Consumer Protection Cases
Automotive Consumer Protection
Ambrose et al. v. General Motors, LLC: Case No. 4:19-cv-13449 (E.D.Mich.). M&R and co-counsel filed a lawsuit against General Motors for their failure to address an acknowledged product defect in all of their 2015 and 2016 Chevrolet Colorados as well as GMC Canyon trucks. In 2016, GM recalled roughly 3,000 trucks over a power steering failure, due to faulty wiring, that made turning the vehicle’s wheels difficult. Owners report that the power steering would fail while they were in motion, sometimes multiple times during a single trip. After realizing that their vehicles were not covered by GM’s recall, Colorado and Canyon owners lodged complaints with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (“NHTSA”). NHTSA estimates that GM may have needed to recall closer to 115,000 total vehicles, 38 times the amount they initially recalled. For more information or to see if your vehicle qualifies, visit our blog here.
Hutchinson v. General Motors LLC: Case No. 8:19-cv-01551 (D.Md.) and Rothschild v. General Motors LLC: Case No. 1:19-cv-05240 (E.D.N.Y.). Plaintiff represented by Migliaccio & Rathod LLP has brought a class action lawsuit on behalf of 2016-2018 owners of the Chevy Malibu for experiencing a reduction of speed while on the road due to a defective electronic throttle control and/or accelerator pedal position sensor. The defect manifests with a significant and sudden reduction of speed accompanied by a “Reduced Engine Power” warning message on the dash. This is a major safety concern because drivers have reported that the defect can cause a loss of control or a rear end accident from vehicles following behind. Despite its knowledge, GM has failed to recall the inherently dangerous electronic throttle control and/or accelerator pedal position sensors or reimburse vehicle owners for the inevitable failure of this critical part. If your Chevy Malibu has displayed the “Engine Power Reduced” warning message, please complete our confidential, online questionnaire available here.
Brown v. Hyundai Motor America et al.: Case No. 2:18-cv-11249 (D.N.J.). Hyundai Engine Failure. This consumer class action arose from a latent defect found in model year 2011 through 2016 Hyundai Elantra cars with “Nu” 1.8-liter engines. Defects in the piston assemblies of the Nu 1.8L engines cause total and irreparable engine failure, the symptoms of which include a knocking noise from the engine while the car is warming up after being started and/or while driving. Once the fateful engine knock sound begins, the engine will inevitably fail completely, causing a loss of engine power, power steering and brake assistance which can lead to stalling while the vehicle is in motion and place the operator o the vehicle, and those that share the road with them, at risk of accident, injury, or death. Once the Piston Defect has manifested, the engine block has been damaged beyond repair. Therefore, the only fix is replacement of the engine, which can cost upwards of $10,000. This case has been settled, but is pending court approval.
Dorsey Bennet et al. v. Hyundai Motor America: Case No. 8:20-cv-00890 (C.D.Cal.). Migliaccio & Rathod LLP filed a suit against Hyundai Motor America for their defective windshields that are easily prone to cracking in the 2020 Kia Telluride and its sister vehicle, the 2020 Hyundai Palisade. Multiple owners on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s website and various Kia and Hyundai forums report windshields that crack very easily after being hit by small pebbles, or for no reason at all. The crack quickly progresses in a spiderweb pattern to expand further along the windshield, leaving owners to pay as much as $1,500 for a replacement. For some, their windshield cracked again soon after replacement, and many note that their windshield replacement has been on back order for months. If you have experienced this with your vehicle, contact us here.
Technological Consumer Protection Cases
Gisairo v. Lenovo (United States) Inc.: Case No. 0:19-cv-02727 (D. Minn.). and MacKay v. Lenovo (United States) Inc.: Case No. 1:20-cv-01149 (D.Del.). Migliaccio & Rathod LLP has brought a class action and is co-counsel on another class action suit against Lenovo for their Flex 5, also known as Yoga 520, laptops which exhibit screen flickering. Users of this model have reported that the flickering causes large portions of the screen to black out, making the 2-in-1 device unusable. Further, Lenovo customers have noticed that the screen flicker and subsequent blackout is triggered when the laptop is moved or when the screen is first opened. Being that it is a 2-in-1 device, meant to be transformed interchangeably from laptop to tablet, its central purpose is hampered by this defect caused by movement. For more information or if you have experienced this defect in your Flex 5, visit our blog here.
