Consumer Protection

  • April 10, 2024

    GM Hit With Class Action Over 'Shift-To-Park' Defect

    General Motors vehicles have a defect that prevents vehicles from detecting when they are in park, stopping drivers from shutting off or locking the vehicle and causing batteries to drain, a proposed class of drivers alleged in a new suit Tuesday.

  • April 10, 2024

    Chase, Zelle Can Arbitrate Stolen-Funds Reimbursement Case

    A Pennsylvania federal judge on Tuesday granted Chase Bank and Zelle's request to arbitrate customer claims they acted negligently and violated consumer protection laws by refusing to refund stolen funds, with the judge saying that relevant virtual terms of service required by Chase are valid, and that Zelle may enforce the agreement as a third-party beneficiary.

  • April 10, 2024

    Biden's Student Loan Relief Plan Is Unlawful, States Say

    A coalition of states have sued the Biden administration over a student loan forgiveness program that's set to kick in this summer, alleging in a Missouri federal lawsuit that the plan sidesteps statutory authority and will unduly cost taxpayers nearly $500 billion.

  • April 10, 2024

    EPA Finalizes First-Ever PFAS Drinking Water Standards

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Wednesday announced the final version of its first-ever regulatory limits on "forever chemicals" in drinking water, a move the EPA said will be accompanied by nearly $1 billion in new funding for implementation.

  • April 09, 2024

    Men Agree To Pay $1M For Robocalls Targeting Black Voters

    A pair of conservative conspiracy theorists have agreed to collectively pay $1 million to resolve litigation stemming from their robocall campaign that spread lies about voting by mail to Black voters ahead of the 2020 election, according to a consent decree filed Monday in New York federal court.

  • April 09, 2024

    After Uproar, New MDL Rule Advances With Attys Assuaged

    Following years of debate and months of outcry, a judicial panel Tuesday approved the first formal rule aimed at improving efficiency and fairness in the nation's burgeoning realm of multidistrict litigation, earning plaudits from placated lawyers in the defense and plaintiffs bars.

  • April 09, 2024

    5th Circ. Asks For Briefing Amid Scrutiny Of Judge's Citi Stock

    The Fifth Circuit has ordered additional briefing in a banking industry-backed legal challenge to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's $8 credit card late-fee rule amid questions that have been raised about a potential conflict of interest involving a circuit court judge on the case.

  • April 09, 2024

    Crypto Booster Says $1B SEC Fraud Suit Offends Free Speech

    The crypto founder known as Richard Heart told a federal judge in Brooklyn on Tuesday that the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission violated his and others' free speech rights when it brought a case accusing him of selling $1 billion worth of unregistered digital asset securities across his projects and misappropriating customer assets.

  • April 09, 2024

    Calif. AG Backs Bill To Revamp 'Abysmal' Corporate Penalties

    California Attorney General Rob Bonta gave his full support Tuesday to a state bill that would increase the cap on criminal penalties for corporate malfeasance from the "abysmal penalty" of $10,000 per felony to $25 million, or twice the value of the inflicted loss, and provide all proceeds to California's crime victim services.

  • April 09, 2024

    Philips, Feds Enter Consent Decree Over Sleep Apnea Devices

    Philips Respironics can't make sleep apnea breathing machines until it hires an independent monitor, undergoes inspections and meets its obligations under a plan to remediate patients affected by a 2021 recall of such devices, the U.S. Department of Justice and U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced Tuesday.

  • April 09, 2024

    What's In The Norfolk Southern $600M Derailment Deal

    Last year's fiery Norfolk Southern train derailment and toxic chemical spill in East Palestine, Ohio, reached a litigation milestone Tuesday with the disaster's first major settlement, a proposed $600 million deal with nearby residents and businesses, but the rail giant must still contend with a federal investigation and other lawsuits.

  • April 09, 2024

    Pfizer Cancer Drug Way Too Expensive, Biden Told

    The U.S. government is being asked yet again to use patent laws to lower the price of a prostate cancer drug that was developed at UCLA and is being sold by Pfizer for $136 a pill in the U.S.

  • April 09, 2024

    FDIC Beats Industry Group's Challenge To NSF Fee Guidance

    The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation no longer faces a bank industry group's suit alleging its guidance on nonsufficient funds fees violated federal law after a Minnesota federal judge found the group put "the cart before the horse" in presuming certain FDIC guidance would be binding.

