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Mercedes Diesel Emissions Class Action

Goldenberg Schneider, working with co-counsel from Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro, Carella, Byrne, Cecchi, Olstein, Brody & Agnello, P.C. and SeegerWeiss, have settled the Mercedes Blue-Tec Engines Diesel Emissions Fraud litigation. The settlement with Mercedes Benz is valued at more than $700 million and provides substantial benefits to nearly 250,000 owners and lessees of affected diesel Mercedes vehicles. The lawsuit was originally brought in 2016 in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey. The lawsuit alleges that Mercedes-Benz USA teamed up with Robert Bosch GmbH to program its BlueTEC vehicles to release illegally high, dangerous levels of emissions via a “defeat device,” similar to that used by Volkswagen Group that sparked its emissions cheating scandal. Such defeat devices turn off or limit emissions reductions during real-world driving conditions but not during vehicle emissions tests. A defeat device allows a vehicle to pass government emissions testing while exceeding pollution standards under real-world driving conditions. The complaint accuses Mercedes of deceiving consumers with false representations of its BlueTEC vehicles, which it marketed as “earth-friendly.”

If the settlement is approved by the court, owners of affected Mercedes diesel vehicles may receive the following:

• An Approved Emissions Modification (AEM) free of charge and an extended modification warranty. From a separate settlement with federal and California regulators, these benefits are available even if you do not participate in the class action.

• Protection pending the modification’s effects to your vehicle. AEMs installed in affected vehicles will come with additional protection, should the AEM affect your vehicle’s performance. Affected owners are slated to receive compensation depending on whether the AEM affected fuel economy, horsepower, torque and/or other aftereffects of the emissions modification. Owners may also be able to receive payment for transportation costs in the event their installation of an AEM takes more than three hours to complete.

• Payment for Mercedes’ diesel emissions deficiencies. Under the settlement, current owners and lessees can receive $3,290 if no former owner/lessee submits a claim for the same vehicle. If a former owner/lessee does submit a claim for the same vehicle, current owners and lessees can receive $2,467.50. Former owners and lessees can receive $822.50, divided equally among former owners/lessees who submit claims for the same vehicle.

• Additional payment. For current owners and lessees who have an AEM installed, additional payments may be available under various circumstances. Owners may also receive additional payment if an AEM is not available by October 2022.

More information can be found at the settlement website, www.mbbluetecsettlement.com. You can contact the attorneys at Goldenberg Schneider, LPA, by calling 513-982-1569 or sending an email to [email protected].

2019-2020 Acura RDX Infotainment System Defect Class Action

Court Preliminarily Approves 2019-2020 Acura RDX Infotainment System Defect Settlement

On June 3, 2021, Judge R. Gary Klausner of the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California granted preliminary approval to a nationwide class action settlement negotiated by Goldenberg Schneider and its co-counsel in Bahn v. America Honda Motor Co., Inc., C.D. Cal. 2:19-cv-05984-RGK (ASx).  In the case, plaintiffs alleged that America Honda Motor Co., Inc. (“AHM”) knowingly sold its 2019-2020 Acura RDX vehicles with defective infotainment systems that behaved erratically, malfunctioned, and repeatedly froze, thereby distracting the driver and posing a safety hazard.    Since the lawsuit was filed, AHM has issued recalls, Service Bulletins, and software updates intended to address the infotainment systems’ problems.

The proposed Settlement calls for an independent engineering expert to validate the efficacy of the countermeasures that AHM has developed; facilitates the implementation of these countermeasures in the field; provides a two-year/24,000 mile warranty extension covering these issues; obligates AHM to work in good faith to continue to improve Infotainment System performance at least through the extended warranty period; creates a Dealership Assistance and Assessment Program (the “DAAP”) that will direct AHM’s authorized dealerships to undergo additional training and implement additional service strategies; creates the Infotainment System Online Resource to, among other things, inform Settlement Class Members about the countermeasures now available and the symptoms they are designed to address and permit Settlement Class Members to report directly to AHM any new Infotainment System symptoms or problems they may experience; provides a mechanism to compensate qualifying Settlement Class Members for the inconvenience and hassle they may have experienced because of relevant Infotainment System problems, including two free years of AcuraLink Security Service (valued at $89 per year); and provides a mechanism for qualifying Settlement Class Members to receive full reimbursement for eligible out-of-pocket expenses. Further, the Proposed Settlement provides a mechanism for AHM to separately pay reasonable attorneys’ fees and costs and Plaintiff service awards so that these payments will not dilute any of the benefits available to the Class.

