This is a list of everything we are doing to help people in the Inland Empire and nationwide. It also provides updates and coverage of ongoing complex litigation cases.
If you have additional questions about any news, cases, or events please do not hesitate to contact our offices.
Volkswagen Fails Attempt to Escape Liability for Civil Penalties for False Advertising of Emissions
On February 7, 2017 Kristy Arevalo spoke at the 11th Annual Consumer Attorneys of California Class Action and Mass Torts Seminar in San Francisco, California. Ms. Arevalo presented on the topic, “The Auto Class Action Case.”
Richard McCune will be a speaker at the Consumer Attorneys of the Inland Empire Palm Springs Seminar, March 3-4, 2017.
Kristy Arevalo will be a moderator at the Consumer Attorneys of the Inland Empire Palm Springs Seminar, March 3-4, 2017.
Kristy Arevalo will be speaking February 7, 2017 at the 11th Annual Consumer Attorneys of California Class Action and Mass Torts Seminar in San Francisco, California. Ms. Arevalo will be presenting on the topic, “The Auto Class Action Case.”
McCuneWright Featured In Automotive News Article Covering GM Compensation for MPG Error
GM to Compensate Crossover Buyers for MPG Error, by Mike Colias and Ryan Beene, Automotive News, Published: May 18, 2016
McCuneWright is Investigating a Class Action Against Mortgage Lenders for Abusive Lending Practices
McCuneWright Teams Up with Arizona Attorney General’s Office to Sue Volkswagen Over Falsely Advertised, “Clean-Diesel” Vehicles
United States Lets Stand McCuneWright’s $203 Million Verdict against Wells Fargo Bank
On April 4, 2016, the United States Supreme Court denied Wells Fargo’s request that it review the $203 million verdict entered against it in the United States District Court in the Northern District of California in 2010. The denial by the United States Supreme Court means that the class members will finally be paid for the improper overdraft fees that McCuneWright filed suit to recover in November, 2007.
McCuneWright and Morgan & Morgan have filed a class action lawsuit against Swedish Medical Center
The Swedish Medical Center is located in Englewood, Colorado, allegedly it negligently hired and inadequately supervised surgical technician, Rocky Allen, who, with a known intravenous drug addiction and a long history of employment terminations, and put nearly 3,000 surgical patients at risk for HIV, hepatitis B and hepatitis C by swapping needles intended for patients.
ABC 7 Coverage of the Swedish Medical Center Lawsuit
Kristy Arevalo Speaking For Essure Litigation
Kristy Arevalo will be speaking at HarrisMartin’s MDL Conference on pharmaceutical and environmental mass tort litigation on March 30, 2016. She will be discussing the ongoing litigation against Essure, a potentially harmful birth control method.
McCuneWright, LLP, adds accomplished class action attorneys to head up their new East Coast office
On February 17, 2016, McCuneWright, LLP, announced that highly accomplished class action attorneys Joseph Sauder and Matthew Schelkopf have joined the firm as Partners and will open and manage the East Coast office of McCuneWright, located in the Philadelphia area. Sauder and Schelkopf join the McCuneWright team, which focuses its national practice in consumer fraud class actions, with emphasis in banking, product defect and automotive litigation.
Sauder and Schelkopf have successfully prosecuted significant class action cases throughout the country, and in the last five years have recovered more than $100 million on behalf of class members. They have served as lead and co-counsel in many of the nation’s largest class litigations, with an emphasis on consumer and automotive product defect class actions.
McCuneWright Nabs 2 Chimicles & Tikellis Class Action Pros, by Shayna Posses, Law 360, Published February 17, 2016
Federal Judge Rules PennySaver & OpenGate Class Actions be Transferred to California Bankruptcy Court
On December 21, 2015, United States District Court Judge Josephine Stanton ruled that each of the cases against OpenGate and PennySaver filed in state and federal courts in Orange and Los Angeles Counties should be transferred to the bankruptcy court in the Central District of California. The Central District encompasses Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, Los Angeles, and Ventura counties. We would expect that it will be assigned to a bankruptcy court located in Orange County or Los Angeles County court.
However, at this time we do not yet know whether that means that the case will remain in California, or be transferred to Delaware and become part of the PennySaver bankruptcy proceeding in that jurisdiction. We expect to know the answer to that question in the early part of 2016. We will keep you advised as we obtain more information on that issue. In the meantime, the case against OpenGate will remain on hold until these jurisdictional issues are resolved by the courts.
