Thursday, August 27, 2015

Class Action News 27th August 2015

Ten of the world's biggest automakers were sued on Wednesday by U.S. consumers who claim they concealed the risks of carbon monoxide poisoning in more than 5 million vehicles equipped with keyless ignitions, leading to 13 deaths.

According to the complaint filed in federal court in Los Angeles, carbon monoxide is emitted when drivers leave their vehicles running after taking their electronic key fobs with them, under the mistaken belief that the engines will shut off.

The 28 named plaintiffs said this can injure or have "deadly" results for people who inhale the colorless and odorless gas, including when vehicles are left in garages attached to homes. They also said the defect reduces their vehicles' resale values.

A keyless ignition lets a driver start a vehicle by pushing an on-off button, instead of inserting a key, once the vehicle senses the presence of a nearby electronic fob.
The defendants include BMW (BMWG.DE), including Mini; Daimler's (DAIGn.DE) Mercedes Benz; Fiat Chrysler (FCHA.MI); Ford Motor Co (F.N); General Motors Co (GM.N); and Honda (7267.T), including Acura.

Also named as defendants were Hyundai (005380.KS), including Kia; Nissan (7201.T), including Infiniti; Toyota (7203.T), including Lexus; and Volkswagen (VOWG_p.DE), including Bentley.

Aclass action lawsuit that accused two dairy groups of manipulating the Northeast milk market and driving small farmers out of business is one step closer to being settled.

Attorneys for the plaintiffs in the antitrust lawsuit Allen v. Dairy Farmers of Americahave asked U.S. District Court Judge Christina Reiss to approve a new $50 million settlement to put the case to rest.

Lawyers proposed a $50 million settlement last year, but Reiss denied it in March because 35 farmers representing 28 farms objected to the proposed settlement.

Reiss wrote in her March 31 denial that the court needed to make sure that the settlement was procedurally fair and not the result of collusion. Several farmers had alleged collusion between their lawyers and defendants, Reiss wrote, and said they were concerned about potential retaliation from Dairy Farmers of America for accepting the settlement.

The class-action case has gone on for six years against Dairy Farmers of America and Dairy Marketing Services. The plaintiffs are 8,900 farms, which have largely agreed to end the dispute without a trial. A little under 1 percent remain opposed.

The $50 million works out to about $4,000 per farm, which are often owned by a single family. Farms would be allowed to leave the Dairy Farmers of America and join another cooperative. The settlement also requires the dairy cooperative to make its business practices more transparent to members.

Disgruntled homeowners have started a class action lawsuit against government-controlled insurer Southern Response.

The group's lawyer, Grant Cameron, said 47 policyholders had officially filed a case in the High Court at Christchurch on Wednesday over delays by the insurer in settling Canterbury earthquake claims and unfair offers.

He said Southern Response had failed in its duty, with some homeowners still waiting nearly five years after the first of the devastating quakes and unable to afford to litigate on their own.
"The insurer is essentially low-balling the settlement offers," he said, adding some claimants had been offered 40 to 60 per cent less than the true worth of their homes.

Parties to the action have joined on a "no win, no fee" basis and Mr Cameron said the litigants were waiting on court approval to allow any other interested claimants to join in the next three months.

Boeing Co. agreed on Wednesday to a preliminary deal to settle a long-running lawsuit accusing the company of mishandling its 401(k) plan to the detriment of its employees.

The settlement comes the day a trial was scheduled to begin in the nine-year-old case. Terms weren’t disclosed. The two sides are expected to update the court on details of the talks next month and set a timeline for seeking final approval, according to a court order.

Filed on behalf of 190,000 Boeing employees and retirees, the class-action suit accused Boeing of failing to uphold its fiduciary duties to employees by allowing excessive 401(k) fees to go unchecked, choosing higher-cost retail mutual funds over cheaper options, and improperly making 401(k) plan decisions to benefit vendors receiving other Boeing business.

No comments:

Post a Comment