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Represented by Park Avenue Tower. Represented by Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Rosen, PLLC. Represented by Law Offices of Mark L. Represented by Law Offices of Andrews and Kurth. Represented by 17th St. Represented by braunerbaron. Represented by onslaw. Represented by Town Of Brookhaven. Represented by United States Department of Justice. Latest Next Previous Earliest Since this appears to be a very large docket, we will only show entries at at time.
Bonnie Alison Tucker. Edward S. Sigmund S. Eugene I. Marc E. Irving H. Picard, Esq. Madoff , Plaintiff. Timothy S. Picard, Trustee for the Liquidation of Bernard L. Jessica G. Jil Mazer-Marino. Securities Investor Protection Corporation , Plaintiff. Kevin H. Josephine Wang. Tronox Incorporated , Plaintiff. Jonathan S. Abbey National Securities , Defendant. Abbey National Securities. Access International Advisors Ltd. Access Management Luxembourg SA. David Steve Mordkoff. Stephen Leonard Ratner.
American Enterprise Investment Services , Defendant. American Enterprise Investment Services. Bank of Bermuda, Limited , Defendant. Bank of Nova Scotia Tax , Defendant. Picower and the Picower Foundation , Defendant. Marcy R. Barclays Capital Inc. Bear Sterns Securities Corp.
Bloom Asset Holdings Fund , Defendant. Bloom Asset Holdings Fund. Brown Brothers Harriman , Defendant. Cantor Clearing Services , Defendant. Chester Global Strategy Fund , Defendant. Chester Global Strategy Fund Limited. Chester Management cayman Limited , Defendant. Chester Management Cayman Limited.
Claudine Magon de la Villehuchet. Bank of Kansas , Defendant. Corina Noel Piedrahita , Defendant. Crowell Weedon and Co. Omnibus Account , Defendant. Omnibus Account. Carl W. Phoebe A. David A. Matthew M. David R. Johnsen and Amalia G. Johnsen , Defendant Officially listed as "David R. Johnsen JT TenWros ". Denis Patrick Kelleher, Jr. Deutsche Bank Securities, Inc.
David H. Fairfield Greenwich Advisors Llc , Defendant. Fairfield Greenwich Fund. Fairfield Greenwich Limited , Defendant. Fairfield Greenwich Limited. Fairfield International Managers, Inc. Fairfield Investment Fund Limited , Defendant. Fairfield Investment Fund Ltd. Fairfield Investment Trust , Defendant. Fairfield Investment Trust. Fairfield Lambda Limited , Defendant. Fairfield Sentry Limited , Defendant. Fairfield Sigma Limited , Defendant. Fiduciary-State Street Bank , Defendant.
Fiduciary-State Street Bank. Fidulex Management Inc. Herbert M Wachtell. HMWachtell wlrk. Folio FN Investments, Inc. Greenwich Bermuda Limited , Defendant. Greenwich Bermuda Limited. Greenwich Sentry Partners, L. Greenwich Sentry, L.
Groupement Financier Ltd. Gulf Stream Marketing Inc. Hassans International Law Firm , Defendant. Hassans International Law Firm. Herald Asset Management Ltd. International Brokerage Retail Equity , Defendant. International Brokerage Retail Equity. Irongate Global Strategy Fund Limited. Jeffry M. Picower, individually and as trustee for the Picower Foundation , Defendant. KeyBank, National Association. Kingate Euro Fund, Ltd. Kingate Global Fund, Ltd. Mcmaster-carr Supply Company , Defendant.
Louis Thomas Delucia. Matthew J Aaronson. National Financial Services, Inc. Natixis Financial Products, Inc. Northern Trust Company , Defendant. Northern Trust Corporation , Defendant. Matthew L. Ohio Carpenters MidCap , Defendant. Option Express, Inc. Pioneer Global Asset Management, S. Plaza Investments International Limited , Defendant. Plaza Investments International Limited.
Primevest Financial Services , Defendant. Primevest Financial Services. Richard Landsberger , Defendant. Rickert C. Henriksen and Zheyla M.
Henriksen Community Property , Defendant. Henriksen Community Property. Robert W. Sacramento Employees Retirement System Russell. Sentry Select Limited , Defendant. Southwest Securities, Inc. State Street Bank-Trust Custody. SunTrust Bank, Inc. Swiss American Securities , Defendant. TD Ameritrade Clearing, Inc. TD Waterhouse Canada , Defendant. The Anti-Cruelty Society , Defendant.
The Fifth Third Bank , Defendant. Michael Paul Richman. Track Data Corporation , Defendant. Transferees of Abbey National Securities , Defendant. Transferees of Abbey National Securities. Transferees of Amalgamated Bank , Defendant.
Transferees of American Enterprise Investment Services. Transferees of Bank of Tokyo Mitsubishi. Transferees of Bank of Tokyo Mitsubishi , Defendant. Transferees of Brown Brothers Harriman , Defendant. Transferees of Brown Brothers Harriman. Transferees of Calyon Securities.
Transferees of Cantor Clearing Services , Defendant. Transferees of Cantor Clearing Services. Transferees of Comm. Bank of Kansas. Transferees of D. Transferees of Edward D. Jones , Defendant. Transferees of Ferris, Baker Watts , Defendant. Transferees of Ferris, Baker Watts. Transferees of Fiduciary State Street Bank. Transferees of International Brokerage Retail Equity. Transferees of Keybank National Association , Defendant. Transferees of Keybank National Association.
Transferees of National City Bank , Defendant. Transferees Of National Financial Services. This protection is not available when you make a payment with a check, money order, or cash. There are many legitimate sellers of travel that provide great deals on the Internet, but if an offer seems too good to be true, it probably is. They must clearly display their registration number in all advertising materials.
Do not deal with unregistered travel companies. While registration does not mean that the seller is reputable, you should avoid any seller who has not adopted the safeguards required by law to protect your payments.