The Court has scheduled a Final Approval Hearing for December 6, 2021.  If granted final approval, the settlement will successfully resolve claims for the approximately 130,000 class members who purchased or leased 2019-2020 Acura RDX vehicles.  Additional information about the settlement and instructions on how to submit a claim for benefits can be found at www.infotainmentsettlement.com (to be launched shortly).

Honda Odyssey, Pilot and Passport Defective Infotainment System

Goldenberg Schneider has filed a putative class action alleging that Honda knowingly sold its 2018-2019 Honda Odyssey and 2019 Honda Pilot vehicles with defective infotainment systems. According to the lawsuit filed Mar. 22, 2019 in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, owners of the affected vehicles report that the infotainment system – an integrated in-vehicle communication, navigation and entertainment system – behaves erratically, malfunctioning, freezing, and creating a safety hazard and distraction. The defect can cause safety-related systems (including backup camera functions) to fail, and can create distracting random audio or video. The defect can also cause the entire center console to go black or blue while the vehicle is in motion, and cause navigation and other dashboard features to shut down completely while in use. The lawsuit alleges Honda breached its own warranty by simply replacing defective parts with equally defective parts, thereby leaving consumers caught in a cycle of use, malfunction, and replacement. 2019 Acura RDX vehicles appear to have the same infotainment system and suffer from the same defect.

The lawsuit against Honda seeks both monetary reimbursement for those who purchased or leased an affected Honda Odyssey or Pilot, and also seeks action from the court barring Honda from continuing to sell vehicles with the defective infotainment system. If you or anyone you know purchased or leased a Honda or Acura vehicle and would like additional information about your legal rights, we would be pleased to discuss the matter with you. You can contact the attorneys at Goldenberg Schneider, LPA, by calling 513-982-1569 or sending an email to [email protected].

Leaf Filter Class Action

On December 3, 2020, Goldenberg Schneider filed a nationwide class action lawsuit against LeafFilter North, LLC (“LeafFilter”) in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio. LeafFilter is the exclusive distributor of the LeafFilter gutter system, which is marketed as a “permanent solution to clogged gutters.” According to LeafFilter, the system is scientifically designed to keep everything out of your gutters except for water, thereby ending the hassle of cleaning gutters forever: “When our ladder goes up, yours goes down forever.” LeafFilter particularly targets elderly individuals who lack the physical ability to clean their own gutters and are at heightened risk of falling.

Plaintiff alleges that the LeafFilter system contains a defect that causes rainwater to overflow the LeafFilter system during moderate or heavy rains, damaging users’ homes, foundations, landscaping, sidewalks, and fascia. Plaintiff further alleges that contrary to LeafFilter’s representations, the system causes debris to accumulate on top of the LeafFilter system that must be cleaned to permit water to enter the gutters.

If you or anyone you know purchased LeafFilter system and would like additional information about your legal rights, we would be pleased to discuss the matter with you. You can contact the attorneys at Goldenberg Schneider, LPA, by calling 513-982-1569 or sending an email to [email protected].

Jeep Cherokee, Compass, And Renegade Oil Consumption Case

Goldenberg Schneider and Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro have filed a putative class action alleging that FCA US LLC (formerly known as Chrysler Group LLC) knowing sold hundreds of thousands of Jeep and Chrysler vehicles containing defective 2.4L Tigershark engines that improperly burn off and/or consume abnormally high amounts of oil. As a result of this defect, the vehicles shut down without warning during normal operation – placing the occupants and surrounding vehicles at an increased risk of serious injury and death.

FCA has long known about the defect, as hundreds of vehicle owners and lessees have reported instances of their vehicles shutting down without warning due to low oil levels and/or pressure. Rather than proactively alert vehicle owners and lessees about the defect, FCA has engaged in efforts to conceal the defect by describing the excessive oi consumption as “normal” in technical service bulletins issued to Jeep dealerships.

The lawsuit alleges that the following models contain the defective engines:

• 2015 – 2016 Chrysler 200;

• 2013 – 2016 Dodge Dart;

• 2016 – 2020 Fiat 500X;

• 2017 – 2020 Fiat Toro;

• 2014 – 2020 Jeep Cherokee;

• 2017 – 2020 Jeep Compass;

• 2015 – 2020 Jeep Renegade; and

• 2015 – 2020 Ram ProMaster City.

If you or anyone you know purchased or leased an affected vehicle and would like additional information about your legal rights, we would be pleased to discuss the matter with you. You can contact the attorneys at Goldenberg Schneider, LPA, by calling 513-982-1569 or sending an email to [email protected].