In Re: Intel Corp. CPU Marketing, Sales Practices and Products Liability Litigation: Case No. 3:18-md-02828 (D. Or.). In January 2018, it was publicly revealed for the first time that Defendant Intel’s processors (also known as chips or central processing units), have significant security vulnerabilities. A CPU is the “brain” in every computer and mobile device and processes all of the essential applications, including the handling of confidential information such as passwords and encryption keys. Maintaining the security of confidential information is a fundamental function of all CPUs. The attacks identified in 2018, dubbed “Meltdown,” “Spectre,” and “Foreshadow,” exploited defects in Intel’s CPU design. More specifically, when Intel’s processors engaged in speculative execution, the processors made information, which should have remained secure and inaccessible to unauthorized use, accessible in the processors’ unsecured cache subsystem. In so doing, Intel’s processors created a vast security vulnerability that could be accessed through a number of different exploits. The Defects that allow these attacks are the direct result of Intel’s knowing decision to sacrifice security in favor of speed in its ongoing competition with rivals such as AMD. For more information, visit our blog here.
McFadden et al. v. Microsoft Corporation: Case No. 2:20-cv-00640 (W.D. Wash.). M&R has been appointed as co-lead interim class counsel in an action brought on behalf of a nationwide class arising from a hardware defect affecting Microsoft X-Box video game controllers. Consumers have experienced “Stick drift,” when their controller’s joystick registers movement when there is none and causes major difficulties in standard use of the Xbox One console. For more information and to see if you qualify to get involved, follow the link to our blog post here.
Williams et al. v. Apple, Inc.: This is a consumer class action alleging that Apple failed to disclose to Plaintiffs that Apple’s iPhone operating system (“iOS”) would materially degrade the operation of their iPhone 6, 6 Plus, 6s, 6s Plus, SE, 7, or 7 Plus models smartphones by reducing their processor speeds in certain circumstances, including when their non-user replaceable batteries lost storage capacity after multiple charge and discharge cycles. As detailed herein, Apple surreptitiously throttled the processor speeds of iPhones to mask the manifestation of sudden shutdowns that iPhones with degraded batteries were experiencing. Plaintiffs hereinafter refer to this surreptitious throttling – and its causes and impacts – as the “throttling defect”. This case has been settled, but is pending court approval.
Pena et al. v. British Airways, PLC (UK): Case No. 1:18-cv-06278 (E.D.N.Y.). This is a consumer class action against British Airways for its failure to exercise reasonable care in securing and safeguarding its account holders’ Private Information, specifically their names, billing addresses, email addresses, and credit card information, including credit card numbers, expiry dates and CVV codes. On or about September 6, 2018, Plaintiff and Class members learned that commencing in or around August 2018, their Private Information was stolen from BA’s database storing Personal Information by hackers as a result of BA’s security failures. Almost two months after announcement of the initial breach, British Airways announced that an internal investigation has revealed that the data breach was far greater than originally believed. For more information, visit our blog here.
Pflum v. Munson Healthcare: Case No. 1:20-cv-00375 (W.D.Mich.). Migliaccio & Rathod LLP brought a case against Munson Healthcare for failure to adequately safeguard patient information, resulting in a data breach. Various Munson employees fell victim to a phishing scam, which resulted in exposure of patient information to potentially malicious actors. The information shared includes names, dates of birth, insurance information, and treatment and diagnostic information. In some cases, patients’ financial account, driver’s license, and Social Security numbers were also compromised by the breach, which occurred between July 31 and October 22, 2019. If you want more information or believe you were impacted, visit our blog here.
In re: Rutter’s Inc. Data Security Breach Litigation: Case No. 1:20-cv-00382 (M.D.Pa.). M&R has been appointed to the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee in a putative multistate class action brought on behalf of consumers of a regional convenience store. Consumers allege that Rutter’s failed to protect their personal information and data, including credit card data. At least one data security expert recommended that anyone who used a credit card during the impacted time period should preventatively cancel their card immediately. If you believe you may have been impacted or would like more information, visit our blog here.
