Posted on Tuesday, March 31st, 2015 at 11:09 am
In the early morning of March 28, nineteen California taxi companies filed a lawsuit against the popular car-sharing service app Uber. This comes directly on the tail of similar lawsuits that have been filed by taxi firms and other for-hire drivers all over the United States, which includes a class action suit that’s currently pending in Florida. In all these cases, the plaintiffs emphasize that Uber is endangering the lives of their passengers through deceptive claims about the safety of their services.
The California lawsuit, in particular, cites ‘false and misleading advertising’ used by Uber Technologies for their UberX platforms. As the Los Angeles Times reported, the ads promote the new platform as “the safest rides on the road” and “safer than a taxi”. The plaintiffs, including cab companies from San Diego, Palm Springs, and San Francisco, claim such statements lead passengers to a false sense of security even when Uber drivers aren’t subjected to background checks and other safety regulations.
The nineteen California cab companies also emphasize that Uber’s misleading ads have inadvertently created unfair competition. The plaintiffs claim that the deceptive UberX ads have caused financial and reputational harm to their services. As the lawsuit claims, Uber’s exaggerated safety claims “spurn plaintiff’s taxi cabs for UberX rides, resulting in lost revenue for plaintiffs.”
Should the lawsuit face trial, a jury will end up determining a specific amount to be awarded for the damages that the plaintiffs are seeking. Eve Behrend, spokesperson to Uber, responded to the lawsuit by saying that it was “frivolous” and “without merit”.
Posted on Friday, November 21st, 2014 at 3:01 pm
Popular energy drink is under fire for failing to live up to its slogan, which was “Red Bull gives you wings.”
Austria-based Red Bull GmbH which manufacture and market the energy drink Red Bull agreed to pay all U.S. claimants that purchased the drink from 2002 between $10-15 as compensation for alleged false advertising. It could be argued that the slogan was merely an exaggeration and not meant to be taken literally.
The idea that those who drink the product expected to actually develop wings may seem far-fetched. From a legal point of view, apparently, the claim had merit because the case was successfully certified for class action.
Whether the courts would continue to look favorably on the claimants’ stand will never be known though. Red Bull decided to agree to a $13 million settlement, half of which is slated for the estimated 1.4 million people who may make a claim rather than go through the litigation process although they continue to defend their position that notwithstanding the slogan their advertising was accurate and truthful.
After all, puffery is an accepted part of advertising, and in most cases the legal doctrine caveat emptor or “buyer beware” curtails the liability of companies for using flowery language to sell their products. In the case of Red Bull, however, the $13 million price tag to avoid legal wrangling was probably a smart move, considering that the product garnered billions of sales for its manufacturer over the years. Officially, drinking Red Bull does not give you wings.
Posted on Monday, June 9th, 2014 at 10:59 am
A resident of Los Angeles, Jesus Pimentel, started the class action ball rolling when he received a parking ticket when the meter where his car was parked expired. He is claiming that the $175 fine was excessive, and in violation of the Eighth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution as well as Article 1 Section 17 of the California Constitution. He also alleged that when he failed to pay the fine, he was not allowed to renew the registration on his car and was threatened with impoundment of his car as well as civil litigation. This, Pimentel’s lawyer says, is a violation of due process, another hit at the Constitution (Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments).
Pimentel is the lead plaintiff in a class action suit against the city, but his lawsuit is not the only one. Jeff Galfer, another Los Angeles resident who received similar treatment is also petitioning for joiners for a class action suit. In addition to the city’s Department of Transportation, Galfer also named Xerox State and Local Solutions, which handles the parking ticketing system for the city. If the court rules for the plaintiffs, it could have significant repercussions in transportation departments all over the U.S.
Posted on Thursday, June 13th, 2013 at 5:15 pm
Following revelations that the NSA has been secretly tracking the phone and internet records of American citizens, former Justice Department prosecutor Larry Klayman has filed a class action suit against a wide range of different parties, alleging a violation of the three named litigants’ basic constitutional rights. The suit seeks damages of $20 billion, as well as an injunction to end the program.
Named in the suit, in addition to the NSA, the Department of Justice, and Obama administration officials Eric Holder and Barack Obama himself, are nine companies who are alleged to have participated in the NSA’s PRISM program, including AOL, Microsoft, Facebook, Google, and Skype, as well as the CEOs of each of these companies.
All nine of the companies named in the suit deny knowledge of and involvement with the program.
Posted on Tuesday, January 8th, 2013 at 3:16 pm
Yesterday, the United States Supreme Court began considering making possible changes to the regulations governing class action lawsuits in the country. Specifically, the matter being discussed concerns personal injury attorneys and other parties possibly making intentionally low claims for damages, or taking advantage of existing loopholes, so that their claims can be tried in state courts — which are typically more favorable to plaintiffs’ interests.
Current regulations stipulate that if a class action claim is pursuing damages in excess of $5 million, the case must be moved to a federal court, and these courts are generally seen as favoring defendants’ interests. The case that brought forward this discussion is Standard Fire Insurance Co. v. Knowles, and support for making changes was surprisingly found among a number of judges who are supportive of class action lawsuits.