Luminox Watch Class Action

Goldenberg Schneider recently filed a class action lawsuit against Lumondi, dba Luminox Watch Company, in the United District Court for the Southern District of New York. Advertised as “The Official Watch of the Navy SEALs,” Lumondi markets Luminox watches to military service members, scuba divers, first responders, athletes and “rugged outdoorsmen” seeking “extreme performance” from their timepieces. However, the lawsuit alleges that Luminox watches contain a defect that causes their watch faces to fog when worn outdoors in either cold or hot temperatures. As a result of the fogging defect, Luminox watches exposed to outdoor temperatures below approximately 40 degrees Fahrenheit or above approximately 90 degrees Fahrenheit remain cloudy until the watches return to room temperature. Lumondi has acknowledged the fogging defect but shockingly defends it as being “normal.” The fog that forms underneath the watch face is not only unsightly, but can also render the watches substantially unreadable.

If you or anyone you know purchased a Luminox watch and would like additional information about your legal rights, we would be pleased to discuss the matter with you. You can contact the attorneys at Goldenberg Schneider, LPA, by calling 513-982-1569 or sending an email to [email protected].

Automotive Parts Antitrust Litigation

Goldenberg Schneider has joined forces with attorneys from Spector Roseman & Kodroff, PC, and others in prosecuting putative class actions against some of the largest suppliers of automotive parts alleging that they have engaged in a large-scale, decade-long conspiracy to unlawfully fix and artificially raise automotive part prices. These massive price-fixing class actions are being brought on behalf of direct purchasers who were overcharged for various kinds of automotive parts, including wire harness products, heater control panels, instrument panel clusters, fuel senders, occupant safety restraint system products, bearings, air conditioning systems, starters, windshield wiper systems, windshield washer systems, spark plugs, oxygen sensors, fuel injection systems, alternators, ignition coils, and power window motors.

All cases are pending before Judge Marianne Battani in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan in Detroit. See In re Automotive Parts Antitrust Litigation, Case No. 2:12-md-02311-MOB-MKM. Goldenberg Schneider and its fellow counsel representing the Direct Purchaser Plaintiffs have defeated all motions to dismiss filed to date in all product cases and reached settlements with four defendants totaling approximately $53 million. The U.S. Department of Justice, the Japan Fair Trade Commission, and the European Commission continue to investigate the Automotive Parts industry, and criminal fines levied total $2.5 billion to date, with thirty-five companies and twenty-nine executives having pleaded guilty or having agreed to plead guilty in the United States. You can contact the attorneys at Goldenberg Schneider, LPA, by calling 513-982-1569 or sending an email to [email protected].

STRS COLA Class Action

Goldenberg Schneider has joined forces with attorneys from Minnillo & Jenkins, Co., L.P.A. and Finney Law Firm, LLC and filed a putative class action against the Ohio State Teachers’ Retirement Board on behalf of all participants in the Ohio State Teachers’ Retirement System (“STRS”), alleging that changes made to cost-of-living adjustments (“COLA”) in 2017 violated state laws, the U.S. Constitution and the state constitution. In March 2017, the pension fund’s board reduced the COLA to zero from 2% effective July 1, 2017. The suit, filed May 23, 2019 in U.S. District Court in Cincinnati, alleges that the pension fund’s elimination of the COLA for all retirees in 2017 violated procedural and substantive due process, impaired their right of contract, and a violated the contracts clause and takings clause in both the U.S. and Ohio constitutions.

The case, Dennis v. State Teachers Retirement Board, No. 1:19-cv-00386-SJD, is currently pending before Judge Susan J. Dlott in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio. You can contact the attorneys at Goldenberg Schneider, LPA, by calling 513-982-1569 or sending an email to [email protected].

Ford Truck Fuel Economy Class Action

Goldenberg Schneider, working with co-counsel Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro, has filed a class-action lawsuit on behalf of all owners and lessors of 2018 and 2019 Ford F-150 trucks and 2019 Ford Ranger trucks, which accuses Ford of falsifying tests related to the fuel economy of the most popular vehicle in the world – the, Ford F-150. The lawsuit alleges that Ford deliberately miscalculated and misrepresented factors used in vehicle certification testing in order to report that its vehicles used less fuel and emitted less pollution than they actually do.

For instance, according to testing conducted by plaintiffs following EPA-mandated coastdown procedures, Ford has overstated the fuel economy in its F-150 trucks by 15 percent for highway mileage and 10 percent for city mileage. Assuming the lifetime of a truck is 150,000 miles, city driving would consume an extra 821 gallons over the lifetime of the truck, or at $2.79 national average fuel price, an extra $2,290 in fuel costs. The highway extra fuel (actual MPG compared to Ford’s reported MPG) is 968 gallons or $2,700.

The lawsuit seeks to recover damages related to the falsified fuel economy of affected Ford trucks, as well as injunctive relief halting Ford’s design, manufacture, marketing, sale and lease of the trucks. The suit also seeks punitive damages under certain laws for Ford’s alleged knowledge of its misrepresented fuel economy prior to sale of the trucks. The suit asserts claims for fraudulent concealment, negligent misrepresentation, deceptive trade practices, unjust enrichment, fraud, breach of warranty, false advertising and violation of dozens of state consumer-protection laws.

