Class action lawsuits are not a swift or lucrative route to consumer justice, but at least they force companies to pay for the ways they’ve wronged their customers over the years. For example, you may not have received an e-mail about it, but if you have a Ticketmaster account, you might have vouchers for free tickets waiting for you now. [More]
The Lufthansa pilot strike that led to the cancellation of more than 1,000 flights on Tuesday and Wednesday has ended after a German court ordered the pilots to return to work. [More]
Man Who Spent 30 Minutes Trapped In ‘It’s A Small World’ At Disneyland Awarded $8K For Pain And Suffering
To be strictly accurate, the $8,000 award a man received last week was only half for pain and suffering. The other $4,000 was for a disability violation. In 2009, the ride “It’s a Small World” at Disneyland broke down, but the music didn’t stop. Most of the guests were able to escape this horror, except for one man, who is paralyzed and confined to a wheelchair. [More]
The Westfield Galleria in Roseville, California takes the comfort of its patrons seriously–so seriously, in fact, that it wants them to shut up and focus on shopping, or else ask for permission first if they want to talk about any topic that’s not mall related. Last week, the state’s 3rd District Court of Appeal found that the rule violated the state’s constitution, so now mall shoppers can gab as much as they want to each other.
A judge just invalidated the patents on two human genes whose mutations have been linked to breast and ovarian cancer. The genes were isolated by a biotech firm called Myriad Genetics, which argued that because it figured out how to isolate the genes outside of the human body then they were patentable. The judge called that “a ‘lawyer’s trick’ that circumvents the prohibition on the direct patenting of the DNA in our bodies.” The company sells a $3,000 cancer screening kit and has maintained a monopoly on the test because of the patents.
Good news for Pepsico: the lawsuit two Wisconsin men filed, accusing the company of stealing from them the idea that eventually became Aquafina, will have to be judged on its actual merits. The default judgment of $1.26 billion that they received when Pepsi failed to acknowledge the suit has been vacated.
A woman who was allegedly raped while working for Halliburton/Kellogg Brown & Root in Iraq will have her civil claims heard in court, not by a company-selected arbitrator, thanks to a ruling by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.
There’s a judge in Brooklyn, NY, who has tossed out nearly half of the foreclosure cases brought before him over the past year, because the lenders have such messy paper trails that they can’t prove ownership anymore.
Thanks to a Texas judge’s ruling earlier this week, Microsoft has been prohibited from selling or supporting any more copies of Word that can edit XML-based documents. A Toronto-based company, i4i, sued Microsoft in 2007 over its XML editing patent, and the judge ruled in i4i’s favor. The ruling kicks in 60 days from now, unless Microsoft decides to appeal. We have a feeling it will.
Last month, the Minnesota Attorney General brought an oppressive arbitration regime to its knees. Nation Arbitration Forum handled over 200,000 arbitrations per year. But many of those cases will end up in the 50 states’ district courts, where consumers may fare no better.
The perils of forced arbitration and the need for the Arbitration Fairness Act were recently featured on an NPR piece. The story discusses the case of Jamie Leigh Jones, the former Halliburton employee who was gang raped in Iraq by her coworkers, then was sent to arbitration when she tried to sue her employer.
Meet Michelle. We met Michelle at Arbitration Fairness Day and she told us about being forced into arbitration when she tried to get her poorly constructed home repaired. Now she’d like to share her story with you.
Two recent Supreme Court cases on federal pre-emption have made a mess of tort law, confusing and endangering consumers by holding that a patient who is injured by a dangerous drug can sue the manufacturer, but a patient injured by a dangerous medical device cannot. How this happened, and what to do about it, inside.
The Santa Rosa, California Press Democrat says that Korbel Champagne Cellars will ask a Sonoma County judge to force Comcast to reveal the names of anonymous Craigslist posters who criticized the company.