Articles Posted in Class Action Lawsuits

Acne mat be treated through a variety of remedies. Commonly, the first method of treatment includes: extractions and/or antibiotic treatment. Laser therapy is one of the latest methods available to treat severe acne. When all else fails or an adjunct to treat is required, some physicians turned to Accutane (isotretinoin) until it was pulled from the U.S. market in 2009 due to life threatening injuries linked to the drug. By the same token, generic versions of Accutane are still available and this sparks a cause for alarm, including:

  • Claravis
  • Sotret®

Nearly two years ago, the FDA received a high number of adverse events reports relating to Gadolinium-based (GADO) Contrast Dyes used in MRI testing. Adverse events reports are used to describe incidents in which a user of a drug is injured because of the ingredients in the product. In the case of GADO dye, a high number of users who had kidney dysfunction developed Nephrogenic Systemic Fibrosis (NSF).

On September 9, 2011, the FDA has announced a label change to denote the risk of NSF for users of the dye.  While it’s taken nearly two years for the label to be changed, the hope of the FDA is that people who need MRI’s will be better protected from harm with the new label denoting the risk of NSF on GADO dye products.

NSF is a life threatening, painful and debilitating disease that can slowly progress to death as skin sloughs off the body over time. This skin sloughing, is also known as skin death, much like a burn victim suffering from skin death following a serious burn.  GADO dye products that will have the new label include:

Consumers who purchased entertainment center model names Arts and Crafts, Vineyard Manor, Lake Cottage, Studio One, West Indies and Plantation Cove were not aware that their $1500. plus purchase posed a risk for injury and property damage until recently. The models were sold at Value City Furniture, Rooms Today and American Signature Furniture stores from late 2002 through end of 2009.

Since then, four adverse events reports were filed, including a child whose fingers were hit by a falling shelf, an adult who had to receive stitches in their mouth and two other parties who experienced property damage- all following the fall of a shelf on the entertainment center.

The centers’ shelves can detach falling onto people or releasing objects on the center into the air or floor such as a T.V.

Recently, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration received a Defect Information Report from Lexus, a division of Toyota Motor Sales, USA, Inc. The report disclosed defects on roughly 138,000 Lexus vehicles.

Lexus believes that a change in the manufacturing process has led to the risk of foreign material contaminating some of the valve springs. If this occurs, the engine may cease while driving, posing a risk for serious injury and death. Though the risk is suspected to be rare, it is important for manufacturers to disclose such risks. It is not known for certain if a person driving an affected Lexus would receive a warning sign (engine noise) before the engine would cease.

The report shows that the problem may affect Lexus vehicles powered by 4.6 and 5.0 liter V8 and 3.5 liter V6 engines in certain 2006, 2007 and 2008 GS, IS and LS models in the U.S.

Sixty two dietary supplement products have been removed from the nationwide and international market following an investigation uncovering that the supplements contain steroid or steroid-like substances that were not approved by the FDA. The recalling firm is Bodybuilding.Com, Meridian, ID. The recall began in November 2009 and is still ongoing, including:

  • D-DROL capsules, D-Drol Complex 52.5 mg,
  • Bergamottin 25 mg

In 2007, Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey was involved in a class action lawsuit filed by a group of nine medical specialists; including podiatrists and ophthalmologists. The medical specialists claimed that Blue Cross Blue Shield class action lawsuit stemmed against Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield because of denied insurance claims that were considered “medically necessary” treatment for patients.  The medical specialists also contended that following an appeal process, which required a significant administrative expense, the insurance company very slowly paid the doctors for the patients’ services.

This lawsuit, known as Sutter v. Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey, Esx-L-385-02, resulted in Horizon agreeing to settle the case. The provisions in the settlement, included:

  • Financial compensation of approximately $1750.00 per physician over a five year period.

