Articles Posted in Consumer Fraud/Consumer Protection

What if you paid hundreds of thousands of dollars for new, original paintings by a famous artist, only to be told that the artist hasn’t painted in years and the paintings were created by someone you’ve never heard of? According to a series of lawsuits, Adam Max, son of the famous painter, Peter Max, has allegedly been taking advantage of his father’s declining mental health in order to make a profit for himself and a few of his business partners by selling new paintings with his dad’s name on them. The problem is that Max is allegedly no longer painting.

Widely considered to be a countercultural icon in the ‘60s and ‘70s, Max was one of the few painters to become a household name and have his work displayed on the White House lawn, the cover of Time Magazine, and even postage stamps. Now he’s 81 years old and suffering from dementia, but new paintings with his name on them continue to sell for tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of dollars. Whether he’s really painting them is up for debate.

According to one of the many lawsuits between Max’s friends and family members, his son, Adam, together with three business associates, allegedly took over Max’s studio in order to profit off what is already one of the most lucrative art franchises of the 20th century. They have allegedly filled the studio with 18 painters they recruited (many of them off the street) and are paying minimum wage in order to produce paintings in Max’s famous style. Max is then allegedly instructed to hold out his hand and sign his name to each painting so his son can sell them at auction. Continue reading ›

Most people know better than to just throw their electronics in the trash. Instead, they should be responsibly recycled, which is where companies like Intercon come in. As technology evolves faster than ever and objects become obsolete almost as soon as they’re introduced to the market, Brian Brundage saw an opportunity to make some major profits for his company, Intercon.

Most people just don’t want to deal with the hassle of trying to figure out how to properly dispose of their electronics. They’d much rather hand their electronics off to a third party and trust they’ll recycle the old electronics responsibly. But what if the company they trust to recycle their used electronics isn’t as trustworthy as it seems?

Brundage’s company, Intercon, was supposed to be the company that would take used electronics off the hands of people and the corporations they ran. Intercon claimed their operations were eco-friendly and that none of the electronics they took went into a landfill when, in fact, much of the e-waste they took from their clients either went into a landfill, to third parties in China, or to other places that were equally unfriendly to the environment. Continue reading ›

Our longtime co-counsel and colleague Dmitry Feofanov argued an important case this week before the Illinois Supreme Court concerning a consumer’s ability to revoke acceptance of a brand new RV with a hidden defect — a leaky roof.  The consumers revoked acceptance after the RV dealer couldn’t provide an estimated completion date for the repairs. An RV is a summer product and the consumers feared (correctly) that they would lose the use of the RV which is a summer product for the entire summer if they did not revoke acceptance.  The trial and appellate courts ruled that the consumers should have given the dealer the opportunity to repair the RV. We filed an amicus brief in the Supreme Court on behalf of the National Association of Consumer Advocates supporting the position that a consumer or buyer of goods does not have to provide an opportunity to cure for a material defect as this that undercuts the value of the product to the buyer and can revoke acceptance.

You can also listen to the oral argument below.

Continue reading ›

Our Chicago automobile fraud and Lemon law attorneys near Wheaton and Oak Brook have experience representing victims of odometer rollbacks, title washing, fake or improper certifications of rebuilt wrecks and other used car scams. We 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. We also see cases where new car dealers conceal that the car has been in an accident while in their possession and even certified it as a certified used car warranted by the manufacturer as having passed a multi-point inspection or used car dealers who put duck tape in the back of the check engine light to conceal serious engine or emission problems. Super Lawyers has selected our DuPage, Kane, Kendall, Lake, Will and Cook County Illinois 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. We handle cases near Schaumburg and Lake Forest and throughout the Chicago area. For a free consultation call our Chicago class action lawyers at our toll-free number (833) 306-4933 or contact us on the web by clicking here.

IMG_6355_3-300x189Rialmo and Former Drew Peterson Attorney Joel Brodsky seeks to overturn 7th Circuit Order Affirming $50,000 sanction with pro se brief claiming ineffective assistance of counsel.

You can read the pro se petition for rehearing here where Brodsky claims his sanctions hearing and appellate attorney allegedly caused him to incur the sanction award that may lead to his claimed financial ruin.

