Class Actions

July 1, 2016

Credit/Debit Card Receipt Lawsuits (FACTA)

Credit card and identity theft are all too common. As a result, there are laws and acts in place to minimise the risk, and to keep the public as safe as possible. One method in place to protect consumers like you from credit card or identity theft involves the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act or FACTA which was put in place in 2003. This act stipulates what a retailer can and can’t print on a receipt. Essentially, whatever information is printed on a receipt must not enable someone to piece together the credit card or debit card information of a particular customer.

As a result of FACTA, merchants cannot print card numbers outright on a receipt. Instead, a process of truncation is used. In line with this, card numbers are masked with symbols such as #’s or *’s to ensure that the card holders details are kept hidden. Failure to do so can result in that merchant being charged with an FACTA violation.

Violations of FACTA

FACTA states: “no person that accepts credit cards or debit cards for the transaction of business shall print more than the last 5 digits of the card number or the expiration date upon any receipt provided to the cardholder at the point of the sale or transaction.”

In line with the above, FACTA violations can occur as a result of merchants, such as garages, restaurants, or retailers doing one or more of the following:

  • All or part of the expiration date of a credit or debit card is printed on a receipt (e.g. if a card expiration number was September 2021, it would be a violation if any number that suggests that date, such as EXP. 09/21, or EXP. 09/2021 or EXP. **/21).
  • 5 or of the last 5 digits of a card number, or printing any of the other digits (even if it is less than 5). For example, if a card number was 2222-4444-6666 a merchant would be violating FACTA if they printed any of the following: 222*-****-**66, or 2***-4***-6666, or even ****-44**-****.

Sample Receipt Violating FACTA

Has a merchant violated the FACTA on your receipt?

If you have received a receipt from a garage, restaurant, retailer, or other merchant, and you think that it had any of the above details printed on it, then your rights have been violated and as a consumer it is well within your rights to file a FACTA class action lawsuit to obtain a recovery. If successful with the lawsuit, you could obtain compensation, even if no identity theft occurred as a result of the information on the receipt.

Contact an attorney for free

If you have a receipt that violates FACTA, please fill out the form below and we’ll contact you about your rights.

April 21, 2016

Hunter Donaldson & Grays Harbor Community Hospital

Our law firm has filed a class action lawsuit regarding medical services liens that were filed by Grays Harbor Community Hospital and a company called Hunter Donaldson against you and hundreds of other people in Grays Harbor County.

Here is a news article about the lawsuit against Grays Harbor Community Hospital: http://thedailyworld.com/news/local-business/accident-victim-files-suit-against-grays-harbor-community-hospital

Some of the liens were fraudulently created or otherwise legally invalid.  We are investigating whether you may have a claim in this case and your potential participation in the lawsuit.

Please answer the following questions to the best of your ability.  We have a copy of your lien(s) on file and will be happy to send them to you.

If you’d prefer to email us, send an email to graysharborlawsuit@pcvalaw.com.

Again, there is no charge to you for this service and you may be eligible for a monetary recovery.

February 18, 2016

PRESS RELEASE – PCVA Lawsuit Forces Error 53 Fix

Bricked iPhones may be resurrected by Apple

SEATTLE, WA – Apple released an operating system update today that it claims will fix a catastrophic error that left thousands of customers’ iPhones useless.  This announcement comes one week after PCVA filed a class action lawsuit over this defect, commonly known as “Error 53”.  Apple also announced plans to compensate customers who purchased replacements for their inoperable or “bricked” phones.

“Our lawsuit has accomplished goal number one:  to get Apple to create an immediate solution for people whose phones were bricked by Error 53,” said Darrell Cochran, PCVA’s lead attorney for the class action suit.  “We’re going to make sure that Apple follows through with its promises, but we appreciate that the company says it’s going to solve this problem and compensate its customers who were victimized by it.  That’s good business.”

Cochran said the details have not been released yet about compensation for customers who spent money trying to get a working iPhone because of this error.  “It will be important to see whether Apple acknowledges how badly this defect harmed people,” Cochran said.

Cochran added that he wants to make sure that Apple recognizes that people stored important information on their phones only to have it all erased.  “With all the customers we think were impacted, reimbursement is a critical component to whether a proposed settlement is fair and reasonable.”

Contact us if you have experienced Error 53

February 18, 2016

In Response to Class Action Lawsuit, Apple is Fixing Error 53

In response to PCVA’s Error 53 lawsuit, and based on our understanding of conversations with Apple’s attorneys today, Apple has released an iOS update addressing Error 53 and unbricking affected devices (without restoring Touch ID functionality).  While we have not seen any details, Apple also indicated it will offer some sort of “compensation” for people who have had to spend money trying to fix the problems caused by Error 53.  Without the details at this point, we cannot tell whether the amounts to be offered will be fair to the customers but we look forward to reviewing the offer and providing our thoughts about it.  Apple specifically has stated that customers who paid for an out-of-warranty replacement of their device should contact AppleCare about a “reimbursement.”  However, before installing the iOS update or accepting any compensation offered to you by Apple, you should carefully review the terms of the update or compensation.  Installing the update or accepting any compensation may limit or eliminate your ability to pursue claims against Apple in the event that the update or compensation is inadequate to address the harms you have suffered as a result of Error 53.

