Earlier this year, a California state agency was heavily criticized for tempting identity thieves by printing full Social Security numbers on millions of documents it mailed out to state residents. Making matters worse, the agency didn’t really seem to understand why this might be a problem. After a few months to think about it, the bureaucrats appear to have finally come around. [More]
When a California man checked with the hospital about the copay for his daughter’s treatment, the hospital told him it would $500. Except what they meant to tell him was that his insurance deductible would be $500, but that he’d be stuck with a bill for nearly $4,000. [More]
Some 80% of all antibiotics sold in the U.S. go into animal feed, primarily for the purpose of growth-promotion (or under the vague, confusing umbrella of “disease prevention”), a practice that researchers believe is contributing to the development of drug-resistant bacteria that sicken millions, and kill thousands, of Americans each year. California legislators recently passed a bill aimed at limiting the overuse of antibiotics on livestock and it’s now up to Governor Jerry Brown to decide whether or not to sign it. [More]
Nearly a year after the California Public Utilities Commission held a hearing to determine if Comcast should be held liable for a screwup that published more than 75,000 phone numbers, names, and addresses that were supposed to be unlisted, the cable and Internet giant has reached a $33 million deal that puts an end to the matter. [More]
The California Public Utilities Commission plans to get to the bottom of why Verizon and AT&T phone service isn’t consistent in the state by making it clear that the state hasn’t forgotten a years-old order requiring that both providers conduct and finance investigations into their infrastructures. [More]
Even if you don’t have a service call scheduled, you might be inclined to answer the door when someone in a cable company uniform comes knocking. But police in California are on the lookout for a man who allegedly posed as a Comcast employee to enter a woman’s house and sexually assault her. [More]
While class action lawsuits can be an effective consumer remedy, they are not a quick one. Former drivers for ride-hailing service Uber first filed a class action on behalf of all California drivers in 2013, and it has just now been certified as a class action. The original lawsuit alleges that drivers for Uber are misclassified employees, who should have their vehicle expenses covered by their “employer,” Uber. [More]
After American consumers learned about horrible working conditions and trafficked workers on some fishing vessels out of Thailand, class action lawsuits began, accusing American, European, and Thai companies of benefiting from deplorable working conditions farther up their supply chain. One of the companies accused, the Swiss conglomerate Nestle, says that “forced labor has no place in [their] supply chain” for Fancy Feast cat food. [More]
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]
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]
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.
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]
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]
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]
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]
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.