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Class Actions: The Whos, Whens and Whys

Friday, April 06, 2018

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. 



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!



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!



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. 



Consumer Rights: A New Tenants' Rights Law Showcases California's Commitment to Its Consumers

Thursday, July 13, 2017

California continues to shine as a model of consumer protection, especially in terms of rules targeting the landlord-tenant relationship. This article focuses on a specific aspect of consumer rights, the rights of California tenants, following a new law effective January 1, 2017.

Assembly Bill 551, entitled "Rental property: bed bugs", clarifies the landlord's ongoing duty to provide a building fit for human occupation. The law now specifically prohibits a landlord from showing, renting, or leasing a vacant unit when the landlord is aware of a bed bug infestation adversely impacting that unit.

In addition, the new law places a duty on California landlords to provide a certain bed-bug related notice to tenants. As of July 1, 2017, the landlord must deliver the notice to the prospective tenant before creating the new lease. As of January 1, 2018, the landlord must provide the same notice to all tenants. The law details the language mandated with respect to the notice. In essence, that notice must include each of the following:

  • a detailed description of bed bugs, to better enable the tenant to identify such pests;
  • a detailed overview of the life cycle and reproduction habits of bed bugs; and,
  • details regarding the common signs and symptoms of a possible bed bug infestation, including what to look for on the linen and the appearance/effects of bed bug bites.

As a tenant, realize the landlord's bed-bug duties activate only following awareness of a possible infestation. Therefore, if you witness such an infestation, you must alert the landlord. "Paper trails" —notes written either during or soon after transactions— minimize confusion as regards who said what to whom when. The wise tenant not only promptly notifies the landlord, but also keeps all related notes in a single receptacle, such as a notebook. Those notes will likely prove quite valuable if your landlord ignores your alert.

Contact us if you confront a dilemma with your landlord. Our attorneys stand ready to assist in protecting your rights.



The Top Reasons to Hire a Personal Injury Attorney After Being Injured in a Car Accident

Thursday, April 27, 2017

After being injured in a car accident, your biggest concern should be getting better and returning to your normal routine. However, as soon as you are home from the hospital, you will have to deal with insurance companies, medical bills, and paperwork relating to your accident and personal injury claim. This is why it can be extremely beneficial to hire a personal injury lawyer after being in an auto accident. If you are on the fence about hiring a personal injury attorney to help you through this difficult time, here are a few reasons why you should consider doing so.

Experience Assessing Claims

The fact is that after being injured in a car accident, many people do not realize what their claim is worth. However, it is likely that you are owed more than medical expenses and damages to your vehicle; you may also be entitled to compensation for time off of work and personal damages. An experienced personal injury attorney will be able to best assess your claim, and will be able to help you determine what you are owed.

Someone on Your Side

Hiring a personal injury attorney is the only way to ensure that you have someone on your side during this difficult time. Insurance companies ultimately work for themselves, and may use sneaky tactics to get you to settle for less than what you are owed. Hiring an attorney will ensure that you have someone looking out for you, working to get you a proper settlement.

Reduce Your Stress

As was previously hinted at, the process of settling a personal injury dispute can be extremely time-consuming and stressful, as there is a variety of forms to fill out, deadlines to meet, and hoops to jump through. However, you should be focusing on healing during this difficult time. A personal injury attorney can remove this burden from you and allow you to focus on healing.

Contact us to learn more about the reasons why you should consider hiring a personal injury attorney after being injured in an auto accident.



Consumer Rights and Identity Theft

Thursday, March 02, 2017

Identity theft occurs when someone illegally obtains another individual's personal identification information, and it is a very prevalent type of crime in today's world. Unfortunately, identity thieves have a variety of ways to access your personal information. Your emails, your wallet, even information stolen from government or financial companies. Even crumpled receipts in a trash can be used to obtain sensitive information.

Signs that identity theft has occurred

There is no surefire way to protect yourself from identity theft. Having your identity stolen happens even if you take the utmost precautions because websites are able to be hacked. However, it might not be obvious right away that your were the victim of identity theft. The clearest sign that your information has been stolen is if you start receiving calls from debt collectors concerning charges you've never made, or you discover uses of your debit or credit card that seem out of the ordinary. Another indicator of identity theft is not receiving expected bills or other mail from your various financial accounts. If you've recently been denied credit or the terms under which you receive credit have drastically changed, it's possible someone procured sensitive personal information.

