Articles Posted in Class-Action

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Best Chicago class action lawyers and attorneys near Naperville and Oak Brook in DuPage CountyAmericans love our convenience, but it often comes with a cost, even when we’re not aware of it. One example of the ways in which food manufacturers have catered to this desire for convenience is by selling pre-grated parmesan cheese so that it’s ready to go straight from the grocery store into a recipe or on top of pasta. It makes shopping for and using parmesan cheese much easier, but there’s a catch. There’s no way of knowing if what you’re eating is really cheese.

In 2012 the FDA found evidence that Castle Cheese Inc. was including non-dairy substances in its Parmesan cheese products. The FDA issued stern warnings, including accusations that Castle’s products marketed as Parmesan and romano were actually a mixture of various cheeses and other ingredients.

Castle, which insists that their consumers were never harmed and that it was merely a mislabeling issue, eventually went bankrupt. but the allegations against Castle have spread to other manufacturers of grated parmesan cheese.

One of the most common additives to grated parmesan is cellulose, an anti-clumping agent made from wood chips. Acceptable levels of cellulose range from 2-4%, but the FDA’s investigations have found much higher concentrations in various food products. Continue reading

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In case there was ever any question...

In case there was ever any question…

Have you ever wondered if that bank fee or overdraft charge from your bank was legal? If you tried to challenge your bank in a court of law, chances are you found out you had signed an arbitration agreement, which meant you could not settle the dispute in a court of law. Instead, you had to go through arbitration to accuse your bank of charging illegal fees or mismanaging your money.

If you choose to use arbitration, you have to cover all your legal fees yourself, which can quickly reach thousands of dollars. If you believe your bank has illegally taken funds out of your account, the chances are the amount they took was negligible. Three dollars for an overdraft fee may not seem like much, but for some people it can mean passing on a box of groceries. Even if it’s not much for the individual consumer, if the bank is improperly charging these types of fees to a large portion of its customers, it’s probably making a fortune illegally. Continue reading

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Best class action attorneys and lawyers in the Chicagoland areaUber has agreed to settle two class-action lawsuits brought by its drivers. One was started in Massachusetts, the other in California, where drivers sued to be considered employees eligible for benefits and not just independent contractors. Under the settlement, they do remain contractors, but Uber will pay up to $100 million to be shared by as many as 385,000 drivers.

Our Maywood, Joliet and Berwyn wage and hour attorneys and unpaid overtime lawyers and attorneys are intimately familiar with the issues that arise during wage claim litigation, and we know the laws that govern overtime cases well. Many employers misclassify employees as being exempt from overtime laws and pay workers salaries instead of hourly wages in order to avoid paying them overtime. Some employers mistakenly classify employees as exempt and others intentionally do so in order to circumvent the law. In either case, workers do not receive the wages they should, and a lawsuit may be the only way to recover their earned wages. We represent call center workers who are forced to work overtime but are not paid time and half wages.

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Best DuPage County Class Action Attorneys Near Wheaton Naperville and Oak BrookAny time you do anything online, even it’s just visiting a website, you usually have to agree to the company’s Terms of Service. Because these documents can be pages long and we live in an increasingly time-crunched world, very few people actually read the Terms of Service before checking the “Agree” box. Sometimes this lack of diligence gets people into trouble, but depending on how it’s presented, it could be the company that gets into trouble.

When Gary Sgouros filed a proposed class action lawsuit against TransUnion Corp. for allegedly providing worthless credit scores, the company tried to have the dispute sent to arbitration in accordance with the arbitration agreement contained in its Terms of Service.

Sgouros had paid almost $40 for the credit report in 2013 in the hopes of using it to help him negotiate a loan on a new car he was looking to purchase. But the score provided by TransUnion was higher than the number provided to the car dealership by at least 100 points. Sgouros argues this made the credit score he paid for effectively worthless.

In 2014, Sgouros filed the proposed class action lawsuit in Illinois federal court on behalf of himself and all other similarly situated consumers across the country who purchased a credit score from TransUnion any time since 2012. Sgouros is also seeking to represent a subclass of TransUnion customers in Missouri, his home state. Continue reading

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Best Dupage County autofraud lawyers near Carol Stream and Glen EllynElectric cars are still a relatively new phenomenon. They started a few years ago with hybrid cars that used both gas and electricity, but some vehicle manufacturers are starting to claim consumers can drive their cars for miles using just the electric battery. Although they’ve been put through lab testing at the manufacturers, there has been little testing done to see how those results hold up in the real world. Consequently, vehicle manufacturers and marketers need to be very careful about the promises they make to their consumers when advertising their new technology.

According to a recent consumer class action lawsuit against Volvo Cars of North America LLC, the car company claimed that its new XC90 T8 could drive up to 25 miles on a full electric charge, but Xavier Laurens argues that is not actually the case.

