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April 2013 Archives

Woman sues her apartment manager after explosion

Cherika Holley filed a personal injury lawsuit against her apartment's management company, Lindsey Management Co. after the apartment manager, allegedly caused an explosion in the building by setting of an  odor eliminator in a refrigerator that was actually designed to be used in a 10,000-cubic-foot room

Debt Collection Firm Shut Down For Violating The Law

McGavic & Finney PC, an Oregon debt collection law firm that had several complaints over its debt-collection tactics has been closed down under an agreement with Justice Department.  Additionally, the settlement requires founding partner Derrick E. McGavic to pay $70,000 and surrender his license to practice law.

Passenger awarded $2.9 million after suffering permanent injuries on a Carnival Cruise ship

Denise Kaba, 53, was awarded $2.9 million in her personal injury case against Carnival Cruises. According to Kaba, she slipped and fell on Carnival's pool deck, fracturing her right patella. Her injury required open reduction and internal fixation, and five other surgeries, including a patellar tendon replacement with a cadaver allograft. Kaba claimed she remains in pain, walks with a halting gait and requires a brace to walk. Kaba also alleged that as a result of her injuries she was unable to return to work.

What is considered debt collector harassment?

The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) is the federal law that governs how debt collection agencies can operate. The FDCPA protects consumers from abusive debt collection practices by debt collectors.  The Act gives consumers protection with regards to personal, family, and household debts, including money consumers owe on a personal credit card account, auto loan, medical bill, or mortgage. There has been a lot of litigation over what exactly is considered “harassment” or “abuse” under the FDCPA.  Below are examples of tactics that are definitely considered harassment and abuse by the FDCPA:
?Debt collectors cannot use threats of violence to collect a debt.  This prohibition also covers threats against your children, friends, co-workers, pets and other 3rd parties.
?Bill collectors cannot use profane or abusive language including name calling, racial and/or ethnic slurs.
?Collectors cannot  call you repeatedly. This not only applies to actual phone conversations, but also to causing the phone to ring and then hanging up on you. Oddly, enough many of my clients have complained that debt collectors call and hang-up as a method of harassment.
?Debt collectors must tell you who is contacting you.
?Any other debt collection conduct where the “natural consequence” is to harass, oppress, or abuse.  Courts have found the following conduct to be violations: (1) threats to contact 3rd parties; (2) telephone messages left with neighbors when the collector could have reached the consumer directly; (3) use of words like “liar”, “deadbeat”, and “crook”.

Four reasons to sue a debt collector in violation of the FDCPA

1. Most importantly, peace of mind! Make the debt collectors stop calling you in a harassing manner.  Remember how nice it was to answer your phone without screening it first?  Remember how peaceful it was before your phone began to ring 10+ times a day?   Are you sick of telling the debt collectors to stop calling you, only to have them call back a few minutes later?

I.C. Systems sued for calling 5 times a day regarding a debt that was already paid

Russell Fuller has filed a lawsuit against debt collector, I.C. Systems for allegedly making numerous calls to him in an attempt to collect on a debt that was already paid off, in violation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). Case No. 1:11-cv-00136

Debt Tagging By Collectors Is Just Wrong!

Kevin Pumphrey was receiving collection calls for several years about student loans that he did not owe, in violation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). However, after he learned that he could sue the collection agency for harassment, the agency settled the case and left him alone.

A record-breaking $1.75 million settlement reached between the FTC and debt collector, Allied Interstate

Allied Interstate Inc., has agreed to pay a record-breaking $1.75 million to settle a lawsuit with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). In a recent press release, a FTC spokesperson focused on Allied’s alleged attempts to illegally collect debts from consumers that did not owe them money. “Debt collectors had better make sure their information is accurate, or they could end up paying a big penalty,” said David Vladeck, Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection.

Debt collection agency shut down after being caught setting up fake court proceedings

According to the Pennsylvania Attorney General, debt collection company, Unicredit, used fake court proceedings to deceive, mislead or frighten consumers into making payments or surrendering valuables without following the lawful procedures for debt collection.

Debt collector, AFNI sued for FDCPA violations

A consumer has filed a lawsuit against the debt collection agency, AFNI Inc.,  for allegedly violating the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), by  calling him approximately ten times a day and threatening to place a warrant out for his arrest if he did not pay the alleged debt.  The consumer further alleges that AFNI also violated the FDCPA by calling him before 8:00am and after 10:30pm.

The nanny for Puff Daddy's twin daughters is suing their mother for abuse and failure to pay overtime.

Dawn Drago, the former nanny for rapper Sean "Diddy" Combs' twin daughters, has filed a lawsuit against their mother, Kim Porter and Combs' company, Bad Boy Worldwide Entertainment Group for battery and wrongful termination.