Sprowl et al. v. Marriot International, Inc: Case No. 8:18-cv-03691 (D. Md.). Plaintiffs bring this action against Marriott for failure to secure and safeguard their information including their names, birthdates, addresses, locations, email addresses, payment card information and passport information, including passport numbers, collectively referred to herein as Personally Identifiable Information (PII) that Marriott required customers to provide when they made reservations, checked-in to hotels, used one of its loyalty programs, or made purchases at dining or retail operations within its hotels. Marriott also failed to adequately notify Plaintiffs and Class members in a timely manner that their PII had been stolen. On November 30, 2018, Marriott announced that it had experienced a data breach due to a flaw in Marriott’s reservation system and database systems dating back to 2014, which allowed hackers to access the guest reservation system and steal the PII of up to 500 million guests. For approximately 327 million of these guests, the information includes some combination of name, mailing address, phone number, email address, passport number, Starwood Preferred Guest account information, date of birth, gender, arrival and departure information, reservation date, and communication preferences. For some, the information also includes payment card numbers and payment card expiration dates.
Wallace et al. v. Health Quest Systems, Inc.: Case No. 7:20-cv-00545 (S.D.N.Y.). M&R has been appointed as co-lead interim class counsel in this case brought on behalf of New York patients whose data was compromised by a major regional health care provider. Health Quest and its parent company, Nuvance Health first reported on May 31, 2019 that a phishing incident allowed unauthorized access to employee emails, and patients’ sensitive information, to include names, provider names, dates of treatment and diagnosis information, and health insurance claims information. Much later, on January 10, 2020 patients in New York, Vermont, and Massachusetts received a letter stating that additional information may have been compromised, to include dates of birth, Social Security numbers, Medicare Health Insurance claim numbers, driver’s license numbers, provider names, dates of treatment, treatment and diagnosis information, health insurance plan member and group numbers, health insurance claims information, financial account information with PIN/security code and payment card information. New York patients were not offered the opportunity to enroll in the Experian IdentityWorks credit monitoring service. For more information or if you were impacted, visit our blog here.
Miscellaneous Consumer Protection Cases
In re: JUUL Labs, Inc. Products Litigation, Case: Case No. 3:18-cv-02499 (N.D. Cal.). M&R was appointed as co-lead interim class counsel in action brought on behalf of a nationwide class arising from marketing and sale of electronic cigarettes by JUUL, the world’s largest e-cigarette manufacturer, which is valued at several billions of dollars. A class action lawsuit against JUUL on behalf of purchasers of JUUL e-cigarettes or JUUL pods was filed April 24, 2014. Plaintiffs allege JUUL engaged in false and deceptive sales, marketing, labeling, and advertising of JUUL e-cigarettes and JUUL pods. Despite being portrayed as an alternative to traditional cigarettes, Plaintiffs allege that JUUL’s nicotine salt formulation delivers an exceptionally potent dose of nicotine, rendering JUUL products even more addictive than traditional cigarettes. In this case, JUUL poses serious health risks as nicotine is a carcinogen as well as a toxic chemical which adversely affects, for example, the heart, eyes, reproductive system, lung, and kidneys. In addition, plaintiffs contend JUUL specifically targeted young people with its advertising and marketing efforts in order to encourage JUUL use, driving today’s teen vaping epidemic – described by former FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb as an “addiction crisis.” Visit our blog for more information or to get involved, here.
Krukas v. AARP, Inc. et al.: Case No. 1:18-cv-01124 (D.D.C.). M&R, as co-counsel, brought a suit on behalf of the plaintiff against AARP for their deceptive trade practice in insurance sales, requireing consumers to pay more than was reasonable. AARP collects a 4.95% “royalty” fee on the Medigap policies that it administers in collaboration with UnitedHealth Group and UnitedHealthcare Insurance Company. This administration and provision of other services in support of these group Medigap policies, the case alleges, amounted to it acting as an unlicensed insurance agent, that the “royalties” paid to AARP as a percentage of premiums constituted illegal commissions, and AARP materially misrepresented the nature and source of the “royalties.” For more information, visit our blog here.
Valsartan N-Nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) Products Liability Litigation: MDL Case No: 1:19-md-02875-RBK-JS (D.N.J.). Represent plaintiffs in multi-district litigation arising from worldwide recalls of generic Valsartan that had been found to be contaminated with probable human carcinogens. M&R was appointed to the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee and serves as co-chair of the medical monitoring committee. A lawsuit has been filed against Zhejiang Huahai Pharmaceuticals and several other defendant pharmaceutical companies for manufacturing Valsartan, a generic blood pressure medication, contaminated with N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA), a known carcinogen. In July 2018, the FDA announced a recall of Valsartan medications due to the detection of NDMA. Migliaccio & Rathod LLP seeks compensation for plaintiffs’ losses and injuries relating to defendants’ negligence, failure to exercise due care in the manufacturing, testing, distribution, labeling, marketing of, warnings and disclosures about, and sale of Valsartan throughout the United States. For more information or if you have taken Valsartan, visit our blog here.
