Supreme Court Keeps Consumer Class Action Alive but Asks Circuit Court to Develop More Facts

Posted by Sol Weiss on May 17, 2016 1:44:43 PM

US Supreme Court Consumer Class Action CaseYesterday, the U.S. Supreme Court sent a lawsuit against a people-search website for publishing incorrect information about a Virginia man back for the lower courts to develop more facts about the man’s injury. In a 6-2 decision, the Court remanded the consumer class action to the Ninth Circuit to develop more fully whether there was a “concrete” injury alleged under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA).

For standing a plaintiff must show “an invasion of a legally protected interest” that is “concrete and particularized” and “actual or imminent, not conjectural or hypothetical” harm.  The plaintiff alleged that there were serious errors in his profile on the Spokeo search engine and that the defendant willfully failed to comply to the FCRA’s accuracy requirements. The Ninth Circuit only addressed the Particularized test.

The takeaway is in some instances a mere technical violation of some consumer protection statutes does not in and of itself satisfy the injury in fact requirement for standing.  It may depend on the facts in each case. The good news is that the Ninth Circuit could well find under the facts the “concreteness” of the injury. This opinion does not do away with consumer class actions for failure to follow reasonable procedures to ensure maximum possible accuracy. At Anapol Weiss, we continue to advocate for consumer rights in a variety of class actions.

Topics: Class Actions

The Legal Intelligencer: Consumer Class Actions on the Rise

Posted by Anapol Weiss on May 16, 2016 3:31:11 PM

Legal_Intel_Class_Action_Lawsuit.pngAnapol Weiss’ growing consumer class action practice was highlighted in aLegal Intelligencer article published today.

Firm Shareholder Sol Weiss told reporter Lizzy McLellan that consumer class actions are on the rise, as both federal and state courts have recently been more receptive to class action suits. “These are cases that are making the big corporations act responsibly and the best way is through class litigation,” Weiss said. “There's a heightened -awareness for consumer protection in the face of some pretty egregious conduct.”

With a team of five attorneys working full-time on class action cases – at least half of which involve consumer protection issues – the firm’s class action portfolio continues to grow. Anapol Weiss Shareholder David Senoff joined the firm late last year and is spearheading numerous class actions over consumer issues and insurance coverage disputes. Senoff has worked closely with Weiss for a number of years, including as Co-Lead Class Counsel in the “Kids for Cash” civil rights litigation that generated $25 million for the juvenile victims in that case.

Senoff serves as Co-Lead Counsel in a class action involving two Pennsylvania McDonald's franchise owners who violated the law by requiring thousands of employees to be paid with payroll debit cards brimming with fees. He was recently appointed lead counsel in a case involving the alleged denial of a grocery store chain of the use of the store's own discount cards to customers who were participants of the Women Infants and Children nutrition program.

The firm also recently filed two class action lawsuits in Luzerne County court along with attorney Michael J. Cefalo. The cases allege certain retail gas stations failed to distinguish whether the higher credit card price per gallon of gas applied to customers using both credit and debit cards or simply credit cards. One of the class actions was filed against CITGO Petroleum Corp. and claims the pricing the company provided was “deceptive and confusing” and misrepresented the lower cash price by failing to show on its signs that the lower price excluded purchases made with debit cards.

Topics: Class Actions

Anapol Weiss Files Lawsuit against CITGO for Deceptive Pricing

Posted by Anapol Weiss on May 4, 2016 2:47:05 PM

Anapol Weiss, along with attorney Michael J. Cefalo, filed a lawsuit in Luzerne County, PA alleging that certain retail gas stations state violated the law by failing to clearly show that lower advertised prices for gas purchased with cash excluded debit card purchases.

Anapol Weiss Shareholder David S. Senoff is a
leader in Pennsylvania class action litigation.

The firm filed the class action lawsuit against Valley Mart #5 CITGO and CITGO Petroleum Corp. on behalf of “… all Pennsylvania residents who paid for CITGO branded gasoline with a debit card in Pennsylvania between Jan, 16, 2010, and the present, at CITGO retail gas stations that advertised a lower ‘cash’ price without differentiating the price to be charged for purchases made with debit cards.”

The class action claims the pricing CITGO provided was “deceptive and confusing” and misrepresented the lower cash price by failing to show on its signs that the lower price excluded purchases made with debit cards. The CITGO lawsuit seeks compensation in excess of $50,000 as well as “declaratory and supplemental relief” for those affected.

