Consumer FraudEven the most educated and careful consumers cannot always protect themselves against the threat of commercial fraud. When corporations - whether as a result of negligence or malice - engage in misleading and damaging practices such as deceptive marketing, improper billing, predatory lending or improper kickbacks, individual and corporate consumers are all too often forced to pay the price for their wrongdoing. In standing up for their own best interests, consumers help to reduce the risk of future consumer fraud in the marketplace by forcing corporate accountability.
Kirby McInerney has consistently delivered financial relief for our clients in consumer fraud litigation. KM attorneys have nearly two decades of experience defending the interests of institutional clients, businesses, and individual consumers in cases of commercial fraud in a variety of market sectors, including insurance, telecommunications, real estate, and others. The firm has employed innovative techniques to obtain recoveries for defrauded consumers, and our policy of conducting consumer class action litigation on a contingency basis makes legal remedies available to our clients that would otherwise be financially infeasible. The firm strives to protect the interests of consumers against the risks of corporate fraud while simultaneously prompting positive change in the way that companies do business.
Examples of KM’s experience in consumer fraud litigation include:
- Fli-Lo Falcon Llc V. Amazon.Com Inc. Et Al, 22-cv-441 (W.D.Wash.). Serving as lead counsel to a class of small package delivery companies defrauded by Amazon under its Delivery Service Partners (DSP) Program. The case alleges that the DSP program represents an unlawful scheme to shield Amazon from its responsibilities to DSPs, their drivers, and the public; minimize the risk of unionization among drivers; foist costs that Amazon would otherwise bear as an employer of drivers onto DSPs despite the fact that the drivers are functionally Amazon employees; and limit Amazon’s delivery costs by imposing policies and rules intended to prevent DSPs from achieving performance-related payments.
- Apple Gift Card Litigation, No. 20-cv-04812 (N.D. Cal.). Serving as co-lead counsel to a class of consumers who were victims of gift-card scams and from whom Apple allegedly withholds funds. KM Partner Anthony Fata developed and filed the first complaint in this proprietary case. Drawing on his financial crimes expertise, Mr. Fata developed the factual theories underpinning the case, helped to organize counsel, and led and is currently co-leading efforts on behalf of the class.
- Rothstein v. GMAC Mortgage LLC, No. 12-cv-03412 (S.D.N.Y.). Lead counsel in a class action representing residential mortgage loan borrowers who were allegedly overcharged for the cost of lender-placed insurance in connection with loans serviced by GMAC Mortgage, LLC. The case resulted in a $13 million settlement against GMAC Mortgage LLC in In re Residential Capital, LLC, et al., No. 12-12020 (Bankr. S.D.N.Y. 2016).
- Cardoso, et al. v. IDT Corporation, et al., No. 03-cv-00375 (D.N.J.). Lead counsel in a class action litigation against IDT Corporation, IDT Telecom, Inc., and Union Telecard Alliance, LLC (collectively, “IDT”). The case alleged that IDT failed to inform consumers sufficiently about the applicable rates and charges for its prepaid and rechargeable calling cards, and thereby violated various state consumer protection acts and other laws. The case resulted in a settlement of up to $20 million in Refund PINs (representing free domestic telephone minutes), $2 million in charitable donations, and additional relief consisting of enhanced disclosures of calling card charges.
- Reynolds v. Beneficial National Bank, No. 98-cv-02178 (N.D. Ill.). Co-lead counsel in a class action against H&R Block and HSBC (as successor to Beneficial National Bank) for the benefit of almost two million taxpayers who had obtained Refund Anticipation Loans (“RALs”). The case alleged that H&R Block and Beneficial National Bank made misrepresentations and charged people undisclosed fees on RALs. After years of litigation and appeals, the case resulted in a settlement of $39 million in cash.