Consumer protection statutes are powerful tools for protecting individual consumer rights. These statutes provide potential remedies to individual injured by conduct ranging from bad faith by insurers to deceptive marketing by corporations to the manufacture and sale of defective products. The policy behind state consumer protection statutes, including Washington’s Consumer Protection Act, favors liberal construction in order to protect the public from unfair and deceptive practices by both deterring such conduct and providing individuals with remedies when they are injured by such conduct. Our class action attorneys have fought for consumers’ rights, combating various types of consumer fraud, challenging companies who sell products that are unsafe or don’t work, and pursuing relief for consumers who have received unlawful “robocalls.”
Debt adjusting is the activity of managing, counseling, settling, adjusting, prorating, or liquidating the indebtedness of a debtor. Washington’s Debt Adjusting Act (“DAA”) limits the fees that a debt adjuster may charge for debt adjusting services. Companies have devised various schemes for getting around the fee limits many of which may violate the DAA and Washington’s CPA. We currently are litigating several cases against debt adjusting companies, including Legal Helpers Debt Resolution LLC, Legal Services Support Group, JEM Group, Inc., Marshall Banks, LLC, Consumer Law Associates LLC, Persels & Associates LLC, and CDS Client Services, Inc. Consumers who have entered into an agreement with one of these or any other debt adjusting company should contact us to evaluate whether they have a claim for damages.
The Washington legislature and Congress have enacted statutes to protect consumers from commercial telephone solicitation by use of an automatic dialing and announcing device (“ADAD”). Often these telephone calls are referred to as “robocalls.” Our class action attorneys have substantial experience pursuing claims on behalf of consumers who have received unlawful “robocalls.” We are currently litigating robocalling cases against defendants such as Sallie Mae, Best Buy, Bank of America, Comcast, ER Solutions and Discover Bank. We have negotiated favorable settlements in robocalling cases against Sallie Mae and Comcast, creating common funds of $24 million and $3.8 million respectively.
Defective/Unsafe Product Cases
We represent consumers who have purchased products that are unreasonably dangerous or don’t live up to what companies have said about them. Our class action attorneys are experts in prosecuting cases on behalf of homeowners against manufacturers of defective building products such as siding, roofing, and plumbing systems. We also have substantial experience litigating against automobile manufacturers. Recently, we were instrumental in achieving a settlement with Toyota that provided a warranty extension and reimbursement of prior repairs for both past and present owners. To date Toyota has reimbursed owners almost $10,000,000 and provided repairs valued at $25,000,000.
Early Termination Fees
In recent years, telecommunications companies have engaged in a practice in which they fail to disclose that they will charge a substantial “early termination fee” when consumers cancel a service before the end of a purported contractual commitment to subscribe for a defined period of time. At TMLG, we have successfully represented consumers who allege that such practices are unfair and deceptive and thus violate consumer protection statutes.
Title Insurance Overcharge Cases
We are currently litigating several class action lawsuits against title insurance companies on behalf of consumers who allege they were overcharged for title insurance during refinance transactions. Defendants include First American Title Insurance Company, Inc. and Fidelity National Title Insurance Company.
Consumer fraud generally occurs when a consumer buys a product that does not perform as advertised or purchases services that are not the same as they were represented to be. However, as the Washington Supreme Court has said, “It is impossible to frame definitions which embrace all unfair practices. There is no limit to human inventiveness in this field.” Our class action attorneys have substantial experience identifying deceptive acts and practices that are actionable under relevant consumer protection statutes. For example, we successfully settled a class action against T-Mobile, Inc. brought on behalf of consumers who participated in a promotional program known as “FLY FREE in ’08.” Despite having satisfied the terms of the offer, Plaintiff and other members of the class never received the free round-trip flight that T-Mobile promised. Our class action lawyers also were instrumental in successfully certifying and settling a class action on behalf of consumers who alleged that Microsoft and Best Buy conspired to subscribe Best Buy customers for msn.com and charge them a monthly fee without informing them first.