Personal Injury Blog


Another Class Action Filed Against Wells Fargo

Thursday, January 04, 2018

The hits keep on coming insofar as accusations of unethical and, likely, illegal behavior that went on at Wells Fargo. A class action lawsuit has been filed that potentially may involve hundreds of thousands of customers who were given auto insurance policies by the giant financial institution that they did not want or need, often without their knowledge, along with auto loans, according to Bloomberg.

Apparently, Wells Fargo either did not check or ignored the fact that customers who took out auto loans already had car insurance. The company tacked on collateral protection insurance policies to the auto loan bills. As many as 500,000 customers were forced to pay the premiums for these insurance policies even though they already carried their own policies. Moreover, 250,000 customers were driven into default for failure to pay premiums on policies they were not aware they had. Almost 25,000 people had their cars repossessed for failure to pay for the bogus policies.

The lawsuit claims that Wells Fargo received kickbacks from the insurance carrier, National General Holdings Corp. The insurance carrier is not named in the lawsuit.

Wells Fargo is scrambling to make things right, pledging to pay as much as $80 million to affected customers as well as extra money to those who lost their vehicles as "an expression of regret." However, aside from monetary losses, the affected customers have likely taken a hit on their credit ratings that will be difficult to recover from and will have long-lasting deleterious effects on their finances. Wells Fargo may be paying out a lot more than $80 million.

The car insurance scandal comes on top of a separate class action brought by outraged customers who had checking and credit card accounts opened in their name without their knowledge or permission.

For more information contact us.

4 Things to Know About Unlawful Termination

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Were you suddenly terminated from your job? Depending on your circumstances, you may be the victim of unlawful termination. Here are some tips and advice.

At-Will Employees

Most employees will not have a claim for wrongful termination against their former employer. This is because most workers are at-will employees. This means that their employer can hire and fire them at will. However, there are common exceptions to this, as you'll see in the following paragraphs.

Breach of Contract

If there was a contract that guaranteed employment to you for a certain amount of time, then your termination would be illegal. This contract doesn't have to be a written one. If you can prove that there was an implied or verbal contract, the courts may also deem the termination unlawful.

Breach of Good Faith

Sometimes, the courts will consider a termination wrongful if there was a breach of good faith. This is harder to prove, but it applies to certain situations. For example, if you were fired so that you can't collect sales commissions, or you were fired a few days before retiring even though you've been a model employee for many years so that your employer wouldn't have to pay for your retirement, that would likely be called wrongful termination.

Breach of Public Policy

There are certain reasons for which even at-will employees cannot be fired. This varies from state to state, but there are some that are universal. For example, if you were fired based on your sex, race, age, religion, etc (and in some places, your sexual orientation), that is illegal. Other breaches of public policy would be stuff such as being fired for taking off time to vote or in retaliation for reporting illegal activities.

For help with fighting an unlawful termination, contact us today!

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Introduces Rule to Help Consumers File Class Action Lawsuits

Thursday, December 07, 2017

Class action lawsuits are an important way consumers can protect themselves from big businesses and large corporations taking advantage of them. The amount awarded to each individual taking part in a class action lawsuit usually isn't that much. However, it forces corporations to think before they act and acts as a strong deterrent against unfair business practices.

Without class action lawsuits, the average consumer would not have the resources to go against a large corporation with a huge budget and an army of lawyers. The corporation would always have the upper hand.

In early July, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) passed a rule that would prevent financial firms from including clauses in their contracts that would force consumers to waive their rights to join in a class action lawsuit should anything go wrong.

Financial firms, such as banks, would often hide language in their contracts that would prohibit consumers from banding together with others in a class action lawsuit. Instead, consumers would be forced to arbitrate directly with the bank.

As mentioned, this would place consumers in a tight spot, as large firms would always have the upper hand. Consumers would not be able to get the compensation they deserve. The rule prevented firms from including this condition in their contracts.

Unfortunately, in late July, the House introduced a bill that would strike down this rule. The bill passed; Democrats opposed the bill, saying that it would harm consumers by preventing them from filing class action lawsuits against firms who use unfair business practices. One Republican voted against the bill as well. The bill now must pass the Senate and go before the President. 

For help with class action lawsuits against any big business that wronged you, contact us today!

4 Examples of False Advertising

Thursday, November 09, 2017

Are you the victim of false advertising practices? False advertising is when a company makes claims about a product that is untrue. You probably need a consumer rights attorney. Here are a few different kinds of false advertising.

