Category Archives: Class Action Lawsuits

Active Case: KT Tape False Advertising Class Action

Some consumers have questions about KT Tape. 

  • Does KT Tape work?
  • “Does KT Tape relieve pain?”
  • “Does Kt Tape enhance athletic performance?”

The KT Tape Class Action Lawsuit

On October 30, 2015, in the District of Massachusetts, with Pastor Law Office and SFMS, we initiated a false advertising class action lawsuit concerning KT Tape. If you purchased KT Tape and are dissatisfied with the results, we want to hear from you immediately. You may be entitled to financial compensation. 

KT Tape

KT Tape

The defendants in the KT Tape false advertising class action complaint are KT Health Holdings, Inc. d/b/a KT Health, Inc., KT Holdings, LLC and KT Health, LLC (formerly Lumos, Inc.), (collectively, “KT Health”).  KT Health, LLC is owned by Palladin Consumer Retail Partners, LLC.

The lawsuit alleges:

KT Health has made a concerted and orchestrated effort to prey on consumers’ eternal hope that products exist that can quickly and effortlessly alleviate their pain.

KT Health has deceptively represented that by simply applying strips of bright, stretchy fabric with an adhesive backing onto the skin above an injured area, consumers can obtain relief from pain, recover faster, and receive treatment from a myriad of common injuries such as achilles tendonitis, tennis elbow, plantar fasciitis, rib pain, runner’s knee, and shin splints.

KT Health’s calculated product placement on the bodies of Olympic athletes and famous sports stars has, remarkably, given life to a new product called “kinesiology tape” or kinesio tape.”

The product being sold by KT Health is nothing but a scientific-sounding, made- up word: “Kinesio Tape” or “KT Tape” for short.  KT Health manufactures and sells several products under the name of KT Tape:  KT Tape (also referred to as KT Tape Cotton or KT Original), KT Tape Pro, KT Tape ProX Patches, KT Tape Clinical, and KT Tape Limited Editions.[1]  These products are referred to collectively herein as “KT Tape” or “KT Tape Product(s).”

KT Tape is not wound around portions of the body (as is the case with traditional athletic tape), but instead is pre-stretched and then stuck onto the skin above the injury.

The concept for KT Tape is not even an original one: a Japanese chiropractor named Kenzo Kase came up with the idea in the 1970s.  The idea was as lacking in substance or merit then as it is now.  KT Health’s creative and aggressive marketing efforts are the only reason that KT Health has been able to sell so much of this product at premium prices.

Traditional or standard athletic tape, which is commonly used to provide support and compression, (i.e wrapping around a football player’s sprained ankle) has a recognized place in sports medicine, but KT Tape does not.

In contrast to its common white cotton fabric tape counterpart (traditional athletic tape), KT Tape has a colorful sheen, and is the opposite of regular athletic tape, as KT Tape is supposed to lift the skin (as opposed to compressing it).

There is some suggestion that purchasers could benefit from a placebo effect when using KT Tape; “Some experts have suggested there may be a placebo effect in using the tape, with athletes believing it will be helpful,” [but] “[n]o clinically important results were found to support the tape’s use for pain relief.”[2] KT Health does not disclose to consumers that if there are any health benefits to be obtained from KT Tape, they are limited to the placebo effect.

Through misleading statements in its labeling, advertising, and marketing of its so-called “Kinesiology Therapeutic Tape” or “KT Tape,” KT Health has promoted the myth that its products work to treat a variety of sports-related injuries.

KT Health profits handsomely by making misleading claims that the KT Tape Products have unique pain and injury-negating effects when applied to human skin.

The KT Tape Products’ packaging makes the following representations, among others:

  • “For Pain Relief and Support” (emphasis added) (KT Tape and Tape Pro)
  • “For Common Injuries”: carpal tunnel, hamstring strain, wrist pain, runner’s knee, neck strain, calf strain, shoulder pain, achilles tendonitis, tennis elbow, plantar fasciitis, golfer’s elbow, shin splints, rib pain, ankle sprain, gluteus sprain, and quad sprain (emphasis added) (KT Tape and KT Tape Pro)
  • “For Targeted Pain Relief” (emphasis added) (KT Tape Pro X Patches)
  • “For Targeted—Muscle—Pain Relief” (emphasis added) (KT Tape Pro X Patches)
  • “For Fast, Easy Pain Relief” from “Muscle Pains, Overuse Injuries, Tendonitis … and More.” (emphasis added) (KT Tape Pro X Patches)

Every package of KT Tape contains the above claims and representations such that every consumer who purchases a KT Tape Product is exposed to these claims and representations.

In addition, the website, www.kttape.com, contains the following false representations[3] concerning the KT Tape Products:

  • “KT TAPE is an elastic sports and fitness tape designed for muscle, ligament and tendon pain relief and support.” (emphasis added) (all KT Tape Products)
  • KT Tape “can be used for hundreds of common injuries such as lower back pain, knee pain, shin splints, carpal tunnel syndrome, and tennis elbow, just to name a few.” (emphasis added) (all KT Tape Products)
  • KT Tape “provides 24 hour [pain] relief per application for days at a time through sweat, strain and humidity” (emphasis added) (all KT Tape Products)
  • KT Tape “provides targeted pain relief and will stay in place through multiple workouts for up to 3 days, through daily showers, humidity, cold, even in the pool.” (emphasis added) (KT Tape)
  • “SORE MUSCLES, JOINTS, AND TENDONS—REJOICE” (KT Tape and KT Tape Pro)
  • KT Tape Pro “is just what the trainer ordered. It will keep you pain free and supported exactly where you need it.” (emphasis added)
  • “KT TAPE PRO X provides targeted relief for muscle pain, overuse injuries, and tendon-related pain and injuries.” (emphasis added)

Every package of KT Tape and KT Tape Pro plainly represents that KT Tape treats 16 specific injuries:

FOR COMMON INJURIES

CARPAL TUNNEL

HAMSTRING STRAIN

WRIST PAIN

RUNNER’S KNEE

NECK STRAIN

CALF STRAIN

SHOULDER PAIN

ACHILLES TENDONITIS

TENNIS ELBOW

PLANTAR FASCIITIS

GOLFER’S ELBOW

SHIN SPLINTS

RIB PAIN

ANKLE SPRAIN

GLUTEUS SPRAIN

QUAD STRAIN

Every package of KT Tape Pro X Patches adds tendonitis to the list of specific injuries it will treat, and includes additional catch-all or general pain relief claims:

FOR FAST, EASY PAIN RELIEF

MUSCLE PAINS

OVERUSE INJURIES

TENDONITIS

…AND MORE

Videos on KT Health’s website[4] and YouTube Channel[5] instruct users on how to apply KT Tape to supposedly gain relief from a long list of painful ailments.[6]

Unfonsumers, the pain relief and injury treatment claims made by KT Health are false, deceptive, and misleading.  KT Tape Products are not the panacea they are claimed to be.

As a result, KT Health’s marketing and advertising campaign is the same as that of the quintessential snake-oil salesman – KT Health dupes consumers with false and misleading promises of results it knows it cannot deliver, and does so with one goal in mind – selling larger volumes of KT Tape Products to consumers and reaping enormous profits.

The premise that there are any health benefits to be derived by tensioning or adjusting the skin through the application of stretchable sports tape, known as “kinesiology tape” or kinesio tape” (such as increasing blood flow) is not supported by scientific evidence, and is not accepted by the medical community.

