Class Actions

11/03/2016

SoftSheen Lawsuit Alleges Hair Loss and Other Injuries

Audet & Partners, LLP is investigation claims by increasing numbers of consumers that a hair relaxer manufactured by L'Oreal and sold under the SoftSheen brand, causes hair loss and a rash of other injuries.  Users of the SoftSheen Relaxer have alleged that the company promoted the product as a safe and effective solution for more full and silky hair, with an active ingredient of alma oil, also known as the gooseberry. The L'Oreal product, widely sold in retailers including CVS and Walmart,... Read More
09/13/2016

RV Refrigerator Lawsuit Alleges That Defects Lead to Explosions and Fire

RV Refrigerator Lawsuit

Audet & Partners, LLP is investigating claims by increasing numbers of consumers in an RV refrigerator lawsuit that refrigerators manufactured by Dometic Corporation are prone to explosions and fire damage.  It has been alleged that within the past twenty years, thousands of gas absorption RV refrigerators manufactured by Dometic have inexplicably combusted causing more than $100 million in property damage and personal injury claims. It is suspected that the defects in the RV refrigerators manufactured by Dometic include premature corrosion that... Read More
09/11/2016

Aloe Vera Lawsuit Alleges Lotions Actually Contain No Aloe Vera

Aloe Vera Lawsuit

Audet & Partners, LLP is investigating the viability of aloe vera lawsuits alleging false advertising by manufacturers and distributors of a range of aloe vera products.  Despite promoting aloe vera gel as containing pure aloe vera, independent laboratory tests suggest that, in fact, many of these products contain little or no actual aloe vera. Products being targeted for these claims include, but are not limited to, the following: • Up & Up Aloe Vera Gel manufactured and sold by Target; • Fruit of the Earth... Read More
07/21/2016

Anthem Lawsuit Alleges Refusal To Pay For Medically Necessary Drugs

Anthem Lawsuit Alleges Denial of Medically Necessary Drugs

Audet & Partners, LLP has brought a class action lawsuit against Anthem, Inc., on behalf of subscribers who were entitled to, and denied by Anthem, "medically necessary prescriptions" as prescribed by their physicians. In the Complaint filed on July 15, 2016 in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California, it is alleged that Anthem has engaged in a systemic practice of denying coverage for medically necessary drugs in many situations where no comparable generic alternative exists, and... Read More
04/12/2016

EMV Credit Card Reader Lawsuit

EMV Credit Card Chip Lawsuit

Audet & Partners, LLP is investigating claims on behalf of small merchants and retailers seeming from fees and charges incurred in connection with transition to the new EMV chip-based point of sale (POS) transaction system recently implemented by major U.S. card issuers. In recent years, prominent financial institutions and credit card issuers including Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover, Bank of America, Chase, Citibank, PNC and Wells Fargo issued new credit cards containing EMV chips to customers requiring merchants to install new equipment... Read More
08/06/2015

FedEx Drivers Deemed Employees By Federal Court

FedEx Drivers Ruled Employees

In a recent opinion issued by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, Federal Express delivery drivers have been legally classified as employees of FedEx, rather than independent contractors as was argued by the company.  Audet & Partners, LLP has handled many wage and hour employment class actions on behalf of thousands of employees and believes that this FedEx ruling will have wide-ranging implications in many industries, including truckers and other types of delivery professionals. In granting summary judgment in favor of... Read More
08/04/2015

Bair Hugger Body Warming Device Lawsuit

Bair Hugger Lawsuit

Post-Surgery Bair Hugger Linked to Dangerous Infections Audet & Partners, LLP is investigating claims that the Bair Hugger warming device may lead to serious infections in patients having undergone hip and knee replacement surgery. Patients suffering dangerous bacterial infections have alleged that 3M, the manufacturer of Bair Hugger, was aware of the risk of such infections at least since 2010 when the inventor of the device cautioned hospitals to cease deploying the device because of the risk of infection.  It has been... Read More
06/17/2015

Uber Driver Lawsuit Deems Drivers “Employees”

Uber Driver Lawsuit

Audet & Partners, LLP reports that the California Labor Commission has sided with an Uber driver and held that the driver is considered an employee rather than an independent contractor under California state law.  In the case before the Labor Commission, Barbara Ann Berwick, an Uber driver, had argued that as an employee of Uber, she was entitled to reimbursement for costs incurred while transporting Uber customers to various destinations. Uber has maintained that under its business model, Uber drivers are... Read More
06/01/2015

Santa Barbara Oil Spill Class Action Lawsuit

Santa Barbara Oil Spill Lawsuit

Join the Santa Barbara Oil Spill Class Action Lawsuit On July 7, 2015, Audet & Partners, LLP filed a class action lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Central District of California, on behalf of businesses harmed as a result of the recent Santa Barbara oil spill. The pipeline rupture and oil spill in Santa Barbara County has posed significant threats to the environment, wildlife, and small businesses.  The company which owns the ruptured pipeline is Plains All American Pipeline,... Read More
04/08/2015

Felon Firings By Apple May Be Illegal

Felon Firings by Apple May Violate the Law

Audet & Partners, LLP is investigating claims by construction workers who claim to have been discharged from work on Apple's new Cupertino campus based solely on their status as previously convicted felons.  While for certain types of employment a prior felony conviction may bear some relevance to potential job responsibilities, this generally does not hold true for construction work and situations such as the recent felon firings at Apple. The San Francisco Chronicle recently reported on one worker, Kevin Yip, who... Read More
02/03/2015

