon Takes Aim At Constitutionality Of Video Privacy Law

    Content monetization platform Patreon pressed a California federal judge Friday to toss a proposed class action claiming it violated the Video Privacy Protection Act by sharing members' video-watching data with Meta, arguing that the "poorly drafted" federal law unconstitutionally restricts its speech and imposes damages unrelated to any actual harm.

  • April 12, 2024

    US, EU Antitrust Officials Agree On Much, Not Sustainability

    The leaders of the U.S. and European antitrust agencies said Friday their views are broadly aligned on many competition policy issues, though they also outlined opposing approaches to companies that want to collaborate on sustainability projects.

  • April 12, 2024

    'American-Made' May Include Foreign Parts, 10th Circ. Says

    A panel of the Tenth Circuit unanimously ruled Friday there's nothing legally problematic with foreign-made components being used in products advertised as "American-made," upholding a construction equipment maker's summary judgment win over its competitors' claims of false advertising, false designation of origin and copyright infringement.

  • April 12, 2024

    'Much More Is Coming': Experts See Wave Of AI-Related Suits

    Legal experts speaking Friday at the University of California, Berkeley School of Law's symposium on artificial intelligence and evidence in civil litigation warned that broadening usage and increased regulation will lead to a wave of litigation over the technology, leaving courts to analyze the "black box" of corporate AI algorithms to determine liability.

  • April 12, 2024

    Epic Wants Google Play Store Reforms After Antitrust Verdict

    Following Epic Games' jury win on antitrust claims related to the Google Play Store and Android apps, the "Fortnite" maker has asked a California federal judge to force Google to allow consumers to download apps from wherever they want and bar the tech giant from restricting in-app purchase options.

  • April 12, 2024

    Ex-Biotech CEO Gets 7 Years In Fake COVID Test Case

    A former biotech CEO accused of defrauding investors by touting a phony rapid finger-prick COVID test was sentenced to seven years in prison in D.C. federal court Friday.

  • April 12, 2024

    SEC Fines 5 Advisers Over Alleged Marketing Rule Violations

    The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission announced Friday that five investment advisory firms have agreed to pay $200,000 in combined penalties to settle allegations that they violated the commission's marketing rule by advertising misleading hypothetical performance.

  • April 12, 2024

    Connecticut Credit Union Settles Overdraft Fee Lawsuit

    Connecticut-based Connex Credit Union Inc. has agreed to settle a proposed class action that challenged $35 overdraft fees in "authorize positive, settle negative" transactions, according to a request that seeks to cancel a state court hearing in the matter.

  • April 12, 2024

    NY Health Network To Pay $1M For Deceptive COVID Test Bills

    Long Island, New York-based hospital network Northwell Health will pay $1 million over allegations that it fraudulently billed patients for a hospital visit after they came for what they thought was a free COVID-19 test, the state's attorney general said Friday.

  • April 12, 2024

    Mercedes-Benz Lending Arm Must Face Conn. Lease Fight

    A split Connecticut Supreme Court on Friday toppled a win for Mercedes-Benz's financial arm in a fight over a defaulted car lease, ruling that lower courts erroneously denied the defendants a fair shot at fighting the case.

  • April 12, 2024

    FCC Urged To DQ Iconectiv As Number Portability Manager

    The company in charge of the Federal Communications Commision's system for allowing people to switch cell phone providers without losing their number is sister companies with a Voice over Internet Protocol provider — which does not mesh with the agency's neutrality rules, another telecom company is warning.

  • April 12, 2024

    Tyco Reaches $750M PFAS Deal In Foam Co. MDL

    Johnson Controls International PLC subsidiary Tyco Fire Products LP on Friday agreed to pay $750 million to settle public water systems' federal claims that some "forever chemicals" they detected in their supplies came from firefighting foam it made.

  • April 12, 2024

    Republicans Warn CFPB Against Pursuing Arbitration Rule 2.0

    Two Republican lawmakers are cautioning the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau against heeding calls for another rulemaking to restrict arbitration provisions in consumer financial contracts, warning that such an effort would be a "significant abuse" of the agency's authority.

  • April 12, 2024

    House To Retry Spy Bill After Warrant Measure Fails By 1 Vote

    The U.S. House of Representatives on Friday voted to reauthorize government surveillance of foreigners without warrants, only to have a Florida Republican call for a reconsideration vote for Monday to require warrants for spying on Americans' communications caught up in the surveillance.

