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OMG, TMI: TIPS FOR PROTECTING YOUR PRIVACY ONLINE

These are tumultuous times out in cyberspace, from the massive data breach at Equifax last year that compromised the personal data of 148 million people to the recent revelations that private information about millions of Facebook users ended up in the hands of a political data firm seeking to influence voter behavior. In the wake of those incidents and others, more and more users of social media doubt their ability to protect their personal information online. According to a survey by the Pew Research Center, only nine percent of respondents are “very confident” that the safeguards on social media sites...

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WELLS FARGO CLASS ACTION LAWSUITS SEEK DAMAGES FOR EXCESSIVE AUTO LOAN COSTS

insurance contract

Thousands of motorists who financed their cars through Wells Fargo over the past decade may be entitled to compensation for being forced to buy insurance they didn’t need or for other fees that weren’t properly refunded. Two separate class-action lawsuits filed by Franklin D. Azar & Associates are seeking refunds for bank customers of the improper charges, and class members may be entitled to additional compensation for other damages caused by Wells Fargo’s actions...

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WHAT YOU SHOULD DO AFTER A TRUCK ACCIDENT

Traffic accidents can range from minor scrapes to catastrophic events that cause serious property damage and life-altering injuries. Until the damage can be properly assessed, it’s advisable to treat all on-the-road accidents very seriously. That’s particularly true if one of the vehicles involved happens to be a tractor-trailer or large commercial truck. It’s a simple matter of physics. Big rigs are 20-30 times heavier than passenger cars, with much greater ground clearance, and the occupants of the smaller vehicle tend to suffer greater injuries in any collision between the two. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation data, 3,986 people died...

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RISKY BUSINESS: FAST-TRACK APPROVAL OF NEW DRUGS, MEDICAL DEVICES RAISES CONCERNS

As consumers, we all rely on government regulations and inspections to help insure the safety of the food we eat, the cars we drive, the toys we buy our children. But the safeguards we expect may be flimsier than we think, in one particularly critical area: the development of new pharmaceutical drugs and medical devices, many of which are now reaching the marketplace with minimal testing and weak regulatory oversight. Two recent investigative reports published by distinctly different media outlets, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and the online watchdog ProPublica, provide disturbing evidence that efforts by the Food and Drug Administration to make...

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WORKING CLASS BLUES: JOBS THAT DON’T PAY MINIMUM WAGE

The Wage and Hour Division of the U.S. Department of Labor is responsible for enforcing the minimum wage. However, the law that governs wage requirements, carves out exceptions for certain kinds of employment. Some of the exemptions apply to specific classes of workers, such as young trainees, who are arguably getting other benefits from the work besides a paycheck. What can be done about wage and hour violations? ...

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DISTRACTED DRIVING: A RISING HAZARD ON THE ROADS

Stop Distracted Driving

Some traffic accidents are probably unavoidable, the result of bad weather, a mechanical failure, or poor road conditions. But the vast majority of mishaps on the road are preventable. Numerous studies of crash causation, conducted in the United States and elsewhere, have concluded that human error accounts for more than ninety percent of all crashes. Some of the most obvious forms of error include excessive speed and driving while intoxicated. Add to that list of risky behavior a bad habit that’s more dangerous than most people realize: Driving While Distracted. According to data compiled by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration,...

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UNDERSTANDING THE HOW AND WHY OF A CLASS ACTION LAWSUIT

class action logo

A class action is a type of lawsuit in which one or several plaintiffs represent a larger group (or “class”) of people who’ve suffered similar damages. The number of claims involving common damages makes it more efficient to combine them into a single cause of action. Filing a class action lawsuit, instead of numerous individual lawsuits, can benefit a large number of plaintiffs through a single legal action, which saves on costs and court time, prevents inconsistent verdicts, and allows individuals to combine their resources to make their case exponentially stronger. But to get started can be daunting – just...

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Payday Loans: A Matter of Life and Debt

Payday Loan Check

The unemployment rate is at the lowest it’s been in decades, but our nation’s economy is still more fragile than many people realize. An estimated eight out of ten American workers — close to 95 million people — are reportedly living paycheck to paycheck, with little in the way of cash reserves to tide them over in the event of a financial emergency. And over the course of a year as many as 12 million cash-poor customers will turn to payday loan operations for short-term, ready cash to help them keep up with their bills. Payday lending is an undeniably controversial...

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FORCE PLACED INSURANCE LAWSUIT OVER WELLS FARGO AUTO LOANS

insurance contract

Thousands of motorists who financed their car through Wells Fargo over the past decade may be entitled to compensation for being forced to buy insurance they didn’t need. A class-action lawsuit filed by Franklin D. Azar & Associates seeks a refund of the wrongly charged insurance premiums, and class members may be entitled to additional compensation for other damages caused by Wells Fargo’s actions. WHAT IS FORCE PLACED AUTO INSURANCE? In a practice stretching from 2006 to 2016, Wells Fargo required customers seeking car loans to take out insurance policies to protect the vehicles’ value in the event of damage. Such policies,...

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TALCUM POWDER LAWSUIT, OVARIAN CANCER AND ASBESTOS: THE LEGAL BATTLE RAGES

baby powder

Thousands of women and their families have filed lawsuits against Johnson & Johnson and other talcum powder makers, claiming that using the product led to the development of ovarian cancer. Although the industry has strongly contested such claims, some researchers believe there’s a strong scientific basis for such a link. Questions about the purity of the talc, the possibility of contamination with asbestos, and other concerns have also played a part in the litigation, which has resulted in some sizable plaintiff verdicts — and more questions about just how “healing” consumers’ experience with talc has been...

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