How Often Do Companies Lie on Labels? All the Time, Apparently
There's been a lot in the news recently about inaccurate labeling - whether it's herbal supplements that don't contain any herbs or baby formula that makes baseless health claims. These can be complex issues to understand - but we've broken the stories down for you and laid out the facts. On top of that, of course, you can find the latest settlements at the bottom of this newsletter. Make sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter to stay up to date on the latest news and settlements.
Herbal supplements at four of the nation's leading retailers have been taken off shelves after the New York State Attorney General's office claimed the pills did not contain the herbs on their labels - and, in some cases, failed to show traces of any plant DNA. The office sent cease and desist letters to managers at Walgreens, Wal-Mart, Target, and GNC after an independent investigation raised serious question about several of the companies' store brand supplements. GNC's Herbal Plus Ginkgo Biloba, Target's Up & Up Echinacea, Walgreen's Finest Nutrition Ginseng, and Wal-Mart's Spring Valley St. John’s Wort were among the products cited by the investigation. In addition to lacking the advertised herbs, many of the supplements contained potentially harmful ingredients that weren't on the label, according to the report. Some ingredients were even described as "unrecognizable." Lawsuits have now been filed against the companies, and customers who bought these products may be able to take part.
A number of Jeld-Wen customers have reported problems with their windows, including leaking, drafts, mold growth and trapped moisture. It's not exactly ideal - especially if you're living through the cold spell currently gripping the Northeast. If you've had problems with these windows, attorneys working with ClassAction.org want to hear from you. They're currently investigating whether a class action lawsuit can be filed to help property owners obtain compensation for repair and replacement costs, as well as property damage.
Sadly, complaints about leaking and moldy windows are nothing new. Windsor,Anderson, Pella, Kolbe and Lincoln have all faced complaints from their customers and, in some cases, lawsuits. If you're having problems with your windows, check out our list of lawsuits to see if yours are under investigation.
In 2009, Gerber asked the FDA for permission to claim that its Good Start Gentle infant formula could help prevent eczema in babies. The FDA agreed - provided the company make it clear that there was very little scientific evidence behind the claim. So far, so good - but, according to a lawsuit filed by the FTC last year, Gerber failed to follow the FDA's instructions. Instead, the company claimed in its marketing materials that the product could help prevent allergies in general and never added wording indicating that its eczema claim lacked scientific backing. Parents may have been misled by the company's claims, and attorneys working with ClassAction.org are now investigating whether a class action lawsuit can be filed on behalf of customers who bought the product. Read more.
Our settlements page is always being updated. Have you checked to see if you're covered by any open settlements? You can also check out the latest settlements as they happen by following us on Twitter.
Kirin Ichiban Beer
TracFone Data Throttling
Playstation Network Data Breach
Red Bull (March 2)
Babolat Tennis Racquets (March 11)
Relacore (March 12)
To view a complete list of settlements and to find out how you can file a claim, click here.
In 2009, HP recalled a number of laptops due to a problem with their hinges. At the time, the company offered to fix the hinges or compensate customers for repair costs, but this offer was only valid for less than a year. The fast-approaching deadline caught many customers by surprise and some weren't even aware that the recall took place. HP has since refused to fully reimburse customers whose laptop hinges broke after the recall deadline, as well as those whose hinges broke before the deadline who weren't able to submit a claim in time. Attorneys working with ClassAction.org are now investigating whether customers who didn't meet the deadline may be able to file a lawsuit.
Do you own or drive a 2013 or 2014 Nissan Pathfinder? If so, this could be important: a class action lawsuit has been filed alleging a dangerous defect in the vehicles' continuously variable transmission (CVTs) causes the cars to shake and judder when accelerating from low speeds. Read More
What will be the biggest case this year? What areas will see new lawsuits or big changes? It's impossible to know for sure, but that hasn't stopped the team at ClassAction.org from putting together our list of "Cases to Watch" in 2015. These are the topics we think are the most interesting and may have the biggest impact on the lives of American consumers. Read more.
A class action lawsuit filed in New Jersey alleges that a small group of large, multinational cargo companies broke the law by secretly agreeing to fix the price of shipping new cars to the United States. If true, the allegations affect almost every person who bought a foreign-made car since 2008 - and with annual shipping costs exceeding $800 million per year, there are a lot of interested parties. The case is currently pending in federal court. Read more.
~ Key Case Updates ~
Toyota Camry Acceleration Defect Leads to $11M Verdict
Toyota Motor Corp. has been hit with an $11 million verdict after a Minnesota federal jury ruled that a sudden acceleration defect in 1998 Camry vehicles contributed to a deadly accident. The company was found 60% responsible, with the driver of one of the other cars sharing the rest of the blame.
J&J OBTape Slings
In April 2014, plaintiffs in 111 cases filed over Johnson & Johnson's defective OBTape pelvic mesh implants reached a confidential settlement with the company to put an end to the litigation. Now, those women have asked a federal judge to approve a settlement fund to finally resolve their cases and begin payments. The women accused J&J of selling a vaginal sling that caused tissue erosion and other injuries that required multiple corrective surgeries. Hundreds of other vaginal mesh cases are still pending.
GM Ignition Switch Payments Reach $93M
General Motors announced last week that it has already paid out more than $93 million through its ignition switch compensation fund. In all, the company expects to pay out about $600 million - although the fund, established to compensate victims of a defect that has led to at least 51 deaths, is uncapped, meaning there's no limit on the amount GM may pay. When the company began taking applications for compensation in August 2014, it announced that anyone who accepts money from the fund must waive his or her right to sue in the future.
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