Taking money without delivering goods or services that are promised can be a crime. If you believe you have been a victim of a crime, call your local police agency. If your travel seller's main place of business is in California, and under certain other circumstances, you may be entitled to make a claim for restitution from the Travel Consumer Restitution Fund. March 27, A car dealership in Orange, New Jersey has settled charges with the state that it falsified consumer credit ratings on loan applications.
The dealer, Compass Dodge, Inc. The dealership's future business practices must conform to state laws and regulations related to used motor vehicle sales and advertising. Under the Consent Order, Compass Dodge agreed not to misrepresent consumer credit information when submitting such information to lending institutions for the purpose of securing financing for motor vehicle purchases.
Compass Dodge also agreed to modify its advertising practices to ensure compliance with all disclosure requirements. Falsified mortgage applications led to many home loans that should never have been made, helping set up the recent mortgage meltdown.
Some auto industry insiders have warned that similar practices in the auto industry could result in similar problems. Accurate consumer credit information ensures that buyers don't get in over their heads and obtain loans that they cannot afford," said David Szuchman, Consumer Affairs Director. During the next three years, the Division will forward any consumer complaints received about Compass Dodge to the dealership for its handling.
The Division must be informed of how each complaint is resolved. Compass Dodge agreed to submit consumer complaints that it cannot resolve to binding arbitration. In the wake of a massive recall of food products containing peanuts, the Georgia Nut Company says its recalling certain bulk wholesale and retail products containing shelled pistachio nuts for the same reason as the peanut recall — they have the potential to be contaminated with the Salmonella organism.
The company said it identified the potential as a result of a rigorous sampling and testing regimen it conducted with respect to shelled pistachios provided by a third-party supplier. The company did not name that supplier, but did note that the recall is "not in any way related to the recent recall of peanut and peanut butter products. The salmonella outbreak linked to peanuts has killed at least nine people and sickened more than others.
The outbreak was linked to Peanut Corporation of America's Georgia processing plant. Mixed Nuts Deluxe Roasted and Salted Bulk with shelled pistachios purchased from clear plastic bulk bins in the produce department at Dominick's Finer Foods stores in the greater Chicagoland area from Dec.
The company said it had not received any reports of illness linked to these products, and the action is only being taken as a precautionary measure. The company said consumers should not consume the recalled product. Customers are urged to return any amount of product in their possession to the place of purchase for a replacement or refund. Georgia Nut Company has established a hour consumer information line at and a Web site at www.
Two advocacy groups are calling on the Obama Administration to move swiftly to address food safety issues, that have resulted in a number of high-profile foodborne illness outbreaks in the last two years.
Department of Health and Human Services HHS , which examines problems with the current system, which they call "fragmented and antiquated. Its current structure actually prevents the kind of coordinated, focused effort that Americans need more than ever and have a right to expect. The report calls for the immediate. Currently, no FDA official whose full-time job is food safety has line authority over all food safety functions. A speedy effort by the Obama administration to consolidate leadership within FDA, followed by Congressional action to create a separate Food Safety Administration, would both ensure immediate progress on food safety and create a platform for long-term success in reducing foodborne illness, the report notes.
And we shouldn't have to wait until people become sick to learn about food safety problems. We need modern, comprehensive ways of preventing and detecting problems before food gets to the table. Approximately 80 percent of the food supply is regulated by FDA — including millions of food producers, processors, transporters, storage facilities, grocery stores, and restaurants — and the vast majority of known foodborne illnesses are associated with products regulated by FDA.
Some recent problems associated with products regulated by FDA include the Salmonella outbreak in peanut butter and peanut butter products; potential imports of the melamine-contaminated infant formula and related diary products in China; the Salmonella outbreak in peppers; and a Salmonella outbreak from imported cantaloupes. Some key problems with the current structure of food safety programs at HHS, identified in the report, include:.
FDA's three major food safety components are managed separately, hampering efforts to effectively prevent disease outbreaks. Current laws and practices are antiquated. Existing laws date back to and , and policies are disproportionately focused on monitoring food after it has been produced, instead of trying to prevent and detect problems throughout the entire production process. And there is no system in place to keep inspection practices up-to-date with the constantly modernizing food production technologies and practices.
While the U. Government Accountability Office reports the turnover rate in FDA science staff in key areas, including food safety, is twice that of other government agencies. Only one percent of imported foods are currently inspected, even though approximately 60 percent of fresh fruits and vegetables and 75 percent of seafood Americans consume is imported.
Department of Agriculture. A proposed settlement has been reached in a case alleging a manufacturing defect in certain tablets of Paxil, the popular antidepressant drug manufactured by GlaxoSmithKline GSK.
The suit alleges that Paxil "controlled release" CR tablets made between April 1, and March 4, , contained a manufacturing defect that caused them to split apart.
Two medications — Paxil and Avandamet, a diabetes medication — were being produced at the facilities. Although the investigation didnt conclusively show that anyone had been harmed by the pills, the FDA said the burden was on the manufacturer to ensure that the medication was safe. The FDA had originally discovered the problem at the Puerto Rico plant in February , and the problem continued despite repeated warnings and inspections.
Paxil CR is a "controlled-release" version of the antidepressant, meaning that it releases medication slowly and evenly, in an attempt to deliver more consistent effects throughout the day. However, the CR version has not been compared to standard Paxil in lab tests, and some believe that any added benefits are negligible at best.
Split pills make it harder for patients to accurately estimate doses, and can render the "enteric coating," which controls the medication's time and rate of release, inactive. More importantly, the medically effective ingredients tend to remain in only one side of the pill after the split, making the other half comparable to a placebo.
Taking a pill containing no medication could cause immediate withdrawal symptoms, as Paxil stays in the bloodstream for a shorter time than most other popular antidepressants. Under the settlement, GSK denies liability and all of the claims in the lawsuit.