Wage & Hour Cases (Unpaid Overtime, Employee Misclassification, Minimum Wage Violations)
Camara, et al. v. Mastro’s Restaurants LLC: Case No. 1:18-cv-00724 (D.D.C.). M&R is counsel in a conditionally certified nationwide collective action lawsuit on behalf of servers who were allegedly not paid minimum wage. These servers allege they were subject to tip-sharing between both other servers and non-tipped employees who did not regularly interact with restaurant customers. You can learn more about this case here.
Colbert v. Prince Security Services of DC, LLC et al.: Case No. 2020CA001347B (D.C. Sup. Ct.). Migliaccio & Rathod represents the plaintiff in a class action against her employer, Prince Security Services, for alleged violation of the District of Columbia’s Wage Payment and Wage Collection Law and the District’s Living Wage Act. For five years, plaintiff worked for Prime Security and alleges the employees, including herself, were never paid the equivalent of living wage during the tenure of their employment.
Thomas v. Waste Pro USA Inc. et al.: Case No. 8:17-cv-2254 (M.D. Fla.). Overtime Pay for Waste Collection Workers at Waste Pro USA. Waste collection workers filed a lawsuit against Waste Pro USA in the Middle District of Florida. They allege that Waste Pro USA violated the FLSA by failing to pay waste collection workers the legally required amount of overtime compensation in an amount required by law for all hours worked over forty in a workweek. For more information, visit our blog here.
Smith v. Jax LLC d/b/a Golden Corral: Case No. 3:19-cv-00707 (W.D.N.C.). and Hickman v. G.C. of Capital Centre, LLC et al.: Case No. 8:18-cv01238 (D. Md.). M&R serves as co-counsel in two lawsuits against Golden Corral whose employees allege a minimum wage violation based on the use of a tip credit and their non-tip producing work.
Civil Rights Cases
Hill v. County of Montgomery, New York: Case No. 9:14-cv-00933 (N.D.N.Y). Migliaccio & Rathod LLP represents individuals placed into custody of Montgomery County Jail who have been denied adequate food and nutrition. Plaintiffs have suffered symptoms of malnutrition and scurvy, including severe weight loss, hair loss, skin rashes and other debilitating symptoms. Among many violations, this treatment goes against the Eighth Amendment, which protects citizens from cruel and unusual punishments. This case has been settled, but is pending court approval. Visit our blog for more information, here.
McDonald v. Franklin County, Ohio: Case No. 2:13-cv-503 (S.D.Ohio.). Along with co-counsel, Migliaccio & Rathod LLP represents a class of female inmates that underwent unconstitutional documentation of tattoos in their private areas. These women were admitted for failure to pay fines, city code violations, traffic infractions, and other minor crimes. The constitution demands that the need for a search and seizure be balanced against the invasion of one’s personal liberties. Given the minor violations these individuals were detained for, Migliaccio & Rathod LLP asserts Franklin County violated their Fourth Amendment rights, which protect citizens against such unreasonable searches and seizures – such as unreasonable photographic documentation, in this case.
Smith-Journigan et al. v. Franklin County, Ohio: Case No. 2:18-cv-00328 (S.D.Ohio). Migliaccio & Rathod LLP and co-counsel have brought a class action against Franklin County for denying pre-arraignment misdemeanor detainees an opportunity to post bail before being subjected to the indignities of a strip search and being unnecessarily incarcerated for several hours. Migliaccio & Rathod LLP maintains Franklin County has violated the due process rights, as safeguarded by the U.S. Constitution, of tens of thousands of individuals who were presumptively entitled to the right to post bail.
Russo v. Allegheny County, New York: Case No. 2:2018cv00097 (W.D.Pa.). Co-counsel and Migliaccio & Rathod LLP have brought a case against Allegheny County, New York for violating detainees’ constitutional right to privacy. Specifically, during the booking process at the Allegheny County Jail, detainees are forced to detail their medical history and medical conditions while being placed in the same room as other detainees. Under the Fourteenth Amendment’s protections of privacy, a citizen has the right to avoid disclosure of his or her personal matters, including the disclosure of medical records and health conditions. Therefore, Migliaccio & Rathod LLP contends Allegheny County has violated thousands of detainees’ constitutional right to privacy by requiring them to detail protected health information while being within earshot of other detainees.