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Oct 16

Consumer Cases

Rachel Smith et al. v. Luxottica Retail North America, LensCrafters, Eyexam of California

Our firm filed a class action in Los Angeles Federal Court accusing the largest eyeglass frame maker in the world of a bait-and-switch scheme that defrauds consumers and breaks California law. The lawsuit accuses the defendants Luxottica Retail North America (LRNA), LensCrafters, and Eyexam of California of breaking long-standing laws regulating optometry and the eyeglass industry. For example, LRNA and Eyexam of California engage in fraudulent and unlawful conduct by baiting customers into their retail locations by advertising the availability of eye exams by “independent doctors of optometry.” California law prohibits corporations from being able to exert direct or indirect influence over optometrists. LRNA openly violates these regulations by offering in-store eye examinations at their retail locations from on-site optometrists who are subject to their indirect control and influence through the optometrists’ employment with LRNA’s wholly-owned subsidiary Eyexam of California. As a result of this arrangement, optometrists: have little control over the services they can provide; have no control over the way they write prescriptions; have no control over staffing, work hours, fees they charge, advertisements in their office space; and have limited control over patients’ records. In addition, LRNA employees often sit in on optometrists’ exams in order to ensure that the information being communicated to patients by the optometrists is consistent with LRNA’s business strategy.

First Data – Gardner v. First Data Corporation et al.

This is a class action case against First Data Corporation and related entities for illegal, usurious and unconscionable contracts in connection with credit and debit card process equipment leases.  Defendants target small business merchants who use their service to accept credit and debit card payments from customers.  In connection with this service, First Data leases swipe machines and pin pads to unsuspecting merchants for many times their actually value.

 

Hogan/Melamed v. BP West Coast Products LLP

In several mass action lawsuits, Kabateck Brown Kellner is representing a large group of ARCO/AMPM franchise owners against ARCO/BP. In these cases, the franchisees allege that ARCO/BP encouraged them to test and install a new inventory tracking system manufactured by a publicly-traded company called Retalix. Unfortunately, the software experienced serious and costly problems, including full system shutdowns, ghost transactions, non-compliant releases, and security vulnerabilities. In addition, the plaintiffs allege that BP improperly charges its franchisees for gasoline at wholesale prices that are higher than prices it charges competitor stations. These lawsuits seek injunctive relief, past damages, and compensation for further losses.

 

Jared Pastor vs. Yahoo! Inc.

Our firm has joined other leading attorneys to initiate a class action lawsuit in Orange County against Yahoo Inc. on behalf of consumers impacted by one of the largest data breaches in history. Yahoo announced in September 2016 that two years earlier, in late 2014, a “state sponsored actor” infiltrated the company’s database and stole the personal information of millions of its users. The stolen information includes full names, passwords, phone numbers and even hints to passwords. Forged cookies were used to hack into Yahoo’s propriety code, allowing thieves to put the data up for sale. Yahoo failed to identify, implement, maintain and appropriately monitor its data security measures. The lawsuit claims the plaintiffs’ personal information was improperly handled and stored, and Yahoo did not have sufficient encryption, which allowed data thieves to easily steal private identifiable information.

Lambotte v. Citysearch.com

Citysearch is an internet search engine that many small businesses use to advertise. Unfortunately for them, these businesses are being billed by Citysearch for alleged fraudulent clicks on their advertisements. Kabateck Brown Kellner filed a class action complaint on behalf of small businesses that seeks damages for Citysearch’s alleged practice of overcharging pay-per-click advertisers by charging the advertisers for fraudulent clicks.

 

Carl K. Rich v. Hewlett-Packard Company

Hewlett-Packard (“HP”) has the largest market share of printers and printer cartridges in the United States. HP makes a substantial profit from selling printer cartridges. In a series of class action cases filed on behalf of consumers by Kabateck Brown Kellner, it is alleged that HP has incorporated technologies that either prevent consumers from using all of the toner that they have purchased, or accelerate the use of toner in a manner that is not disclosed. As a result, HP makes a substantial profit at the expense of consumers. For inkjet printers, the lawsuit alleges that HP has designed many models to use color ink when printing black and white text or images, causing the printer to use expensive color toner even though the user is not printing a color image or text. In a separate case, the plaintiffs allege that HP has designed its printers and cartridges to shut down on an undisclosed “expiration date” which occurs before they have run out of ink. Kabateck Brown Kellner also represents consumers that have filed a class action alleging that HP has designed its laser printers to indicate that HP toner cartridges are empty, when in fact a significant amount of toner remains. The complaints also allege, depending on the printer model, that the user is either prevented from printing until a new cartridge is installed or the user has to follow a complex set of steps to override the shutdown mechanism.
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