For a pill to be "defective" under the settlement, it must have split before it was removed from the container. Potential class members who want to recover should fill out a claim form, available at the settlement Web site. Class members can also choose to exclude themselves from the settlement or object to its terms, but must do so by May 15 and July 1, respectively. A final approval hearing will be held on July 10, A federal court in New York has given the green light to a class action alleging that Best Buy violated its "price match" guarantee.
Under the policy, the store guarantees consumers that it will match lower prices offered by local retail competitors. The lawsuit alleges, however, that Best Buy created an "anti-price-matching policy. The suit, led by plaintiff Thomas Jermyn, describes the electronics chain's brazen effort to encourage employees to "build a case against the price match. An internal Best Buy memo, titled "Competition Insider Template," tells employees that the price match is disfavored and to be avoided whenever possible.
The October memo sets forth the Best Buy policy that, when a customer presents a lower price from a competitor, "[w]e attempt to build a case against the price match. Trust me, I've done it too. The memo gives employees a number of ways to convince customers that the policy doesn't apply to their purchase: the model numbers are different, the item isn't in stock at the competing store, the quoted price is from a warehouse and thus subject to membership fees , or the competitor is "across town," just to name a few.
According to the suit, however, none of these purported exceptions to the policy are spelled out in its terms. Indeed, Best Buy's website promises consumers that, if they find a lower price elsewhere, "let us know and we'll match that price on the spot. The suit is also bolstered by claims from Juan Ortiz, a former supervisor at three Best Buy stores in Connecticut.
According to Ortiz, the store rejected over bona fide price-match claims every week. In his order approving class certification, the judge also noted that, "Best Buy's own records reveal that the price match guarantee was applied inconsistently and 60 percent of customer requests to match warehouse club prices are wrongly denied. However, when pressed, the company conceded that there is no set price limit on the guarantee.
Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal, who already has one suit pending against Best Buy, announced Monday that he may file another suit related to the price-matching scheme. Blumenthal's existing suit alleges that Best Buy maintained a separate website at in-store kiosks, in an attempt to deceive customers.
The website looked like the company's standard page at BestBuy. When consumers clicked through to the store "Intranet" and found higher prices than they did on BestBuy. The string of allegations could harm Best Buy at a time it appears to be riding high in the industry. Despite the dismal economy, Best Buy was the prime beneficiary of Circuit City's recent bankruptcy, and is now arguably the biggest player in consumer electronics.
To stay on top, however, they will need to show that they aren't using their formidable position to manipulate consumers. It might sound like a rerun but the federal government says that this time it really, really has figured out how to help taxpayers make the transition to digital over-the-air television. With the once-postponed June 12 deadline for the nationwide conversion to digital TV approaching, the program has now started to accept replacement requests from eligible households whose coupons expired without being redeemed.
The reason for that, in many cases, was that they were mailed out after their expiration date but that little fact wasn't noted in the government's latest self-congratulatorily effusive announcement. Of course, it's not good news for consumers who have already made the conversion and are finding that they can no longer receive the stations they've come to depend on. We always had great free TV. Only ever needed an indoor antenna, got plenty of channels," said Chris of Cairnbrook, Pa.
We get only 3 channels and they are either non-viewable with checkerboard appearance and intermittent freezing and no sound, or no signal at all. We don't get cable up this mountain. Thanks a lot for taking away another piece of our life. You're on a roll now. Then there are those for whom the government's belated attempt to get organized simply comes too late. Jean of Reno, Nev. If an eligible household has redeemed one coupon toward the purchase of a TV converter box and the other coupon has expired, then it will be approved for a single replacement coupon, Gomez said.
Consumers may apply for replacement coupons by calling DTV , mailing an application to P. Deaf or hard of hearing callers may use TTY. NTIA also claims that the coupon program has eliminated its waiting list and is processing all coupon requests as they come in with a maximum nine-business day turnaround time.
On January 4, , the coupon program ran out of money and placed incoming coupon requests on a waiting list, to be fulfilled as previously issued coupons expired. I urge all consumers who are still unprepared for the transition to act today to get their converter boxes and resolve any technical issues well ahead of the June 12 deadline, Gomez said, placing the blame for being "unprepared" on citizens whose pleas for help have often been ignored by their government.
Consumers can receive digital television today by purchasing and connecting a TV converter box with or without a government coupon ; buying a digital TV; or subscribing to cable, satellite or another pay service. Consumers who currently have coupons in hand should use them immediately. The coupons may not be used as a rebate and must be presented to the retailer at the time of purchase. The DTV Delay Act established June 12, , as the final date by which all full-power television stations in the country will be required to shut down analog broadcasts.
However, some stations and entire markets may choose to switch before then. The Federal Communications Commission says that of the nation's nearly 1, full-power televisions stations, a total of stations 36 percent-- terminated their analog signals as of February 17, The case was heard in New Jersey and parties are still wrapping up various items on the docket, but now a Washington state litigant is charging that the company illegally destroyed thousands of samples of food, potentially leaving him without evidence to pursue his claim.
During discovery for the New Jersey suit, the defendants collected thousands of cases of pet food — both recalled and non-recalled — in their warehouse. In December , the defendants claimed that preserving all of these samples was an unnecessary waste of time and money. The court agreed, and allowed the defendants to destroy all but units of recalled pet food. Relying on a research model compiled by their expert, a Purdue statistics professor, the defendants claimed that these units would provide sufficient evidence for any future suits relating to the recalled food.
The courts order allowed the destruction of all other unorganized product, including food not implicated in the New Jersey recall but directly related to at least two other suits pending at the time. Donald Earl, a plaintiff in a Washington state suit against defendants Menu Foods and the Kroger supermarket chain, filed a motion objecting to the orders in January Earls suit involved cake style cat food, which does not contain gluten and was not implicated in the March recall.