  • April 12, 2024

    Critics Blast FCC Call To Raise Net Neutrality 'Ruckus'

    A call by the Democratic chief of the Federal Communications Commission for a public "ruckus" to support reinstating Obama-era net neutrality rules shows why the looming order will likely be overturned in court, opponents of the plan said.

  • April 12, 2024

    Feds Say Ga. Apartments Denied Wheelchair Accommodation

    Federal prosecutors on Thursday hit a Savannah, Georgia, apartment complex, a local housing authority and other defendants with a Fair Housing Act complaint alleging they denied a disabled resident an accessible apartment in spite of her repeated requests that they accommodate her disability.

  • April 12, 2024

    Maine AG Sues Monsanto Over PCB Contamination

    Maine Attorney General Aaron Frey sued Monsanto on Friday seeking to recover damages for the company's alleged contamination of the state's waterways with polychlorinated biphenyls, a dangerous chemical compound known to accumulate and persist in humans and the environment.

  • April 12, 2024

    Abbott Labs Gets Price Claims Tossed In Baby Formula MDL

    An Illinois federal judge on Friday threw out a suit from parents alleging that Abbott Laboratories benefited from increased prices during a shortage of baby formula kicked off when one of its facilities was shut down, saying they haven't shown that the company's profits during that time were unjustly retained.

  • April 12, 2024

    Bimbo Beats False Ad Suit Over 'All Butter' Entenmann's Cake

    Bimbo Bakeries defeated a proposed class action alleging its Entenmann's brand "All Butter" loaf cake is misleading to customers since the butter taste is partially sourced from artificial vanillin, after a Maryland federal judge said Friday the claims are preempted by the U.S. Food Drug and Cosmetic Act.

  • April 12, 2024

    Make Clear Neutrality Exempts Content Storage, Akamai Says

    Akamai Technologies is asking the FCC to make it crystal clear in the net neutrality orders that are set to be voted on this month that information storing agreements between internet service providers and content delivery networks are still above board.

  • April 12, 2024

    Vermont Attys Can't Be Sued In Connecticut, Court Says

    Two Vermont firms that handled the sale of a Connecticut man's second home near a Vermont ski town cannot be sued in Connecticut because the lawyers' business models and the disputed cash transfers that spurred the litigation were not sufficiently directed toward Connecticut, a three-judge appellate panel ruled on Friday.

  • April 12, 2024

    Mercedes-Benz Gets Fraud Claims Clipped In Brake Suit

    A Washington federal judge has thrown out the bulk of a man's claims in a proposed class action alleging Mercedes-Benz USA LLC sold vehicles with defective brake sleeves that can cause corrosion, finding he hasn't adequately pled that the company fraudulently hid the existence of the alleged defect.

  • April 12, 2024

    Zoll Says 'Cookie-Cutter' Hack Claims Don't Show Harm

    Zoll Medical Corp. is asking a Boston federal judge to toss a proposed class action brought by medical device customers whose personal information was released during a ransomware attack last year and an earlier data breach in 2019, arguing the consumers weren't actually injured.

  • April 12, 2024

    'Ghost Gun' Cos. Ink $1.3M Deal To End Philly's Safety Suit

    The city of Philadelphia filed a $1.3 million settlement agreement Friday with two companies that sold kits and parts for so-called "ghost guns," touting it as a victory in reducing the number of unregulated firearms in the region.

  • April 11, 2024

    Proposed BIPA Penalty Reforms Advance In Ill. Legislature

    The Illinois Senate on Thursday passed legislation that would update the Biometric Information Privacy Act as well as tweak its liability guidelines, a clarification that proponents say is needed to protect businesses from costly, frivolous litigation.

Expert Analysis

  • Questions Persist After Ruling Skirts $925M TCPA Award Issue

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    After an Oregon federal court's recent Wakefield v. ViSalus ruling that the doctrine of constitutional avoidance precluded it from deciding whether a $925 million Telephone Consumer Protection Act damages award was constitutionally sound, further guidance is needed on when statutory damages violate due process, says Michael Klotz at O'Melveny.

  • Benzene Contamination Concerns: Drugmakers' Next Steps

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    After a citizen petition to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and a flurry of class actions over benzene contamination in benzoyl peroxide acne products, affected manufacturers should consider a thoughtful approach that includes assembling internal data and possibly contacting the FDA for product-specific discussions, say attorneys at Morgan Lewis.

