(eren {sea+prairie})

Class Action Suit Alleges Nestle Benefits From Fishing Vessel Slavery To Make Fancy Feast

Last week, we shared the news that a Costco customer had filed a class action lawsuit against the warehouse retailer, claiming that they sell shrimp benefiting from slave labor. Now cat owners have filed a similar lawsuit against Nestle, parent company of Fancy Feast cat food, claiming that the company uses mistreated and enslaved workers to catch fish destined for cat food cans. [More]

10 Things We Learned About The Structured Settlement Purchase Industry

10 Things We Learned About The Structured Settlement Purchase Industry

Report after report finds that payday lenders, auto title loan firms and pension advance operations unfairly target vulnerable consumers with high fees and questionable terms, but a new investigative piece from The Washington Post shows that are some lesser-known, but very lucrative players offering quick cash to vulnerable consumers: structured settlement purchasing companies. [More]

Court Sides With Consumer In Suit Against Retailer That Charges $250 When Customers Threaten To Complain

Court Sides With Consumer In Suit Against Retailer That Charges $250 When Customers Threaten To Complain

Last summer, a consumer in Wisconsin filed a lawsuit against online retailer Accessory Outlet over what she called a bogus $250 fine the company imposed, claiming she breached the terms of sale when she threatened to have the charge canceled after the iPhone case she ordered never shipped. Today, a New York court sided with the consumer by granting a default judgement in the case, essentially agreeing that Accessory Outlet’s “terms of sale” and the debt it alleged the woman owed were void.  [More]

Federal Court Rules: Chicken Sandwich Not Protected By Copyright

Federal Court Rules: Chicken Sandwich Not Protected By Copyright

You may recall that we recently tested various burger recipes sent in by readers. What if I took one of those recipes, slapped the name “Morranwich” on it and made it the basis of a billion-dollar burger empire? While the reader whose recipe I used for the sandwich might be really upset, they couldn’t make a copyright claim against Morranwich Worldwide (a division of Cyber Dynamics Systems Corporation) because, as precious as a sandwich recipe might be, it’s not copyrightable. [More]

Wyndham Hotels Loses Legal Battle With Feds Over Lax Security Practices

Wyndham Hotels Loses Legal Battle With Feds Over Lax Security Practices

If a consumer-facing company, like say a massive hotel chain, touts its dedication to the security of customer information and then does something to repeatedly put that information at risk — like storing unencrypted credit card data on barely secure networks — can they be forced to share some of the blame when hundreds of thousands of credit card numbers are stolen? The hotel chain says that would be blaming the victim, but a federal appeals court has affirmed the Federal Trade Commission’s authority to go after businesses that fail to live up to their security promises. [More]

(Chris Goldberg)

Comcast Unmasks Anonymous Commenter In Defamation Case

Do online commenters have a right to remain anonymous? If their comments are possibly defamatory, should the subject of those statements have to prove the defamation before learning the identity of the writer? This are questions surrounding the story of an Illinois Comcast subscriber who, after a nearly four-year legal battle, has been identified as the writer of inflammatory comments directed at a local politician. [More]

(Mike Mozart)

Florida Says Skim Milk Is “Imitation Milk Product” Unless You Add Vitamins

Is “skim milk” just the same as “whole milk” with the cream skimmed off? Not according to the state of Florida, where producers of skim milk must either add vitamins to their product or be forced to carry the stigma of it being categorized as an “imitation milk product.” [More]

Customer Sues Costco, Claims Workers In Shrimp Farms Are Trafficked And Mistreated

Customer Sues Costco, Claims Workers In Shrimp Farms Are Trafficked And Mistreated

A woman in California is suing Costco over its shrimp, alleging that the company sells shrimp from Thailand that is raised by workers who have been trafficked and are forced to work without pay. In her complaint, the lead plaintiff says that Costco is misleading its customers about the origins of the shrimp it sells. [More]

Lawsuit Claims Unattended United Airlines Serving Cart Fell On, Injured Passenger

Lawsuit Claims Unattended United Airlines Serving Cart Fell On, Injured Passenger

Anyone who’s left their elbow and knee in the airplane aisle knows — getting bumped by the beverage cart isn’t a pleasant experience. But one couple who flew on a United Airlines flight from Hawaii to Japan say in a new lawsuit that their flight crew left a service cart unsecured and on its own in the aisle, claiming that it fell on the man, injuring his leg. [More]