Employee Lawsuits Upheld Under Private Attorneys General Act

Employee Lawsuits May Proceed Under PAGA

California and federal laws generally uphold arbitration waivers in employment agreements signed by an employees.  These arbitration agreements often prevent employee lawsuits should a dispute arise regarding wages or other workplace conditions. In Iskanian v. CLS Transportation Los Angeles, LLC, however, the California Supreme Court entertained the issue of whether an arbitration agreement containing a waiver for class actions also applies to a disgruntled employee bringing or participating in a representative claim under the Private Attorneys General Act ("PAGA"). What Are PAGA Claims? Claims brought under... Read More
01/16/2015

What is a Class Action?

What is a Class Action?

Class Action Lawsuits   Class action lawsuits are brought when a sizable number of people (the "class") suffer similar injuries due to the actions of a particular defendant, usually a company. In order to proceed as a class action, however, certain criteria must be met. “Certification” is the process by which a judge will decide if a class action is appropriate. Generally, a case will be “certified” if there are similar legal or factual issues and the class is large enough to make... Read More
12/29/2014

Unauthorized Calls to Cell Phones Basis for TCPA Lawsuit Against Rite Aid

Audet & Partners, LLP reports that a New York consumer has launched a class action lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York against Rite Aid Corp. alleging violations of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act ("TCPA").  In the lawsuit seeking class action certification, lead plaintiff Robert Zani has alleged that Rite Aid placed pre-recorded, unauthorized calls to the cell phones a nationwide class of consumers seeking to market its products and services including flu shots. Under the... Read More
12/29/2014

TCPA Lawsuit Costs Wells Fargo $14.5 Million

Audet & Partners, LLP reports that Wells Fargo NA has agreed to pay $14.5 million to settle class action claims that the bank illegally called customers on their cell phones in the process of debt collection.  Lead plaintiff Lillian Franklin had brought the lawsuit against Wells Fargo in August 2014 alleging violations of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act ("TCPA"). The lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California claimed that Wells Fargo had repeatedly dialed the... Read More
11/24/2014

Apple iMessage Lawsuit Ruling Sustains Wiretap Act Claims

Audet & Partners, LLP has obtained a favorable ruling against Apple in a lawsuit claiming that Apple violated federal law by intercepting text messages sent to former iMessage users who switched to Android or other non-Apple devices.  In the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, Judge Lucy Koh denied Apple's Motion to Dismiss claims alleging violations of the federal Wiretap Act.  In so doing, Judge Koh held that although iMessage users may have given consent for Apple... Read More
11/10/2014

Silver Price Fixing Lawsuit Brought Against Major Institutions

Audet & Partners, LLP reports that a number of major financial institutions have been sued based on allegations that they illegally conspired to artificially inflate the price of silver.  Deutsche Bank AG, Bank of Nova Scotia, and HSBC Plc are alleged by experienced commodities traders to have colluded to fix the price of silver futures to ensure high returns as part of the London Silver Market Fixing Ltd.  The London Market has fixed the price of physical silver since 1897.... Read More
10/28/2014

Ruling Holding Independent Contractors to Be Employees Challenged

Audet & Partners, LLP reports that a recent ruling by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals holding truck drivers to be employees rather than independent contractors of Affinity Logistics Corp. has been appealed to the U.S Supreme Court.  In June, the Ninth Circuit held that delivery drivers had been improperly classified by Affinity as independent contractors based primarily on the degree of control that Affinity maintained over the drivers' working conditions. The Affinity case was originally filed in 2005 by Fernando... Read More
10/09/2014

Private Attorneys General Act Lawsuits Not Precluded by Arbitration Clauses

Audet & Partners, LLP reports that a new opinion issued by a California appellate court has revived employment claims brought by a workers under the California Private Attorneys General Act ("PAGA") despite the fact that the worker had signed a mandatory arbitration agreement in connection with her employment.  Reyna Marie Ybarra v. Apartment and Investment Management Co., case number B245901, in the Court of Appeal of the State of California, Second Appellate District. Ms. Ybarra had brought a lawsuit in California in... Read More
09/29/2014

Private Attorneys General Act Lawsuit Viability to Be Considered by U.S. Supreme Court

PAGA Lawsuits and Arbitration Clauses

Within California, an extensive list of employment-related legal violations may be pursued by individuals acting as "proxies" for the California Attorney General in ensuring safe and fair working conditions.  Under this Private Attorneys General Act, or PAGA, the state has set up specific procedures for pursuing these violations, as well as specific penalties to remedy and discouraging these violations. For many years now in California, however, employers have included arbitration agreements as conditions for employment which have been held to effectively... Read More
09/29/2014

Hotel Add-On Fees Prompt Class Action Lawsuits

Hotel Add On Fees

In an effort to buttress profits similar to hidden charges imposed by airlines for several years, hotels and resorts are increasingly imposing add-on and use fees to customary rates.  These charges may be for "resort fees," charges for mini-bar or in-room snacks, and the like. to the extent that such charges are not clearly transparent to the consumer, the establishment may run afoul of the law and become subject to class action lawsuits by aggrieved consumers. For example, when offering a... Read More