To the contrary, there are numerous recently published, peer-reviewed, scholarly articles revealing the ineffective and useless nature of kinesiology tape.  The conclusions of these studies unmask the deception utilized by KT Health to market KT Tape:

  • Conclusion: “This review provides the most updated evidence on the effectiveness of the Kinesio Taping for musculoskeletal conditions. The current evidence does not support the use of this intervention in these clinical populations.”[7]
  • Conclusion: “The application of Kinesio Taping, with the aim of stimulating the lymphatic system, is ineffective in decreasing acute swelling after an ankle sprain in athletes.”[8]
  • Conclusion: “Kinesio Taping applied with stretch to generate convolutions in the skin was no more effective than simple application of the tape without tension for the outcomes measured. These results challenge the proposed mechanism of action of this therapy.”[9]
  • Conclusion: “There was no substantial evidence to support the use of KT for improvements in other musculoskeletal outcomes (pain, ankle proprioception or muscle activity).”[10]

Pseudoscience, deceptive and misleading claims of purported health benefits, and celebrity athlete endorsements–instead of valid research and innovation and actual ability to treat injuries and provide pain relief– are responsible for the massive sales of KT Tape.

Despite the falsity of Defendants’ claims and assertions, when KT Health introduced KT Tape in the United States sports market in 2008, it launched a massive advertising and marketing campaign prominently featuring “Targeted Pain Relief” as a benefit of KT Tape, while associating the product with images of the world’s most elite athletes:

1. KT1

Defendants’ nationwide multimedia advertising campaign has been extensive and comprehensive.  KT Health has spent millions of dollars on, among other things, print and television advertisements[11] intended to convey these deceptive messages to consumers throughout the United States, including Plaintiff and the other Class members.  KT Health’s advertising campaign for KT Tape is continuing through the present.

As a result of KT Health’s false claims about the benefits of KT Tape, consumers, including Plaintiff and other Class members, have paid a premium price for a product that does not perform as claimed and advertised.

Defendants have been able to charge, and Plaintiff and the other members of the proposed Class have paid, a price premium for KT Tape over traditional athletic tape.  KT Health has used deceptive claims regarding the purported benefits of KT tape to charge a premium approximately ten times the price of traditional athletic tape, and has achieved massive sales of KT Tape as a result.

KT Health’s false, deceptive and misleading representations about the pain-relieving and injury-treating properties of KT Tape were and are material; there would be no reason for a consumer to purchase a KT Tape Product and pay a premium price for it (over and above the price of traditional athletic tape) if not for the claims and representations about KT Tape’s ability to relieve pain and treat a variety of injuries.

Facts Relating to KT Health’s False, Deceptive, and

Misleading Advertising and Marketing

KT Health designs, manufactures, markets, distributes, and sells KT Tape.

KT Health began selling KT Tape in the United States in 2008.

KT Health has claimed consistently that its KT Tape Products relieve pain and treat a variety of injuries (as described in greater detail above and below).

For example, in August of 2012, KT Health LLC Chief Executive Officer, John MacKay, boasted in a press release concerning KT Health LLC’s sponsorship of a famous triathlete: “Triathletes test the boundaries of human endurance.  KT Tape enables them to go the distance, both in and out of the water, without being sidelined by injuries and pain.”[12]

KT Health’s marketing department has continuously promoted the falsehood that KT Tape differs from, and is superior to traditional athletic tape, by claiming that it is used to “treat and prevent hundreds of common injuries.”[13]

KT Health repeats its misrepresentations about KT Tape (that it relieves pain and is a panacea for common musculo-skeletal ailments) on its website, located at http://www.KT Tape.com which is available to the general public. Below are reproductions of images and representations found on the KT Health website:

WHAT IS KT TAPE

KT Tape is an elastic sports and fitness tape designed for muscle, ligament and tendon pain relief and support. (Emphasis added.)

WHO IS IT FOR?

Whether you’re training for your first marathon, getting ready for your next game, reaching a personal fitness goal, or just trying to get through the day, you already know that nothing slows you down faster than pain and injury. KT TAPE is lightweight, comfortable to wear, and can be used for hundreds of common injuries such as lower back pain, knee pain, shin splints, carpal tunnel syndrome, and tennis elbow, just to name a few. (Emphasis added).

KT TAPE not only looks good, but it also provides 24 hour relief per application for days at a time through sweat, strain and humidity, and can even be worn in water thanks to our specially designed adhesive. (Emphasis added.)

DESIGNED TO GIVE YOU PAIN RELIEF AND SUPPORT

KT TAPE is applied along muscles, ligaments, and tendons (soft tissue) to provide a lightweight, external support that helps you remain active while recovering from injuries. KT Tape creates neuromuscular feedback (called proprioception) that inhibits (relaxes) or facilitates stronger firing of muscles and tendons. This feedback creates support elements without the bulk and restriction commonly associated with wraps and heavy bracing. KT Tape gives you confidence to perform your best.[14]

KT TAPE PRO

KT Tape Pro

KT Tape Pro

SORE MUSCLES, JOINTS, AND TENDONS – REJOICE

Need support that will endure your toughest workout? KT TAPE PRO is just what the trainer ordered. It will keep you pain free and supported exactly where you need it. (Emphasis added.)  KT TAPE PRO will stay in place through multiple demanding workouts for up to seven days. KT TAPE PRO will stick with you in the harshest conditions including daily showers, humidity, cold, even in the pool.

KT TAPE PRO is performance engineered to work in the harshest environments. It’s the world’s only 100% synthetic kinesiology tape, re-engineered with stronger adhesive, to outlast anything you can throw at it.

Each box comes with 20 precut strips of 100% synthetic tape. One hard plastic carrying case with twist on lids to keep your tape in good shape in your gym bag or purse. One Quick Start Guide with step-by-step instructions on the most common injuries and one KT sticker.[15]

KT TAPE

KT Tape

KT Tape

SORE MUSCLES, JOINTS AND TENDONS-REJOICE

Need support that will endure multiple lighter workouts? Then original KT TAPE is for you. It provides targeted pain relief and will stay in place through multiple workouts for up to 3 days, through daily showers, humidity, cold, even in the pool. (Emphasis added.)

Each box comes with 20 precut strips of tape on a roll and a quick start guide with step-by-step instructions for the most common injuries.[16]

KT TAPE PRO X

4. KT Tape Prox X

ELASTIC SPORTS PATCHES

FOR TARGETED PAIN RELIEF

Convenient and easy to apply

Use in place of KT TAPE half strips

Use with 10-inch strips or alone for pain relief (Emphasis added.)

KT TAPE PRO X™ is a kinesiology patch specially designed to provide targeted relief for muscle pain, overuse injuries, and tendon-related pain and injuries. KT TAPE PRO X patches were developed for the on-the-go, active consumer who appreciates a healthy lifestyle and doesn’t want to be slowed down by pain or complex taping applications. KT TAPE PRO X will stay in place through multiple demanding workouts for up to 3-5 days (Emphasis added.)

