Wednesday, February 25, 2015
Wednesday, January 14, 2015
By Beth Fertig
Monday, July 28, 2014
A group of New York City parents said they joined in a lawsuit over the state's tenure rules on Monday because they think their children are not getting what they deserve at school.
Friday, April 25, 2014
Director Bryan Singer has a new X-Men movie out soon, but the probable blockbuster will now be marred by controversy. Last week, a man sued Singer, alleging that the director and other men repeatedly assaulted him as a teenager.
Friday, September 27, 2013
By PJ Vogt
Google turned 15 today. The company celebrated by unveiling a new version of their algorithm. Meanwhile, a judge issued a ruling that a class-action suit that against Google's targeted ads can proceed.
Monday, August 05, 2013
By Brian Wise
The mezzo-soprano Wendy White is suing the Metropolitan Opera for a 2011 accident where a set collapsed from under her during performance of Faust, causing her to fall eight feet.
Wednesday, May 08, 2013
By Beth Fertig
Elections for the city's parent councils may continue. A group of candidates unsuccessfully tried to persuade a judge to halt the process because they felt they weren't given a full opportunity to campaign before voting began on May 1.
Thursday, December 27, 2012
(Paul Eisenstein - The Detroit Bureau) Toyota Motor Co. has reached a more than $1 billion settlement intended to put an end to hundreds of lawsuits stemming from the maker’s problems with unintended acceleration. But Toyota still faces a separate series of lawsuits from those who claim to have been injured by runaway vehicles.
The proposed settlement specifically covers lawsuits filed by owners who alleged that the value of their cars, trucks and crossovers had plummeted substantially as a result of the crisis triggered by a series of revelations and recalls that eventually involved more than 14 million Toyota products worldwide.
The maker said it also will launch an extended warranty program covering 16 million current owners while also installing additional safety technology on 3.2 million of its vehicles. But in light of other recent recalls that have involved millions more Toyota products it remains unclear if the settlement will be enough to repair the Japanese giant’s once shining image.
[Related Story: Toyota Furia Concept Could be New Corolla]
“This agreement marks a significant step forward for our company, one that will enable us to put more of our energy, time and resources into Toyota’s central focus: making the best vehicles we can for our customers and doing everything we can to meet their needs,” said Christopher P. Reynolds, Group Vice President and General Counsel, Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A, and Chief Legal Officer, Toyota Motor North America.
The deal must still receive the approval of U.S. District Judge James Selna, who has been overseeing hundreds of lawsuits that have been filed since late 2009 when the maker launched the first in a series of recalls related to unintended acceleration.
The first action involved loose carpets that could jam accelerator pedals making it difficult to slow a vehicle. A subsequent recall announced in early 2010 involved sticky accelerator assemblies. Toyota has since announced several other recalls related to unintended acceleration.
A pair of studies conducted for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration dismissed allegations that Toyota vehicles also suffered from defective engine control systems that could lead to unintended acceleration. But the agency has nonetheless fined the Japanese maker repeatedly for failing to act upon a known safety defect in reasonable time, as required by law.
Earlier this month, Toyota agreed to pay a $17.35 million fine for delaying a recall involving loose floor carpets in its Lexus RX crossovers. It paid $48.8 million in fines in 2010 for similar delays.
The maker has faced a variety of different lawsuits which were consolidated under the auspices of the U.S. District Court in Santa Ana, California. The proposed settlement only involves those suits alleging that owners saw the value of their vehicles decline as a result of the unintended acceleration scare.
[Also at Detroit Bureau: After Decade-Long Decline, Highway Deaths Suddenly Surge]
A total of $250 million will be offered to those who sold or turned in a leased vehicle between September 2009 and December 2010, at the height of the scandal.
Another $250 million will be used to extend the warranty coverage on select vehicle components for owners and lessors of 16 million Toyota products and to retrofit 3.2 million vehicles with a brake override system. That technology is intended to automatically reduce engine power when the brakes are touched, even if a driver inadvertently also applies the throttle.
The remaining funds will be used for safety research and driver education programs.
“We think (this) was a good settlement given the risks of this litigation,” Steve Berman, a lawyer representing Toyota owners, told the Associated Press.
It is not clear how much of the settlement, which Berman estimated at $1.2 billion to $1.4 billion, will go to plaintiffs attorneys. Toyota, meanwhile, said it would take a one-time charge against earnings of $1.1 billion.
[Also on Detroit Bureau: Car Thieves Offer a Reprieve on Xmas – But Watch Out New Year’s Eve]
As for those who claim to have been injured in unintended acceleration crashes – and those who are suing on behalf of deceased family members – that case is currently scheduled to see the first trial begin in February, barring any additional settlement.
Toyota appears to be hoping that it can defend itself by referring to findings of the two NHTSA studies, one conducted by the National Academy of Sciences, the other by NASA. Neither could find any proof that Toyota vehicles suffered from electronic gremlins – though the NASA study did leave open the possibility that such issues did exist but were difficult to trace.
During an emotional February 2010 hearing before Congress, Toyota President Akio Toyoda promised to step up efforts to ensure the safety of the company’s vehicles – and to increase the response time when problems are discovered.
The maker has pointed to its strong performance in recent quality and reliability surveys. But skeptics also note not only the latest fine for recall delays but the fact that Toyota has recalled millions more vehicles this year. That includes the maker’s largest recall ever due to faulty window switches that could catch fire.
But industry analysts say that the maker’s problems appear to have had relatively little impact on its sales.
Thursday, August 23, 2012
By Beth Fertig
Two weeks before the start of the new school year, the city has freed up $18 million for 24 schools it had wanted to reshape before being blocked by a court. But the funding is just about half as much as the schools would have gotten under the original plan.
Friday, July 13, 2012
A court has ruled that Wells Fargo will pay $175 million as a result of a lawsuit based on discriminatory actions of the firm from 2004 to 2009. The Assistant Attorney General for the U.S. Justice Department's Civil Rights Division talks about the recent court ruling and what it could mean for the sinister trend of discrimination in the banking industry.
Monday, July 09, 2012
More than a thousand home health aides are expected to benefit from a $1 million dollar settlement of a class action lawsuit that charged the workers were regularly underpaid and companies flouted overtime rules.
Thursday, May 24, 2012
Facebook and its IPO's underwriter Morgan Stanley are facing at least three shareholder lawsuits alleging that the companies allowed misleading assessments and omissions in their IPO registration statement. This, on the same day that Massachusetts Secretary of Commonwealth William Galvin issued a subpoena to Morgan Stanley in response to other allegations. Peter J. Henning, a professor at Wayne State University Law School who specializes in white collar crime, co-wrote an article about this for the New York Times' DealBook.
Tuesday, April 03, 2012
By Beth Fertig
The teachers' union claims the Department of Education is violating state Freedom of Information Law by declining to release e-mails between former Chancellor Joel I. Klein, other officials and education groups. The e-mails date back to May 2010, the same year the city was blocked by the union from closing more than 20 low-performing schools.