Class Actions Blog

Retailers continuing to allegedly engage in deceptive advertising at outlets

Posted on: November 12th, 2014 by Steve Larson

Neiman-MarcusA class action lawsuit has been filed against Neiman Marcus, Ltd.. in California Superior Court for allegedly misleading customers about discounts at the company’s Last Call outlet stores.  Specifically, the complaint alleges that Last Call price tags falsely suggest that the items were sold at Neiman Marcus’ flagship stores, but many Last Call clothing items were never sold at Neiman Marcus retail stores and are of lesser quality.

The lawsuit centers on the “compared to” prices posted which highlights the difference between the reduced sales prices of an item at Last Call against the purported price that the same item sold for at Neiman Marcus flagship stores.  Since certain items were never sold in Neiman Marcus, the compared to price is allegedly fabricated and, consequently, the perceived discount customers are receiving by purchasing items at Last Call is misleading.

The lawsuit seeks monetary damages along with a permanent injunction to preclude Neiman Marcus from continuing to employ the allegedly misleading sales practices.  A similar lawsuit which focused on outlet store price misrepresentations was filed against Michael Kors in July 2014.

Comcast agrees to settle long running class action case

Posted on: November 7th, 2014 by Keith Dubanevich

comcastComcast has agreed to pay $50 million to settle a decade-old class action case.  If approved, the settlement will resolve allegations that Comcast illegally “swapped” customers in five Pennsylvania counties with cable companies in other geographic markets.  Read more…

Google sanctioned in advertising class action

Posted on: November 4th, 2014 by Steve Larson

googleA federal judge sanctioned Google, Inc. for violating a court order to produce certain log files from its AdWords ad-placement service that are key to a proposed class action accusing Google of overcharging businesses that use its ad-placement service.  California U.S. District Judge Howard R. Lloyd said Google must pay lead plaintiff Rick Woods’ attorney fees and expenses related to his motion for sanctions, finding that the search company failed to heed a March court order to produce all of the necessary log files within 14 days. Although Google did eventually produce additional relevant logs, Judge Lloyd said its “minimal production” of data it felt was relevant violated his order.

The class action relates to Google’s AdWords service, which places ads on websites and then charges advertisers for each click.  The AdWords service contains a program by which prices are reduced for advertisers when data demonstrates that ads on certain sites are not producing real business results for advertisers.  The class action alleges that Google not only secretly overcharged the plaintiff and other advertisers for the service but also made “preferential secret deals” with large companies that host the ads, exempting them from rules that restrict an advertiser’s ability to put ads in low-quality positions, like on mobile apps.

The case is Rick Woods v. Google Inc., case number 5:11-cv-01263, in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.

Costco receives $37 million jury verdict in LCD TV price fixing lawsuit

Posted on: October 24th, 2014 by Keith Dubanevich

SharpA federal jury in Seattle has found that Costco is owed nearly $37 million in damages because it purchased televisions and computers that contained price-fixed liquid-crystal display panels.

Over the past month, jurors reviewed evidence and heard testimony on how much Costco is owed as a result of an antitrust conspiracy.  AU Optronics was found guilty, and LG pleaded guilty, in federal court to conspiring with other LCD manufacturers to fix prices for thin film transistor LCD panels used in televisions and computer screens. AUO was sentenced to pay a $500 million fine, and is currently appealing its conviction and sentence.

Costco filed suit in 2010 against 10 Taiwanese, Japanese and Korean LCD makers.  Eight defendants — including Hannstar, Hitachi and Samsung — all settled the claims prior to trial.  AU Optronics and LG Display admitted to participating in an illegal price-fixing scheme, but countered in court that Costco’s figures were excessive, and proposed $1.5 million in damages.

Costco alleged that the price-fixing scheme kept it from offering the most economical products to its customers. After a day of deliberation, the jury found that Costco had been damaged in the following amounts: $2.9 million for goods purchased from Samsung; $12.1 million for goods from Sharp; $9.1 million for goods from Toshiba, $7.3 million for goods from Phillips; $4.4 million for goods from Panasonic; and $663,000 for goods from JVC.

Closing arguments centered on which side’s economic and technical experts were better qualified, and whose economic data crunching was more accurate.

FedEx Ground settles package handler class action

Posted on: October 21st, 2014 by Steve Larson

Blog Wage and HourJudge David O. Carter has granted preliminary approval of a class settlement of current and former nonexempt FedEx package handlers in California who worked for the shipping company at any time from Sept. 24, 2009, through the date of preliminary settlement approval.  FedEx Ground has agreed to pay $1.2 million to a group of current and former package handlers.  The lawsuit alleged the company failed to provide proper meal and rest breaks. Read more…

The College Network sued in class action

Posted on: October 16th, 2014 by Steve Larson

TCNLast week, a class action lawsuit against The College Network was filed in Ohio.  TCN is described as “a predatory sales and marketing machine to extract money from hard-working people looking to better themselves.”

The owner of The College Network, Gary L. Eyler, and his national truck driving school were sued by the federal government in 1988 for $366 million on allegations of fraud and poor training.  The school’s students had a very high default rate on government-backed student loans. The company later settled — for $50,000, but went bankrupt and closed. Read more…

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The information contained in this blog does not constitute legal advice, and does not create an attorney-client relationship. We make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to this blog.

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About this blog

This blog is intended to provide information to the general public and to practitioners about developments that may impact Oregon class actions.

About the authors

  • Steve Larson

  • Steve Larson
  • Steve Larson has been representing investors, consumers and employees in class actions in Oregon for over 20 years. He is a shareholder at the law firm of Stoll Berne in Portland, Oregon.
  • Keith Dubanevich

  • Steve Larson
  • Keith Dubanevich has extensive experience handling antitrust, consumer and securities cases. Until joining the Portland, Oregon law firm Stoll Berne as a shareholder, he was the Associate Attorney General and Chief of Staff at the Oregon Department of Justice.
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