Each box comes with 15 precut X patches. One hard plastic carrying case will help keep your patches in good shape in your gym bag or purse. One Quick Start Guide with step-by-step instructions on the most common injuries is included as well.[17]

KT Health publishes videos on its website that purport to show how KT tape is utilized to treat musculo-skeletal problems and conditions, such as Osgood-Schlatter disease and Illiotibial Band Syndrome (“ITBS”).  Alongside such videos, KT Health makes injury treatment claims such as “KT Tape application for ITBS at the knee is very helpful in relieving much of the associated pain by relieving pressure over the bony prominence (sore spot) and in turn increases circulation. Functional support is provided to the musculature as well.  These functions help relieve pain and promote the healing process.”[18]

KT Health sells KT Tape Products to United States consumers through a variety of different channels, including through independent retailers (such as CVS, Rite-Aid, Target, Amazon, Foot Locker and Walmart), and through KT Health’s website, www.KTTape.com.

KT Health’s untrue, deceptive and misleading labeling, advertising, marketing and promotion of KT Tape has continued throughout the Class Period, and is continuing as of the present date.

As purchasers of KT Tape who were aggrieved by KT Health’s untrue and misleading advertising (in that Plaintiff and the other Class members purchased a product that did not conform to the claims and representations made about it by KT Health, including claims about “pain relief,” “increased muscle activation” and other claims and representations), Plaintiff is entitled to and brings this class action to seek all available remedies…

Footnotes

[1] KT Tape Clinical is simply a differently packaged version of KT Tape or KT Tape Pro, available pre-cut or uncut, allowing for larger volume purchases, primarily for trainers and physical therapists.  The KT Tape Limited Editions differ from the other KT Tape Products only cosmetically, in pattern and color, but are otherwise the same as the other KT Tape Products, and subject to the same claims and representations.

[2] Kinesio Tape for Athletes: A Big Help, or Hype? http://www.webmd.com/fitness-exercise/kinesio-tape-athletes-help-hype, last accessed October 22, 2015.

[3] http://www.kttape.com/store/kttape.html#tabDesc, last accessed on October 19, 2015.

[4] http://www.kttape.com/instructions/, last accessed on October 19, 2015.

[5] https://www.youtube.com/user/LumosInc, last accessed on October 19, 2015.

[6] “LEGS: IT Band Hip, Calf, Shin Splints, Posterior Shin Splints, Quad, Hamstrings, Groin, Hip Flexor, Gluteus, Knees, Outer Knee, Inner Knee, Full Knee Support, Osgood Schlatter, Back of Knee; ANKLES/FEET: Achilles Tendonitis, Ankle Stability, Plantar Fasciitis, Peroneal Tendonitis, Ball of Foot, Heel, Bunion, Turf Toe; TRUNK/BACK: SI Joint, Low Back, Middle Back, Ribs, Spine, Abdominals; NECK/SHOULDERS: Neck & Shoulder, General Shoulder, Rotator Cuff, AC Joint, Shoulder Stability; ARMS/HANDS: Wrist, General Elbow, Golfer’s Elbow, Tennis Elbow, Finger Jam, Thumb, Bicep, Tricep.”

[7] Current  evidence  does  not  support  the  use  of  Kinesio  Taping  in clinical  practice:  a  systematic  review, Journal  of  Physiotherapy  60  (2014)  31–39, last accessed on October 19, 2015 from http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1836955314000095.

[8] Kinesio Taping does not decrease swelling in acute, lateral ankle sprain of athletes: a randomised trial, Journal of Physiotherapy 61 (2015) 28–33), last accessed on October 19, 2015 from http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1836955314001489.

[9] Kinesio Taping to generate skin convolutions is not better than sham taping for people with chronic non-specific low back pain: a randomised trial, Journal of Physiotherapy 60 (2014) 90–96, last accessed on October 19, 2015 from http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1836955314000368.

[10] Kinesio Taping in Treatment and Prevention of Sports Injuries A Meta-Analysis of the Evidence for its Effectiveness, Sports Medicine (Auckland, N.Z.) [Sports Med] 2012 Feb 1; Vol. 42 (2), pp. 153-64.

[11] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fxfKWyufp14, last accessed October 19, 2015.

[12] http://fortyninegroup.com/tag/kt-tape/ last accessed on October 19, 2015.

[13] Id.

[14] http://www.kttape.com/what-is-kt-tape/, last accessed on October 30, 2015.

[15] http://www.kttape.com/store/#tabDesc, last accessed on October 30, 2015.

[16] http://www.kttape.com/store/kttape.html#tabDesc, last accessed on October 30, 2015.

[17] http://www.kttape.com/store/pro-x/kt-tape-pro-x.html#tabDesc, last accessed on October 22, 2015.

[18] http://www.kttape.com/instructions/outer-knee/#pnlReadMoreAfter, last accessed on October 19, 2015.

Information about KT Tape

Reed M. Quinn is the “inventor” of a proces for making KT Tape: US8216415 – KT Tape Patent. The US patent number is US 8216415 B2.

US Patent documents claim that “Kinesiology tape consists of a strip of elastic and non elastic fibers, usually covered in cotton, which is placed on human skin. Kinesiology tape is useful in therapy to reduce soreness in overused and injured muscles and in rehabilitation to accelerate recovery. The tape can have a lifting effect on the skin Which can reduce swelling and inflammation by improving circulation and reduce pain by taking pressure off pain receptors.”

Background information about the history of this company is posted on Reed Quinn’s Linkedin page:

Video of KT Tape Packaging

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Class action lawsuit alleges Purina Beneful sickened dogs

We are representing clients in a class action lawsuit alleging that certain Purina Beneful dry foods contain substances that are toxic to animals, resulting in serious illness and death of thousands of dogs.

Case Documents:

Malcolm v. Nestle Purina Petcare - Class Action Complaint

Malcolm v. Nestle Purina Petcare – Class Action Complaint

The Complaint claims:

Beneful contains Menandione, Propylene Glycol, and Mycotoxins:

“Beneful contains menadione, a controversial and harmful form of vitamin K, linked to liver toxicity, allergies and the abnormal break-down of red blood cells.”

“Beneful contains propylene glycol, which is added to the product to help preserve the moisture content. Propylene glycol, a key ingredient in newer automotive anti-freeze, is toxic and has been proven to cause a serious type of blood disease in animals called Heinz body anemia. Because of this, propylene glycol has been banned by the FDA for use in cat food.”

“The Association for Truth in Pet Food (“ATPF”) conducted testing of Beneful Original and found that it contained high risk levels of mycotoxins. Mycotoxins are a group of toxins produced by fungus that occurs in grains, a principal ingredient in Beneful. The ATPF’s testing also revealed that the Beneful brand tested, Beneful Original, has a Risk Equivalent Quality rating of 32, where anything over 20 indicates a High Risk…”

Beneful may have poisoned dogs

“…The illnesses and deaths experienced by dogs consuming Beneful… including Plaintiff’s dog, have been caused by the harmful and toxic ingredients in Beneful.”

These Purina Beneful dry foods may be dangerous:

This case concerns only the dry or kibble variety of foods sold under the Beneful name:

  • Beneful Healthy Growth for Puppies
  • Beneful Healthy Radiance
  • Beneful Healthy Smile
  • Beneful Healthy Weight
  • Beneful IncrediBites
  • Beneful Original
  • Beneful Healthy Fiesta
  • Beneful Playful Life

Information about Nestlé Purina PetCare Company

Nestlé Purina Petcare is a St. Louis, Missouri-based subsidiary of Nestlé. It produces and markets pet food, treats and litter. Some of its pet food brands include Purina Pro Plan, Purina Dog Chow, Friskies, Beneful and Purina ONE.