McCuneWright, LLP, Is Set to Take Toyota Sudden Unintended Acceleration Case to Trial in Los Angeles
McCuneWright, LLP, is scheduled this year to start trial against Toyota in October 2016 in a Toyota sudden unintended acceleration case. Azar Hadi was severely injured in an accident in her Lexus 350 that accelerated out of control causing a major collision with another vehicle. The case seeks to hold Toyota responsible for the accident, and recover the millions of dollars in damages suffered by Ms. Hadi. As reported by Toyota to the Court, this is the only case currently set for trial. McCuneWright believes that the trial is important to compensate its client, to hold Toyota responsible for its actions, and to highlight the tragedies that continue to happen because of sudden unintended acceleration in Toyota vehicles.
McCuneWright has been leading the fight against Toyota for the sudden unintended acceleration defect since 2009, when it filed the first class action case against Toyota about this defect. Other cases were soon filed, and that litigation led to major recalls and the payment of billions of dollars in settlement and government fines. McCuneWright represented many of the personal injury and wrongful death victims of the accidents caused by the sudden unintended acceleration of their Toyota vehicles. McCuneWright was appointed by United States District Court Judge James V. Selna as one of the lead firms in In re: Toyota Motor Corp. Unintended Acceleration Marketing, Sales Practices, and Products Liability Litigation.
If you were a victim or have information about a Toyota Sudden Unintended Acceleration accident, click here.
New Toyota sudden acceleration claim surfaces by Chris Woodyard, USA TODAY, Published: September 11, 2014
McCuneWright, LLP, Files Class Action Against Southern California Gas Company & Sempra Energy for Underground Natural Gas Leak
On November 23, 2015, McCuneWright, LLP and The Kick Law Firm, APC, filed a class action lawsuit against Southern California Gas Company, and Sempre Energy, for an ongoing uncontrolled natural gas leak at the defendants’ Aliso Canyon natural gas storage facility near Porter Ranch. Approximately, 25,000 homes in Porter Ranch are near this leak, which is releasing gases, chemicals, and noxious odors into this heavily populated neighborhood. Even though this natural gas leak was first reported to governmental regulatory authorities on October 23, 2015, all efforts to correct the gas leak have failed, and the leak continues unabated. The complaint is seeking actual, general, special, incidental, statutory, compensatory, and consequential damages, as well as is seeking emergency release of health information about the leak.
If you believe you are affected by the Southern California Gas Company natural gas leak in Porter Ranch, click here.
Natural gas leak that’s sickening Valley residents could take months to fix by Tony Barboza, The Los Angeles Times, Published: November 20, 2015
Rich McCune speaking engagements
Richard McCune of McCuneWright, LLP will be among the featured speakers at two upcoming conferences focusing on issues both timely and important to consumers and the legal profession.
On Oct. 27, he will be at “HarrisMartin’s Volkswagen Diesel Emissions Litigation Conference” in Miami Beach, where he will be part of a panel discussion titled “Criminal Exposure? DOJ and Other Investigations? Wire Fraud?”
On November 2, he will participate in “HarrisMartin’s Internet of Things and Mass Tort Liability Conference” in San Francisco. His panel will take an insightful look at how software is or becomes defective in devices within the Internet of Things (IoT), the potential for property damage or personal injury, and avenues for legal liability.
Richard McCune is a national spokesperson on legal matters concerning consumers as well as privacy and data breach issues.
McCuneWright, LLP, Files Class Action Against T-Mobile & Experian for Customer Information Data Breach
On October 5, 2015, McCuneWright, LLP, along with other prominent firms, filed a class action complaint in the United States District Court for the Central District – Southern Division against Experian Information Solutions, Inc., T-Mobile USA, and others for failure to adequately safeguard and secure personal information of about 15 million T-Mobile and potential T-Mobile customers. The data breach involved customers who applied for service between September 2013 and September 2015. Data that was breached included, names, addresses, date of birth, Social Security numbers, and driving license numbers.
T-Mobile, Experian Sued Over Hack on 15 Million Customers by Erik Larson, BloombergBusiness, Published: October 7, 2015
McCuneWright, LLP, Files 2nd “Clean Diesel” Fraud Class Action Against Volkswagen & CEO Michael Horn
On September 29, 2015, McCuneWright, LLP, along with another firm, filed a class action complaint against Volkswagen Group of America, Inc., and its CEO Michael Horn for continuing to sell diesel models even after they were aware that these vehicles were equipped with software to circumvent emissions testing. McCuneWright class representative, Amy Bergrud, purchased a 2015 VW Passat 2.0L diesel on the evening of September 17, 2015, two weeks after Volkswagen Group of America representatives admitted the fraudulent scheme to regulator. In Amy Bergrud’s case, her $31,000 cash purchase of her Passat came less than 12 hours before the EPA and CARB issued press releases disclosing Volkswagen’s fraud. Despite the fact that Michael Horn, along with his full leadership team, knew of the fraudulent scheme for weeks, and likely months, before the story became public, they and the Volkswagen dealers across the country continued to sell these diesel models spewing illegal levels of emissions until after the story was made public by regulators. The complaint is seeking rescission of sales contracts, along with compensatory and punitive damages.