  • April 09, 2024

    Dole Escapes Fruit Snack False Ad Suit, For Now

    A California federal judge has tossed a proposed class action accusing Dole Packaged Foods LLC of falsely labeling its fruit snacks as nutritious and healthy when the products are filled with sugar, saying the challenged statements are "puffery."

  • April 09, 2024

    Navajo, Mine Operator Look To Settle Last Waste Spill Claims

    A New Mexico federal judge has stayed litigation in the Navajo Nation's remaining claims against a Gold King Mine operator stemming from a hazardous waste spill that spurred nearly a decade of litigation after the parties said they reached a settlement in principle.

  • April 09, 2024

    Judge Says He'd Be Spooked By Mercedes Recall Notice

    A Washington federal judge hinted on Monday that a Mercedes-Benz driver likely had standing in a proposed class action after getting a recall notice about a potentially dangerous brake issue, with the judge remarking that such a warning would make him afraid to take his car on the road until an inspector cleared it.

  • April 09, 2024

    StarKist, PE Co. Settle Tuna Price-Fixing Claims For $3.9M

    Canned tuna buyers are hoping to settle their long-running price-fixing suit with StarKist and Bumble Bee, asking a California federal judge for preliminary approval of two class action payouts worth a total of $3.87 million.

  • April 09, 2024

    Real Brokerage $9.2M Settlement Is Latest In Agent Fee Suit

    The Real Brokerage Inc. will pay $9.2 million in a settlement to exit a class action in Missouri federal court over broker fees that prompted other big brokerages to change how they charge agent fees.

  • April 09, 2024

    Wash. High Court Leaves Gun Magazine Ban In Place

    The Washington state Supreme Court has paused a judge's ruling that the state's law banning the sale of large-capacity magazines for firearms is unconstitutional.

  • April 09, 2024

    FTC Pressures Global Partners, Gulf Oil Into Reducing Deal

    The Federal Trade Commission took credit Tuesday for raising antitrust concerns spurring the late-February reduction of Global Partners LP's purchase of Northeast U.S. gas terminals from Gulf Oil, cut from five terminals with a $273 million price tag to four terminals and a $212.3 million payment.

  • April 09, 2024

    FCC Considers Opening 5 GHz Band To Drones

    The Federal Communications Commission thinks it's time to start letting drones operate in the 5 gigahertz band, envisioning a future when they are used in emergency situations such as wildfires and disaster recovery.

  • April 09, 2024

    FCC Decision On Subsidy Fund Likely Tough To Unravel

    Public advocates are scrambling to reverse a Federal Communications Commission decision sparing broadband providers from helping pay for telecommunications subsidies even after the commission resurrects net neutrality rules that classify them as telecom providers.

  • April 09, 2024

    $350M Google Privacy Settlement Receives Initial Approval

    A California federal judge on Tuesday gave the first green light to a $350 million settlement between Google's parent company, Alphabet, and investors over claims the company deceived them about a March 2018 software glitch that allegedly gave third-party app developers the ability to access the private profile data of 500,000 users of the Google Plus social media site.

  • April 09, 2024

    Spirit Flies Away From Wiretap Suit Over Site User Tracking

    Spirit Airlines has beaten, for now, a consolidated proposed class action alleging that it flouted privacy and wiretapping laws by gathering its website users' communications after a Pennsylvania federal judge said the plaintiffs haven't responded to Spirit's argument that its software doesn't gather personal information and accordingly suffered no injury and lack standing.

  • April 09, 2024

    Ex-Fox News Anchor Continues Fighting Forced Arbitration

    Gretchen Carlson, a former Fox News anchor and a leading advocate for ending forced arbitration after suing Fox News' former chair and CEO over sexual harassment allegations, told senators on Tuesday that more is needed to protect workers, particularly older ones, despite important legislation enacted two years ago.

Expert Analysis

  • Former Minn. Chief Justice Instructs On Writing Better Briefs

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    Former Minnesota Supreme Court Chief Justice Lorie Gildea, now at Greenberg Traurig, offers strategies on writing more effective appellate briefs from her time on the bench.

  • ShapeShift Fine Epitomizes SEC's Crypto Policy, And Its Flaws

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    A recent U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission order imposing a fine on former cryptocurrency exchange ShapeShift for failing to register as a securities dealer showcases the SEC's regulation-by-enforcement approach, but the dissent by two commissioners raises valid concerns that the agency's embrace of ambiguity over clarity risks hampering the growth of the crypto economy, says Keith Blackman at Bracewell.