Misleading Claims

Advertisements that give misleading claims about a product are one example of false advertising. This includes exaggerated claims that are not true, such as claims about the effectiveness of a weight loss supplement. Sometimes, advertisers will make exaggerated claims and then hide disclaimers in the small print at the bottom or in the terms and conditions that nobody reads.

Failure to Disclose

This is similar to misleading claims. If there are certain aspects of a product that might cause a consumer not to buy it, the advertiser should disclose them. The same goes for any limitations the product has.

Bait and Switch

Bait and switch scams are when an advertisement promises one thing, but another thing is actually offered. For example, a car dealership might promise discount rates, but when you get there, you're told that no discount cars are available and you are pressured to buy an expensive car. The same goes for airlines that promise low fees and then hit you with extra expenses.

Trial Scams

A trial scam offers you a free trial of a product or service for a certain period of time, only to charge your credit card with undisclosed fees. A similar scam would be an offer to try something out for just $1, only to charge your credit card for additional add-on products. These extra fees may be charged right away, or they may be in the form of a renewing subscription fee after 30 days.

If you've been the victim of false advertising, contact us today for legal help!

New Rule Makes Class Actions against Banks and Other Financial Institutions Easier

Thursday, November 02, 2017

Fortune Magazine notes that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has issued a new rule that will make it easier to launch class-action suits against banks and other financial institutions that issue credit cards. The new rule prohibits credit card issuers from including arbitration clauses in consumer contracts. The effect of these clauses was that consumers who believed they had been wronged by a bank or other financial institution would have to submit to an arbitration process rather than start or join in a class action. Most people who believed that they had been ripped off by a credit card company do not bother to go through the cumbersome process.

One extreme example of how a bank can abuse its customers was a practice followed by Wells Fargo that involved setting up accounts and charging fees to customers who did not ask for them or need them. In some cases, peoples’ credit ratings were severely impacted. Under pressure from Congress and the regulators, Wells Fargo eventually agreed to stop the practice and pay out $142 million in a class-action settlement.

The new rule means that all banks and other institutions will be subject to class actions when they decide to misbehave. In the old system, they might have to pay a few hundred here and a few thousand there to consumers who bothered with the arbitration process. Now, a class action of hundreds or even thousands of outraged customers would have the potential to cost credit card issuers dearly. The prospect may provide an incentive for these institutions not to be abusive. 

For more information contact us.

What Are Your Responsibilities During a Personal injury Claim?

Thursday, October 12, 2017

On TV, lawsuits often look much simpler when watered down and compacted for a couple minutes of screen time, but that is not the case. If you have been hurt due to the action or inaction of another, your personal injury claim will involve much more time and paperwork than you might be conditioned to expect. Luckily, a skilled attorney can handle much of that. However, the client does also have some responsibilities when it comes to filing a personal injury claim.

The first and most important responsibility of the client is to communicate with their attorney this can be something as easy as calling them up or even sending them a message on Facebook these days. You should never keep secrets from your attorney if you think that bit of information is pertinent to your case. In order to best represent you, they need access to every last drop of information that they can use. Furthermore, you shouldn’t be afraid to ask them questions either just so you can be absolutely clear as to what is going on with your case.

The second responsibility of the client, and almost as important as communicating with your lawyer is to keep them informed and gather documentation. They can help keep you on task by sending you a message, but you should keep organized all your trips to the doctor and medical expenses just so they can get an accurate idea of the extent of your injuries and how much you need to cover them. If your injuries worsen, they need to know about that as well since it can affect the amount of compensation you need to get.

By keeping true with these responsibilities, you will be well on your way to a successful case. If you were hurt and wish to pursue compensation, contact us today.

Class Actions: The Whos, Whens and Whys

Thursday, October 05, 2017

There are few tools that an individual has to protect themselves against unfair practices and treatments of Employers or Companies, one of the most effective means being class actions. We wanted to take a moment to express when, why and by whom a class action suit gets filed.

Class actions often entitle a person harmed either physically or emotionally by a corporation to receive a monetary settlement for their troubling experience. Someone without the financial security themselves to justify the time and money spent in obtaining legal representation, filing a suit or the court costs associated with such, greatly benefits by aligning with others who have been similarly wronged. 

If a customer purchases a product based on advertising that is either misleading or an outright lie, the individual often sees little benefit in the expense of the resources necessary to achieve compensation for this infraction. Though with the thousands of other dissatisfied consumers made to believe untruths about the product, then such a lawsuit could force the company to pay back any profits resulting from the campaign in question, as well as retracting the invalid marketing. 