Laurens paid an extra $20,000 when he preordered his new hybrid car from Volvo in order to save money on gas and limit his carbon footprint. Based on Volvo’s advertising of the vehicle, Laurens believed he would be able to use his new car to commute to and from his job in Chicago without using the gasoline engine, but the vehicle allegedly did not live up to the expectations set by the manufacturer. Continue reading

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Best Oak Brook, Aurora, Schaumburg and Naperville class action lawyers ad attorneys near ChicagoConsumer advocate groups have long been saying the inclusion of arbitration agreements in all sorts of contracts, from cell phone agreements to student loan contracts, unfairly benefits corporations while harming consumers. Corporate advocates claim consumers also benefit from these arbitration agreements, which has turned the argument into a bit of “he said/she said” issue, but the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) might be able to put the issue to rest.

The bureau published a report in March 2015 that found that mandatory arbitration clauses benefit companies while harming consumers.

An arbitration clause is an agreement included in a contract that states any dispute between the parties will take place in arbitration, rather than in a court of law. Arbitration is handled by private, for-profit arbitration companies, does not provide an explanation for the ruling, and it prohibits appeals and class actions. Because arbitrators are companies that are in business to make money, they’re not always as neutral as court judges. Although there are some arbitration companies that have a reputation for being fair and unbiased, most of them can be influenced by clients that bring in a lot of business for them, even if they’re not consciously aware of this bias.

Arbitration was designed as a way for businesses to handle disputes between themselves without crowding the courts, but in recent years companies have abused the option for arbitration by including clauses in their contracts with their customers and employees that force all disputes into arbitration. It’s hard enough for an individual to get a fair trial in the courts when fighting a large corporation with vast resources, but the arbitration system makes it considerably more difficult for individuals to get a fair hearing. Continue reading

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Chicago Class Action Attorneys and Oak Brook Class Action Lawyers and Naperville Class Action Attorneys near ChicagoThe recent natural movement that has led many people towards organic foods has spread to other areas of our everyday lives. Many people now reach for organic soaps and moisturizers as well as local, organic produce.

Deodorant in particular has seen an increased demand for natural options, especially since claims arose years ago that conventional deodorant is linked to cancer. The validity of those claims is still up for debate, but what many customers of Old Spice say is not up for debate are the severe rashes and burns they’ve allegedly received as a result of the company’s various deodorant products.

According to a recent consumer class action lawsuit against Procter & Gamble, the company’s Old Spice deodorant products have left serious rashes and chemical burns on hundreds, maybe even thousands, of customers. The class action lawsuit was filed in March and is seeking $5 million in damages. Continue reading

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Chicago super lawyers for business disputes and class actions near Lombard and HinsdaleVincent L. DiTommaso, Peter S. Lubin, Patrick D. Austermuehle, and Andrew C. Murphy recognized by Illinois Super Lawyers 

Vincent L. DiTommaso and Peter S. Lubin have been selected as 2016 Illinois Super Lawyers in the areas of Business Litigation and Class Action Law. No more than 5% of attorneys in Illinois receive this honor each year. This marks the sixth straight year both co-founders of DiTommaso-Lubin have been selected for this honor.

Two additional DiTommaso-Lubin attorneys, Patrick D. Austermuehle and Andrew C. Murphy, have been selected as Illinois Rising Stars for the second straight year in the areas of Business Litigation and Class Action Law. Rising Stars are selected from attorneys under the age of 40 who have been practicing for less than 10 years. No more than 2.5% of Illinois attorneys are selected by the research team at Super Lawyers to receivet his honor each year.

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Best Chicago business dispute attorneys near Park Ridge and Morton GroveCompanies have long been arguing that arbitration agreements are in the best interests of everyone involved, even when it seems pretty clear they only benefit the large corporations implementing and enforcing those agreements. District and federal courts across the country have been upholding all sorts of arbitration agreements between companies and their customers, even though the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA) was only intended for arbitration to be used as a means to settle disputes between businesses, not between businesses and individuals.

Because arbitrators work for for-profit companies, the outcome often is not objective when the arbitrator is under the thumb of the company. There are arbitration companies that have a reputation for being fair and objective, but when an arbitration agreement gives the company the right to choose the arbitrator (as these agreements sometimes do), the company is free to choose an arbitrator they feel confident will rule in their favor. If a company brings a lot of business to an arbitration company, the arbitrator may be influenced by that fact without even realizing it. Arbitration in many instances offers no explanation for a ruling and no opportunity to appeal the decision. Companies sometimes choose legal regimes that are unfair to consumers. Continue reading

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Pick Off of Class Action Fails.

Pick Off of Class Action Fails

It is common for parties involved in a lawsuit, especially a large class action, to settle their legal claims outside of court, instead of pursuing the dispute all the way to a court ruling. But just because one party makes an offer, does not mean the other party is required to accept that offer. Each side will agree to or reject an offer to settle the dispute based on a number of factors, of which the amount of the settlement is just one.

In some cases involving statutory damages, such as allegations of violating the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), if a defendant offers to pay the lead plaintiff all actual and statutory damages in full, the plaintiff’s claims are considered null and void, regardless of whether the plaintiff accepts the terms of the settlement. This allows defendants to avoid a large and costly class action lawsuit by paying off the claims of just one plaintiff. But that recently changed with a ruling by the Supreme Court. Continue reading