Laboratory tests of Earls food showed that it was contaminated with acetaminophen and cyanuric acid, nitrogen-based chemicals often used to artificially boost a foods apparent protein content. Neither chemical was discovered in the recalled food. Earls objection says that the defendants are highly motivated to destroy as much evidence as possible, to limit liability outside the recall period, as well as to avoid possible criminal prosecutions for violations of the Food, Drug, and Cosmetics Act.
In his pleadings, Earl contends that the defendants grossly exaggerated the time and money it would take to organize and store all of the samples, and points out that it was defendants own lack of care which created the burden in the first place.
Moreover, Earl asserts that he did not receive notice of the evidence-destruction agreement until January , a full month after the court approved the plan. Despite his allegations, the court dismissed Earls objection without comment in February Earl also filed a motion in Washington state court, where his own suit was pending.
That court rejected his claim in February Menu accuses Earl of pursu[ing] a protracted campaign of baseless appeals and of whipping up scurrilous allegations of misconduct against Menu Foods counsel.
Undeterred, Earl filed a second objection and motion to intervene in January Earl again claimed that the now-destroyed evidence was crucial to his own suit, and that he was substantially prejudiced by its disposal. Earls motion also alleged that Menu was well aware of the relevance of the non-recalled pet food when it asked for permission to destroy it.
The companys first quarter financial filing specifically stated that several lawsuits were pending in North America, and that the U. The company noted that additional actions or investigations may arise in the future. Moreover, Menu was served with a summons in Earls Washington action in July , months before they filed their New Jersey motion to destroy evidence. Earls objection asserts that [a]n order permitting destruction of evidence is contrary to rule and law, is void, and must be vacated.
The New Jersey Rules of Professional Conduct, based on national ethics standards for attorneys, forbids a lawyer from altering or destroying a document having potential evidentiary value. Earls motion points out that while the unorganized product is no longer relevant to the New Jersey case, it is directly material to his own suit.
In a two-page order issued in February, Judge Noel Hillman denied Earls motion to intervene, holding that Earl has not demonstrated that he has an interest in the unorganized inventory requiring that this Court vacate its prior orders regarding that inventory. Model Rule of Professional Conduct 3. Earl correctly notes in his objection that there is little case law relating to motions to destroy evidence, presumably because the overwhelming majority of practicing attorneys would prefer not to put their licenses at risk by filing such a motion in violation of the rule.
However, most courts have adopted the rule that a party to a suit has the duty to preserve evidence when she is on notice of potential litigation. A landmark case in this area is Fire Insurance Exchange v. There, an insurer sued a TV manufacturer, claiming that a faulty set was the cause of the insureds house fire.
The insurance company had not saved the TV, however, and the court dismissed the case. The court ruled that there is a duty to preserve evidence even when an action has not been commenced and there is only a potential for litigation. With regard to Menus actions, the affected suit was more than potential — it had been occurring for some time. The company received notice of Earls lawsuit nearly six months before it filed its request to destroy evidence.
The companys actions also have the potential to adversely affect another class action suit. Blaszkowski v. Mars, filed in Florida in May , alleges that several brands of pet food — including some made by Menu — contained ground up roadkill, blood, hair, and euthanized animals, among other items.
The destroyed evidence from the New Jersey suit would likely have been directly material to this action as well. The court undoubtedly had broad discretion to limit the amount of material produced during discovery, given the potentially vast amounts of possibly contaminated food.
But Earl claims that it was another matter entirely for the court to order destruction of already-produced evidence, especially when it was potentially useful — and perhaps even critical — in at least two other cases involving a common defendant. Indeed, Earl contended that the evidence was unique and irreplaceable. In any event, the courts have sided decisively with the pet food manufacturers, and there is no evidence that they will change their minds anytime soon.
The call to reform the most abusive and restrictive practices of the credit card industry was once again heard on Capitol Hill yesterday, as two separate hearings emphasized both the need for more oversight and new legislation to protect consumers. The Senate Judiciary Committee convened a hearing over S. The bill would, if made law, amend a portion of the bankruptcy legislation to enable consumers to divest a portion of their debt in bankruptcy.
Under the terms of the Act, if a filer's consumer debt threshold — including credit card debt, payday loans, or other debts — exceeded 15 percent plus current rates on year Treasury bonds, they could have it liquidated in bankruptcy. The Act would also exempt filers with debt levels above the threshold from the "means test" mandated by the new bankruptcy law. In substance, it gives the companies the right to raise interest rates for almost any reason, and in some cases no reason at all.
The committee heard testimony from Douglas Corey, a Bank of America customer who had been paying his card debt on time for years, until he accidentally paid less than his normal minimum payment in August That triggered a spiral of rate increases and penalty fees that threatened to bury Corey under even more debt.
The following month, I was laid off from my sales representative position of seven years. Corey's debt troubles increased to the point where he was missing payments on his mortgage, but, he said, he struggled to keep current on his loans. Whitehouse introduced the Act in the previous session of Congress, but no action was taken on it. The House of Representatives passed the "Credit Cardholder's Bill of Rights" last year, but that bill did not come to the Senate for consideration.
The House Financial Services Committee is expected to act on credit card legislation next week. Meanwhile, the House Subcommittee on Commerce, Trade, and Consumer Protection grilled new Federal Trade Commission FTC chairman Jon Leibowitz for what they perceived as the agency's failure to aggressively protect consumers from unscrupulous lending and punitive fees.
Henry Waxman D-CA , who said the opposition to regulation led to failures to protect citizens from tainted pet food to predatory mortgage lenders. Leibowitz agreed, but said that his agency was often constrained by both its small numbers and lack of enforcement authority, as well as an inability to keep up with quickly evolving problems.
As is clear from recent experience, markets for financial services are complex and dynamic, changing in response to developments in the economy, technology, the law, and many other factors," Liebowitz said.