The 7th Circuit Opinion affirming the $50,000 sanction of attorney Joel Brodsky issued.  In upholding the $50,000 sanction against attorney Joel Brodsky, the 7th Circuit concluded:

“Brodsky’s egregious behavior, obvious on the face of the record and emphasized at length by the court, more than justified the court’s choice of sanction. Brodsky’s rhetoric was inappropriate and outlandish, and his attempt to implicate the court in his fraud—and to use legal process as a tool to intimidate a witness—was beyond the pale.”

You can read the full opinion here.

As consumers become increasingly aware of the potentially harmful side effects of certain chemicals used to extend the shelf life of prepared foods, the demand for packaged foods that are free of preservatives has gone up and continues to go up. Many consumers are prepared to pay a higher price for foods bearing labels such as “organic” and “all natural,” while others simply refuse to buy any foods they cannot be certain are free from artificial preservatives.

The more scrupulous buyers check the ingredients of everything they buy before taking it to the checkout counter, and over the years, people have come up with a few different rules regarding what to look for in the ingredients label. For example, some say you shouldn’t buy anything containing any ingredients you can’t pronounce, while others claim you simply shouldn’t buy anything with more than five ingredients.

Still others just rely on the product’s label. If the company claims their product is free of artificial preservatives, most customers will take that claim at face value and grab the product without bothering to check the ingredients label. Others rely on labels with terms like “all natural,” even though products don’t need to meet any legal qualifications in order to put that label on their products (as opposed to the term “organic,” which does require the product to be certified organic by the U.S. Department of Agriculture). Continue reading ›

While most companies let people return a product a month or two after purchase if something goes wrong, some companies go above and beyond by offering a lifetime guarantee. The idea is to ensure customers that nothing will go wrong with the product during its lifetime, and if something does go wrong, the company will either replace the item or reimburse them the cost of the item. A lifetime guarantee is a sign that the company believes in the quality of its products and will go to great lengths to make sure their customers remain satisfied.

But some people choose to interpret “lifetime warranty” to mean the product is guaranteed to last for the rest of their lifetime, rather than the standard lifetime of the product. According to Shawn O. Gorman, the Executive Chairman of L.L. Bean, some customers were taking advantage of the company’s lifetime warranty to mean anything they bought from the company would not be subject to wear and tear, and if it were, the company should reimburse them for the item or replace it.

According to an open letter to the public released by the company on February 9th, some people were taking advantage of the lifetime guarantee by trying to get replacements or reimbursements for products several years after they had been purchased. Some had even sought replacements or reimbursements for used L.L. Bean items they had bought at garage sales. As a result, the company recently decided to get rid of its century-old lifetime guarantee and to replace it with a one-year warranty – which can only be used if the customer still has their receipt. The company said it will still work with customers who want to return or get reimbursed for a product more than a year after the date of purchase, but only if the product is defective. Continue reading ›

Hogs can be defined as either of these two:

  1. a domesticated pig, especially one over 120 pounds (54 kg) and reared for; or
  2. a large, heavy motorcycle, in particular, a Harley 

Recently, both have come under the scrutiny for different legal reasons. You wouldn’t think so, but they did.

Hogs Corporation Being Squeezed for Trade Reasons 

Part of the Harley Davidson Investor Relations has included Corporate Governance. It makes good corporate sense, transparency and accountability is what they want for their investors. All of this is tied to profit and branding. Good business sense has also made them consider a recent move of some of its production out of the U.S.A. as part of a strategy to overturn the likelihood of decreased economic profitability. This is since the recent tariffs that the U.S.A. has imposed on steel and aluminum. They have been rather substantial and the production decision came right after it was caught between the new steel and aluminum duties imposed by President Trump. There was no doubt that the domestic prices on Harley Davidson were bound to shoot up. Trading partners within the European Union, have retaliated with tariffs placed on American products. It has been squeezed to move production where the overall costs will be less. The cost of a bike basically added up by more than two thousand

dollars in a public filing. The stock went down by 2%. It is not known for how long the tariff based war will last and executives are looking for ways to reduce impact. A likely question is that with more and more tariffs being raised against the U.S.A., will other companies and their in-house counsel soon be considering cross-border moves as well? All sorts of considerations come into play. More specifically, it involves the re-assessing support several functions including

U.S. distribution, procurement and technology, compliance and international legal affairs. That is why scrutiny by the legal department must have been made prior to any move. All sorts of jurisdictional issues will come into play. Continue reading ›