McCuneWright, LLP, Files Class Action Against Volkswagen for “Clean Diesel” Fraud
On September 21, 2015, McCuneWright, LLP, along with another firm, filed a class action complaint in the United States District Court for the Central District of California against Volkswagen Group of America, Inc. and others for intentionally designing and distributing software in its “clean diesel” vehicles designed for the sole purpose of circumventing federally mandated emissions standards.
The complaint alleges that Volkswagen designed a software algorithm, known as a “defeat device,” that enabled the clean diesel vehicle’s onboard computer to determine when a federally mandated emissions test was being conducted and to command the emissions system to run in a special test mode that would allow the vehicles to pass the emissions test. Following the completion of the test, the computer would then direct the system to return to its normal operating mode that would cause the vehicle to emit up to 40 times the amount of nitrogen oxides permitted by U.S. law under normal driving conditions. The complaint further alleges that this allowed Volkswagen to claim that its clean diesel vehicles possessed performance and fuel economy characteristics that the vehicles could not have attained if in compliance with federal emissions standards. Mischaracterizing its clean diesel performance has helped Volkswagen capture nearly three quarters of the automotive diesel market in the United States. The complaint asserts this to be one of the most deliberate and blatant frauds carried out by an automotive manufacturer in the industry’s history.
Q & A: What’s next for VW owners? by Susan Carpenter, Staff Writer, The Orange County Registrar, Published: September 26, 2015, Updated: September 27, 2015
NY Man Sues Volkswagen Over Emissions Scandal: ‘Every Reason That I Bought the Car Was Based on a Lie’ by Susanna Kim and Emily Shapiro, ABC News, Published: September 26, 2015, Updated: September 27, 2015
Volkswagen stock plunges after emissions probe by Nathan Bomey, USA Today, USA Today, Published: September 21, 2015
McCuneWright, LLP Files Class Action Against the Internal Revenue Service for Cyber-Breach and Identity Theft
On August 20, 1015, McCuneWright, LLP, along with other firms, filed a class action complaint in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia against the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), for damages on behalf of approximately 330,000 taxpayers who have had suffered identity and financial information theft due to a cyber-breach of the IRS systems. The breach has been traced to the IRS Get Transcripts application used by taxpayers. The investigation first revealed more than 200,000 suspicious attempts to gain access to taxpayer information between mid-February and mid-May of this year, with more than half being successful. On August 18, 2015, the IRS announced the theft was much worse than originally thought, and have revised the successfully stolen number of forms to 330,000.
IRS sued over data breach that affected 330,000 people by Jonathan Vanian, Fortune, Published: August 21, 2015
McCuneWright, LLP Files Class Action Against UCLA Health System for Cybersecurity Data Breach
On July 29, 2015, McCuneWright, LLP, filed a class action complaint against UCLA Health System, UCLA Medical Sciences, and The Regents of the University of California, for compromised private data that may have affected as many as 4.5 million patients. According to UCLA, it is possible that these patients have had their names, Social Security numbers, date of birth, health plan identification numbers, as well as specific medical information compromised in this security breach.
UCLA Health System data breach affects 4.5 million patients by Chad Terhune, The Los Angeles Times, Published: July 30, 2015
UCLA sued over recent hospital records hacking by Nick Shively, The Los Angeles Times, Published: August 11, 2015
McCuneWright files National Class Action against Maker of Turbo Tax for Inadequate Consumer Safety Measures
On April 20, 2015, McCuneWright, LLP, together with other prominent law firms filed a national class action complaint against Intuit, Inc., the maker of the popular TurboTax software that electronically filed an estimated 29 million tax returns in 2014. The lawsuit alleges that cybercriminals used TurboTax to file fraudulent tax returns on behalf of Plaintiffs and that Intuit facilitated the filing of these and thousands of other fraudulent tax returns by failing to take necessary precautions in safeguarding its customers’ most personal and sensitive information, and by failing to implement commercially reasonable security measures to prevent cybercriminals and fraudsters from filing fraudulent tax returns using stolen identities. Plaintiffs allege that Intuit’s conduct violates California law and seek damages on behalf of the Class members who have suffered losses from Intuit’s conduct. The lawsuit also seeks a court order requiring Intuit to implement stricter cyber security measures to adequately safeguard its customers’ most sensitive personal and financial data in the future.
