Category: News & Blogs

Class Action Settlement with Kohl’s for $6 Million for Alleged Use of False Regular and Original Prices


A class action lawsuit, known as Russell, et al. v. Kohl’s Department Stores, Inc., Case No.: 5:15-cv-01143-RGK-SP, pending in U.S. District Court, Central District of California, alleges that Kohl’s used false “regular” and “original” prices, informing the shoppers that they were receiving 30% off the false regular or original pricing.

Kohl’s, of course, denied all allegations asserted but reached a settlement of over $6 million to resolve this conflict.

A court hearing is scheduled for September 12, 2016 where the court will determine if it will approve the settlement (fairness) and what fees and costs are to be awarded.

Perhaps, you may have received a class settlement notice in the mail, informing of the pending action and of the benefit to which you may be entitled.

So, you ever wondered or sensed that the actual selling prices were just too good to refuse, considering the “regular” or “original” prices?

Maybe, there is a conspiracy among some of the giant retailers to once again defraud the public? A similar class lawsuit against JCPenney is pending as well.

The court has not decided the merit or the liability issue.

Do not forget to claim your benefit if you are part of this class of persons in question.

Currently, our office is involved in an employment class action against a large trucking company for overtime, meal and break periods violations.

Class Action Settlement for $50 Million with JCPenney for Alleged Use of False Regular and Original Prices


A class action lawsuit, known as Spann v. JCPenney Corporation, Inc., Case No.: 12-cv-0215FMO, pending in U.S. District Court, Central District of California, alleges that JCPenney used false “regular” and “original” prices for JCPenney’s private and exclusive branded products, apparently to deceive and to entice the customers to purchase the merchandise.

JCPenney, of course, denied all allegations asserted but reached a settlement of $50 million to resolve this dispute.

A court hearing is calendared for August 25, 2016 where the court will determine if it will approve the settlement (fairness) and what fees and costs are to be awarded.

Perhaps, you may have received a class settlement notice in the mail, informing of the pending action and of the benefit to which you may be entitled.

So, you ever wondered or sensed that the actual selling prices were just too good to refuse, considering the “regular” or “original” prices?

Remember to claim your benefit if you belong to part of this group of persons in question.

Presently, our office is involved in an employment class action against a large trucking company for overtime, meal and break periods violations.

Jury Verdict Against Walmart For Over $31 Million


A federal jury in New Hampshire rendered a verdict in favor of a Maureen McPadden in the sum of little over $31 million against Walmart for gender-based discrimination and retaliatory termination.

Ms. McPadden, a pharmacist, claimed that she was wrongfully discharged after complaining to Walmart management about the safety of customers as the staffers were filling the prescriptions improperly because of inadequate training.

Walmart fired Ms. McPadden on the ground that she lost a pharmacy key. This was, as asserted by the plaintiff, a pretext in retaliation to her voicing the concerns of safety.

She also stated that another male pharmacist who misplaced his key was simply disciplined but not terminated.

Of the $31 million verdict, there were punitive damages of about $15 million. Punitive damages are generally awarded if there is malice shown as well associated with the conduct of the defendant.

Do you think this will teach Walmart a lesson in the future?

Woman Injured by E-Cigarette Awarded 1.9 Million in Riverside


A California woman, who was seriously burned by an exploding electronic cigarette, won a jury verdict of almost 2 million dollars from distributor, wholesaler and seller of the defective product.

Jennifer R. of Corona was on her way to the airport to Brazil plugged in her VapCigs e-cigarette charger, and it spewed hot metal that ignited her dress. Although the full name of this individual was known, subject to easy search online, in the news, I would still respect her privacy and not disclose it in this article.

Jennifer’s husband, who was with her in the car, tossed an iced coffee on her to extinguish the flame that caused second-degree burn to her buttocks, thighs and hand.

The couple missed their flight to Brazil, where they had planned to help build a community center for children in the slums of Rio de Janeiro, and Jennifer R. ended up at an urgent care facility and a burn clinic the following day.

After a six-day trial, a Riverside Superior Court jury awarded $1.9m to Jennifer R. in the lawsuit against VapCigs, which distributes the Chinese-made e-cigarette and charger, wholesaler Cartons 2 Go and retailer Tobacco Expo.

This type of legal action is called product liability, which is essentially designed to hold all merchants liable for defective goods that are placed in the stream of commerce.

I was once around a family friend who, at the time was attempting to quit smoking, utilized this device that generated vapor. To this date, I am still uncertain how this product functions. But, then again, I can careless as I have no interest in the use of this merchandise. The smell of the vapor or smoke from the e-cigarette (burned chemical-like) was disgusting and unappealing. It made me sick. Actually, I thought it was worse than the odor created by the real tobacco, which is just as repulsive and unattractive.