This is the second class action lawsuit the firm has filed against a gas station for deceptive pricing. In April, Anapol Weiss and Cefalo filed suit against Uni-Mart LLC, alleging the gas stations have engaged in similar deceptive business practices. The first complaint alleges that Uni-Mart violated the state’s Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Law by causing consumer confusion regarding the price of gas for those paying with a debit card.

Topics: Class Actions

Lawsuit Filed Against Uni-Mart for Deceptive Business Practices

Posted by Anapol Weiss on Apr 5, 2016 1:53:46 PM

Anapol Weiss has filed a class action lawsuit with attorney Michael J. Cefalo in Luzerne County court alleging Uni-Mart LLC gas stations have engaged in deceptive business practices.

Uni-Mart_Debit_Card_Pricing.pngAccording to the complaint filed on March 31, 2016, a Pennsylvania resident paid for 4 ½ gallons of gas with a debit card at a West Wyoming Uni-Mart in January, but he was charged the higher credit card price.

The complaint alleges that Uni-Mart violated the state’s Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Law by failing to distinguish whether the higher credit card price per gallon of gas applied to customers using both credit and debit cards, or simply credit cards, thereby causing consumer confusion.

According to the complaint, “Uni-Marts’ deceptive pricing scheme advertised a discounted ‘cash’ price as compared to the credit price but was silent as to the price-per-gallon charge for debit card purchases.”

A spokeswoman for the state Attorney General’s Office told The Citizens’ Voice that, businesses can violate the Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Law “… by failing to disclose they are charging extra fees to credit or debit card users. They could also be in violation for failing to differentiate between the fees charged for different types of cards.” If it’s in any way confusing, she said, “then it would be a violation of the Consumer Protection Act.”

The class action is open to others who have had a similar situation occur with Uni-Mart. Those who paid with a debit card but were charged the credit card price are urged to contact Anapol Weiss for assistance.

Topics: Class Actions

Sham Pricing Allegations at Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s Mirror Another Class Action

Posted by Anapol Weiss on Jan 4, 2016 12:14:01 PM

justice_class_action.jpgA proposed class action lawsuit involving Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s pricing highlights issues very similar to a lawsuit involving the clothing store Justice – a class action lawsuit that recently settled for $51 million.

A complaint filed in California federal court this month claims that Macy’s and its owned affiliate Bloomingdale’s have falsely labeled items with prices well above the manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP). When an item goes on sale, the lawsuit alleges, the sale price reflects a bigger discount – when in reality it could simply be the item’s full price.

In December 2015, Tween Brands Inc. and Ascena Retail Group Inc. agreed to a $51 million settlement of a class action alleging Justice misled customers with similar deceptive pricing practices. Plaintiffs claimed the store marked items at 40 percent off, when the discounted price was really the regular cost. Those who purchased items at Justice between January 1, 2012 and February 28, 2015 may be eligible to receive cash payments after showing proof of purchase.

Those who shopped at Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s may also able be able to seek restitution. Contact our firm for assistance if you believe you made a purchase that might have been falsely priced at these stores. We can investigate your situation and get answers.

Topics: Class Actions

Class Action Proposed Against Department Stores for Deceptive Pricing

Posted by Anapol Weiss on Dec 30, 2015 5:29:00 PM

macys_class_action.jpgMacy’s Inc. and Bloomingdale’s Inc. are facing a proposed class action accusing them of misleading customers through deceptive pricing. The department stores have falsely priced items above the manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) to reflect a bigger discount when the items go on sale, according to a complaint filed in California federal court.

Plaintiffs allege the sham pricing involves stores regularly labeling their products with inflated and arbitrary prices and then reducing those prices to represent a substantial discount off the “original, regular or compare at price.” In some instances, the complaint claims, the labeled price would be two or more times the MSRP. The retailers would then claim to have discounted an item by 50 percent – when the new price was merely the actual MSRP.

The plaintiffs say they would not have purchased certain items or paid the amounts they did, had they known the items’ actual retail value. In addition to urging the court to bar the stores from continuing these practices, the plaintiffs are seeking damages and restitution on claims of unfair and fraudulent business practices and false advertising.

Contact our firm today for assistance if you believe you made a purchase that might have been involved in this practice. We can help.

Topics: Class Actions

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