  • Stay Interviews Are Key To Retaining Legal Talent

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    Even as the economy shifts and layoffs continue, law firms still want to retain their top attorneys, and so-called stay interviews — informal conversations with employees to identify potential issues before they lead to turnover — can be a crucial tool for improving retention and morale, say Tina Cohen Nicol and Kate Reder Sheikh at Major Lindsey.

  • Antitrust Ruling Shows Limits Of US Law's Global Reach

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    Antitrust plaintiffs often cite the legislative history of the Foreign Trade Antitrust Improvements Act to support application of U.S. antitrust law to alleged injuries abroad, but as a California federal court recognized recently in Figaro v. Apple, the cited history does no such thing, say Daniel Swanson and Eli Lazarus at Gibson Dunn.

  • Overdraft Opt-In Practices Hold Risks For Banks

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    A recent Consumer Financial Protection Bureau action against Atlantic Union Bank regarding overdraft opt-in sales practices highlights compliance risks that financial institutions must be aware of, especially when enrolling customers by phone, says Kristen Larson at Ballard Spahr.

  • Opinion

    Intoxicating Hemp Products: It's High Time For Clarity

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    Thanks to ambiguity in the 2018 Farm Bill, intoxicating hemp cannabinoid products are largely unregulated and are widely available without restrictions on who can buy the products, and although there are several possible solutions, voluntary industry action by good actors is the best option, say Andrew Kline and Tommy Tobin at Perkins Coie.

  • Calif. High Court Ruling Has Lessons For Waiving Jury Trials

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    The California Supreme Court’s recent decision in TriCoast Builders v. Fonnegra, denying relief to a contractor that had waived its right to a jury trial, shows that litigants should always post jury fees as soon as possible, and seek writ review if the court denies relief from a waiver, say Steven Fleischman and Nicolas Sonnenburg at Horvitz & Levy.

  • HHS' Updated Tracking Tech Guidance Offers Little Clarity

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    The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Office for Civil Rights' updated guidance on the use of online tracking technologies appears more focused on legal issues raised in ongoing litigation with the American Hospital Association and less on practical guidance for covered entities, say attorneys at Sheppard Mullin.

  • Take AG James' Suit Over Enviro Claims As A Warning

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    New York Attorney General Letitia James' recent suit against JBS USA Food Co. over allegedly misleading claims about its goal to reach net zero by 2040 indicates that challenges to green claims are likely to continue, and that companies should think twice about ignoring National Advertising Division recommendations, say attorneys at Kelley Drye.

  • And Now A Word From The Panel: Benefits Of MDL Transfers

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    A recent order from the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation highlights a critical part of the panel's work — moving cases into an existing MDL — and serves as a reminder that common arguments against such transfers don't outweigh the benefits of coordinating discovery and utilizing lead counsel, says Alan Rothman at Sidley Austin.

  • How Experian, Apple Aid CFPB's 'Buy Now, Pay Later' Goals

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    Experian’s recent voluntary addition of Apple's “buy now, pay later” loans to consumer credit reports makes now a useful occasion to reflect on past Consumer Financial Protection Bureau calls for wider transparency around these products, and to analyze how its stated priorities for regulating them may shape coming bureau guidance and rules, says Tom Witherspoon at Stinson.

  • Ready Or Not, Big Tech Should Expect CFPB Surveillance

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    In light of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's proposed plan to supervise large companies providing the vast majority of digital money transfers, not only will Big Tech have to prepare for regulation previously reserved for traditional banks, but the CFPB will also likely face some difficult decisions and obstacles, says Meredith Osborn at Arnold & Porter.

  • Series

    Spray Painting Makes Me A Better Lawyer

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    My experiences as an abstract spray paint artist have made me a better litigator, demonstrating — in more ways than one — how fluidity and flexibility are necessary parts of a successful legal practice, says Erick Sandlin at Bracewell.

  • Examining The Arbitration Clause Landscape Amid Risks

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    Amid a new wave of mass arbitrations, recent developments in the courts and from the American Arbitration Association suggest that companies should improve arbitration clause drafting to protect themselves against big-ticket settlements and avoid major potential liability, say attorneys at Benesch.

  • Takeaways From The 2023 DOJ Fraud Section Report

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    Attorneys at Wiley discuss notable trends from the U.S. Department of Justice's recently reported Fraud Section activity last year and highlight areas of enforcement to watch for in the future, including healthcare fraud and Foreign Corrupt Practices Act violations.

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