Potential class-action lawsuit filed against maker of TurboTax, The Washington Post, Published: April 22, 2015
UCLA sued over recent hospital records hacking by Nick Shively, The Los Angeles Times, Published: August 11, 2015
Richard McCune interview on the Legal Broadcast Network regarding the class action against Turbo Tax Maker.
Penny Saver Employee Termination Class Action
Penny Saver has filed for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in Delaware. According to their filing, Penny Saver has between 200 to 999 creditors with estimated debt and assets between $10 Million and $50 Million dollars. While the Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing will temporarily halt lawsuits against Penny Saver, the law offices of McCuneWright, LLP are exploring the possibility of moving forward with a lawsuit against OpenGate Capitol which purchased Penny Saver in 2012.
McCuneWright files Class Action Against Pennysaver on Behalf of Laid off Employees
On May 26, 2015, McCuneWright, LLP, filed a class action complaint against Pennysaver USA, LLC and OPENGATE CAPITAL, LLC on behalf of employees who were laid off suddenly and without warning on May 22, 2015. The lawsuit alleges that business owners did not provide sufficient notice of the mass layoffs under California law. Hundreds of former employees remain frustrated at the news and have looked to McCuneWright to help them find recourse. The plantiffs allege that Pennysaver’s and Opengate’s conduct violates California law and seeks damages on behalf of the Class members who have suffered losses from their conduct.
McCuneWright Files National Class Action Against Hyundai for Disabling Unused Blue Link Systems
On February 10, 2015, McCuneWright, LLP, filed a national class action complaint against Hyundai Motor America alleging that the automaker did not inform purchasers of its Blue Link equipped vehicles at the time of sale that the Blue Link Telemetrics System included as a standard feature would be permanently disabled if owners did not subscribe to the Blue Link subscription service. According to notices sent out by Hyundai in January 2015, Blue Link systems that have been inactive for more than one year will be permanently disabled, requiring owners to have to replace the Blue Link module at a cost of $500-$600 dollars if they wish to activate their Blue Link subscription in the future. As a result, Hyundai owners are being forced to choose to subscribe to a Blue Link service that they do not want or have their vehicle devalued by the disabling of the Blue Link Telemetrics module that they purchased as a standard feature when they bought the car. The complaint alleges that Hyundai’s actions constitute a breach of the vehicle warranties and a misrepresentation of the standard features of the vehicle at the time of sale.
Class action filed against Hyundai over Blue Link system, Washington Examiner, Published: February 17, 2015
McCuneWright files national class action against TD Bank for illegal overdraft fees and practices
On January 9, 2015 McCuneWright, LLP, filed a national class action complaint against TD Bank, N.A., the nation’s 10th largest bank, with asset holdings of over $224 billion. Filed in the United States District Court, District of New Jersey, the action alleges illegal overdrafts are being charged when TD Bank customers have a positive balance. This filing is the latest by McCuneWright against a banking institution for illegal overdraft practices. McCuneWright has previously filed and been involved with a number of overdraft class action lawsuits against Wells Fargo Bank, Union Bank, U.S. Bank, Citibank and a number of other financial institutions. The results of those cases include a $203 million verdict against Wells Fargo, and well over $100 million in settlements against other financial institutions.
McCuneWright receives preliminary court approval for $1.8 million class action settlement for illegal overdraft fees on behalf of Orange County Credit Union members
McCuneWright, LLP, filed a class action in Superior Court of Orange County on June 17, 2013, alleging that Orange County Credit Union (OCCU), breached its customer account agreement by unlawfully charging overdraft fees for debit transactions when customers had sufficient money in their accounts to cover these transactions. After litigating this case, a class-wide settlement was reached where OCCU has agreed to pay $1.8 million and change and clarify its disclosures of the overdraft practice. Affected OCCU customers will receive approximately $28.00 for each improper $29.00 overdraft fee imposed. Further information is available at www.orangecountycreditunionoverdraftsettlement.com.