Customer service: 1 (800) 778-7462
CEO: W. Patrick Mcginnis
Founded: St. Louis, MO

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Case Closed: Equity Residential “Move-in Fee” Class Action Lawsuit in Massachusetts

Updates

September 2, 2015

How to Claim Settlement Funds from the Equity Residential “Move-in Fee” Class Action Lawsuit

August 11, 2015

Order for Preliminary Approval of Class Settlement signed by Judge Zobel.

July 30, 2015

Thousands of tenants in Massachusetts apartments owned by Equity Residential stand to fully recoup illegal pet, move-in and application fees collected by the company — plus 
10 percent interest — under a proposed federal court settlement.” (Boston Herald)

September 10, 2014

Sam Zell‘s company is appealing class certification to the First Circuit.

August 26, 2014

After a two year legal battle with Equity Residential, Massachusetts tenants have achieved a significant legal victory.  Federal Judge Rya Zobel has declared that move-in fees, community fees, application fees, and up-front pet fees violated the Massachusetts Security Deposit Statute.

Boston Herald

Boston Herald, Friday, August 29, 2014

The law firms that filed the original move in fee /amenity fee class actions against Equity Residential are: Pastor Law Office, LLP, Fogelman & Fogelman, LLC, and Leonard Law Office, P.C.  Have you been affected by Equity’s business practices in Massachusetts? If so, you are welcome to contact us.

Boston Herald: Judge Says Equity’s Tenant Fees Illegal (pdf).

See August 26, 2014 – Memorandum and order: pdf

Excerpts:

Application Fee
Two Commonwealth courts have concluded that section 15B(1)(b) does not authorize landlords to charge prospective tenants an application fee…. I agree.

Amenity Fee/Move-in Fee
The amenity fee, at times called a move-in fee, is indistinguishable from the Community Fee. Defendant argues the community fee is lawful because it does not collect the fee until the second month of tenants’ occupancy…But the statute prohibits landlords from “requir[ing] a tenant or prospective tenant to pay” unlisted fees. That is just what defendant does when it charges the fee before a tenant moves in. Deferring collection does not make an unlawful fee lawful. “amenity use fee” Judge Young found unlawful in Hermida. It is not on the list of permissible charges; it is therefore prohibited.

Up-Front Pet Fee
Like the others, the up-front pet fee is not among the permissible charges. It is therefore prohibited.

Monthly Pet Fee
The monthly pet fee is not incurred up front, but rather each month during which the tenant owns a pet. Because plaintiffs became obligated to pay the fee after they were already tenants, they may not turn to section 15B(1)(b) for relief.”

*     *     *     *

Miller v. Equity Residential Management LLC

On May 8, 2012, a class action lawsuit was filed against EQUITY RESIDENTIAL MANAGEMENT LLC, a subsidiary of  Equity Residential (EQR)-NYSE, in the United States District Court, District of Massachusetts.  Equity Residential is the biggest, and perhaps the most infamous landlord in the America.

Boston Business Journal: “The suit, filed in U.S. District Court in Boston, seeks refunds for all tenants in Equity Residential properties. The Chicago-based company owns more than 6,000 apartments in the Bay State.” Read the rest of that article here.  Additional media coverage here.

Perry v. Equity Residential Management LLC

Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly:  “Residents of Equity Longview Place in Waltham are suing their property management company over similar allegations.  Equity Residential Management LLC, and Illinois company, manages more than two dozen apartment complexes in Massachusetts. ” Read the rest of that article here.

What are the recent Equity Residential class actions about?

Both suits allege that up-front fees Equity Residential has charged tenants (“amenity fees,” “amenity use fees,” “move-in fees”) are in violation of the Massachusetts Security Deposit Law.

Matthew J. Fogelman established a significant legal precedent on which the plaintiffs in Perry and Miller now rely in support of their claims. See Hermida v. Archstone, 826 F. Supp. 2d 380 (D. Mass. 2011).

Who is part of the Class?

The Class is defined as:  all current and former tenants of Equity Residential apartments in Massachusetts who from May 8, 2008 through May 8, 2012  paid an Amenity Fee or a Move In fee.

Case Documents:

May 8, 2012 – CLASS ACTION COMPLAINT

June 1, 2012 – MOTION OF PLAINTIFFS BRIAN PERRY, KIM PERRY AND CHERYL MILLER TO CONSOLIDATE RELATED ACTIONS AND APPOINT INTERIM CLASS COUNSEL AND FOR ENTRY OF PRETRIAL ORDER NO. 1

June 6, 2012 – EQUITY RESIDENTIAL MANAGEMENT, L.L.C.’S MOTION TO DISMISS

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Target Data Breach Class Action Complaint Filed in Massachusetts

The Target Data Breach Class ActionTarget

 

Update (8/27/14)

The Consolidated National Target Data Breach Class Action Complaint (PDF) was filed on 8/25/14.

Update: (4/4/14)

The Target cases have been transferred (PDF) to Minnesota, Target’s home state.

Update: (1/21/14)

How to Limit Your Losses 

The Fair Credit Billing Act (FCBA) and the Electronic Fund Transfer Act (EFTA) offer protection if your credit, ATM, or debit cards are lost or stolen.

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MAC Faces Privacy Class Action in Massachusetts

On November 5, 2013, the Leonard Law Office filed a class action lawsuit against MAC Cosmetics, alleging violations of Massachusetts credit card privacy and consumer protection laws.

MAC Cosmetics - Newbury St.

MAC Cosmetics – Newbury Street

If you have information about MAC’s business practices related to credit card transactions, or believe you were affected by conduct that is the basis of this case (by MAC or any other Massachusetts retailer) you are welcome to contact us.

Excerpts of the class action complaint are pasted below:

“Plaintiff brings this action for redress of the unlawful practice of MAC of collecting ZIP codes at checkout at its Massachusetts stores from customers who make purchases with Credit Cards, recording that information as part of the Credit Card transaction, and then using that information for its own marketing and promotional purposes, including to send unsolicited marketing and promotional materials, or “junk mail.”  This practice, which has affected Plaintiff and members of the Class, as described and defined herein, is an invasion of privacy and violates G. L. c. 93 § 105(a) and G. L. c. 93A, § 2.

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Brooks Brothers Faces Privacy Class Action

Brooks Brothers Logo

Massachusetts law prohibits businesses from requesting and recording a customer’s personal identification when accepting payment by credit card.  Leonard Law Office, LLP and Bailey & Glasser, LLP are representing Massachusetts consumers in a privacy class action against Brooks Brothers, filed in August, 2013.

If you have received junk mailing from Brooks Brothers after using a credit/debit card at a retail location and providing Brooks Brothers with your zip code or home address, you are invited to contact us.

Brooks Brothers Newbury St

Brooks Brothers – Newbury St.