Leibowitz recommended that Congress authorize it to use calls for public comment and rulemakings to declare certain business practices unethical, and to invest in the agency more enforcement power to obtain civil penalties against lawbreakers in federal court.
The suit alleges Petland and the Hunte Corporation deceived thousands of pet owners nationwide by falsely claiming their puppies came from reputable breeders when most were from commercial breeding operations called puppy mills. Petland has approximately stores in 31 states and is the country's largest retail chain that sells puppies. The Hunte Corporation calls itself the "world's leading licensed distributor of pure-bred puppies" to select pet stores.
The action alleges Petland and the Hunte Corporation violated federal law and various state consumer protection laws by misrepresenting that the puppies sold in Petland stores are "the finest available" and come from reputable breeders, when the puppies actually come from puppy mills, and are bred and raised in unsafe and unsanitary conditions.
Puppy mills are commercial breeding operations that experts say churn out two to four million puppies each year. Puppy mill puppies often have health problems, genetic defects, and behavioral issues, according the lawsuit. The class action lawsuit describes several cases in which Petland sold sick and dying puppies — many of which came from puppy mills — to consumers nationwide, including the six plaintiffs in the case.
Petland also requires each of its stores — which are either owned by the corporation or operated as a franchise — to buy their puppies from suppliers the company has approved.
Petland and the Hunte Corporation denied what they called the "false and baseless" allegations in the class action lawsuit. This is a continuing public relations campaign to smear the good name of Petland and to increase HSUS donations by utilizing sensationalized media and legal attacks. Petland said at least two veterinarians certify that all its puppies are healthy, and that the company stores meet or exceed all state and federal requirements related to the health of each of the puppies it sells.
Rook said that puppies come into their only after it receives a complete health evaluation, and that most pet stores also have their own veterinarians examine the puppies upon arrival. Meanwhile, Petland downplayed the complaints received from consumers, saying puppies, like babies, sometimes get sick. The veterinarians certify these puppies' health. Petland's warranty also protects puppies against congenital and hereditary disorders for up to a year after purchase, Clever said.
Consumers who have complaints about their puppy's health should immediately contact their local Petland store, Clever said. She did not, however, say what consumers should do if the Petland store where they purchased their puppy goes out of business or if the corporate office does not respond to inquiries.
The class action lawsuit comes on the heels of an eight-month investigation by the HSUS , which revealed most of Petland's puppies came from puppy mills. Since news of the class action lawsuit has spread, the HSUS said it has received hundreds of calls from heartbroken pet owners. One reader even wrote in claiming that Petland employees mistreat animals. For example:. On each visit we were told by a Petland employee how all the puppies were breed by top breeders and guaranteed to be free of any major illnesses or deformities.
When our puppy, Hans, was approaching his first birthday we noticed he was not using his one of his back legs as before. After having him examined by the veterinarian, we were told Hans had a very serious problem with his hip. Consequently, due to the increasing pain and limitations, Hans had to undergo a femoral head and neck ostectomy FHO. The surgery was very painful for Hans, and very expensive. Hans is currently undergoing physical therapy. In addition, the surgeon informed us that he was confident that Hans had Legg's Perthes Disease.
This is a disease our healthy puppy had when we purchased him. We attempted to contact Petland in Murfreesboro, but the store went out of business. We have contacted the cooperate office, with no response. We do not wish to return our puppy. We love him and consider him a part of our family. Because of the Petland guarantee, we expect the company to reimburse us for medical cost. Also, it is very disturbing to know this company continues to sell sick puppies.
We have tried to find the breeder, with no luck;". We went to their Petland's recommended vet in Cedar Park, which did nothing for us. Then we found out our puppy had a hernia operation during the time she was at Petland Surgery would cost thousands, and after that, she still may not get better.
This dog has had reoccurring ear infections as well as anal gland issuesthe dog also has food aggression, which is very uncommon to this breed. We also spoke with professional breeders of this breed and they determined she is not a pure breed Cavalier King Charles due to her long nose and size plus features.
We love this dog so much and don't blame her for Petland's greedy business tactics. I feel this company needs to be shut down. I am aware of the fact that they keep rat poisoning out to punish any animal that gets out of his or her cage. I am also aware of the fact that the dogs mostly come from puppy mills which is no surprise.
I have heard from my friend that when the puppies come in they are dirty and they all have ear mites and worms. Some have fleas that are so bad the dogs are bleeding. However, they do test for medical problems by their vet and kill the ones that aren't accepted rather than to just give them away to a good home. The class action lawsuit seeks to end what it calls the misleading practices by Petland and The Hunte Corporation — and to recover monies for consumers nationwide "victimized" by what the plaintiffs call the companies' unscrupulous conduct.
Consumers who have purchased a sick puppy from Petland since November 20, , can join the class action lawsuit. Attorneys for the HSUS are serving as counsel to the three private laws firms that represent the plaintiffs in this case. Health advocates have long cautioned consumers about eating too much red meat.
Now a new research study may add more fuel on the fire. A report in the March 23 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine says people who eat more red meat and processed meat appear to have a modestly increased risk of death from all causes and also from cancer or heart disease over a year period. In contrast, a higher intake of white meat appeared to be associated with a slightly decreased risk for overall death and cancer death.
Rashmi Sinha, Ph. Participants, who were between 50 and 71 years old when the study began in , provided demographic information and completed a food frequency questionnaire to estimate their intake of white, red and processed meats.
During the follow-up period, 47, men and 23, women died. The one-fifth of men and women who ate the most red meat - a median or midpoint of When comparing the one-fifth of participants who ate the most white meat to the one-fifth who ate the least white meat, those with high white meat intake had a slightly lower risk for total death, death from cancer and death from causes other than heart disease or cancer. For women eating processed meat at the first quintile level, the decrease in cardiovascular disease mortality was approximately 20 percent.
