Nearly two months after police investigating a homicide in Arkansas served Amazon with search warrants, requesting any information that may have been stored on an Echo speaker located inside the suspect’s home. They wanted to know if the device’s “Alexa” virtual assistant had recorded any evidence of the murder, but Amazon has thus far refused to turn this information over to authorities. [More]
Back in November, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau filed a lawsuit against one of the nation’s largest providers of seller-financed homes after it failed to comply with a subpoena to turn over documents related to home foreclosures. This week, a judge upheld the Bureau’s authority to request the documents from Harbour Portfolio Advisors. [More]
Unlike FDA-approved medications, makers of dietary supplements are not required to demonstrate that their products are safe or effective. That shouldn’t stop independent researchers from doing their own tests to find out if a product works or is dangerous, but when one Harvard professor tried to do just that, supplement makers tried to shut him up.. [More]
Back in June, Volkswagen reached a nearly $15 billion tentative agreement with the federal government to begin the long process of putting “dieselgate” in the rearview. Now, the carmaker is seeking to finalize that agreement, with one, rather large, modification: it still doesn’t have a process to fix the 500,000 vehicles that contain so-called “defeat devices” that skirt U.S. emissions standards. [More]
Two months after IKEA and the Consumer Product Safety Commission took the unprecedented step in recalling 29 million top-heavy Malm and other models of dressers and chests linked to the deaths of six children, the retailer has missed a deadline to hand over documents related to the recall. [More]
Nearly four years after federal regulators dealt a swift blow to the makers of super-powerful desktop magnetic toys Buckyballs, filing a lawsuit against the company and persuading retailers to stop selling the dangerous toys, a Colorado-based company has been ordered to recall similarly powerful magnets that can cause fatal injuries when swallowed. [More]
Regulators Halt Alleged Energy Drink Pyramid Scheme That Targeted College Students, Other Young Adults
Federal regulators continued their crackdown on supposedly deceptive dietary supplement companies this week by temporarily shutting down an Arizona-based company that allegedly ran a pyramid scheme promising college students they would rake in the big bucks by selling energy drinks. [More]
There are about 200 fewer adulterated dietary supplements on the market today after a district court ordered an Iowa company and its owners to stop production of products over allegations the company sold potentially unsafe dietary supplements and falsely advertised them as treatments for diseases ranging from colds to cancer. [More]
Court Case Illustrates Just How Difficult It Is For Borrowers To Discharge Student Loans In Bankruptcy
Students being crushed under the weight of mounting student loan debt have few options when it comes to receiving forgiveness for their debts, and bankruptcy is often the least obtainable – thanks in part to the nearly impossible to meet “undue hardship” standard. To see just how difficult and seemingly arbitrary this guideline is, all one needs to do is hear about a recent federal court case out of Maryland that determined a woman couldn’t escape her debt obligation because she had failed to make a good faith effort in repaying the loans despite the fact she’s unemployed, disabled and living below the poverty line. [More]
For years, the Federal Trade Commission has been combatting scammy marketers of weight-loss products who use fake news sites, fictional reporters, and bogus celebrity endorsements, but people keep trying to pull these cons on consumers. This morning, the FTC announced yet another takedown of a sketchy diet pill marketer using lookalike news sites to sell its products.
Despite the fact that a driver was allegedly drunk when she and her passenger crashed into a power pole in Washington, the state’s Supreme Court says she can go ahead and sue the power company responsible for that pole. All because the pole wasn’t in the exact right spot it should’ve been. [More]
The bad news was that Anne’s car was illegally towed from the parking lot of her friend’s apartment complex while she was visiting him. The good news: this friend is a lawyer, who researched the situation and determined precisely why the tow was illegal.
Dalton Chiscolm has sued Bank of America and its board, and wants “1,784 billion, trillion dollars” in return for being subjected to what the judge describes as “inconsistent information from a ‘Spanish womn’ [sic]” as well as allegedly misrouted checks. In addition, Chiscolm wants another $200,164,000 in damages. We’re not sure why that amount is separate, but who knows how a mind like Chiscolm’s works?
Recently, the SEC settled with Bank of America over charges that the company mislead its investors about the $3.6 billion in bonuses paid by Merrill as the brokerage was being taken over. U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff, however, isn’t buying it. He’s refusing to approve the settlement until it can be shown that the $33 million Bank of America agreed to pay is adequate. That’s nice, but he best part is that the judge is being hilariously sarcastic during the hearings.
Once upon a time, way back in November, a St. Louis MBA student named Cheri was the one of the first inside her local Sears store on Black Friday morning. She rushed to get the best deal they were offering — a washer and dryer for $599. To her dismay, she found out that the heavily advertised deal was not available — customers were being asked to pay now and get the washer and dryer in 30 days. Even with this disappointment, the deal was too good to pass up, so she agreed. Months later there was no sign of her washer and dryer, so she took Sears to court. And won.
Great news, 17-year-olds! A federal judge has ruled that you can now avoid accidental babies by partaking in the emergency contraceptive wonder that is Plan B. Back in 2006, the Food and Drug Administration limited the contraceptive to women 18 and over, and ordered pharmacists to hide the drug behind their counters away from other common contraceptives. Judge Edward Korman ruled this week that the agency’s decision was based on politics not science, and that it constituted an unacceptable public health buzzkill.
The court noted that “were the ‘Federalist Papers’ just being published today via e-mail, that transmission by Publius would violate the [current Virginia] statute.”