The Class Action Complaint alleges:

  • Brooks Brothers requests customers’ zip codes when they make a purchase using a credit card.
  • Brooks Brothers has a policy of automatically requesting a customer’s zip code in all credit or debit card transactions, and, if provided, recording the zip code electronically in connection with the transaction.
  • Brooks Brothers has a policy of using its customers’ zip codes, and information obtained from third party databases to send marketing materials to customers.
  • Brooks Brothers has a policy of sharing this information with other Brooks Brothers brands.
  • Brooks Brothers’ policies harm Massachusetts consumers by subjecting them to unwanted junk mail, and other marketing without their consent, and using customers’ personal information without their consent for its own business purposes. Continue reading

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Equity Residential Faces Class Action Lawsuit About Heat and Water (Habitability) Issues at the Walden Park Apartments

Update (1/10/15)

The past few weeks have been cold.  According to the Boston Globe, “Yesterday’s high was a bitter 18 degrees, and if the forecast holds, temperatures in Boston may not break freezing for several days.” In the face of this cold weather, and despite conversion from oil to natural gas at Equity Residential’s Walden Park apartments in Cambridge, complaints continue to come in to this office regarding insufficient heat at the apartment complex.

Update (2/15/14)

On February 12, 2014, a Massachusetts Federal Judge issued an eighteen page opinion (PDF) remanding (sending back) this case to state court, summarizing: “[b]ecause Equity ‘has not demonstrated a reasonable probability that the amount in controversy exceeds $5 million,’ the case must be remanded. ” We continue to receive complaints from tenants about heat and hot water problems at this apartment complex.

*     *     *     *

Original Post (4/15/13)

Equity Residential now faces its sixth class action lawsuit in Massachusetts since 2012. This is believed to set the record for the most class action lawsuits against one company in any one year period in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The Leonard Law Office PC, and the Law Offices of Joshua N. Garick PC together filed suit against Equity Residential on behalf of tenants of the Walden Park Apartments in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The Leonard Law Office PC is representing Massachusetts consumers in two other class actions against Equity Residential.

If you reside at the Walden Park Apartments, you are welcome to contact us about heating issues such as lack of hot water or inadequate heat in your apartment.  

THE SUIT SEEKS $3M IN DAMAGES FOR TENANTS

Case Documents:

1. Class Action Complaint (PDF).

220-225 Walden St. (Walden Park Apartments)

220-225 Walden St. (Walden Park Apartments)

The complaint alleges: “On November 4, 2011, Equity acquired Walden Park, which includes two large apartment buildings located at 205 and 225 Walden Street, Cambridge, Massachusetts. Walden Park has approximately 250 apartment units. When Equity acquired Walden Park, the heating and hot water systems were fully operable and in good working order. The plaintiffs entered into a written lease agreement with Walden Park’s previous owner, the Dolben Company, to rent the apartment located at 225 Walden Park, Cambridge, MA. When the Dolben Company owned Walden Park, the plaintiffs had no issues with the heat or hot water system. After Equity acquired Walden Park, issues with Equity-provided utilities, including heat and hot water, began. Starting in April of 2012, and continuing for well over a year thereafter until the present date, the plaintiffs and the Class experienced significant deficiencies and outages with the heat and hot water, including, without limitation, issues on the following dates:

May 8, 2012
May 12,2012
May 16,2012
June 27, 2012
August 23, 2012
October 20, 2012
October 21,2012
October 23, 2012
November 1, 2012
November 3, 2012
November 6, 2012
November 7, 2012
November 16, 2012
November 17, 2012
November 19,2012
March 28, 2013
April 3,2013
April 10, 2013
April 17, 2013
April 18, 2013
April23, 2013
June 6, 2013
June 25, 2013
August 15, 2013

These outages were systemic, and affected all Walden Park units. Over the course of this year, Equity exhibited no urgency in resolving these issues and provided misleading and contradictory reasons for shutting off the utilities. These reasons included, among other stated reasons, conversion from oil to natural gas, a water conservation project, a heating and cooling project, fuel supply/consumption issues, operator error, and automatic shutdowns. The problem was so egregious that the Cambridge Board of Health, which received numerous reports from Walden Park residents, cited Equity for violations of the State Sanitary Code, and deemed the violations to materially impair the health, safety or well-being of the Walden Park’s residents. On numerous occasions, the plaintiffs, (as well as other Walden Park residents) complained to Equity’s staff including complaints by telephone, e-mail and in person. These complaints were not resolved, forcing the plaintiffs to pursue formal litigation against Equity.” The Complaint further alleges that Equity Residential Equity backed out of a settlement deal reached earlier this month between Equity’s lawyers, and attorneys representing tenants.

Equity Residential & Cambridge Inspectional Services Division (ISD) Violations

Violation

Violation – “Deemed to Endgr. or Impair Health of Safety”

Equity Residential Walden St. Apartments, Cambridge, MA

Equity Residential Walden St. Apartments, Cambridge, MA

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J. Crew Faces Privacy Class Action in Boston Federal Court (Settled Case)

Updates

July 25, 2014 – This case has settled. The official settlement website is www.millercrohnjcrewsettlement.com, where notices and claim forms can be found. Email notices went out on 7/25/14. The claim form can be downloaded here (pdf), or filled out and submitted online (recommended). The deadline to file a claim to receive a $20 J. Crew voucher is September 25, 2014.

If You Made a Credit Card Purchase at a J. Crew Massachusetts Retail Store Between June 20, 2009 and June 27, 2014, you could receive compensation from the Class Action Settlement.

This Settlement is for individuals who made a credit card purchase at one or more J. Crew retail stores in Massachusetts between June 20, 2009 and June 27, 2014 and whose Personal Identification Information (i.e. ZIP code or other information) was requested and recorded by J. Crew. The Settlement does not include purchases made online. Class Members will receive a voucher for $20 that may be redeemed at J. Crew retail stores in Massachusetts.

Miller v. J Crew Settlement Notice (front)

J. Crew Zip Code Settlement Notice (front)

 

Miller v. J. Crew - Settement Notice (reverse)

J. Crew Zip Code Settlement Notice (reverse)

The email notice is not a scam.

From: “Miller and Crohn J. Crew Settlement Administrator ” <Administrator@qgemail.com<mailto:Administrator@qgemail.com>>
Date: July 25, 2014 at 2:00:27 PM EDT
Subject: LEGAL NOTICE OF SETTLEMENT OF CLASS ACTION

________________________________
NOTICE OF PENDING CLASS ACTION AND NOTICE OF PROPOSED SETTLEMENT MILLER V. J. CREW GROUP, INC.
________________________________
If you engaged in a Credit Card transaction at a Massachusetts
J. Crew Store between June 20, 2009 and June 27, 2014 and your
Personal Identification Information (e.g., ZIP code) was requested and
recorded you may be entitled to receive a Voucher for $20 off your
next J. Crew Store purchase….etc.

June 30, 2013 – The Leonard Law Office is representing clients regarding credit card privacy claims against J. Crew. This class action alleges violations of Massachusetts privacy and consumer protection laws.

J crew

Information about the class action lawsuit against J. Crew

The complaint alleges that J. Crew collected ZIP codes at checkout at its Massachusetts stores from customers who made purchases with credit cards, recorded that information as part of credit card transactions, and then used that information for marketing  purposes, including to send unsolicited marketing and promotional materials, or “junk mail.”  The complaint further alleges that:

  • J. Crew does not collect, record, and use the customers’ ZIP code information in order to verify the customer’s identity or for any other legitimate purpose in connection with the Credit Card transaction.
  • J. Crew uses this information for its own marketing and promotional purposes. Possession of the consumer’s ZIP code information, together with the customer’s name, enables Defendant to identify the customer’s address and/or telephone number through the use of publicly available databases.
  • J. Crew uses the ZIP code information it collects from customers and the addresses and other information it then obtains, to send unsolicited marketing and promotional materials, or “junk mail,” to customers, including Plaintiff and Class members.
  • J. Crew also has the ability to sell the ZIP code information it collects from customers (including Plaintiff and Class members) and the addresses and other information it then obtains, to third parties for a profit or to use the information for other marketing and promotional purposes.

