Archive for the ‘Consumer Protection’ Category

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WHAT HAPPENED – XBOXs were created with (at least one) mechanical fallacy that ended breaking the system without warning.  Plaintiffs (*cough* NERDS) filed a class action lawsuit in California against XBOX because of this defect.  The California Court hearing this issue denied the Plaintiff’s right to proceed with a class action lawsuit on grounds that the class and case was not suitable for class action status.  As is common in California, the plaintiff’s stipulated to a dismissal of their suit, appealed the denial of class certification and won.

WHY IS THIS BEFORE THE SUPREME COURT:  The State of California is the Chekov’s gun on this case brief, as the practice of dismissing a class action suit and appealing it subsequent to that dismissal is a procedure that is only done in California, as the Federal Rules require a different procedure in order to appeal this decision.  The issue here is whether or not the Supreme Court is down with that procedure or not.

WHAT ARE THE RAMIFICATIONS:  Allowing this procedure to pass would create two possible scenarios, one being specific to this case, and the other being more general.  First, saying that this procedure is OK would allow an unwritten, contrary rule to be written in the Rules of Federal Procedure.  Considering that the Supreme Court usually does that on their own, good money says that they are not OK with goddamn liberal Californians making their own rules.  More broadly speaking, this case could allow individual jurisdictions to make their own rules all the time, which also is probably not what the Supreme Court wants to do either.

ROOT FOR MICROSOFT IF: you want that extra class action money going toward more HALO sequels.

ROOT FOR BAKER IF:  the Rules of Civil Procedure were made to be broken.

PREDICTION:  Microsoft 9-0

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Last week, Jalopnik.com nicely summarized what’s going on with the Volkswagen  US emissions cheating scandal, not be confused with the Mitsubishi Japanese emissions cheating scandal. The short of it is that the car manufacturers programmed the computers to output a false set of numbers when attached to an emissions testing machine. They did this for many years. And the real numbers were above those permitted by the law.

It bugged me that, initially, this was blamed on a few engineers. The uppest management tried to make those engineers into scapegoats. This bugged me because I couldn’t believe that this kind of operation could have gone on without some degree of consent from uppest management. Then, about two weeks ago, charges against an engineer were announced. I’m relatively confident that some engineers probably should go to prison over this: the total amount of emissions that were allowed by this gambit were dramatically higher than those permitted by law. And this is the kind of stuff that literally kills people who have breathing problems. But I sincerely hope this is just one guy they will flip so that they can go after the folks that gave the go-ahead. Otherwise, well, I’d be irritated.

Buying Lawsuits Can Be Confusing

Posted: August 24, 2016 by Nazim in Consumer Protection

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How to simplify this snake-eating-its-own-tail legal paradox? Well, it starts like this: a debt collector sued a consumer and obtained default judgment because the consumer didn’t show up in time. The consumer then sued the debt collector because the initial lawsuit didn’t comply with the relevant federal law.  While that second lawsuit was going on, the judgment of the first lawsuit was enforced by auctioning off the consumer’s things, including the rights to recover under the second lawsuit. Confused yet? It gets worse: the debt collector bought those rights. That’s right, the debt company bought the right to sue itself for about $250 (it was the only bidder). Luckily, a well-known attorney is stepping in to make sure the very purpose of the federal consumer protection law isn’t circumvented by some random state procedure.

Details at the Consumerist.