Great article in the New York Times this morning from Gretchen Morgenson regarding Wells Fargo forcing unwanted auto insurance on borrowers. Giskan Solotaroff & Anderson is currently investigating this issue. If you are one of the “more than 800,000 people who took out car loans from Wells Fargo [and] were charged for auto insurance they did not need,” please contact us immediately!

 

We have the chance to amend our complaint and add parties to this proceeding. If you have experienced problems with your Nissan’s dashboard when exposed to direct sunlight, contact us immediately and add your name to the class.

Owners of Nissan vehicles describe a troubling problem in this case: their dashboards melt, crack, become highly reflective, and/or ooze noxious chemical smells when exposed to direct sunlight. This is dangerous for the owner of the vehicle and everyone on the road, and replacement of the dashboard is costly. The class action seeks to compel Nissan to warn drivers about the known defect and to bear the expense of replacing dashboards that should never have been placed in the stream of commerce in the first place. If your Nissan’s dashboard has suffered similar damage from the sun, please contact us immediately!

GSA’s class action against Uber, filed May 24, 2017, was reported in the New York Post. For full article, click here.

Passengers are incurring hidden charges with Uber’s “upfront” pricing model — resulting in a $7.4 million windfall per month to the app-ride company from New York City trips alone, according to a new class action lawsuit.

Uber launched its upfront fares last summer, promising a “no math and no surprises” system that would calculate the actual cost of a trip before customers booked a ride.

On December 17th, GSAS and Beranbaum Menken LLP filed a class-action lawsuit against the City of New York and its Department of Correction for illegally strip and/or body cavity searching visitors to City jails.  Randomly strip searching visitors to City jails is illegal and a violation of the DOC’s directives.  The lawsuit alleges that the City is systematically performing strip searches without individualized reasonable suspicion that the visitor is concealing contraband.
The case is A.R., et al. v. City of New York, et al., 15 Civ. 9224, in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York.

Earlier this week, 18 United States Senators–including New Jersey Senator and local superhero Cory Booker–called upon the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to regulate prepaid debit cards issued to released prisoners. These “prison release cards” often carry exorbitant fees and are all around exploitative.

Over 650,000 prisoners leave state and federal jails each year. The majority are booked and released shortly thereafter; most people released from jails are never convicted of any crime. These individuals constitute an involuntary pool of consumers with no choice or say in whether they have to use prepaid debit cards to access their own money. Giskan Solotaroff is working with lawyers around the country to litigate a class action in Oregon and an arbitration in Florida against two prison release card companies: EZ Card & Kiosk LLC, which issues the EZ Exit Card, and Numi Financial, which issues the Prestige Prepaid MasterCard.

Senator Booker’s letter is available here.

In case you missed it, the New York Times ran an excellent three part series on arbitration agreements and class action waivers. The series makes it clear that arbitration clauses deprive consumers and individuals of their day in court, whether it be because the individual case is not economically viable, or worse yet, because the arbitration process is rigged.

Hopefully, this marks the beginning of a broad public awareness of how corporations insulate themselves from liability by sneaking arbitration clauses into their Terms and Conditions. If this issue can remain in the public eye, change will follow.

Here are the links to the series:

By Oren Giskan, Esq.

The people have spoken and while they like Cheerios, they do not like mandatory arbitration. General Mills tried to impose mandatory arbitration on anyone who “liked” it on social media or downloaded a coupon for one of its products. Because General Mills had no direct dealings (or a contract) with consumers, it had to come up with a novel way to obtain consumers’ “consent” to arbitration.

It turns out consumers do not like mandatory arbitration and they protested. So General Mills did the right thing and abandoned its efforts to prohibit consumers from suing in court (and suing as a class). General Mills undoubtedly recognized that if consumers are given a choice, they will take their business elsewhere.

By Catherine Anderson, Esq.

On June 28, 2013, Courthouse News Service reported on our class action which had been filed against OneWest Bank, IndyMac, Financial Freedom Senior Funding and other defendants concerning the force placement of insurance (commonly referred to in the industry as “force placed insurance” or “lender placed insurance”) on homeowner’s mortgages for hazard or fire insurance.

As alleged in our complaint, lender placed insurance is often twice to ten times as expensive as voluntary homeowner’s insurance obtained in the open market and includes the cost of kickbacks and other improper commissions to the lender and/or insurer which get charged to the homeowner’s mortgage. Recently, our action has been divided into two potential class actions: One action involves the lender placed hazard insurance which has been charged to homeowners with standard Fannie Mae Freddie Mac uniform mortgages by OneWest Bank and IndyMac through the insurance company Assurant and its subsidiary, American Security Insurance Company. From October 2010 through June 2013, American Security Insurance Company issued 65,136 lender placed hazard insurance policies on real property serviced by OneWest and/or IndyMac. The second action involves lender placed hazard insurance which has been charged to homeowners with reverse mortgages by OneWest and Financial Freedom Senior Funding through the insurance company Balboa Insurance and also includes claims for violation of the California Financial Elder Abuse statute.