McCuneWright Obtains a $23.3 million Verdict on Behalf of a Shareholder of a Closely Held Corporation
Following a six-week trial in a California Superior Court, McCuneWright partners David Wright and Kristy Arevalo obtained a verdict of $23.3 million on behalf of their client, a 50% owner of a closely held corporation, who had been frozen out of profit distributions by the other shareholder and board of directors. The Court awarded the $23.3 million in damages and set the case for further proceedings on the amount of punitive damages to award to McCuneWright’s client. It is believed that this verdict is that county’s highest verdict in 2014.
McCuneWright Confirms Settlement in Hyundai and Kia MPG Fraudulent Advertising Class Actions
Nearly two years after filing a class action suit against Hyundai Motor America, Richard McCune confirms that Plaintiffs and Hyundai and Plaintiffs and Kia have reached a settlement agreement in the inflated MPG ratings class actions.
Hyundai, Kia reach settlements over inflated MPG ratings by Ryan Beene, Automotive News, Published: December 23, 2013
Hyundai, Kia reach $400-million settlement over inflated MPG claims by Jerry Hirsch, The Los Angeles Times, Published: December 23, 2013
Judge sets the personal injury case of Hadi v. Toyota for trial in 2016
Court Reinstates McCuneWright’s Verdict Against Wells Fargo Bank
On May 14, 2013, Judge William H. Alsup reinstated the $203 million verdict against Wells Fargo Bank on behalf of the over 1 million customers who had been improperly charged overdraft fees as a result of Wells Fargo’s misrepresentations of its posting practice. This action was in response to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeal decision that had directed Judge Alsup to determine the amount of damages from the misrepresentation practice, after finding that the claims that the posting practice itself was illegal were preempted by Federal law.
McCuneWright Confirms Settlement in Toyota Sudden Unintended Acceleration National Class Action Lawsuit
Three years after filing the nation’s first class action suit against Toyota for sudden unintended acceleration, Richard McCune confirms that Plaintiffs and Toyota have reached a settlement agreement
McCuneWright Files MPG Fraudulent Advertising Class Action Suit Against Ford Motor Company
The court has set April 22, 2015 to begin hearing oral arguments from both sides determine the outcome of Ford’s earlier motion to dismiss the case.
McCuneWright, LLP, has filed a national class action lawsuit against Ford Motor Company for fraudulent MPG advertising. The complaint specifically identifies the 2013 Ford C-MAX Hybrid and the 2013 Fusion Hybrid models, alleging, but not exclusively, violation of false advertising laws, fraud, and negligent misrepresentation.
Tests show Ford Fusion, C-MAX hybrids don’t live up to 47 MPG claims, Consumer Reports, Published: December 6, 2012
California Hyundai MPG Fraud Class Action Awarded Tentative Certification
Hyundai Buyers Win Tentative Cert. In Mileage Ad Suit, by Matthew Heller, Law360.com, Published: November 29, 2012
Hyundai and Kia Admit to Inflated MPG Claims
Automakers Hyundai and Kia have been overstating MPG claims (which have been used in their advertising) for the past several years, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced on November 2, 2012. For the past eleven months, McCuneWright, LLP has been litigating this issue in a Federal national class action filed in the Central District of California.
The Court Rules Hyundai MPG Class Action Case Can Go Forward
Hyundai filed a motion challenging whether their respective consumer class action alleging deceptive advertising of the miles per gallon information in vehicles could go forward. On April 23, 2012, the Judge denied Hyundai’s motion to dismiss the case, and ruled the case can go forward.
Richard McCune Selected as a Finalist for 2010-2011 Consumer Attorney of the Year Award
On August 30, 2011, Richard McCune was named as a finalist for the esteemed 2010-2011 Consumer Attorney of the Year award, as a result of the ground-breaking $200 million verdict in Gutierrez v. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., in which United States District Judge William Alsup found that Wells Fargo had engaged in an unfair and illegal scheme of assessing overdraft fees on debit cards to California Wells Fargo customers. Wells Fargo was also ordered to stop the practice. The Consumer Attorney of the Year is named annually by the Consumer Attorneys of California. The winner will be announced on November 12, 2011.
Richard McCune to Speak at Vehicle Product Liability Litigation Conference
McCuneWright, LLP partner, Richard McCune will be speaking at the national legal conference on motor vehicle litigation in Phoenix, Arizona March 30-April 1, 2011. Mr. McCune will be addressing recent developments in product liability consumer class actions and mass torts. The conference is presented by the American Bar Association, Tort Trial & Insurance Practice Section’s Products, General Liability and Consumer Law Committee and the Automobile Law Committee.
“I hired McCuneWright because, not only did they have a good track record, but I felt like my lawyer understood me and would take my case personal.”