Information about the Class

The proposed class would consist of all persons whose ZIP codes were collected and recorded at any J. Crew retail location in Massachusetts while making Credit Card purchases during the period from June 20, 2009 through June 20, 2013.   The class has not yet been certified.  If you have questions about whether you may be involved, you are welcome to contact the Leonard Law Office.

Information about J. Crew

J. Crew is a privately-held corporation, organized under the laws of Delaware with a principal place of business at 770 Broadway, New York NY 10003.  J. Crew has sixteen retail locations in Massachusetts, three of which are factory outlets and the remainder of which are traditional retail stores.

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SEO Company 29 Prime Faces TCPA (Robocall) Class Action

cancer

Actual complaint filed about 29 Prime a/k/a “Reliable Places”

Updates

July, 2016 – 29 Prime has filed for bankruptcy. This is not a surprise, since Russell Wallace filed for personal bankruptcy in 2009.

March 13, 2016 – Check out this blog about 29 Prime and Russell Wallace: 29 Prime Scam Warning – Exposing the truth behind 29prime.com -another Russell Wallace scam and the highly negative Yelp reviews about 29 Prime here: http://www.yelp.com/biz/29-prime-irvine

November 4, 2015 – If you receive unwanted robocalls to your cellphone, or prerecorded calls to your landline from 29 Prime (or whatever this company is calling itself now), contact the Federal Trade Commission here: www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov.

July 28, 2015 – This morning I received a robocall on my personal cell phone from someone regarding a free Google listing (caller id: 617-207-0003). The obnoxious fellow I spoke with said he was in Orange County California (caller id obviously spoofed).  He claimed he was with “Lighthouse Marketing” and directed me to a website. I later learned that the owner of this business has been receiving complaints for over a year because someone has been giving out her company’s name when placing robocalls about free Google listings. Lighthouse Marketing is a reputable small business that does not place outbound sales calls about SEO optimization or Google rankings. Did 29 Prime robocall my cell phone?

July 27, 2015 – Please note: Our class action lawsuit against 29 Prime only addresses allegations of robocalls. If you have other complaints about 29 Prime (i.e. page ranking promises, quality of SEO services, billing problems, etc.) the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) may be able to assist you.  The link to register a complaint with the FTC is: www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov.

April 23, 2015 – Second Amended Class Action Complaint (pdf) filed in California against 29 Prime, Inc., OC Listing Inc., Local Zoom, Tony Redman, Russell Wallace.

September 4, 2014 – First Amended Class Action Complaint (pdf) filed, adding as defendants OC Listing, Inc., Local Zoom, Russell Wallace, and Tony Redman. Summons Issued as to Local Zoom, OC Listing, Inc., Tony Redman, Russell Wallace.

July 29, 2014 – The following transaction was entered into Pacer on 7/29/2014 at 2:47 PM EDT and filed on 7/29/2014 Case Name: Russell v. 29 Prime, Inc.  Case Number: 1:13-cv-12814-NMG Docket Text:  ELECTRONIC Clerk’s Notes for proceedings held before Judge Nathaniel M. Gorton: Scheduling Conference held on 7/29/2014: Automatic Discovery to be completed by 8/12/14; Amendments and/or Supplements to the Pleadings due by 8/25/2014; written discovery served by 11/30/14, answered by 12/31/14; all fact Discovery to be completed by 3/6/2015; Motion for Class Certification due by 4/15/2015, opposition due by 5/15/2015, reply due by 5/31/2015. Motion Hearing set for 6/25/2015 03:00 PM in Courtroom 4 before Judge Nathaniel M. Gorton. (Court Reporter: No Court Reporter Used.)(Attorneys present: Pastor, Smith, Baruch (by phone), Salinger) (Patch, Christine)

July 25, 2014 – 29 Prime filed its Answer to the Class Action Complaint (Russell v. 29 Prime, Inc. Case Number: 1:13-cv-12814-NMG) (pdf)

July 15, 2014 –  Judge Gorton’s Denial of Motion to Dismiss Opinion featured on Leagle:

“…I) PURPOSEFUL AVAILMENT

29 PRIME’s phone calls to Massachusetts residents, through its resellers, also constitute sufficient contacts to satisfy the purposeful availment inquiry. See, e.g., Hudak v. Berkley Grp., Inc., No. 3:13-cv-00089-WWE, 2014 WL 354676, at *3 (D. Conn. Jan. 23, 2014). 29 PRIME must contact prospective customers in order to secure sales but not all solicitations will result in business relationships. Because the forum selection, choice of law, and arbitration clauses only apply to customers who execute the Terms & Conditions sheet, it was reasonably foreseeable that these clauses would not govern all of 29 PRIME’s contacts with Massachusetts…”

…II) PUBLIC INTERESTS
The public interest factors do not compel jurisdiction in California. Massachusetts has a local interest in providing a convenient forum for its residents against foreign corporations. Rodriguez v. Samsung Elec. Co., Ltd., 734 F.Supp.2d 220, 228 (D. Mass. 2010). California, however, also has an interest in remedying injuries caused by one of its resident corporations. See id. Given both interests, the public interest inquiry is a wash. Id. Because this Court defers to plaintiff’s choice of forum and the private factors weigh in favor of jurisdiction, defendant’s motion to dismiss for improper venue will be denied.”

July 14, 2014 – Law 360 Article – Tech Co. Can’t Escape Massachusetts TCPA Class Action (pdf).

“A Massachusetts federal judge on Thursday refused to toss a proposed class action accusing search engine optimizer 29 Prime Inc. of making mass phone calls to consumers in violation of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, rejecting its argument that the court lacked jurisdiction.

Plaintiff alleges that 29 Prime made mass solicitations to him and other putative class members using autodialers without their consent, but the company filed a motion to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction and for improper venue to transfer this case…”

July 10, 2014 – 29 Prime’s Motion to Dismiss Denied – Memorandum and Order (pdf).

July 8, 2014 – Freedom of Information Act documents from the FTC (pdf) and FCC (pdf) about 29 Prime and robocalls.

February 5, 2014 – three months after our case, a copycat federal TCPA class action was filed against 29 Prime by Washington and California lawyers. The copycat case is Marlowe v. 29 Prime (pdf ).

 New Court documents:

  • Plaintiff’s Memorandum of Law in Oppostion to Defendant’s Motion to Dismiss (pdf)
  • 29 Prime’s Motion to Dismiss (pdf)
  • Affidavit of Russell Wallace (pdf)

*     *     *

On November 6, 2013, Leonard Law Office LLP, Pastor Law Office LLP, Sweetnam LLC, and Milberg LLP filed a class action lawsuit against California search engine optimization company 29 Prime for alleged violations of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act. The TCPA is a federal law that generally forbids telemarketing calls to cell phones.