There are several mechanisms by which meat may be associated with death, the authors note. Cancer-causing compounds are formed during high-temperature cooking of meat.
Meat also is a major source of saturated fat, which has been associated with breast and colorectal cancer. In addition, lower meat intake has been linked to a reduction in risk factors for heart disease, including lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Trouble paying health plan premiums and difficulty affording out-of-pocket expenses for medications aren't just problems of the uninsured anymore.
They're also concerns for families with private insurance, according to the C. But we wondered whether children with private insurance are also vulnerable," said Matthew Davis, M. Seventy-nine percent of these parents were concerned about the out of pocket costs; 74 percent were concerned about the costs of the deductible; and 73 percent were concerned about premiums.
That may spell trouble for kids in terms of getting care in a timely way and for health care institutions that depend on people seeking care to stay in business," Davis said. Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal is investigating the business practices and questionable science associated with Acai berry products -- primarily pitched by Internet-based companies as a wonder treatment for weight-loss.
Blumenthal's office has received numerous consumer complaints related to Acai berry purchases, and is investigating with other states. There is no competent scientific research that demonstrates any of the claimed effects of Acai berry, including weight loss, detoxification and increased energy and vitality, Blumenthal said.
Blumenthal said various companies selling Acai berry products -- in addition to bogus weight loss claims -- have improperly charged consumer credit cards.
Even worse, some consumers never even receive the product within the trial period -- making it impossible to try the product before deciding whether to cancel. That's what happened to Robin of Covington, Ga. It took 2 weeks to get the bottle.
That's their SCAM.. It's hard to cancel when you haven't received the product! These claims are based on folklore, traditional remedies and outright fabrications -- unproven by real scientific evidence.
We will investigate these allegedly misleading or deceptive nutrition and health claims and take action under our consumer protection statutes -- as we have done with other food products.
As problematic as the berries are the bills. These false celebrity endorsements and fake blogs show the dark side of online marketing. David Schardt, senior nutritionist for Center for Science in the Public Interest, said, "If Bernard Madoff were in the food business, he'd be offering 'free' trials of aai-based weight-loss products.
Law enforcement has yet to catch up to these rogue operators. Until they do, consumers have to protect themselves. Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum is suing a Miami company and its owner on charges the company is engaged in foreclosure rescue fraud.
According to the lawsuit, Lincoln Lending Services, LLC targeted Hispanics facing foreclosure and charged up-front fees for loan modification services — both in violation of the Foreclosure Rescue Fraud Prevention Act, according to the state. According to consumer complaints, Lincoln Lending advertised for mortgage foreclosure assistance and rescue services. The forensic analysis fee was allegedly created to circumvent the new law, which was created last year, the state maintains.
Lincoln's business of offering legal services, directly or indirectly, constitutes the unauthorized practice of law and violates FS The lawsuit asks the Court to issue a temporary injunction against the company while litigation continues. It also seeks consumer restitution and ultimately a permanent injunction prohibiting the company and its owner, Rita Gomez, from engaging in similar business practices.
March 23, Attorney General Edmund G. To stop the companies' illegal practices and provide restitution to those who were victimized, Brown and the CSLB reached a settlement with:. The defendants operated various service and repair companies that employed electricians, plumbers, and heating and air-conditioning technicians in Southern California, the San Francisco Bay Area, and the Sacramento region.
These companies routinely targeted elderly Californians. Title to these vehicles and real property were seized by the Attorney General's Office last year and will be released as a result of the settlement. The company placed millions of dollars in telephone directory advertising, including many full-page ads. When customers called the numbers listed in any of the ads, they would be directed to a central call center. Much of the work was poorly done or never completed.
This requires technicians to undergo a criminal background check;. If you think you have been the victim of fraud by this company and its affiliates, please contact the Contractors State License Board at CSLB and press 7. The agency claims QVC, one of the worlds largest multimedia retailers, violated a FTC order barring it from making deceptive claims for dietary supplements.
According to the commission, QVC aired approximately programs in which false and unsubstantiated claims were made about For Women Only weight-loss pills; Lite Bites weight-loss food bars and shakes; and Bee-Alive Royal Jelly energy supplements. In addition, the settlement expands the prior FTC order and further bars QVC from making unsubstantiated claims that any drug or cosmetic eliminates or reduces a users cellulite.
Simply put, we arent going to let QVC get away with this. The company is responsible for the product claims made on its programs, and we expect that going forward, QVC will do a better job for its audience and make sure that its programs are truthful and not deceptive.
But a new pricing system implemented by many U. Health insurance companies are rapidly adopting this new system, commonly called Tier IV, for many of the expensive drugs used in the treatment of several diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, hemophilia, hepatitis C and certain types of cancer.
For these expensive drugs, the co-pay is replaced by a system requiring the consumer to pick up 20 to 40 percent of the cost. Charles King, a rheumatologist in Tupelo, Miss.
My office has been flooded with calls from worried patients since the Tier IV system took effect. They are fearful of losing access to medicines that afford them the ability to lead independent, productive lives, and this is of great concern to me as their rheumatologist. Robin Bates, a 34 year-old patient of Dr. King's has suffered from rheumatoid arthritis since she was 21, and was faced with the challenge of purchasing her expensive Tier IV treatment from a specialty pharmacy assigned to her by her insurer.
Charged by this kind of fear and frustration, physicians, health care professionals, patients and caregivers in Mississippi recently rallied together and overwhelmed phone lines and message boards demanding fair pricing and appropriate access-to-care, and their efforts worked. The American College of Rheumatology says it believes it is important for physicians, patients and caregivers in all states to come together and overturn the Tier IV pricing system, which it says has lead to a severe access-to-care issue.
For the Mississippians who rallied against Tier IV pricing, the results were great — they influenced change in one of the biggest insurance companies in the United States.