Being vigilant about your personal information

It makes sense to keep watch over certain types of information in order to ensure you stop identity theft in its tracks. You should monitor your credit card and other financial statements. Checking your credit report can reveal suspicious activity as well. Monitoring your credit report should be a core defense strategy, because a sudden dip in score can alert you to suspicious activity before you've had a chance to receive bills detailing outlandish charges and confusing calls from debt collectors.

If you think you've been the victim of identity theft, please contact us.



Knowing You Rights as a Tenant

Thursday, February 23, 2017

As the housing shortage continues and more people are becoming renters, it’s a growing concern for the consumer rights of tenants. Knowing your rights as a tenant is an important matter for you. Many renters are unsure of their rights, many don’t realize they rights at all.

The reality is that you, as a renter, have many rights that you may not know. What’s more, many landlords bank on the fact that you do not know that you have certain rights that you are entitled to and they often take advantage of this fact in their dealings with tenants.

Almost everyone is aware that the landlord can’t discriminate on the basis of race, color, creed, religion, sex, or age, as well as other reasons. Many states have laws against discrimination on marital status and sexual orientation as well. Did you know that the landlord can’t end your lease of any of these reasons?

Tenants have the right to a certain amount of privacy. A landlord can’t come into your apartment without either giving you ample notice or unless there is an emergency such as fire or flood that is an immediate threat.

Knowing the rights that you have is an important part of being a tenant and there several things that you can do to assure that you are afforded your rights.

Take pictures or video of your apartment when you move in. in many cases that go to court, the judge will be to award in your favor when they have seen actual conditions that you have recorded. This weighs heavier than testimony.

Document all interactions with the landlord including what was said and what was done. Include as much information as possible in this because after a certain amount of time has passed, memory fades and facts are forgotten. Properly documenting the facts is a way to protect yourself against disputes.

If you are ever denied an apartment, be sure that you find the reasons why. Many times a landlord will use sources other than credit reports and previous landlords to determine your eligibility to rent from them. If this is the case and they deny your application, you have the right to know the specifics of this denial. This is covered under the fair credit reporting act.

There are many rights that are afforded to the tenant in the landlord /tenant laws. Many of these are not as widely known and you might not be aware of them. They are there for your protection and you should feel safe in relying on them.

The most common mistake that renters make is taking the law into their own hands because of misinformation from friends who are not familiar with how the law works. The laws are there to protect you but you need to know how to use them. The help of an experienced and competent tenant’s right attorney will assure that you are using these to the best advantage.

If you feel that your rights have been violated, please start by contacting us for a free consultation



Employment Law: Unlawful Termination Based on Filing a Worker's Compensation Claim

Thursday, February 09, 2017

California employment law sets forth the rules, regulations, statutes, and case law relevant to the relationship between employers and employees. Generally, employment relationships in California are "at-will", meaning that an employee may be terminated at any time, for any reason. However, there are notable exceptions to this general rule. One exception is that an employer may not terminate an employee for filing a worker's compensation claim. A worker who suffers an on-the-job injury is entitled by statute to file a claim for compensation.

An employee whose employment is terminated after filing or otherwise initiating a worker's compensation claim may have a claim against the employer for wrongful termination. Damages that a successful claimant might recover from a former employer include compensation for lost wages and the value of lost benefits. In some cases, successful claimants may recover damages for emotional distress and for attorney fees.

Generally, to prove unlawful termination based on filing a worker's compensation claim, the claimant must show that he or she was an employee entitled to receive worker's compensation benefits; that he or she filed a claim for worker's compensation; that he or she suffered an adverse consequence, such as termination of employment; and that the employer imposed the adverse consequence because of the filing of the worker's compensation claim.

It is important to seek legal advice from an experienced employment law attorney if you believe your employer wrongfully discharged you. Please contact us to discuss the facts of your case and your legal rights and remedies.




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