Another instance of a suit-worthy offense would be an employer who failed to provide safe working conditions, or who engaged in unequal payment on basis of discrimination. Again, a court could find the company exhibiting the questionable behaviors subsequently penalized and the affected parties granted certain concessions. 

If you feel that an employer or company has disregarded your rights, we invite you to read more! Remember: You have rights, and your rights are important. 

Supreme Court Ruling Could Make Some Class Actions More Difficult

Thursday, September 14, 2017

According to a recent article in the Washington Post, the Supreme Court has made a ruling that will tighten the rules on filing class action lawsuits. The case involved a civil action brought against Bristol-Myers Squibb that was brought by hundreds of plaintiff who claim that they were damaged by a blood thinner medication called Plavix. They claim that the company misrepresented the danger of strokes for those taking the drug. The suit was filed in a court in California, which proved to be a sticking point for eight out of the nine justices.

The Supreme Court ruled that the out-of-state plaintiffs had failed to prove that a connection existed between their alleged injuries and Bristol-Myers Squibb in California, in essence dismissing almost 600 out-of-state plaintiffs who live outside the state. Eighty-nine plaintiffs who live in California remain a party to the class action.

The reasoning behind the ruling is that none of the out-of-state plaintiffs bought, ingested, or were allegedly harmed by Plavix in California. Therefore a California state court does not have jurisdiction to rule on their cases. The plaintiffs will have to sue the company in their states of residence.

Justice Sonia Sotomayor provided the sole dissent to the ruling. She suggested that the Supreme Court’s decision will make it more difficult for a nationwide class action to be put together in a particular state court. As a result, lawsuits will have to be conducted piecemeal. The ruling leaves open two questions. What kind of connection has to exist between the claim and the place the class action is filed? Can a class action be filed in a court with jurisdiction over every member of the class?

For more information contact us.

Employment Law: What Can You Do If you Are Terminated Unlawfully?

Thursday, September 07, 2017

Many people feel that they don’t deserve to lose their jobs and some times they are right. If you feel discriminated against due to your race, age, pregnancy, or something else, you may have a case. If you were let go even though you had a contract in place, you may also have a case, though there are many different reasons why you may feel wrongfully terminated.

So, what can you do if you feel this way?

First, you need to get everything together. Make sure that you have your pay stubs as well as the information you got when you were hired and terminated. Then, write down everything that happened with your termination. It is also helpful if you can get witnesses and statements from witnesses, including the person who fired you!

Then, you need to seek the advice of a lawyer who specializes in employment lawA lawyer will listen to you and see if you have a case. If you do, he or she will help you through the entire process, making sure that you have all of the information that you need and that you are ready to go to trial, though hopefully, they will just settle.

Remember that you are a very special person. It can be hard to go through an unlawful termination case. Harsh things may be said in court and it is important to have support through this time. Keep your chin up and you will get through the case just fine!

As soon as you believe that you are unlawfully terminated, you need to get ready to sue your old boss. Start by collecting paperwork together and see a good lawyer who specializes in these types of cases. He or she will be a great help to get you through this difficult time!

Contact us for all of your legal needs. 

Employment Law: Have I been Terminated Unlawfully?

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Employment law often deals with unlawful termination. However, most people don’t really understand the term. They may think that just because they were fired, they were unlawfully terminated but that is not usually the case.

So, have I been unlawfully terminated? Here are some reasons where you might want to look into legal action.

If you are forced to quit, that may mean that you are unlawfully terminated. It is illegal to make employees quit so if you feel like you were not given any chance, you may want to see a lawyer.

If you feel like you have been discriminated because of your gender, race, nationality, and fired, you may have been unlawfully terminated. You may also fight if you think that you have been terminated due to your religion, age, disability, or even pregnancy.

If you have a contract and get fired before your contract is up, you might want to ask a lawyer if you have grounds for a lawsuit. Besides being unlawfully terminated, you may also be able to look into a breach of contract lawsuit.

You can’t be fired if you are taking leave. Many people take unpaid leave, for medical reasons, and they can’t be fired for it. People who are in the military or those who get jury duty need to have a job to come back to when they are finished.

Many people get unlawfully terminated. Whether you are forced to quit or you lose your job while you are taking leave to take care of your sick child, you may have a case against your job. Anytime you feel discriminated against, you also should seek legal assistance.

Contact us for all of your legal needs.