Articles Posted in Consumer Fraud/Consumer Protection

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Chicago's best autofraud lawyers near PalatineBuying a used car is always a risky business. You can never really know what the car went through in the hands of previous owners. In order to put customers’ minds at ease, car dealerships started offering “certified pre-owned” vehicles. The “certified” label is supposed to ward off consumers’ suspicion by providing a guarantee that the vehicle had to pass an inspection before going up for sale again. In exchange for this peace of mind, certified pre-owned vehicles are usually sold for a much higher price than a standard used car. But what exactly does this inspection consist of?

It turns out there are currently no legal requirements for selling a certified pre-owned vehicle. Instead, each manufacturer and car dealer has its own requirements, which can range from a 32-point inspection to a 300-point inspection. Continue reading

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Certified used car fraud attorney near Lombard and Westmont

 

Our Chicago autofraud and Lemon law attorneys near Deerfield, Lake Forest, Barrington bring individual and class actions suits for defective cars with common design defects and auto dealer fraud and other car dealer scams such as selling rebuilt wrecks as certified used cars or misrepresenting a car as being in good condition when it is rebuilt wreck or had the odometer rolled back. Super Lawyers has selected our DuPage, Kane and Cook County auto-fraud, car dealer fraud and lemon law lawyers as among the top 5% in Illinois. We only collect our fee if we win or settle your case. For a free consultation call our Chicago class action lawyers at our toll free number (877) 990-4990 or contact us on the web by clicking here.

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Best class action lawyers near Naperville and WoodridgeNew science is always coming out to tout the benefits of this or that new drug or supplement. Recently, docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) has been touted as instrumental for maintaining a healthy brain. DHA is an omega-3 fatty acid that constitutes a primary structural component of the human brain, as well as other vital organs. As a result, drug companies have started including it in their supplements and advertising their products as having the ability to boost brain health and performance based on their inclusion of DHA.

For example, Bayer Healthcare allegedly advertised their Flintstones Healthy Brain Support Gummies as improving brain function because the gummies contain Omega-3 DHA. Liza Gershman has filed a class action consumer lawsuit against Bayer alleging there is no scientific evidence to support the assertion that DHA improves brain function. To back up this claim, Gershman sites five studies that found no significant difference between a placebo and DHA derived from algae (the same form of DHA used in Bayer’s supplements) on cognitive function. Continue reading

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Walgreens alleged supplement fraud -- Chicago attorneys investigating supplement fraudThe federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has strict standards for prescription drugs before they can be sold to the public. They must undergo rigorous testing to validate their ingredients and effectiveness before being allowed to go to market.

Not everyone wants to take prescription drugs though. Many people prefer to first try natural alternatives, and that often includes supplements. Other people use supplements simply to make sure they are getting enough of the proper nutrients if they think their diet might be lacking. Either way, there’s plenty of money to be made in the supplements industry, and that opportunity, coupled with a lack of regulations, creates a strong temptation for some manufacturers to cheat.

When there’s big money to be made, there are usually people in place to make sure nothing interferes. Senator Orrin G. Hatch, for example, was a sponsor and chief architect of the 1994 law exempting supplements from the FDA’s strict approval process used for prescription drugs. Hatch has accepted hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions from the supplement industry and repeatedly intervened in Washington against proposed legislation that would put in place more stringent rules regarding supplements. Continue reading

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Chicago Restore and Rust-Oleum Product Defect Attorneys and Lawyers near Wheaton and NapervilleCompanies often invest a lot of money in the products they sell, especially new products that have recently been released. They spend money on advertising and they sometimes train employees in retail stores to conduct demonstrations of their new product.

One company that recently launched a new product and talked it up in Home Depot stores is Rust-Oleum Corp. and their product was Restore. Restore was sold as a liquid armor coating that could be applied to wooden decks or room-swept concrete surfaces. According to a recent class action lawsuit though, Restore did not act as the protective coating it was advertised to be. Instead, the product allegedly peeled off surfaces, leaving them exposed.

The lawsuit was filed by Ulbardo Fernandez, who purchased the product at Home Depot. He alleges that Restore was advertised as being a “smart alternative” to replacing decks and concrete. Fernandez allegedly decided to purchase Restore as a result of the advertisement he saw for it in Home Depot. Continue reading

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Chicago's best consumer fraud class action lawyers and attorneysCompanies know the importance of advertising. Many people are attracted by a particular label or claims that a product is associated with a certain time in history or perceived social standing. This is especially true of alcohol where, aside from the taste, many people make their purchasing decisions based on a sense of prestige. Breweries and distilleries often try to given their brand a pretigious image and use that image in their advertising, including the producers of Templeton Rye Whiskey.

