Welcome to our latest issue! This time around, we have an investigation into fiberglass-containing mattresses and the consequences consumers have faced after removing their mattress covers. From there, we have a proposed settlement in the “Zoombombing” litigation, a lawsuit filed against General Motors over what looks to be a serious safety issue, and an advertising firm on the hook for secretly gathering data on millions of children via mobile apps. All this and more can be found just below.
A growing number of consumers have reported that they were injured or forced to find alternate housing after removing their mattress covers and finding that the underlying layer of fiberglass (used for fire-retardant purposes) sent tiny glass particles into the air, completely contaminating their property. Several companies have been hit with class action lawsuits over the dangers associated with fiberglass mattresses – and now, attorneys working with ClassAction.org have opened their own investigation into the matter. They believe that stronger warnings should have come with the mattresses and that those who had to leave their homes and hire professional cleanup are owed some compensation. If you’ve had to deal with the ramifications of fiberglass being used in your mattress, share your story with us here.
More than a dozen lawsuits have been filed over “Zoombombing” incidents (i.e., when an outside party takes advantage of privacy flaws to intrude on and hijack the Zoom meetings of others) – and now, a settlement is in the works. The parties involved in the case are asking the judge for her initial OK on an $85 million deal – but don’t hold your breath for a check, at least not yet. The deal still has a long way to go, and a hearing to decide whether it deserves preliminary approval (a rudimentary, but crucial, step in the class action settlement process) is tentatively scheduled for October 21, 2021. If the settlement goes through as it currently stands, everyone who used the Zoom Meetings app between March 30, 2016 and July 30, 2021 would be covered. Stay tuned for details on the proposed settlement as they become available – for now, you can read up on everything we know so far right here.
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Earlier this month, General Motors was hit with startling allegations over a potential defect in scores of its vehicles. According to the lawsuit, several truck and SUV models manufactured after 2009 suffer from a defect that can prevent the seatbelts from tightening and the airbags from deploying in certain types of crashes. Specifically, the case says a module in the vehicles responsible for detecting crashes was calibrated to prevent airbag deployment and seatbelt tightening a mere 45 milliseconds after the onset of an accident. The result? Key safety measures may not deploy in crashes lasting longer than 45 milliseconds. An example of an accident in which a GM truck or SUV’s airbag and/or seatbelts might not deploy, the suit explains, is one in which a vehicle first hits a curb or speed bump before crashing into a tree or other car. Want more? You can find a closer look at the allegations here.
While you may not have heard of the company Kochava, you’ve probably been affected by its work (or, at the very least, the work of companies like it). The company gathers data to build detailed profiles of individual users and uses this information to provide advertising services. A recently filed lawsuit claims the company may have crossed the line, however, when it allowed for its computer code to be embedded in apps developed by The Walt Disney Company – apps that are, unsurprisingly, popular among young children. The lawsuit alleges that Kochava’s code (which, at this point, is allegedly present in “many thousands” of apps directed at children) secretly and invasively tracks and monitors hundreds of millions of kids worldwide. According to the lawsuit, Kochava uses the information to “make money for itself and its clients”—all at the expense of children’s privacy and without their parents’ consent. You can find a breakdown of the case, as well as the affected apps, over on our blog.
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