March 22, An alarming new report by the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics claims bath products for babies contain carcinogens, but by the standards it used to measure risk from formaldehyde and 1,4-dioxane shouldn't we be even more worried about bathwater, tomatoes and fried chicken? And did the activist group actually measure exposure? The Campaign For Safe Cosmetics CSC , a coalition of activist groups that have been campaigning for years about chemical exposure in personal care products has released a new report — No More Toxic Tub — on the apparent cancer risks from baby bath products.
The study was dutifully transcribed by news media outlets, including ConsumerAffairs. Many children's bath products contain chemicals that may cause cancer and skin allergies, according to a report released Thursday by the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, wrote Liz Szabo in USA Today.
Twenty-three of 28 products tested contained formaldehyde, the report says. Formaldehyde — considered a probable carcinogen by the Environmental Protection Agency — is released as preservatives break down over time in a container. There followed a description of the study, comments from a scientist who worked with the cosmetics manufacturer saying there was no cause for concern and an environmental health pediatrician.
The story perhaps explains why only one percent of health journalists said health reporting in the U. First, the CSC is driven by a group of environmental activist groups with a long history of hyperbole. The study was self-published, it wasnt peer-reviewed; in fact, it wasnt even scientific — if one takes science to be formulating a hypothesis and testing it against the full range of data.
If USA Todays reporter had interviewed any cancer researchers on the studys content, or did any background research on the chemicals instead of finding a source against the study and one for it — lazy, formulaic journalism which gets the story off the desk in super quick time , the result would not be the inevitable panic among consumers when confronted with the headline Group finds carcinogens in kids bath products. Only one in four thought that cancer-causing agents were unsafe regardless of the dose 28 percent.
This is important because if every carcinogen was carcinogenic at any level, one would have to start a Campaign for Safe Vegetables — which would have the unfortunate and silly goal of removing most vegetables from peoples diet. The CSC is not interested these kind of distinctions.
A carcinogen is a carcinogen is a carcinogen — and no risk, even the most wildly hypothetical, is justifiable in cosmetics that is — members of the coalition presumably drink coffee, alcohol, eat carrots, smoke and so forth.
And mews organizations such as USA Today dont seem interested in the fact that this is not how science assesses cancer risks. Formaldehyde is widely used in manufacturing for a vast array of purposes, including foam insulation material, plywood adhesives, explosives, and disinfectants.
It is a nearly colorless gas with a pungent odor usually used and stored in a solution. It is lethal at very high doses by ingestion and considered a human carcinogen by the International Agency for Research on Cancer due to a weak association with nasal cancer incidence in workers with chronic exposure to formaldehyde.
The Carcinogenic Potency Project at U. Berkeley notes that formaldehyde damages DNA, kills cells and causes cell proliferation in both rodents and humans, but that the risk declines markedly at levels that do not kill cells. The risks of formaldehyde have been assessed as exposure from manufacturing in and long-term studies of workers exposed to high levels of the chemical the National Cancer Institute explains why it is so difficult to prove that formaldehyde exposure in workers is linked to cancer ; exposure from mobile home air which caused a controversy in the wake of Hurricane Katrinas need for mobile homes , and normal home air.
The most substantial risk came from manufacturing through gas inhalation. Workers were exposed to levels so high that they were nearly equivalent to those used in tests that caused tumors in 10 rodents. The average daily exposure to formaldehyde in conventional home air over 12 hours per day is 80 times less than the amount that produced tumors in 10 percent of rodents.
This is close to that of coffee, where average daily exposure is 90 times less than the amount that produced tumors in 10 percent of rodents.
Where does our exposure to formaldehyde come from? Formaldehyde released to indoor air from construction materials, furnishings, and cigarettes are major sources of exposure. Automobile exhaust is a major source of formaldehyde in ambient air. In addition, formaldehyde can be absorbed through the skin from cosmetics or contact with other consumer products containing formaldehyde.
Formaldehyde is used in some cosmetics as a preservative, and the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics claims that 23 out of 28 products they tested contained formaldehyde at levels of between 54 and parts per million. The European Union has stipulated that the total content of formaldehyde in the finished cosmetic product must not exceed 0. In other words, the products assessed by the CSC were well within European safety margins.
There is no indication that this could pose a risk. But here we come to the fundamental methodological flaw in the report — one that underscores the need for real, peer-reviewed scientific analysis of chemical exposures and health and not activist reports designed to maximize media attention through sensationalism: The Campaign measured how much formaldehyde was in the product, but not how much a child would actually be exposed to or absorb in the course of using that product.
Formaldehyde: 1 to 2 grams of product sample was weighed to the nearest milligram, and placed into a glass vial. The sample vial was sealed with a teflon lined cap, vortexed and then placed on a shaker table for 12 hours. The ml bottles were placed in a shaking water bath with the temperature maintained at 40 degrees C for 1 hour to complete the derivatization. The aqueous derivatized sample was transferred to a separatory funnel and extracted with methylene chloride.
The methylene chloride extract was concentrated and exchanged to a final 5 milliliter volume of acetonitrile ACN. Standards of formaldehyde were derivatized and extracted similarly. Method blanks were used to assess background contamination from formaldehyde. In other words, not only did all but one of the products meet the EU safety guidelines, they may or may not expose infants and children to formaldehyde at the levels found.
It is unlikely that a parent is going to place an infant in a shaking bath filled with water at degrees Fahrenheit for an hour. This isnt meant to be flippant. If formaldehyde in bath lotions is as dangerous to children as the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics claims, why didnt it measure actual exposure? And why didnt the media spot — by simply reading the report — that it failed to do this?
This is the ongoing problem with activist studies: they arent really scientific and, of course, they always manage to confirm what the activist group is lobbying against. The other chemical highlighted by the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics is 1,4-dioxane, which occurs in small amounts in cosmetics as a byproduct in manufacturing, and which cosmetics companies strive to remove.
