Posts Tagged ‘Lawsuit’

Debt Collector Hit with Facebook Harassment

November 16, 2010

MarkOne, an auto financing company has been hit with a lawsuit in Florida from a debtor who claims that her lender committed harassment by contacting her family members on Facebook and telling them that she was late with her car payments.

Her law firm, Morgan & Morgan believes she is a sympathetic plaintiff – placing her on the sidebar of the law firm’s homepage here.

Previously I have discussed how debt collectors have been using Facebook and social networking to apply pressure on debtors. Perhaps this case will lead to specific legislation banning these practices.

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Mommy ate my Facebook profile!

April 11, 2010

Some Sunday fun:

“According to CBS News on 4/08/10, the son filed a complaint with prosecutors alleging that his mother hacked his Facebook and changed both his Facebook and his e-mail passwords. He further alleged that she made posts to his Facebook page that were slanderous and invaded his privacy. He also requested a no contact order against his mother.”

Judge sued for Lexis doc filing restrictions

April 8, 2010

Texas state court judge, Frederick Edwards and his clerk are requiring parties to file court documents electronically, with LexisNexis, and don’t allow filings to be delivered in person, according to a federal class action. This Montgomery County system, north of Houston, gives Lexis Nexis, income from each civil filing, according to the complaint.

The bigger story is how increasingly online legal services which incorporate everything from court filings, to law books, to legal website developers, marketing services, accounting software etc. are control by the two legal corporate giants – Reed Elsevier (Lexis/News) and Thomson Reuters (West publishing, Findlaw and HubbardOne.)  While those two companies are definitely competitive with each other, once they purchase vibrant smaller companies providing important and useful niche services, I’ve seen those companies wilt and stultify.  Meanwhile, companies that should have died a natural death – like Martindale Hubbard – have been kept on life support in order to milk clients of revenue without providing any real value.

Facebook faces serious patent dispute

April 2, 2010

XACP sued Facebook back in 2007 for infringing its patent but only now is the battle heating up.  This article suggests that Facebook could be on the hook for damages in the millions at the very time they could be looking to go public.

Netflix calls off million dollar contest sequel

March 15, 2010

Netflix was so thrilled by the results of its first online contest offering a million dollars to people who figured out how to improve the service’s movie recommendation algorithm, that they announced a follow-up contest.  However, a lawsuit and FTC investigation revealed that Netflix gave the folks participating in the contest access to some member rental history to see what ways they could improve their suggestions. 

The lawsuit by a closeted lesbian whose rental history was revealed (I’m guessing without her consent) sued claiming that she could be identified by her rental history and that the disclosure of her closeted status could impact her kids at school.  Thus, Netflix announced it would be cancelling the contest much to the disappointment to all those who want to be millionaires.

Class action fraud suit filed against Yelp

March 3, 2010

This lawsuit is no surprise to me.  I’ve been hearing stories about Yelp’s shady practices for months so now they’ve been documented here in this class action complaint filed in LA Federal Court late last month (link to complaint here).

The fact pattern in question is that a small business receives a negative review and gets a call from a Yelp representative who offers to take down the negative ad if the merchant agrees to advertise with Yelp for six months.  If the merchant cancels the advertisement after the six months the negative ad reappears.

There are lots of problems with this approach to running a business if these allegations are true but undermining trust is paramount, the trust that the negative ad is in fact legitimate and not something encouraged or written by Yelp.  The trust that consumers receive an accurate representation of what people think of a business.

Impact on attorneys:  This lawsuit and the behavior it alleges suggests the dangers of not being active on the Internet.  You maybe a terrific lawyer but if one person writes something negative about you and you don’t have a website or any other social networking presence then this negative review could receive undue prominence.

Google Buzz already target of class action

February 19, 2010

A class action has already been filed against “Buzz” in Northern California District Court by Eva Hibnick on behalf of the 31 million people whose Gmail accounts were by default linked to Buzz without their consent.   The consequences of this action are outlined as follows, “”the names of a doctor’s patients or a lawyer’s clients,” or the contacts of a gay person “who was struggling to come out of the closet and had contacted a gay support group.”

Complaint

Power.com amends claims in Facebook case

December 5, 2009

In a case where originally Facebook sued Power.com for copyright infringement, now Power.com is grabbing the headlines in counterclaims.  However, that maybe all that Power.com gets as its original counterclaims that Facebook had engaged in unfair competition violated antitrust laws were dismissed by Judge Jeremy Fogel the federal judge in San Jose California. 

Power.com has now amended its counterclaims and is saying that Facebook’s obvious success in gaining market share and the fact that new competitors haven’t been able to make significant in roads,  shows that the company has engaged in “anti-scrapping tactics” with its competitors.  Some antitrust legal experts are dubious about the merits of these claims (see article linked above).

Feds sued for use of social networking

December 3, 2009

How does the government collect, analyze and utilize data from social networking websites?  Is the government restrained by any privacy considerations in how it uses social networking for surveillance purposes?

These are the questions a new Freedom of Information Act lawsuit filed by The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) and the University of California, Berkeley’s Samuelson Clinic against six federal agencies wants answered.

This article cites public sources about how the federal government mentions its use of social networking for surveillance.  The article cites a situation where Secret Service had “immediately” spotted the opening of social networking profile by a wanted criminal.  How did they do this?  Using automated software like the kind I described in this post?

Worst lawsuit involving turkeys

November 26, 2009

Not good:  The employees or contractors hired by O.E. Bryant allegedly crashed a truck containing 40,000 pounds of turkey meat.

Even worse: The company allegedly delivered the meat to the plaintiff a week later!  Can you say, “spoilage?”

And here comes the lawsuit: Prestage Foods filed suit this year against O.E. Bryant in North Carolina federal court for delivering the contaminated meat.

Happy Thanksgiving all!