Current Consumer Protection Cases
Carlson Lynch is currently handling the consumer class actions identified below. If you believe that you may have a similar consumer complaint, please contact us, and we will evaluate your potential claim at no charge to see if we can assist you.
ADA Accessibility Class Actions
- Title III of the federal Americans with Disabilities Act, 42 U.S.C. § 12101 et seq., (“ADA”) and its implementing regulations, as well as many parallel state laws, include very specific provisions calculated to guarantee that ATM machines are accessible to blind and visually-impaired individuals. Those provisions require Braille instructions, voice-guidance features (i.e., “talking” ATMs), and certain display screen requirements, to name a few. Despite the fact that these standards took effect on March 15, 2011, and all ATMs were required to be upgraded to meet these new requirements by March 15, 2012, a March 7, 2012 Wall Street Journal article noted the widely publicized fact that at least 50% of the nation’s 400,000 ATMs remain inaccessible to the visually impaired. Carlson Lynch has been working closely with visually-impaired individuals and various blind advocacy groups to enforce these mandatory federal and state accessibility laws. To date, Carlson Lynch has filed numerous cases in federal courts throughout the country and has been successful in causing various banks and ATM operators to bring their ATM networks into compliance with these accessibility requirements.
- In addition to the cases described above, Carlson Lynch is currently prosecuting numerous cases involving other types of accessibility barriers in federal courts throughout the country.
CitiMortgage SCRA Litigation (Southern District of New York)
- In July of 2011, Carlson Lynch filed a class action against CitiMortgage on behalf of Sergeant Jorge Rodriguez in the Southern District of New York. This case alleges that CitiMortgage improperly foreclosed upon Mr. Rodriguez’s home, and the homes of similarly situated individuals, while he was serving his country in Iraq, in violation of the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act. The case recently settled on a class basis and a motion for preliminary approval of the settlement is pending.
In re Community Bank of Northern Virginia and Guaranty National Bank of Tallahassee Secondary Mortgage Loan Litigation (Western District of Pennsylvania)
- Carlson Lynch is class counsel in this national litigation under the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act. The case originally settled for a cash amount in excess of $33,000,000.00. Bruce Carlson was lead counsel for the settling plaintiffs and presented the original proposed settlement at a fairness hearing in November 2003. The Court approved the settlement notwithstanding a coordinated opt-out and objection campaign mounted by a consortium of competing plaintiffs’ counsel. The objectors appealed the Court’s order approving the settlement, and Mr. Carlson presented the settling plaintiffs’ position at oral argument before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit on February 17, 2005. In August 2005, the Third Circuit vacated the order approving the settlement, and remanded the case for further proceedings relating to the settlement.
- After extensive additional briefing on remand, and with the mediation assistance of a former judge from the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, the settling parties negotiated a modified and enhanced settlement, whereby Defendants agreed to make available to the class an additional amount in excess of $14,000,000, so that the value of the proposed modified settlement was close to $50,000,000.00. At the same time, United States District Court Judge Gary L. Lancaster issued a lengthy opinion rejecting the objectors’ argument that the settling plaintiffs should have asserted additional claims under the Truth in Lending Act. The proposed modified and enhanced settlement was referred to the former Chief Judge of the Western District of Pennsylvania – acting as a friend of the Court – to make an initial determination regarding the fairness and adequacy of the revised settlement. On July 5, 2007, former Chief Judge Ziegler issued an advisory opinion holding that the modified, enhanced settlement was fair, adequate and reasonable for the class.
- Thereafter, Judge Lancaster conducted a lengthy hearing regarding whether the proposed settlement class should be certified and the modified settlement preliminarily approved. On January 25, 2008, Judge Lancaster issued an opinion and order certifying the settlement class and preliminarily approving the proposed settlement. A fairness hearing related to the enhanced settlement was conducted on June 30, 2008. On August 15, 2008, the Court issued a comprehensive Opinion and Order granting final approval of the modified settlement.
- Objectors again appealed the final judgment and approval of the modified settlement to the Third Circuit. Following extensive briefing, Bruce Carlson argued the position of the settling plaintiffs before the Third Circuit on April 20, 2010.
- In the fall of 2010, the Third Circuit issued a published a lengthy precedential decision vacating the Order approving the settlement and remanding for further proceedings. The initial post-remand status conference was held on February 23, 2011.
- At the post-remand status conference, counsel for Plaintiffs, including counsel for the objectors, proposed two alternative suggestions for the direction of the litigation going forward: 1) global mediation to ascertain whether a new settlement was possible; or, 2) entry of an MDL case management order appointing Bruce Carlson and Fred Walters as co-lead counsel for all of the consolidated actions, and directing that the case be litigated consistent with the structure set forth in the proposed order. The Court granted Defendants’ request for thirty days to consider which way it would like to proceed, and Defendants ultimately requested additional mediation, which occurred in Manhattan on June 9-10, 2011. The case did not settle and is back in litigation.
- Bruce Carlson and Fred Walters have been formally appointed as interim lead counsel for the class. Defendants filed motions to dismiss and Plaintiffs filed their brief in opposition to the motions in early February 2012. Oral argument on the motion was held in September 2012. On June 27, 2013, the Court issued an Order denying in part and granting in part the Motion to Dismiss. All of Plaintiffs’ key claims survived the Motion.
- On July 31, 2013, the Court granted Plaintiffs’ Motion for Class Certification in its entirety.
- In addition to the main case that remains pending in the Western District of Pennsylvania, there is a related bankruptcy case pending in the Southern District of New York (Rescap, the parent corporation of one of the original Defendants in the main case, filed for bankruptcy while the main case was pending). In connection with the Rescap bankruptcy, Bruce Carlson and Fred Walters are counsel for a putative class of residential mortgage borrowers, and in connection with that role represent one of only eight stakeholders on the unsecured creditors committee. Messrs. Carlson and Walters have retained separate bankruptcy counsel to support their representation of borrowers in the bankruptcy. Also on July 31, 2013, following protracted negotiations during the spring and summer of 2013, Carlson Lynch and the Walters Bender firm from Kansas City filed a Motion for Preliminary Approval of a Proposed Class Settlement in the bankruptcy case. The allowed claim amount for the settlement is $300 million.
False Advertising Litigation
- Carlson Lynch is either lead or co-lead counsel in multiple cases against nutritional supplement manufacturers and various retailers related to deceptive advertising. These cases are pending in various federal venues throughout the country.
Target Data Breach Litigation
- In February of 2014, Carlson Lynch filed multiple class action lawsuits against Target Corporation on behalf of credit unions who suffered injury as a result of the security breach compromising Target store customers’ names, credit and debit card numbers, card expiration dates, personal identification numbers, and card verification values. The cases are currently pending in the United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania. Carlson Lynch founding partner Gary F. Lynch was recently quoted in the Wall Street Journal Risk & Compliance Journal regarding the suits.