GM Settles Ignition-Switch Lawsuit for $120 Million

General Motors has agreed to pay $120 million to settle more claims that its deadly ignition-switch defect caused car owners economic harm, according to a settlement filing on Friday in New York City’s U.S. District Court. 

The settlement is barely 1 percent of what law firm Hagens Berman claimed it would reap for GM owners when it filed the class-action suit in 2014, shortly after GM’s admission that year that its ignition switches caused vehicles to stall and disable all safety features, including airbags. The settlement names 216 plaintiffs who had owned some of the more than 2.6 million cars with the defective ignition switches, along with other GM cars recalled in 2014 for faulty power steering and side airbags that would not deploy in a crash, according to the filing.

It addresses economic harm due to resale, repairs, and other related losses due to the defect. It is unrelated to the $625 million settlement fund that GM initiated in 2014 to pay for 124 deaths and 275 injuries. It is also unrelated to a settlement in 2015 that paid $275 million for more than 1380 death and injury claims that were not part of the compensation fund.

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The Nexus 6P $9.75M Settlement Pay Out

Recently, the Google/Huawei Nexus 6P was the subject of a class action lawsuit in which the claimants experienced a disproportional amout of battery drain, bootloops or both. This case was settled, and the beneficiaries have now been informed that they will receive their respective compensation. It should be issued from now until February 29, 2020.

The story of the last true Nexus phablet ended in some acrimony as its manufacturing partners, Google and Huawei, were pinged in a class-action lawsuit over dysfunctional devices. This case was settled in 2019 with the agreement that about US$9.75 million was to be paid to the claimants. 

Given the volume of these subjects, this breaks down to a maximum of $400 per individual, depending on the severity and nature of their 6P’s problem. This group has reportedly been sent a notification that these amounts are finally to be paid out. This, according to a relevant Reddit thread, should have taken effect from Jnauary 12, 2020.

Read the source article at Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News

Wells Fargo to Pay USAA $200M for Patent Infringement

Wells Fargo was ordered to pay $200 million to USAA for infringement of its patents on mobile deposit capture technology may have significant ripple effects across the industry.

The technology at issue was developed by Mitek and is used by 6,500 other institutions. If the verdict stands, it may mean many other institutions will have to negotiate with USAA to pay additional licensing fees for their mobile deposit tech. 

USAA said in a statement that it “continues to seek opportunities to create reasonable and mutually beneficial licensing agreements with banks and credit unions.”

Read the source article at American Banker Home

Jury Awards $4 Million To Disney Cruise Line Worker

A Disney Cruise Line worker was awarded $4 million by a jury after she claimed that she got inadequate medical care from ship doctors after she was hit by a car during a port of call.

The Brevard County jury ordered the cruise line to pay Maria Ana Reis Martins $2 million for lost earnings, $1 million for pain and suffering, and $1 million for punishment.

It is the first time that Disney Cruise Line has lost a personal injury case involving a ship worker in a jury trial, said Julio Ayala, Martins’ attorney.

Read the source article at CBS Miami

Amazon, Ring face $5 million proposed class action lawsuit

Amazon and Ring were slapped with a $5 million proposed class action federal lawsuit Thursday that alleges their camera systems are vulnerable to cyberattacks.

Earlier this month, at least four families in Florida, Georgia, Mississippi and Texas reported that their Ring camera systems were compromised. In those cases, the customers say hackers tormented them with racial slurs, encouraged children into destructive behavior and demanded a ransom in Bitcoin.

But John Baker Orange, the lead plaintiff of the lawsuit, charges that there are “thousands of putative class members” around the world.

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$10.5M settlement with New York utilities over storm prep

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo on Thursday announced a $10.5 million settlement with two upstate utilities, New York State Electric & Gas Corp. and Rochester Gas & Electric Corp.

As part of the settlement announced today, NYSEG acknowledges and admits to 18 violations of its state-approved emergency response plans, and RG&E acknowledges and admits three violations.

To compensate customers, company shareholders will pay $10.5 million: $9 million from NYSEG and $1.5 million from RG&E. The money will be used to provide customer benefits at the direction of the Public Service Commission.

This follows what Cuomo says was the companies’ failure to adequately prepare for and restore service after storms in 2018 swept through their service territories and left more than 300,000 homes and businesses without power.

The $10.5 million settlement is the largest ever in New York State for a utility failing to follow procedures related to an emergency response.

A consent order will require NYSEG and RG&E to develop a more robust storm response program, enhance communication and coordination with municipal and county governments, and strengthen support for people on life-saving equipment.

Read the source article at WXXI News

Mercedes reaches $20M settlement with federal auto safety agency

Mercedes-Benz has agreed to pay $13 million to the nation’s top highway safety regulator to resolve an investigation into how the luxury German automaker handled recalls on defective cars.

The company also faces $7 million in additional penalties if it doesn’t meet the terms of a settlement with the government.

The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration began the investigation that led to the settlement last year. The agency concluded that Mercedes missed deadlines in the recall process on multiple occasions.

It’s the first penalty the agency has issued to an automaker under the Trump administration.

Read the source article at Washington Post

New trial for Ford in $40M asbestos case

The Supreme Court of Delaware has ruled that Ford Motor Co.’s appeal that a $40.6 million ruling in an asbestos case was excessive has merit and has remanded the case back to a lower court for a new trial or remittitur. 

In its appeal, Ford said the Delaware Superior Court should not have sided with Paula Knecht in her negligence case as she failed to prove her late husband’s injury was because Ford didn’t warn him about asbestos. It also argued that the Superior Court shouldn’t have denied its petition for a new trial because the jury gave an “inconsistent verdict.”

“We have decided that the Superior Court’s rulings against Ford on those two claims are correct and should be affirmed for the reasons assigned by the trial judge in his post-trial opinion dated Jan. 31, 2019,” wrote Justice James T. Vaughn.

Vaughn pointed out that the jury determined a fair award for Paula Knecht was $40.62 million for compensatory damages, which the Superior Court should have ruled as excessive or fitting. Vaughn said that the lower court’s decision to home in on the jury’s ruling that Ford was 20 percent responsible for negligence, leading to Ford’s reduced share of $8.12 million, was in error.

Read the source article at Legal Newsline

Bristol-Myers wins $752M in patent case against Gilead

Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. won a $752 million jury verdict against Gilead Sciences Inc in a U.S. patent dispute relating to technology for treating cancer.

A jury in Los Angeles awarded the damages after finding that Yescarta, a treatment sold by Gilead’s Kite Pharma unit, infringed on a patent exclusively licensed by Bristol-Myers’ Juno Therapeutics division.

The patent at issue in the lawsuit, which Juno licenses from the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York, relates to CAR T-cell immunotherapy for cancer.

CAR-T therapy involves a process of removing T cells from a patient’s immune system, engineering them to better identify and attack cancer cells and infusing them back into the patient.

Read the source article at Yahoo Finance

Judge tosses $71M verdict against NBC Universal over ‘Columbo’ profits

A Los Angeles judge has set aside a $71-million jury verdict against NBC Universal over the disbursement of profits from the legendary crime TV drama “Columbo.”

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Richard Burdge Jr. granted the studio’s motion for a new trial, overturning a March finding in favor of the creators Richard Levinson and William Link.

The court ruled Monday that the jury should have been instructed on the meaning of certain key provisions that determined whether NBC Universal had the right to deduct distribution fees for the 1970s detective series.

The case is the latest win for media companies in so-called profit participation cases, where creators of shows or films claim a greater cut or rights to the spoils from a hit.

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