The IARC has declared 1,4-dioxane as possibly carcinogenic to humans. The National Toxicology Program has described it as reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen based on studies in rodents where the chemical was consumed through drinking water and at very high levels. The FDAs position on the chemical is that: The 1,4-dioxane levels we have seen in our monitoring of cosmetics do not present a hazard to consumers.
Concerns initially were raised in the s, when studies at the National Cancer Institute found an association between 1,4-dioxane and cancer in animals when 1,4-dioxane was administered in high levels in the animal feed. However, the levels in cosmetic products are far lower than those found to be harmful in feeding studies and, for the most part, the types of products in which it is found are only in contact with the skin for a short time. As a precaution, FDA followed up with skin absorption studies, which showed that 1,4-dioxane can penetrate animal and human skin when applied in certain preparations, such as lotions.
However, further research by FDA determined that 1,4-dioxane evaporates readily, further diminishing the already small amount available for skin absorption, even in products that remain on the skin for hours. Robert L. Louis: The C. Mosby Company, The other confounding problem with 1,4-dioxane is that we are exposed to it routinely in tap water, either by drinking or when we shower as a volatilized compound , and in seafood, cooked meat, fried chicken, deep fry oil, ripe tomatoes, tomato paste, peppers, coffee, herbs and spices within the range of ppm.
In fact, given that 1,4-dioxane is more easily absorbed by ingestion and inhalation rather than absorption due to its propensity to evaporate , the route of exposure is much more likely from the water we wash and shower in than through skin absorption from a cosmetic lotion.
Again, this underscores the need for exposure to be measured, and not simply to examine whether a solution contains 1,4-dioxane or not. Is a child actually exposed to more 1,4-dioxane through eating a regular meal and drinking water than through using a lotion? If 1,4-dioxane is as dangerous as CFSC claims, surely this is more alarming?
But there is considerable controversy over how dangerous 1,4-dioxane really is. The studies all focus on inhalation and ingestion rather than absorption, and required substantial quantities of the chemical to produce cancer in the lab animals.
This underscores the important of distinguishing the presence of a chemical from actual exposure. It will be obvious by now that we are exposed to formaldehyde and 1,4-dioxane from a multiplicity of routes, and in each case absorption through cosmetics is, arguably, the least significant route of exposure. There is much greater concern in the regulatory and scientific research about environmental release and exposure from other sources.
The problem with the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics is that its report isnt scientific. It is an argument that any exposure to a chemical that can be shown to cause cancer in any possible way should be banned. This is not consonant with mainstream scientific or regulatory thinking. Second, the Campaign equates presence with exposure. But if you cant show that a chemical is being absorbed, you cant measure its effect. A tank full of gasoline is lethal if you drink it, but the fact that its sitting in your car doesnt pose the same degree of risk.
Third, the bodys metabolism — even in an infant — is capable of processing many chemicals quickly and without any negative consequence.
Even chemicals that are dangerous at high levels can have no negative effect whatsoever. If this wasnt the case, almost every known food would be toxic. There is also increasing disquiet among toxicologists about the reliance on high doses of a chemical in animals to determine human cancer risks.
As the Carcinogenic Potency Project notes in its latest evaluation of cancer risks: The chronic, high dose rodent cancer test is not much use in understanding human cancer risk. Tumor development is likely due to high dose effects or processes that are not relevant to humans. In pursuing its cause, the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics systematically avoids addressing the science in a scientific way, and acknowledges no scientific limitations to its claims despite failing to develop the kinds of tests that would actually support its conclusions.
We need real science. And we need the media to be able to distinguish what counts as real science and what is merely self-serving activism. He received his BA and M. Phil from Trinity College Dublin and did graduate work in philosophy and intellectual history at Georgetown University. He received an M. Individualized issues of proof have killed off another consumer class action, this one brought against Merck by consumers seeking to recover expenses resulting from their use of the heart medication Vioxx.
New Jersey Superior Court Judge Carol Higbee ruled that problems with individualized issues of proof, including why the drug was prescribed and how much each consumer paid, would be unmanageable. The judge conceded that her decision was likely a death knell for most of the putative class members, since individual damages are so small that few if any are likely to bring suit on their own behalf. The judge insisted, however, that the court cannot find that a class action is a superior form of resolution, either.
The judge said that the court would have to make an individualized inquiry into whether concealment of cardiovascular risks played a role in the consumers decision to purchase the drug.
As a result, the plaintiffs had failed to show a causal nexus between the companys representations and consumers ascertainable loss — the money they paid for the drug. These issues built an insurmountable barrier to class action.
The case was brought on behalf of all consumers — except those in California — who purchased the drug from its introduction in June until September , when it was withdrawn from the market due to safety concerns. The plaintiffs asserted claims under the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act, alleging that Merck knowingly used misleading advertising to hide the risks presented by the drug. Vioxx, an anti-inflammatory drug prescribed widely for arthritis and other ailments causing chronic pain, was withdrawn from the market after several studies showed it led to an increased risk of heart attack and stroke.
A study in found that the risk of these events was four times that of patients on an over-the-counter painkiller, and that the elevated risk began during the patients second month on the drug. In , Merck began its own three-year study, which it cut short after finding that long-term use of Vioxx doubled the risk of heart attack or stroke. Unlike the economic suit, that claim was on behalf of patients who suffered cardiovascular problems from the drug, including heart attacks and strokes.
That same year, the New Jersey Supreme Court declined to certify a class claiming that Merck deceived health insurance companies about Vioxxs safety. At its zenith, Vioxx was a widely-used and extremely profitable drug. The drug was one of the most widely-used ever to be withdrawn from the market,.
The state of Texas has shut down a direct mail marketing firm that it says operated an unlawful "lead card" scheme and targeted senior citizens.