Retailer That Overcharged, Then Sued Military Personnel Is Going Out Of Business

Retailer That Overcharged, Then Sued Military Personnel Is Going Out Of Business

A year ago, Virginia-based USA Discounters was in the spotlight after the supposedly discount retailer — which had several locations adjoining military bases and directly marketed its financing to servicemembers — was criticized for charging ridiculously high prices on its products and then suing soldiers in such a way that they could rarely defend themselves in court. The retailer then changed its name to USA Living and promised to not be so evil, even though the lawsuits continued. Now comes news that the retailer is going to close up shop for good. [More]

Judge Dismisses Suit Accusing Uber Of Misrepresenting Services, Racketeering

Judge Dismisses Suit Accusing Uber Of Misrepresenting Services, Racketeering

Uber scored a victory in one of the many legal battles it’s party to on Thursday, when a federal judge dismissed a lawsuit filed by 15 Connecticut taxi and limousine companies that aimed to stop the ride-sharing service from operating in the state.  [More]

One Porn Copyright Troll Has Filed More Lawsuits Than All The Other Trolls Put Together

One Porn Copyright Troll Has Filed More Lawsuits Than All The Other Trolls Put Together

Malibu Media, the porn company known more for its litigious leanings then for its flesh-filled films, has filed more than 4,000 lawsuits since 2009 against people who allegedly shared Malibu porn online illegally. A new report that compares Malibu’s legal actions to those of other lawsuit-happy copyright defenders helps to put into perspective just how out-of-the norm Malibu’s behavior is. [More]

(JY O'Reilly)

Justice Department Says It’s Not Illegal To Sleep Outside

If I want to sleep in my backyard, no one is going to hassle me (except maybe a few birds and the odd possum), but if I want to take a nap in a public park I may be violating some city ordinance and find myself fined or arrested. But lawyers for the U.S. Dept. of Justice say that laws barring people from sleeping in public spaces are unconstitutional. [More]

Consumers Have Filed 75 Antitrust Lawsuits Against Delta, American, United & Southwest Airlines Since July

Consumers Have Filed 75 Antitrust Lawsuits Against Delta, American, United & Southwest Airlines Since July

Shortly after the Department of Justice announced in early July that it had opened an investigation into alleged collusion between major airlines to keep ticket prices high two groups of passengers filed lawsuits against the major U.S. carriers. Since then, the legal system has been inundated with strikingly similar complaints from travelers. [More]

Bumble Bee Foods Will Pay $6M For Worker Who Was Killed In Pressure Cooker

Bumble Bee Foods Will Pay $6M For Worker Who Was Killed In Pressure Cooker

Almost three years after a Bumble Bee Foods worker was killed when he was accidentally locked inside a pressure cooker he was repairing, his employer will have to pay $6 million for “willfully violating worker safety rules” as part of a settlement agreement announced by the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office. [More]

One Cablevision commercial depicts a sheriff telling Verizon that the town is done with its lies about WiFi.

Judge Says Cablevision Must Stop Running Ads Calling Verizon A “Liar”

It’s not uncommon to see a cable provider commercial that pokes fun at or attempt to disprove a competitor for their claims of being the faster, less expensive, or just plain better option. But there’s one less lineup of such ads you’ll be seeing on your TV, as a judge ruled this week that Cablevision must stop running its ads that essentially call Verizon a “liar” regarding claims that it had the fastest wireless network. [More]

Small Business Owners Say DirecTV Installation Errors Result In Collections Lawsuits

Small Business Owners Say DirecTV Installation Errors Result In Collections Lawsuits

If a small business, like a bar or restaurant, lies to a cable company and orders residential service instead of the more costly commercial offerings, it would make sense that the pay-TV provider might sue to collect the money it should have received. But what if the reason for the gaffe wasn’t intentional deception but a mistake by an installer? [More]

Delta Hit With Another $2.7M In Sanctions In Years-Old Baggage-Fee Collusion Case

Delta Hit With Another $2.7M In Sanctions In Years-Old Baggage-Fee Collusion Case

A still-pending class-action lawsuit that dates back to the dawn of the baggage-fee era alleges that Delta and AirTran colluded to implement their original fees for passengers’ first checked bags. But Delta has apparently not been terribly forthcoming with all the documentation sought by plaintiffs and has already been sanctioned millions of dollars by the court, including a $2.7 million slap on the wrist handed down earlier this week. [More]