Another time, I saw a woman smoking a big pipe, and initially I thought she was using a bong. Then, I realized it was perhaps an electronic cigarette. She looked very unhealthy and pale. It may appear glamorous in the ads, showing attractive people smoking, but it will not be glamorous and attractive anymore if your face is on fire.

Be smart, be aware, and be cautious out there!

Do you know where the beverages you drink or like are actually made?


I have recently discovered (perhaps like many others) that Beck’s is not actually manufactured in Germany.

Three Beck’s customers (who had been consuming this brand for many years) decided to file a class action lawsuit against Anheuser-Busch (yes, that’s correct. An American brewing company, currently owned by Anheuser-Busch InBev, a Belgian-Brazilian corporation, headquartered in Belgium and Brazil) for essentially misrepresentation (involving misleading labels).

A class action lawsuit involves generally a large group of plaintiffs where each individual plaintiff may have suffered normally an insignificant loss, but the sum of all damages will be substantial. For instance, if AT&T illegally charged each customer $10, the amount of loss would be insubstantial for an individual claim. However, AT&T unjustly obtained millions of dollars from all of the company’s customers, then a class action lawsuit would be appropriate under these circumstances.

The Beck’s label states “originated in Bremen, Germany.” Does it mean this product is made in Germany? Is it misleading in any way? What do you think? Well, at least, I thought I was drinking the beer from Germany as I had purchased this merchandise before! This may explain why that Beck’s is not one of the types of beer sold at Oktoberfest here. Or maybe it was. Don’t quite remember. Having too much fun there to recall the detail.

According to the lawsuit filed, the plaintiffs alleged that the defendant company tricked customers into buying more beer by claiming that the item was brewed in Germany, utilizing German ingredients.

After about 2 years of litigation, the parties settled the lawsuit. If you purchased Beck’s in the past, you could be entitled to a refund. Don’t expect to get rich from the refund though.

I suppose the named plaintiffs (perhaps good friend, getting together and drinking in the backyard after so many years) realized they were cheated and defrauded and determined to do something. Hopefully, Anheuser-Busch has learned a lesson and will act accordingly in the future. Sometimes, people need to just take action to bring these big corporations in check.

Online Harassment

Female  Victim Of Online Bullying With Laptop

It seems that cyber stalking or harassment has occurred more often than we know. Bullying and crude comments (arising to the level of an actionable legal claim) can take place even if you’re not in the teenage environment. My memory is quite hazy about being a teenager as this time period is ages ago. It was indeed a fun but at times difficult phase, especially mentally, transforming through the young adulthood.

During high school, I personally witnessed a bullying incident in the school restroom where a much stronger (and tougher) student robbed another much smaller student. The big kid reached inside the tiny kid’s pocket and got $20. The bigger student shouted: “Nice, it’s a $20 bill.” The small student responded: “Dude, give me my money back.” You know, I have never forgotten this event for some reason. Until this date, I still feel bad for this kid.

Perhaps, I can channel my energy and past experience toward the correct direction. What is bullying to me can encompass the situations where parties breach and fail to honor the agreements, commit wrongs for personal gains, insurance companies refuse to pay out insurance claims and people deny liabilities for the wrongs done…

I never actually thought about Internet harassment until a client consulted me on this issue. My cases generally would involve actual physical harmful contacts to the persons. However, mental distress can sometimes manifest in physical form, resulting in physically apparent damage to the person such as hair loss, sleeplessness, skin irritation or rashes, etc.

Women in general are more prone to harassment or stalking. The harassment does not necessarily derive from strangers. Sometimes, the harassing behavior can happen during the breakdown of a relationship. I suppose men are fortunate in some respects as some may perceive this kind of demeanor as an undivided attention. Although personally there weren’t serious consequences, I had come in contact with a few women who exhibited overly passion and enthusiasm. In retrospect now, I appreciate those feelings—a little light humor in a serious topic.

California was one of the first states to enact legislation to criminalize online harassment. If faced with this situation, you may contact the police for assistance. There are civil claims that can be filed against the individuals who publish false and defamatory statements as well as disclosing private information in the public forum. Restraining orders may be sought in court to prohibit this type of conduct also.

Hopefully, all of you will continue to have passionate and enthusiastic admirers but no stalkers. But, if the circumstances appear to be unpleasant and harassing, you know you have certain legal remedies to exploit.

Judicial Temperament is an Essential Part of the Administration of Justice

Angry male judge in a courtroom striking the gavel and pronounces sentence. Focus at front y very shallow depth of field

A judicial review panel is recommending a four-month suspension for a Florida judge who was captured on video berating and threatening to assault a public defender.

In findings released Wednesday, the six-member Florida Judicial Qualifications Commission found Brevard County Judge John C. Murphy guilty of violating various judicial canons, including being “dignified and courteous to litigants, jurors, witnesses, lawyers, and others.”

The panel also recommended a fine of up to $50,000, a public reprimand and Murphy’s continued participation in a mental health therapy program.

