Another week down and another roundup of the top class action reports from around the web.
Empty Space in McCormick Pepper Tins Sparks Lawsuit
Our first stop brings us to an interview on NPR. Jacob Goldstein took the time to ask people if they could tell the difference between two seemingly identical McCormick pepper tins. The difference? The amount – and the numbers on the front. McCormick’s old tin held four ounces of pepper, while the new one holds only three. Same sized tin, but 25% less pepper. Attorneys have shown that they have a problem with this, filing a class action claiming that McCormick violated laws that prohibit nonfunctional slack-fill – using a small amount to fill a large package. A win or settlement for a case like this could mean a few dollars going to a large class (possibly millions) of consumers.
Lawsuit Claims Pacer Fees Are Excessive
The Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts has been accused of charging too much for its federal electronic court records service, Pacer. According to the complaint, a ten-cent-per-page download fee is unwarranted and the fees have been unlawfully increasing throughout the years. The case was filed by three nonprofits: the Alliance for Justice, the National Consumer Law Center and the National Veterans Legal Services – so at least we know that it isn’t just lawyers who got tired of paying for their legal documents through Pacer. For more info about this case, take a look at this ABA Journal article by Stephanie Francis Ward.
Uber Settles, Drivers Remain Independent Contractors
Next, we have Uber’s settlement. You’ve probably heard about the employee/independent contractor debate surrounding Ubers drivers. Well now, Uber has agreed to pay close to $100 million to a class of nearly 385,000 drivers in California and Massachusetts who were allegedly misclassified as independent contractors. But, despite the settlement, Uber is still going to classify those drivers as contractors and not regular employees. The settlement only applies to those two states, but it could pave the way to a final resolution for the cases – and it looks like the result may favor Uber’s point of view. There is a lot more to the significance of this settlement. So, for more information and insight, check out this New York Times article by Mike Isaac and Noam Scheiber. It’s a great read with plenty of information.
Volkswagen Reaches Emissions Scandal Settlement
It’s finally here. Volkswagen has proposed a settlement to the Environmental Protection Agency and consumers over the vehicles it sold that violated emissions standards. Anyone who bought the affected vehicles will be able to either sell their vehicles back to VW or have them repaired. Additionally, consumers can expect to receive “substantial compensation” for the incident, though the exact amount hasn’t been made public yet. The reported cost for VW to buy back all of the affected vehicles is estimated to be more than $7 billion. For more information, check out Nathan Bomey’s USA Today article.
Well, that’s it for this week. See you next time on the next Class Action Roundup!