29 Prime

29 Prime, Inc.

A Summons [PDF here] was filed on November 18, 2013. 29 The Class Action Complaint [PDF here] alleges:

“Plaintiff brings this action for damages, and other legal and equitable remedies, resulting from the actions of Defendant in negligently, knowingly, and/or willfully placing calls to Plaintiff’s cellular telephone using an automatic telephone dialing system (“ATDS”) (i.e., “robocalls”) without his prior express consent in violation of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, 47 U.S.C. § 227 et seq. (“TCPA”).

Plaintiff is the primary user of the cellular telephone to which Defendant placed calls using an ATDS without his express consent and is a member of the class defined herein.

 Defendant, 29 Prime, is a corporation organized under the laws of Nevada with its principal place of business at 9701 Jeronimo Road., Irvine, California, 92618. The nature of 29 Prime’s business is to place calls to telephones throughout the United States to solicit unsuspecting customers for search engine optimization services, making claims about their ability to improve Google rankings. Defendant has in the past and continues to operate under unincorporated alter egos with similar websites, such as “Reliable Places.” The company was founded in 2010 by Russell Wallace and Tony Redman.  The Defendant placed robocalls to Plaintiff and other class members in violation of the TCPA, as alleged herein.”  More Excerpts from the class action complaint are pasted at below.

If you have information about 29 Prime’s business practices, or have been affected by telemarketing to your cell phone, you are welcome to contact us

Information about 29 Prime

29 Prime is a web site design and search engine optimization company. This is an industry whose validity and efficacy has been questioned.  29 Prime is apparently one of the most successful SEO companies. “In 2012, 29 Prime, Inc. placed 36 on Inc. Magazine‘s Inc. 5000 list, which ranks the fastest-growing companies in the country based on revenue growth. According to the list, the organization ranked sixth among the top 100 advertising and marketing companies in the United States, seventh among all companies in California, including fourth in Los Angeles and second in Orange County.”

Inc. Magazine’s online profile of the company describes 29 Prime as a company which “specializes in increasing small and midsize local businesses’ visibility on the Internet. The company guarantees front page placement on Google as well as placement on Yahoo and Bing, and also offers video SEO, coupons, and Facebook and Twitter strategies.”  The article reported 2011 income of 6.4MM.

In October, 2012, the Orange County Business Journal [PDF] ranked 29 Prime as number one on the list of fastest growing private companies, with 2012 revenues of 8.7 MM, located at  9701 Jeronimo Road, third floor, Irvine CA 92618-2020.

Is 29 Prime’s Autodialler Responsible for the Company’s Explosive Growth?

“the dialer calls out”

29 Prime CEO Russell Wallace claims: “Our goal is to help business owners that aren’t Web savvy to get online, build their reputation and grow their business.” According to his Linkedin profile, Russell Wallace, 31, is “Co-Founder and CEO of 29 Prime, Inc.,” with “more than 10 years’ experience directing as many as 300 employees in companies with revenues in excess of $30 million.” Russell Wallace and Tony Redman founded the company in 2010.

Continue reading

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Update on Class Action Lawsuit Against Citizens Bank for Overdraft Fees

On 9/28/13, I received a check from the Citizens Bank Overdraft settlement for $6.33 (below).

Citizens Bank Overdraft  Fee Settlement Check

Citizens Bank Overdraft Fee Settlement Check

The letter said, “This check is issued pursuant to the terms of class action settlement in the cases styled as In Re: Checking Account Overdraft Litigation, Case No. 1:09-md-02036-JLK; Duval v. Citizens Financial Group, Inc., et al., S.D. Fla. Case No. 1:10-cv-21080-JLK; Daniels v. Citizens Financial Group, Inc., S.D. Fla. Case No. 1:10-cv-22014-JLK; and Blanksenship v. RBS Citizens, N.A., et al., S.D. Fla. Case No. 1:10-cv-22942-JLK.

You can get more information about the Settlement by visiting the settlement website at http://www.citizensoverdraftsettlement.com, call the toll free number, 1-888-273-0426, or by contacting the Citizens Overdraft Settlement Administrator at PO Box 3410, Portland, OR 97208-3410.”

————————————————————-

Important: If you are looking for information about the Citizens Bank Overdraft Settlement, the official website is here: https://www.citizensoverdraftsettlement.com//

On 11/19/12, I received this notice in the mail:

Most Commons Questions about the citizens bank overdraft class action:

1) How much will Citizens bank customers be paid out of the overdraft class action lawsuit settlement?

2) When will citizens bank reimburse overdrafts?

3) How to join the class action suit against Citizens bank?

I wrote Citizens bank customer service on May 4, 2012 asking about the settlement, because I too was affected by Citizen bank overdraft fees.

They wrote back:

“Dear Preston Leonard,

Thank you for your recent inquiry.  Please be advised if the court approves the settlement, impacted customers will be formally notified. If you have any further questions you may email us or call us at our 24 hour Customer Service at 800 922-9999.”

************************************************************************************

Citizens Bank to pay $137.5m to settle overdraft suit

By Beth Healy and Todd Wallack, Globe Staff:

Quote from Globe Article:

“Citizens Bank customers hit with questionable overdraft fees could receive refunds under a settlement announced Wednesday in which the bank agreed to pay $137.5 million to settle charges it manipulated customers’ debit card and ATM transactions.  The bank was accused of processing the transactions in a way that made overdrafts more likely, boosting the income it collected from customers forced to pay overdraft fees.  Citizens did not admit wrongdoing in the case, which is being heard in federal court in Miami. The court must still approve the settlement….”

Read the rest of the story about the Citizens bank overdraft fee class action settlement here. Continue reading

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Verizon Landline Fees Class Action Lawsuit Filed in Massachusetts Federal Court

The Verizon Landline Fees Class Action

On July 3, 2013, after a one year investigation by this office, Verizon is facing a class action in federal court.  The case involves allegedly unfair fees imposed on Verizon landline accounts.

Verizon building - Hyannis MA

Verizon building – Hyannis MA

Under Investigation: Verizon’s Billing Practices

We want to hear from you! If you have complaints about Verizon, or have other information or questions about this matter, you are welcome to contact Preston W. Leonard, Esq. at pleonard@theleonardlawoffice.com or (617) 329-1295.

The class action complaint alleges:

  • An unlawful practice of Verizon of charging unauthorized minimum monthly account fees for long distance service to Verizon landline customers.
  • That the Plaintiff was been charged minimum monthly fees for long distance service; that is, he was charged for not using long distance service.
  • These minimum monthly charges were identified on Plaintiff’s statements as a “VES FirmRate Advantage Shortfall Charge” and were in addition to the standard voice-services charge paid by Plaintiff and the per-minute long distance charges Plaintiff paid for his actual use of long distance services.
  • Plaintiff was also double billed, and paid for, long distance, as described below, and in one month was charged for, and paid, an unexplained shortfall charge of $45.00.
  • Verizon has been charging its landline telephone customers minimum monthly fees for long distance service in an unfair and deceptive manner.
  • These fees have been identified by various names (on Verizon’s bills, on Verizon’s webpages, and in other sources and materials), including the following:
    • “Monthly minimum charge for long distance”
    • “Minimum Monthly Spend Levels”
    • “Minimum Spend Levels” or “MSL”
    • “Minimum Monthly Charge” or “MMC”
    • “VES FirmRate Advantage Shortfall Charge”
    • “Minimum Spend Levels (COMM)”
  • Verizon Landline subscribers receive no advance disclosure or notice of these fees prior to the time that they order and agree to receive and pay for landline service from Verizon Continue reading