Over 335,000 vehicles have been a topic of discussion as subjects in the latest vehicle recall. This reinforces the idea that no vehicle is immune to the possibility of a recall. Though, the risk of a recall is less after the vehicle has been on the market for five years or more. This is because the masses have used the vehicles for a long time period, providing ample time for risks not discovered during the design or production process to be discovered and repaired.  The most recent risks are:

The Dodge Caliber and Jeep Compass have been known to create a risk for a sticky pedal that may result in an accident, injury or death. The 2008 and 2009 Dodge Grand Caravans and Chrysler Town & Country Minivans are also part of the recall. These vehicles are associated with risk of fire due to an improperly routed wiring harness which may short circuit. There is another defect in the affected Crystal vehicles. In some vehicles, the front inner fender liner may inadvertently rub against the brake lines, resulting in the risk of a brake line leak, break failure and a crash.

Injury Reports

If you are or were a Countrywide mortgage holder, you may be at risk of identity theft following a breach in computer security at the firm. The risk has been identified for hundreds of homeowners s who may or may not have received a notice from Countrywide if they have moved. The court has appointed Ben Barnow, Barnow and Associates, P.C., of Chicago, Illinois, and Burton H. Finkelstein, Finkelstein Thompson LLP, of Washington, D.C., as “Co-Lead Settlement Class Counsel”to oversee this class action lawsuit. However, lawyers from across the U.S. may able to represent your interests if you have been a victim of identity theft.

Countrywide has reserved millions to settle cases that they project will be brought against the company for this security breach. Under the current settlement agreement, mortgage holders who had their information stolen by an outside party are entitled to receive the following compensation, but costs may be significantly higher if you are a victim of identity theft. Remember, it is unknown if or when the thieves will attempt to use the mortgage holders’ personal information.  For this reason, it may be wise to contact an attorney to see if you may be entitled to other compensation because once you accept the proposed settlement, you will not be able to file any other lawsuit against Countrywide for this security breach.

The Proposed Settlement Benefits

In February of 2010, Ormat concluded that the company’s 2008 financial statements required restatement and that current statements were unreliable. This occurred because capitalized costs for exploration and development of select properties that the company did not plan on developing were suspected to be improperly calculated into financial equations.  Once this information became public, Ormat stock declined by nearly 13% over a three day time period. Lawyers are investigating potential claims that Ormat directors and/or executives failed to fulfill the Company’s fiduciary responsibility which has caused financial harm to stock holders.

Questionable breaches of fiduciary duty have been a topic of discussion for Comcast as well.  An ERISA class action lawsuit was recently filed on behalf of nearly 90,000 Comcast employee stock plan participants with the allegation that Comcast executives projected unreasonable company growth, despite knowledge that there were reasons in the competitive market which would impact Comcast’s projected growth.

Fiduciary duty is outlined in the Employee Retirement Income Security Act. It is not known if a class action lawsuit will be filed against Ormat Technologies at this time. Lawyers are merely in the discovery stage of an investigation to identify the possibility of any company wrong doing. Ormat shareholders may be entitled to financial compensation for the damage sustained due to the company’s failing to perform fiduciary duties. Yet, a lawsuit must be filed against Ormat technologies before this occurs. A lawsuit against Ormat Technologies will not occur until claims have been identified as valid by lawyers and a federal judge agrees that a lawsuit may be filed.

An ERISA class action lawsuit was filed on behalf of nearly 90,000 Comcast employee stock plan participants because of an alleged breach in fiduciary duty by the company’s failure to make “reasonable” investments. Total plan assets were over $2 billion in 2006 and roughly $293 million consisted of Comcast stock.

The fundamental contention in the lawsuit dates back to 2007 predictions of Comcast executives who projected that the company would do very well in that year, despite knowledge of competitors’ bonus programs that could significantly reduce Comcast revenue. The Comcast executives’ projection drove stock prices up creating a false inflation of stock prices.  Consequently, Comcast employees suffered losses because a significant portion of their investments were in Comcast stock.  Comcast’s stock price plummeted from a high of over $28 in February to $18 plus in December.

The lawsuit was granted in federal court because of premises identified in the Employee Retirement Income Security Act. One of the highlights during initial arguments was that a lawsuit is not justifiable when an employee signs a release or leaves the company.  However, the Judge determined that ERISA provides for a continuing duty to review plan holdings and divest imprudent fund plans. So, if Comcast failed to exercise duty, then they have committed a wrongdoing.  Over the course of the next months, facts surrounding the case will be heard in court to identify if any wrong doing occurred on the part of Comcast.

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