On August 1, 2019, the United States Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation transferred the lawsuit along with more than a dozen “tag-along” actions to the Eastern District of Michigan to be consolidated for pretrial proceedings before Judge Sean F. Cox. See In re Ford Motor Co. F-150 and Ranger Truck Fuel Economy Marketing and Sales Practices Litigation, MDL No. 2901.

If you or anyone you know purchased or leased an affected vehicle and would like additional information about your legal rights, we would be pleased to discuss the matter with you. You can contact the attorneys at Goldenberg Schneider, LPA, by calling 513-982-1569 or sending an email to [email protected].

Luxottica Data Breach Class Action

On January 12, 2021, federal district court judge Michael Barrett of the Southern District of Ohio tapped Jeffrey Goldenberg of Goldenberg Schneider to serve as co-interim liaison counsel in the consolidated multistate class action. In re Luxottica of America, Inc. Data Security Breach Litigation, S.D. Ohio 1:20-cv-00908-MRB. This litigation arises out of Luxottica’s alleged failure to exercise reasonable care to safeguard plaintiffs’ and absent class members’ personally identifiable information, including their protected health information. Despite the heightened risk for data breach vulnerabilities as a health care provider, Plaintiffs allege Luxottica did not have appropriate measures in place to protect against a breach. As a result, on or around August 5, 2020, Luxottica experienced a data breach that allowed unauthorized persons to access hundreds of thousands of patients’ personal information, including health insurance information, social security numbers, and medical conditions and history. Luxottica became aware of the breach on August 9, 2020, but did not inform its patients about the breach until October 28, 2020.

If you or anyone you know received a notification from Luxottica about this breach and would like additional information about your legal rights, we would be pleased to discuss the matter with you. You can contact the attorneys at Goldenberg Schneider, LPA, by calling 513-982-1569 or sending an email to [email protected].

Sportmix and Pro Pac Contaminated Pet Food Class Action

On January 13, 2021, Goldenberg Schneider filed the first nationwide class action lawsuit against Midwestern Pet Foods, Inc. (“Midwestern”) in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana. Midwestern is a manufacturer and seller of pet foods, including the Sportmix and Pro Pac brand pet foods.* Plaintiffs allege that despite its representations and express warranties regarding the safety and quality of these pet foods and the manufacturing processes used to create them, Midwestern sold dog and cat food containing dangerous levels of Aflatoxin, a toxin produced by the mold Aspergillus flavus. Aflatoxin can grow on corn and other grains used as ingredients in pet food. At high levels, aflatoxin can cause illness or death in pets. Pets with aflatoxin poisoning may experience symptoms such as sluggishness, loss of appetite, vomiting, jaundice (yellowish tint to the eyes, gums or skin due to liver damage), and/or diarrhea. In some cases, this toxicity can cause long-term liver issues and/or death. Some pets suffer liver damage without showing any symptoms.

On December 30, 2020, Midwestern announced a recall of certain lots of Sportmix products after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”) was alerted about reports of at least 28 dogs that died and eight that had fallen ill after consuming Sportmix products. The FDA now estimates at least 70 dogs have died and at least another 80 pets are believed to have become sick after consuming Sportmix products. According to the FDA, pet owners whose pets have been eating the recalled products should contact their veterinarians, especially if they are showing signs of illness.

If you or anyone you know purchased Sportmix pet food and would like additional information about your legal rights, we would be pleased to discuss the matter with you. You can contact the attorneys at Goldenberg Schneider, LPA, by calling 513-982-1569 or sending an email to [email protected].

*Sportmix brand pet foods include: Sportmix Premium Energy Plus dog food; Sportmix Premium High Energy dog food; Sportmix Premium Maintenance dog food; Sportmix Premium Stamina dog food; Sportmix Premium Puppy Small Bites; Sportmix Original High Protein dog food; Sportmix Original Bite Size dog food; Sportmix Gourmet Mix cat food; Sportmix Original cat food; Pro Pac Adult Mini Chunk; Pro Pac Performance Puppy; Splash Fat Cat 32%; Nunn Better Maintenance; Sportmix Original Cat; Sportmix Maintenance; Sportmix High Protein; Sportmix Energy Plus; Sportmix Stamina; Sportmix High Energy; Sportmix High Energy; Sportmix Premium Puppy; Pro Pac Adult Mini Chunk dog food; Pro Pac Performance Puppy; Nunn Better Maintenance dog food; and Sportmix Bite Size.

 

 

 

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