Oil and Gas Company Facing An Overtime Lawsuit

Joseph Gauthier, a field engineer has filed a $10 million class action lawsuit against Trican Well Service Ltd, an oil and gas well company, for misclassifying the field engineers as exempt employees in an attempt to deny them overtime wages. If the allegations are true, Trican would be in violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).   (Case No. 6:13-cv-00046)

Mitsubishi and Meineke Care Center Facing Wrongful Death Lawsuit

The family of Jessica Fertitta, 25,  has filed a lawsuit against Mitsubishi International Corp., Smylie Unlimited and Meineke Car Care Centers for allegedly causing her death, saying she burned to death in a fire after her car malfunctioned and randomly burst into flames. (Case No. A193-933)

Commercial Recovery Systems is being sued for alleged FDCPA violations

A lawsuit against Commercial Recovery Systems Inc., has been filed by Cody Osterberg, claiming the CRS called and threatened him with a court summons in an effort to collect on a debt in violation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA).  Case No. 2:13-cv-00096

Deputy Constable Sues The County For Political Discrimination and Wrongful Termination

Rebecca Bowden claims in her lawsuit,  she lost her job as a deputy constable of Precinct I in Jefferson County after the newly-elected Precinct I Constable Nick Saleme was elected to office. (Case No. B194-038) Before Saleme was elected to  office, he allegedly talked to the incumbent Precinct I Constable, Charles Wiggins on the phone and revealed his plans for his future employees, according to the complaint.  Saleme allegedly told Wiggins on a speakerphone, " The people in your office have been there for a long time and I feel that they are politically loyal to you, I don't want to have to be worried about being stabbed in the back or have anyone going to others telling them what I am doing and trying to make me look bad... So, they will be let go." Because Bowden had attended a Republican Christmas party in support of Wiggins, she faced the prospect of losing her job if Saleme was elected to office, the complaint claims. "No good cause exists for the termination of the plaintiff or any of the people who employed in the Precinct I Constable's Office," the suit states. "Nick's motivation in terminating plaintiff and her fellow workers in Precinct I was substantially motivated by plaintiff's exercise of protected speech and or association in attending the Republican Christmas/kick-off political party of Dec. 19, 2011, or working for the former Democratic then Republican candidate Charles Wiggins as Constable of Precinct I." The Civil Service Reform Act of 1978 (CSRA), protects employees from discrimination in personnel actions based on race, color, sex, religion, national origin, age, disability, marital status, political affiliation. If you have suffered discrimination or wrongful termination, please give California Employment Attorney, Todd M. Friedman at (877) 449-8898 for a free consultation.  

A credit repair company is facing a labor law violation lawsuit

Several former commissioned employees, including Edward LaMonica, Ashley LaMonica, Lara Harrison, have filed a lawsuit against their employer, RMCN Credit Services, Inc a credit repair business, for failing to pay overtime wages in violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

FINRA sued for wrongful termination

Joseph Sciddurlo, a financial examiner for the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) is claiming that he was fired for detecting a loophole that helps large broker-dealers duck SEC rules and undercapitalize themselves.

Thomson Reuters Accused of Securities Violations and Wrongful Termination

Former Thomson Reuters employee, Mark Rosenblum has sued them for wrongful termination after he blew the whistle on what he believed to be a violation of  securities laws.    According to Rosenblum, who worked as a Redistribution Specialist, Thomson Reuters gave selected subscribers a 2-second jump on potentially market-moving information, with a 3-tiered release program.

Rutgers University Facing Wrongful Termination Lawsuit

Former NBA player and Director of Player Development for the Rutgers' Men's  basketball team, Eric Murdock has sued Rutgers, Rutgers President Robert Barchi;  Coach Michael Rice; Athletic Director Timothy Pernetti, and Rutgers former President, Richard McCormick.   According to Murdock's lawsuit, after he blew the whistle on mistreatment of the university's athletes he suffered discrimination and wrongful termination.

Debt collection agency shut down for harassing consumers

Debt collection agencies doing business under the names Central Resource Management, Final Claims Asset Locators, Final Control Asset Locators, Interchange Payment Solutions, Next Step Services, Portfolio Asset Assurance, Silverbay Services, and Teleport, all run by Tobias Boyland were shut down by Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo for harassing consumers in violation of federal and state laws.

EEOC Sues Presbyterian Healthcare Associates For Disability Discrimination

According to a lawsuit filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), Presbyterian Healthcare Associates Corp.,  a private regional  medical center that operates Presbyterian Hospital and four other general hospitals, violated federal law by refusing to hire a qualified job applicant because of an impairment to his knee.

Restaurant facing a retaliation lawsuit after a threatening online rants

According to the retaliation lawsuit, two bartenders were already engaged in a wage-and-hour lawsuit against Coyote Ugly alleging violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) when the president and founder of Coyote Ugly posted an entry on her blog, mentioning the lawsuit and alleging that one of the employees  was fired for theft and added "f*** that b****."

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