Friday, July 17, 2009

Chocolate mousse blended with attorneys fees, then the gym

Consumer Protection: LA FITNESS MEMBER: EARLY-TERMINATION FEES FORCED, UNREASONABLE, Abramowicz v. L.A. Fitness Int'l, 16 No. 6 Andrews Class Action Litig. Rep. 23, Andrews Class Action Litigation Reporter July 15, 2009 LA Fitness members must sign contracts that include early-termination fees that do not reflect the gym chain's costs and are meant to deter unsatisfied customers from canceling their personal training services, according to a California federal court suit. The Irvine, Calif.-based company charges customers an early-termination fee equal to half the cost of a full personal training contract, which can run from three to 12 months, if the contract is canceled after a 72-hour trial period

Employment: CHOICEPOINT ILLEGALLY REPORTS MARIJUANA CONVICTIONS, SUIT SAYS, Morgan v. ChoicePoint, 16 No. 6 Andrews Class Action Litig. Rep. 7, Andrews Class Action Litigation Reporter July 15, 2009 A class-action lawsuit filed in California state court accuses consumer information broker ChoicePoint of reporting misdemeanor marijuana convictions that are more than two years old to current and prospective employers when doing background checks. Plaintiff Brandon Morgan says the company has repeatedly violated California laws that prohibit employers from asking about or using information about an employee's minor drug offenses that are more than two years old to make employment decisions.

Product Liability: DENTURE CREAM SUITS OVER HIGH ZINC LEVELS HEAD TO FLA. FED. COURT, In re Denture Cream Prods Liab. Litig., 16 No. 6 Andrews Class Action Litig. Rep. 13, Andrews Class Action Litigation Reporter July 15, 2009 A Florida federal court will be the forum for a dozen suits filed against two denture adhesive cream manufacturers over allegedly high levels of zinc in the creams that can cause neurological problems. The Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation transferred the suits from 11 different districts to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida. An additional seven tag-along actions also were transferred to the court under U.S. District Judge Cecilia M. Altonaga.

Product Liability: MICROWAVE OVENS WON'T SHUT OFF, CLASS ACTION ALLEGES, Hennigan v. Gen. Elec. Co., 16 No. 6 Andrews Class Action Litig. Rep. 14, Andrews Class Action Litigation Reporter July 15, 2009 A class-action lawsuit filed in Michigan federal court accuses General Electric and Samsung Electronics America of negligently making and selling microwave ovens that operate without prompting and pose a fire hazard because they smoke, spark and cannot be shut off. Timothy Hennigan filed the complaint in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan. He says that in June 2008, his six-year-old GE microwave "began operating on its own accord." The oven sparked and emitted smoke.

Securities Fraud: RAYMOND JAMES, EXECS HIT WITH $2B SUBPRIME MORTGAGE FRAUD SUIT, Woodard v. Raymond James Fin., 16 No. 6 Andrews Class Action Litig. Rep. 20, Andrews Class Action Litigation Reporter July 15, 2009 Florida-based Raymond James Financial defrauded shareholders to the tune of $2 billion by touting conservative lending practices while secretly amassing risky subprime residential mortgages, according to an investor's lawsuit filed in Manhattan federal court. The class-action suit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, says RJF failed to disclose the risks taken on by a subsidiary, Raymond James Bank, and failed to set aside enough cash to cover the inevitable.

Corbitt v. Home Depot U.S.A., Inc. ,(C.A.11 (Ala.))
Labor and Employment - Male supervisor's flirtatious comments to male employees did not constitute sexual harassment.
A male supervisor's complimentary and/or flirtatious comments to male employees did not constitute sexual harassment under Title VII, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled. Although a supervisor telling an employee that he liked how the employee dressed, that he liked the employee's pants, that the employee's hair was beautiful, and that he liked the employee's green eyes may not have been appropriate workplace conversation, it was not actionable conduct under Title VII. Flirtation is part of ordinary socializing in the workplace and should not be mistaken for discriminatory conditions of employment, the Court of Appeals stated. Although the plaintiffs may have been subjectively more uncomfortable because a presumably gay man made the flirtatious comments, this did not factor into the objective component of the Title VII analysis.

Embry v. Ryan ,(Fla.App. 2 Dist.)
GLBT - Trial court was required to give full faith and credit to same-sex couple adoption judgment from another state.
A Florida trial court was required, in an adoptive mother's action to determine parental responsibility, contact and support, to give full faith and credit to a Washington adoption judgment under which the adoptive mother had adopted a child while engaged in a same-sex relationship with the child's biological mother. Regardless of whether Florida had a public policy prohibiting same-sex couple adoptions, there were no public policy exceptions to the full faith and credit requirement. Furthermore, Florida statutes specifically provided that adoption decrees from other states were to be recognized.

This decision may not yet be released for publication.

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