Murphy is accused of hitting former assistant public defender Andrew Weinstock outside a courtroom last June after they exchanged words over whether Weinstock’s client could have a speedy trial.
The Florida Supreme Court will decide on the final punishment. It often adopts the panel’s recommendations.

This article is originally contributed by Associated Press.

You may think so what this judge is taking such a stance toward an attorney (who probably deserves to be treated this way). But think again. This attorney is representing a client’s cause that can be significantly and negatively affected. This is certainly not tolerable.

From my litigation experience, appearing before a judge who lacks such personable quality can be quite distracting. This experience is worse if the bench officer does not follow the mandate of the applicable law.

Personally, I can careless if the judge dislikes me for any reason. But, I do not take lightly (and no attorneys should) if the personal animosity toward me, in any way, jeopardizes my clients’ interests. However, to view the big picture, my clients’ interests are of the utmost importance, I will bend to protect clients’ rights, at my own personal expense.

Thus, in any professional setting, we all should look at the big picture and act accordingly.

Incidentally and fortunately, in California, any litigant has a right (one time) to challenge and to request to remove a judge (who may be unfavorable to your claims). This procedural safeguard can at times ensure fairness and avoid bias.

Death Toll From Defective GM Ignition Switches Rises to 104


The death toll has currently risen to 104 from GM’s defective and faulty ignition switches. GM has offered 1 million to each family of the deceased and has agreed to make offers to other injured persons.

GM has recalled about 2.6 million defective cars and has acknowledged that the company knew about the faulty parts for more than a decade.

Thus far, GM has paid 200 million to settle claims filed.

Although the compensation funds paid out may appear significant, they may not be sufficient to address the losses sustained by all the injured parties, the deceased and the families of the deceased, especially in light of the fact that GM knew about this serious problem for 10 years.

Many plaintiffs and their families may reject the offers and pursue their claims further in litigation. And who knows, in some instances, the jury awards may be more than what GM has proposed.

My opinion is that most of the cases will be settled without trials. Generally, it’s best alternative for a plaintiff to reach a compromise than testing the case before a jury.

4 Car Accident Myths

VERIA GREECE - OCTOBER 5 2014:A large truck crashed into a number of cars and 4 people were killed and many were injured in a multi-vehicle collision that occurred on Egnatia Odos.

1. I can resolve the accident with the other driver’s insurance company on my own. Keep in mind that the insurance representatives (adjusters) are professionals who have been trained to obtain evidence that can be used against you. Generally, the insurance carriers will immediately contact you to acquire a recorded statement as to what happened. You are under no obligation to comply with such a demand. You are dealing with the entity that is not there to act in your interest. You may not fully comprehend the process, the value of your claim, the rights you possess under the law.

2. I appear to be uninjured, thus I will just work out the issues myself. Oftentimes, a person’s injuries may not appear until sometime later. If you feel okay now or immediately after the accident, and you assume the task of handling the matter yourself with the other driver’s insurance company and sign a release, you face the barring of your claim in the future if the injuries show up some months later.

3. My insurance company will take care of everything for me. It is a mistake to believe that your own insurance company will resolve all issues for you as the accident is not your fault. Regardless of whose fault it was, you would be obligated to pay the deductible for damages to your vehicle. The other driver’s insurance carrier may dispute the liability even if you truly conclude that it was the fault of the other driver. If you suffer personal injuries, your own insurance carrier will not pursue that part of the claim on your behalf. This will require a separate action.

4. The police have determined who was at fault. Ordinarily and if the police were contacted concerning the accident, an incident report would be composed. Frequently, the incident report would state the officer’s opinion and conclusion, based upon the statements of the witnesses and the observation made at the scene of the incident. However, the conclusion of the police office does not always or necessarily reflect the accuracy of the events. In a court action, the witnesses (including the peace officer) will be examined to get at the truth. Thus, the police report acts only as a possible piece of evidence.

Family of woman dropped on head by ambulance crew gets $1.5M

RESEDA, CALIFORNIA, USA - MAY 9: Firefighters help the victim of car accident on May 9, 2011 on Sherman Way in Reseda, California.

By The Associated Press, May 5, 2015

WOBURN, Mass. (AP) A Massachusetts jury has awarded $1.5 million to the family of a woman who died days after an ambulance crew dropped her on her head. The Middlesex Superior Court jury ruled Monday in favor of the family of 67-year-old Barbara Grimes in its lawsuit against American Medical Response.

The family said in the wrongful death suit that Grimes was being transported in January 2009 after receiving dialysis in Plymouth when a pair of emergency medical technicians rolling her into an ambulance tipped over her stretcher, causing Grimes to fall and hit her head on the ground. She suffered a brain hemorrhage and died five days later. The family’s lawyer called her death “unnecessary” and “‘easily preventable.” AMR said the stretcher malfunctioned. A company spokesman didn’t immediately return a call Tuesday.