According to a recent class action lawsuit against the company, Templeton Rye allegedly violated consumer protection laws by allegedly misleading consumers with stories of the whiskey’s origins. Marketing material released by the company claims that its founders were inspired by the Prohibition-era recipe of Alphonse Kerkhoff, which was handed down through his family on a scrap of paper. The label on the whiskey bottle also bears an old black-and-white photo, which is reminiscent of America in the 1920s when Prohibition was in effect. The label matches the whiskey maker’s claims to a recipe that has been handed down through the generations, and reinforces the belief that the whiskey is made using a recipe that is almost 100 years old. Continue reading

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Top class action attorneys and lawyers near Chicago and NapervilleWhen a consumer feels she has been cheated by someone she bought a product or service from, the amount of her claim is often too small to warrant suing the seller. In that case, the consumer’s best bet is to collect a group of other consumers who have similarly been allegedly cheated and file a class action lawsuit. In order to successfully pursue a class action lawsuit though, a judge must grant the plaintiffs class action status, and in order for the judge to do that, the class of plaintiffs must fulfill certain requirements. These requirements include a class that is sufficiently large to warrant a class action, plaintiffs who can adequately represent the class, and complaints from class members that are sufficiently similar to warrant combining them into one action.

Another requirement that has caused much controversy in the courts lately is ascertainability, meaning there must be a way to identify all of the members of the class. This can be an issue in class actions filed against food producers or retailers, especially those who produce cheap food, for which consumers rarely keep their receipts. In Carrera v. Bayer, the plaintiff, Gabriel Carrera, sued Bayer on behalf of all consumers who had purchased Bayer’s One-A-Day WeightSmart diet supplement. According to the complaint, Bayer falsely advertised its diet supplement as having metabolism-boosting effects, based on the fact that it contained green tea extract. Continue reading

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Chicago class action lawyers near Schaumburg and ElginThe cost of everything goes up with inflation and insurance is no different. As the value of our things increases with time, it makes sense that people would want sufficient coverage for all of their belongings. This can become an issue though, when insurance companies insist on raising the limits on a plan (and thus raising the premiums) to levels that are much higher than the property can possibly be worth. Such is allegedly the case in a recent class action lawsuit against State Auto.

According to the complaint, the named plaintiffs, Mark and Andrea Schumacher, bought their home in 2001 for $234,000. They claim that they have made no improvements to the home since then, other than normal maintenance, and that its market value remains about the same. As evidence to support this assertion, the plaintiffs pointed out that the builder from whom they bought their home continues to construct homes in their neighborhood that are similar to the ones that they own, and sell them at a comparable price.

Despite that, State Auto, which has been insuring the Schumachers for years, allegedly increased their policy limit over the years until it stood at more than $500,000 as of 2013. According to the Schumachers, that is much more than what it would cost them to rebuild or replace their home, though it is important to note that there are two different ways of looking at that cost: 1) rebuilding from the ground up; and  2) buying a similar, older home. The cost of these two options can vary dramatically, depending on the market, and some people have a strong preference to buy insurance for one over the other. Continue reading

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Consumer Fraud attorneys near Chicago, Oak Brook and WheatonWhenever there are large loans, there are bound to be targets for debt settlement companies. These are companies that tell borrowers that they will negotiate lower monthly fees for the borrower in exchange for a hefty upfront fee. They convince borrowers to pay them hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars, then they leave the borrowers with the same debt they had to begin with. One such company, Broadsword Student Advantage of Carrollton, Texas, has a radio advertisement which claims “Your entire student loan can be forgiven.” In the past, these fraudulent companies targeted those with large credit card debt or mortgage loans. The recent economic downturn left those who owed more on their property than it was worth as prime targets for those companies, but now they have a new group of targets.

The amount that Americans currently owe in student loans has exceeded $1 trillion, and to make matters worse, a record number of college graduates entered the workforce just as the economy was taking a nosedive, resulting in high unemployment and underemployment rates. More than half of recent graduates are either unemployed or are working low-paying jobs that don’t require the expensive college degrees that they are still struggling to pay off. An estimated seven million Americans have already defaulted on a total of $100 billion in loans, with tens of thousands of more borrowers defaulting each month.

Illinois is now expected to become the first state to bring legal action against debt settlement companies in connection with student loans. The action consists of two separate lawsuits, one against Broadsword Student Advantage and one against First American Tax Defense, alleging that both companies convinced vulnerable borrowers to pay hundreds of dollars for services that the companies never provided. In the case of Broadsword, the company allegedly continued to charge borrowers $49.99 each month after they had paid an initial fee. Continue reading