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Posts Tagged ‘Lawsuit’

No, it’s not a new motorcycle club.  It’s not even a reference to the 40+ continuous days of 100°+ temperatures in Texas.

I’m talking about litigation “heat” for the motor company.

Recently a Federal Court Judge has denied a Harley-Davidson motion to dismiss Harley bikers’ claims for fraudulent and unfair business practices, violations of Consumers Legal Remedies Act (CLRA), and unjust enrichment. As a result a class action lawsuit** will now go forward against Harley-Davidson alleging certain Harley motorcycle engines produce severe, and excessive heat causing burn injuries and clothing to catch on fire.

Class action lawsuit filings are nothing new to Harley-Davidson.   Back in 2005 there was a lawsuit/complaint against the company alleging securities law violations.  Of course the company believed that that lawsuit was without merit and vigorously defended against any action just like they will on this latest case.  Talk about keeping the legal department busy, this class action suit adds to another lawsuit by Brando Enterprises HERE on the “Brando Boot.”

At any rate last week, a federal judge ruled that a class action overheating & burn lawsuit against Harley-Davidson could go forward, siding with four bikers who claimed their Harley-Davidson motorcycles were defectively designed because their engines ran so hot as to pose a constant danger to riders of being burned and were therefore not fit for their intended use.

The complaint alleges that since 1999, Twin Cam 88, 96, 103 and 110 cubic inch engines in Harley motorcycles produce severe, excessive heat causing clothing to catch on fire, burn injuries and the danger of burn injury to riders and passengers as well as overheating causing premature engine wear and is in models manufactured after 2006, transmission failure.  Although Harley-Davidson asked the Eastern District of California court to throw out the claims under state law, the U.S. District Judge sided with the plaintiffs.

Harley-Davidson will now face a Class Action Certification process at the end of the month.

**Case No. 2:10-CV-02443-JAM-EFB in the Eastern District of California (Plaintiff’s represented by Owen, Patterson & Owen)

Photo courtesy of Jeff Hoffman.net

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v_rabbitDuring dinner a couple weeks back my cell phone rang and I found myself in the middle of a telemarketing call.  I was caught off guard not because it’s rare, but because the individual was promoting a new movie and it took me a moment to realize what was going on.

Before I could mentally process the “not interested” I found myself answering a question.  Whoa, how did that happen?!  The dude was good, I’ll give him that.  I was told the plot of the movie is about a lonely boy who wins over his distant father and strict grandmother with help from a brave velveteen rabbit whose one wish is to become a real rabbit someday.  Okay, a movie with stuffed animals and cartoon animation…I tried to explain to the guy that I wasn’t his key demographic and NO I would not be seeing the movie, but thank you for interrupting my dinner.

I made a mental note to research the movie.  These so-called auto-dialers were being used to promote “The Velveteen Rabbit” and that Feature Films for Families was calling potential customers on behalf of a company called Family 1 Films.  According to Feature Films for Families’ website, the company, based in Murray, Utah, produces and distributes “uplifting and entertaining motion pictures that are suitable for all ages.”  So much for another Hollywood ‘ruder’, ‘cruder’ and ‘nuder’ storyline to drag down teenage values!  But, with no profanity or graphic violence how could it possibly succeed with teenage boys?  The film has opened in select cities and opens in many more theaters February 27th and will have a pre-defined theatrical run of less than one month before its DVD release set in mid-March.

It turns out that using aggressive telemarketers has got the film company into some hot water.  It’s a violation of the Federal Telephone Consumer Protection Act, which makes it illegal to use an auto-dialer to make calls to wireless phones, as well as state fraud and privacy laws.  Verizon recently filed a lawsuit alleging that over the course of 10 days earlier this month, nearly 500,000 calls were made to Verizon customers and employees from the telephone number 917-210-4609.  Verizon alleges that the calls were made in rapid succession, sometimes as quickly as less than half a second apart.

Moral:  A stuffed rabbit who finds himself looked down on by other toys learns that in the real world you’re looked down on for illegal telemarketing and text message spamming – it’s not The Velveteen Rabbit way.

Photo courtesy of Family 1 Films

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