$91 Million Settlement Reached in Class Action against John Hancock
John Hancock Life Insurance Company (U.S.A.) has entered into a preliminary settlement with certain owners of its universal and variable universal life insurance policies who have policies that contain a contractual promise that “Applied Monthly Rates will be based on [John Hancock’s] expectations of future mortality experience”—and nothing else.
On July 18, 2018, New Jersey federal court Judge Peter Sheridan granted preliminary approval to a $1.4 million settlement between iconic New York City department store Bloomingdale’s and a class of customers who allege that the store violated the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”) by sending members of Bloomingdale’s Loyalist Program unsolicited texts detailing store promotions.
A proposed settlement has been submitted to Delaware federal court judge John E. Jones III for preliminary approval in the GameStop data breach class action.
The suit was originally filed in September 2017 by named plaintiffs Crystal Bray and Samuel Cook. Bray and Cook allege that class members had their personal and non-public information—including names, addresses and credit/ debit card numbers and expiration dates—compromised during a massive cyber data breach that the defendant company experienced between August 10, 2016 and February 9, 2017.
On July 6, 2018, American automaker Ford Motor Company was served with proposed class claims filed by Texas ambulance company, TacMed Holdings Inc., which claims that Ford was aware of serious engine defects in its Transit Vans for years prior to issuing a safety recall.
On June 25, 2018, popular lifestyle and beauty website PopSugar was served with a proposed class action suit in California federal court alleging that the website copied postings of thousands of popular social media “influencer” Instagram accounts in an effort to draw in clicks.
German automaker Volkswagen AG (“VW”) is facing yet another class action lawsuit, this time filed by an employee who claims that VW violated the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, as well as the Tennessee Human Rights Act.
On June 26, 2018, a jury in Florida federal court awarded $1.8 million to a class of eight exotic dancers who alleged that their employer had willfully violated the Fair Labor Standards Act.
Plaintiffs originally filed suit in October 2014. The plaintiffs alleged that they were classified as independent contractors by the various executives and managers of the Miami-area gentlemen’s club, King of Diamonds, despite having to adhere strict rules set in place by the club. King of Diamonds is owned by parent companies Galardi South Enterprises Inc. and Fly Low Inc.
Popular superstore Target Corp and toddler product manufacturer Prince Lionheart are facing punitive class claims in Florida federal court filed by angry parents who allege that a potty-training seat sold by Target and produced by Lionheart poses a serious threat to toddlers.
Named plaintiffs, Natalie and Yosef Belkin, purchased a Prince Lionheart toilet-training product called the weePOD Basix in May 2018 at a Target store located in Boca Raton, Florida. The weePOD is a plastic seat that is placed on top of a toilet to better enable a toddler to sit. The product also features a higher plastic area in the front that allegedly reduces mess and back splash, and is known as the pee shield.
On June 18, 2018, The Walt Disney Co. and its subsidiary animation studio, Pixar, were served with a copyright infringement lawsuit in the Northern District of California, because, Plaintiff claimed, defendants stole the idea behind its mega hit movie “Inside Out” from him.
On June 15, 2018, well-known television personality Dr. Mehmet Oz, along with the producers of his hit television show, ZoCo Productions LLC and Harpo Productions Inc., agreed to a $5.25 million settlement to end class claims alleging that Dr. Oz made misrepresentations regarding the quality, effectiveness and sponsorship of weight-loss supplements featured on The Doctor Oz Show.
On June 11, 2018, world famous music producer DJ Khaled filed a trademark infringement suit in federal court in the Southern District of New York against Curtis Bordenave and his company, Business Moves Consulting Inc., alleging that they intentionally filed for and misused trademarks for ASAHD, ASAHD Couture, A.S.A.H.D., A Son and His Dad, and We The Best Lifestyle.
Joseph DiNardo, Esq., founder and director of Counsel Financial, went “Bald for Big Bucks” on Monday, June 18, 2018 in honor of his late wife, Marcia, who battled stage IV pancreatic cancer with absolute strength and spirit. $100,000 in donations have been pledged to date, with additional commitments still pouring in.
Pictured from left to right: Melissa Ruggiero, Jessica Literman, Stephanie Duerr, Matt McCormick, Kim Gomlak and Ashley Smith
Counsel Financial’s team of employees laced up their running shoes and took part in the J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge® in Buffalo, New York on June 14, 2018. The event, held annually to promote corporate teamwork and camaraderie in the local business community, drew a record field of over 14,000 employees from companies in the Western New York region. The local race is one of 13 worldwide, across seven countries and five continents.
On June 12, 2018, notice of a proposed $2.2 million settlement was sent out to around 93,000 class members who filed a class action lawsuit against restaurant delivery service, Caviar. Plaintiffs allege that the company misled patrons into paying an 18% service charge that was labeled as a “gratuity fee” on orders.
When this series of interviews first began on the cusp of 2018, we reflected on the momentous events of 2017. It was a year that began with women taking to the streets to show solidarity for one another in protesting for equal rights, and ended with a multi-industry whistleblowing initiative to stop sexual harassment in the workplace. As we move forward in 2018, it seems like this will be a year of no excuses.