California Senate Approves Bill To Regulate E-Cigarettes Like Traditional Tobacco Products

California Senate Approves Bill To Regulate E-Cigarettes Like Traditional Tobacco Products

Eight months after the California Department of Health declared that e-cigarettes were a threat to public health, the state’s lawmakers are taking steps to ensure the devices are regulated much like their traditional counterparts. [More]

Countless Consumers Are Paying Off Someone Else’s Debt Because Of Default Judgments

Alan Cleaver

Imagine receiving a phone call that 25% of your wages are going to be garnished because of a credit card account opened 14 years earlier that was never paid off. Making things worse, you know you didn’t have a credit card from the bank in question at that time, so it can’t possibly be your debt. This should be an easily remedied error, but not if a court has already granted a default judgment against you, making you responsible for paying back money that you didn’t owe and didn’t find out about until it was too late. [More]

Possible Food-Borne Illness Sickens 77 At California Chipotle

Possible Food-Borne Illness Sickens 77 At California Chipotle

Health officials in Ventura County, California, are investigating a possible outbreak of a food-borne illness after dozens of people who either ate or work at one local Chipotle fell ill.
[More]

Airline Screwup Forces Family To Drive Home From Arizona When They Should Be In Caribbean

Airline Screwup Forces Family To Drive Home From Arizona When They Should Be In Caribbean

Starting on October 17, recently merged American Airlines and US Airways will operate all flights as one airline. But until then – as has been the case with previous airline mergers – customers might experience a few hiccups when booking flights. That was certainly the case for a California family who says their vacation was ruined because of issues with the newly married carriers. [More]

University Of Phoenix Faces Probe Into Military Recruiting Practices

University Of Phoenix Faces Probe Into Military Recruiting Practices

A little more than a week after federal regulators set their sights on the University of Phoenix for possible deceptive and unfair business practices, the California Attorney General’s office is joining the investigation party by opening a probe into the for-profit college’s military recruitment practices. [More]

City Sues Resident Who Used City Council Footage In YouTube Videos

City Sues Resident Who Used City Council Footage In YouTube Videos

Section 107 of the Copyright Act permits “fair use” of copyrighted materials “for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching…, scholarship, or research.” But the leaders of one California city don’t think this applies to critical videos made using footage from its city council meetings. [More]

California Penalizes Uber $7.3 Million, Says Service Should Be Suspended

California Penalizes Uber $7.3 Million, Says Service Should Be Suspended

After allegedly failing to provide the state with information about its drivers and whether the company was treating customers fairly, an administrative law judge for the California Public Utility Commission (CPUC) says that Uber should pay a $7.3 million fine and face suspension of its operating license in the state. [More]

Uber Tells Court Its Drivers Are Happy Being Non-Employees

Uber Tells Court Its Drivers Are Happy Being Non-Employees

Are Uber drivers independent contractors or employees of the popular ride-hailing service? The company has long maintained that Uber is just a platform for drivers — using their own cars on their own time — to connect with passengers, while others have contended that Uber drivers are treated like employees and should therefore not be responsible for all the costs of operating their vehicles. Yesterday in federal court, the company presented statements from drivers claiming to be just fine with their status as non-employees. [More]

(Kat the Northern Lights Man)

Tom Selleck, Agency Reach Tentative Settlement In Water Theft Lawsuit

The world was shocked, simply shocked to hear this week that actor Tom Selleck was embroiled in a water hullabaloo out in California. After the Calleguas Municipal Water District filed a lawsuit accusing the Magnum P.I. star and his wife of stealing water by the truckload from a fire hydrant, the two sides have reportedly reached a tentative settlement. [More]

California Tempts ID Thieves, Prints Full Social Security Numbers On Millions Of Mailed Documents

California Tempts ID Thieves, Prints Full Social Security Numbers On Millions Of Mailed Documents

From ruining your credit to giving you a criminal record, a clever ID thief can do some significant damage with a stolen Social Security number, so why is one California state agency putting this information out there in the mail for these fraudsters to swipe? [More]

Foreshadowing the controversy? (Three Men and a Baby)

Lawsuit Accuses Actor Tom Selleck Of Stealing Water From A Public Fire Hydrant During California Drought

While Tom Selleck has a starring role in many fans’ mustache-tic fantasies, the Three Men and a Baby actor is being cast in an entirely different light in a new lawsuit: The Calleguas Municipal Water District claims in a recent complaint that Selleck has been playing a water thief, allegedly pilfering precious water from a public fire hydrant and having it hauled it back to his 60-acre ranch in another water district. [More]

How big is this jar?

Procter & Gamble Settles With California Over Allegedly Misleading Moisturizer Boxes

When an item is costly by the ounce and comes in very small containers, how can you make the product seem more substantial while also making it harder to steal? Many companies that make expensive things to smear on your face solve this problem by adding a false bottom to jars. Procter & Gamble’s Olay brand was accused of doing this by four California counties, and has agreed to settle the lawsuit by changing the product’s packaging and paying a civil penalty. [More]

Kohl’s To Pay Nearly $1M To Settle Allegations It Overcharged Customers In California

Kohl’s To Pay Nearly $1M To Settle Allegations It Overcharged Customers In California

Kohl’s Corporation must shell out nearly $1 million to settle lawsuits with four California counties over allegations the company charged customers more than the price advertised on shelves and signs. [More]

California Assembly Passes Measure To Ensure Consumers Don’t Face Costly Surprise Medical Bills

California Assembly Passes Measure To Ensure Consumers Don’t Face Costly Surprise Medical Bills

When you’re recovering from surgery, the last thing you want is to be blindsided by an unexpected bill for hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars because the hospital hired an out-of-network anesthesiologist or other specialist without telling you. Unfortunately, this type of surprise medical bill has become an unwelcome reality for nearly 30% of privately insured Americans. California lawmakers have just cleared a major hurdle in their goal of enacting a law that would protect consumers from unforeseen and often unavoidable medical charges.  [More]

(Mike Matney Photography)

California Grass Painters Dyeing More Lawns Green Than Ever Before Amidst Drought

We first heard of homeowners spray-painting their lawns green last summer to avoid local “brown lawn” fees on the West Coast, a trend that has only grown now that grass isn’t growing amidst California’s current drought. The owner of one such service that provides landscape painting says he’s taking more orders than ever before, as lack of rain keeps lawns thirsty and dry. [More]

Lawsuit Over JCPenney’s Alleged Imaginary Discounts Receives Class Action Status

Lawsuit Over JCPenney’s Alleged Imaginary Discounts Receives Class Action Status

A class-action lawsuit that accuses JCPenney’s of violating consumer protection laws by using deceptive discount practices received the go-ahead from a federal judge on Tuesday. [More]

Legislator Demands Department Of Education Investigate For-Profit Chain ITT Technical Institute

Legislator Demands Department Of Education Investigate For-Profit Chain ITT Technical Institute

Following the Securities and Exchange Commission’s decision earlier this week to file fraud charges against current and former executives with ITT Education Services – the operator of for-profit college chain ITT Technical Institute – for their part in concealing problems with company-run student loan programs, one legislator is calling on the Department of Education to further investigate the company. [More]

(Mike Mozart)

Class Action Suit Filed In California Over Wells Fargo’s Alleged Customer Account Abuses

A lawsuit filed earlier this month by the city of Los Angeles accuses Wells Fargo of pushing employees to engage in fraudulent conduct with regard to consumer accounts in order to meet the bank’s sales quotas. Now, one of those customers has filed his own lawsuit against the San Francisco-based bank alleging the same misconduct deceived and defrauded consumers across the country. [More]