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Muscle Milk Class Action Settlement

The Whatley Kallas Litigation Healthcare Group, located in Boston, Massachusetts, was instrumental in achieving this recent consumer protection victory.  See that firm’s blog post about the muscle milk case here. What was the Muscle Milk Class Action Lawsuit about? “CytoSport – the company behind the popular nutritional product lines Muscle Milk, Monster Milk, CytoMax and Mighty Milk – has proposed a class action lawsuit settlement to resolve claims it did not adequately inform consumers that some of its products allegedly contained trace amounts of metals, including lead, cadmium and/or arsenic.  The proposed CytoSport settlement will resolve a class action lawsuit (Nasseri v. CytoSport, Inc.) accusing the company of violating the Food, Drug and Cosmetics Act, and various California laws, a charge the company vigorously denies. CytoSport contends that trace amounts of metals are found in the environment and in many agricultural products, and that its products are safe, as confirmed by independent testing by accredited third parties. CytoSport maintains that no consumers have suffered any injury from purchasing or drinking its products. Nevertheless, CytoSport has proposed a class action lawsuit settlement to avoid the expense of ongoing litigation.”

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Interesting Recent Class Action Lawsuits and Settlements Throughout America

Wells Fargo Home Equity Line of Credit Class Action Lawsuit Settlement

Ferrero Nutella Class Action Lawsuit Settlement 

Vita Coco Coconut Water Class Action Lawsuit Settlement

Women Win $22,000 in Pregnancy Discrimination Lawsuit

Five Guys Gift Card Class Action Lawsuit Settlement

LegalZoom Class Action Lawsuit Settlement – Closes 5/15/2012

French Pinot Noir Wine Class Action Lawsuit Settlement – Closes 5/24/2012

AT&T DSL Speed Class Action Lawsuit Settlement – Closes 5/31/2012

Discover Card Member Programs Class Action Lawsuit Settlement – Closes 6/6/2012

Blue Sky Soda Class Action Lawsuit Settlement – Closes 6/12/2012

CytoSport Muscle Milk/Monster Milk Class Action Lawsuit Settlement – Closes 6/15/2012

Wells Fargo Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC) Class Action Lawsuit Settlement – Closes 6/25/2012

Second Chance Body Armor Zylon Vest Class Action Lawsuit Settlement – Closes 6/25/2012

Ferrero Nutella Class Action Lawsuit Settlement – Closes 7/5/2012

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Nutella Class Action Lawsuit

Nutella has agreed to settle a class action for marketing its chocolate and hazelnut spread as a healthy food, despite being high in saturated fat and sugar.

As a result of the settlement, “anyone who purchased Nutella in the last few years may be eligible to receive up to $20 from the class action settlement.” Read the rest of the story here.

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Best Buy Served with Class Action Lawsuit for Violating Drivers’ Privacy Protection Act

Leopold~Kuvin, P.A. filed a class action lawsuit (Case# 9:11-cv-81292-KLR) in the Southern District Court of Florida today against Best Buy Corporation for violating the Drivers’ Privacy Protection Act or “DPPA”, a federal statute that protects the privacy of personal information assembled by State Department of Motor Vehicles (DMVs).

The lawsuit alleges Best Buy has established a business practice of taking, storing, using and/or sharing customers’ personal or highly restricted personal information, without consent, when customers make a normal return of Best Buy merchandise. Their receipt indicates that Best Buy “tracks exchanges and returns … and some of the information from your ID may be stored in a secure, encrypted database of customer activity that Best Buy and its affiliates use to track exchanges and returns.”

The DPPA specifically prohibits Best Buy’s conduct and was instituted to protect consumers from abuses such as identify theft and stalking, which often result when information is unsecured and improperly stored. The class action alleges that Best Buy’s retention of data accessed on a driver’s license is not “use in the normal course of business” as described by the DPPA.”  Read the rest of the press release here.

 

 

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Class action lawsuits filed against Charter, Comcast for response to recent service outages in Western Massachusetts

By Patrick Johnson, The Republican

“…Lawyer Jeffrey S. Morneau of the Springfield firm Connor Morneau & Olin, filed two separate class action suits against the area’s two major cable companies.

At issue, Morneau said, is the way the two companies require customers to apply for refunds for lost service. He said the companies should automatically credit customers for lost service, rather than “making them jump through hoops to get it….” Read the rest of the story here.

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The Kaz Heating Pad Class Action Lawsuit

ANNOUNCEMENT: You are encouraged to contact us today if you have Kaz heating pad complaints. The Leonard Law Office, LLP is accepting inquiries from potential Massachusetts class representatives to bring a class action against Kaz for its allegedly defective heating pads.

The basic allegations are twofold: 1)  that Kaz heating pads caused some buyers to suffer burns because the pads were defective as sold; 2) that Kaz heating pad packaging should have included warnings regarding risk of injury or use limitations.

A recent article states, “[Plaintiffs] claim that Kaz heating pads burned their skin despite being used properly to treat lower back pain, according to the complaint. Kaz warranted and advertised that its heating pads would provide consumers with “soothing therapy for pain relief,” and never warned consumers that the products could burn or shock them and cause fires.”

Here are some of the names of the products made by Kaz, or its partners, corporate alter-egos, or subsidiaries:

  • Kaz Heating pads
  • SoftHeat
  • Kaz
  • Dunlap
  • SmartHeat
  • Meijer
  • Bergen Brunswig

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

If you have been harmed by any defective heating pad, and you (a) reside in Massachusetts, and/or (b) purchased the product in Massachusetts, and/or (c) were injured by the product in Massachusetts, we want to hear from you.

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Update: Bank of America Overdraft Fee Class Action Lawsuit and Settlement

New:

Here is a pathetic settlement check (four dollars and change) for a Bank of America overdraft victim who paid hundreds in unfair overdraft fees:

 

PATHETIC Bank of America Overdraft Fee Class Action Settlement Check

 

 

PWL – 9/14/2011

**I am not representing clients in overdraft litigation- this post is for general informational purposes only**

BOSTON – If you had a BANK OF AMERICA personal checking account with debit card from Jan 1, 2001 – May 24, 2011, and had one or more overdraft fees as a result of BOA’s practice of manipulating the order of transactions from highest to lowest dollar amount to trigger overdraft fees, you should have been included as a member of the class. If you have not yet received a card in the mail notifying you of the settlement, there may be a problem.

To find out if you are entitled to receive money from the Bank of America overdraft fee settlement, you should call the Florida law firm of Grossman Roth at 888-296-1681 and ask for Katie. She will be able to tell you if you are a member of the class or not.  Unfortunately, if you are not, it is too late at this point to add you to that action.

To determine the amount of your financial loss due to Bank of America’s highest-to-lowest transaction processing scheme, you may want to obtain your bank records.  According to Bank of America:  a) you can obtain copies of previous bank statements over the phone; b) there is a fee of $5.00 per monthly statement; c) it will take 8 – 10 business days; d) if you have online banking you can go through the last 18 months of history (but not further back) and print that information for free.

This is what the postcard notice about the Bank of America Overdraft Fee Class Action lawsuit looks like:

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