  • Blocked JetBlue-Spirit Deal Illustrates New Antitrust Approach

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    The U.S. Department of Justice’s recent successful block of a merger between JetBlue Airways and Spirit Airlines demonstrates antitrust enforcers’ updated and disparate approach to out-of-market benefits versus out-of-market harms, say Lisa Rumin and Anthony Ferrara at McDermott.

  • Rulings In 9th Circ. Provide Ammo To False Label Defendants

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    Courts in the Ninth Circuit have recently delivered a series of wins to advertisers, making clear that any ambiguity on the front of a product's package can be resolved by reference to the back label — which guarantees defendants a powerful tool to combat deceptive labeling claims, say attorneys at Patterson Belknap.

  • Series

    Fla. Banking Brief: All The Notable Legal Updates In Q1

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    Early 2024 developments that could have a notable impact on Florida's finance community include progress on a bill that would substantially revise the state Securities and Investor Protection Act, and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's final rule capping late fees for larger credit card issuers, say Benjamin Weinberg and Megan Riley at Leon Cosgrove.

  • Series

    NY Banking Brief: All The Notable Legal Updates In Q1

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    The first quarter of 2024 saw a number of notable legal and regulatory developments that will significantly affect New York's financial services industry, including the New York Department of Financial Services' finalized novel guidance directing banks to continuously monitor the character and fitness of key personnel, say Brian Montgomery and Nathan Lewko at Pillsbury.

  • Opinion

    Federal MDL Rule Benefits From Public Comments

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    The new Federal Rule of Civil Procedure concerning multidistrict litigation that was approved this week by the Advisory Committee on Civil Rules incorporates ideas from public comments that will aid both plaintiffs and defense attorneys — and if ultimately adopted, the rule should promote efficient, merits-driven MDL case management, say Robert Johnston and Gary Feldon at Hollingsworth.

  • Practicing Law With Parkinson's Disease

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    This Parkinson’s Awareness Month, Adam Siegler at Greenberg Traurig discusses his experience working as a lawyer with Parkinson’s disease, sharing both lessons on how to cope with a diagnosis and advice for supporting colleagues who live with the disease.

  • Opinion

    Aviation Watch: Not All Airline Mergers Hurt The Public

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    The U.S. Department of Justice's actions to block recent attempted airline mergers have been touted as serving the interests of the consumers — but given the realities of the deregulated air travel market, a tie-up like the one proposed between JetBlue and Spirit might have been a win for the public, says Alan Hoffman, a retired attorney and aviation expert.

  • The Merger Cases That Will Matter At ABA Antitrust Meeting

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    While the American Bar Association's Antitrust Spring Meeting this week will cover all types of competition law issues in the U.S. and abroad, expect the federal agencies' recent track record in merger enforcement to be a key area of focus on the official panels and in cocktail party chatter, say attorneys at Freshfields.

  • How Banks Should Respond To Calif. AG's Overdraft Warning

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    Banks and credit unions should heed recent guidance from California’s attorney general, along with warnings by consumer regulators of all stripes, regarding unfair fee practices by properly disclosing their fees and practices, and ensuring the amounts charged mirror federal benchmarks, say Brett D. Watson and Madeline Suchard at Cozen O'Connor.

  • Cos. Should Prepare For Foreign Data Transfer Regulations

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    A new regulatory regime designed to protect U.S. sensitive data from countries of concern may complicate an already intricate geopolitical landscape and affect even companies beyond the data industry, but with careful preparation, such companies can endeavor to minimize the effect on their business operations and ensure compliance, say David Plotinsky and Jiazhen Guo at Morgan Lewis.

  • Climate Disclosure Mandates Demand A Big-Picture Approach

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    As carbon emissions disclosure requirements from the European Union, California and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission take effect, the best practice for companies is not targeted compliance with a given reporting regime, but rather a comprehensive approach to systems assessment and management, says David Smith at Manatt.

  • Series

    Playing Hockey Makes Me A Better Lawyer

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    Nearly a lifetime of playing hockey taught me the importance of avoiding burnout in all aspects of life, and the game ultimately ended up providing me with the balance I needed to maintain success in my legal career, says John Riccione at Taft.

  • Expect CFPB Enforcement To Continue Ramping Up

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    From hiring and structural changes to continuous external pressure from a variety of sources, all signs indicate that the recent rise of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's public enforcement activity will continue throughout the rest of the year, despite ongoing litigation that could upend everything, say attorneys at Paul Hastings.

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