As to the lawsuit, Apple has said through its attorneys that it would like to resolve the claims soon without prolonged litigation.

Once the details of a compensation package or formal settlement proposal are offered, we will quickly review them and offer our thoughts regarding whether they fully address the issues posed by Error 53 and whether they adequately compensate all affected customers.  However, we are pleased to have prompted this quick and promising development for all our clients and will provide more details as they emerge.

More info: TechCrunch Article, Apple Support Document

February 11, 2016

PRESS RELEASE – PCVA Files Class-Action Lawsuit Against Apple for “Error 53” Issue

Lawsuit targets Apple’s policy of “bricking” iPhones during software updates or restores

SEATTLE, WA – Pfau Cochran Vertetis Amala PLLC (PCVA), a nationally respected trial law firm, filed a class-action lawsuit against Apple, Inc. in federal court today in response to Apple’s “Error 53” iPhone controversy.

Apple has been under fire for its policy of permanently disabling (a practice referred to as “bricking”) iPhone 6 and 6 Plus units that have had their fingerprint sensors damaged or had hardware replaced by third-party repair stores. The phones are bricked after users install a phone update.  Once bricked the phone is essentially useless. “Error 53” refers to the message displayed to users who are no longer able to use their phones after installing the update.

“The first objective is to get all the affected iPhone customers re-outfitted with working phones, and without the overwhelming costs that thousands of people are facing right now with error 53 codes and bricked phones,” said Darrell Cochran, lead attorney for the class action lawsuit.  “That will provide immediate relief to the consumers and, in the end, it will also help Apple,” Cochran said.

Apple representatives have claimed the policy of disabling phones was a security measure to protect users from having their personal data compromised. But PCVA attorney Cochran doesn’t buy into Apple’s security safeguard explanations.

“If security was the primary concern, then why did the phones work just fine, sometimes for several months, without the software update,” Cochran asked.  “Error 53 only rears its ugly head when downloading a newer version of Apple’s operating system.”

Cochran said Apple’s failure to give a warning about the consequences of its update on phones, including the loss of all information in the phone, has consumers crying foul.

“No materials we’ve seen from Apple ever show a disclosure that your phone would self-destruct if you download new software onto a phone,” Cochran said.   “If Apple wants to kill your phone under any set of circumstances and for any reason, it has to make it crystal clear to its customers before the damage is done.”

Compounding the problem, according to Cochran, is how disagreeable Apple’s reaction to the problem has been.  “The error code 53 signals the death of the phone, and Apple’s response has been to say ‘you have no options; it’s not covered under warranty, and you have to buy a new phone.’”

If you’ve been a victim of Apple’s Error 53, contact the team of attorneys at PCVA to help hold Apple responsible for its wrongdoing.

For more information about PCVA, visit the firm’s website, www.pcvalaw.com.

Filing Document

2016-02-11 — Apple Error 53 — Plfs Complaint

Contact us if you have experienced Error 53

February 5, 2016

Hunter Donaldson & Highline Hospital

Our law firm has filed a class action lawsuit regarding medical services liens that were filed by Highline Medical Center and a company called Hunter Donaldson against you and hundreds of other people in King County.

Some of the liens were fraudulently created or otherwise legally invalid.  We are investigating whether you may have a claim in this case and your potential participation in the lawsuit.

Please answer the following questions to the best of your ability.  We have a copy of your lien(s) on file and will be happy to send them to you.

 

If you’d prefer to email us, send an email to lienfraud@pcvalaw.com.

Again, there is no charge to you for this service and you may be eligible for a monetary recovery.

February 5, 2016

Class Action Lawsuit: Apple iPhone ‘Error 53’

We have filed a class action lawsuit against Apple for an issue that, as The Guardian puts it, “will kill your iPhone.”

iPhone 6 and 6 Plus Models Affected

As far as we know, the problem affects iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus models that have been repaired by a third party.  The iPhone detects that new parts have been installed, and when upgraded to iOS 9, the mysteriously aggravating “Error 53” prevents the phone from functioning.  Worse than having a bricked phone, however, is that unless end-users have an up-to-date backup of their data, all of the documents, apps, and photos are gone.  Our research indicates that there is no way for anyone to recover what is lost in the process.

What Does “Error 53” Mean?

Unfortunately, if you’re seeing “Error 53” on your iPhone 6 or 6 Plus, it may mean that your phone is “bricked.”  As one iPhone repair shop owner puts it [NSFW language in the video], you could walk up to the Genius Bar with $1,000,000 and not get your data back.

What’s Behind “Error 53”?

We hope to find out why Apple implements a policy where end users aren’t free to choose someone other than Apple to repair their devices.  We believe that Apple may be intentionally forcing users to use their repair services, which cost much more than most third party repair shops.  Where you could get your screen replaced by a neighborhood repair facility for $50-80, Apple charges $129 or more.  There is incentive for Apple to keep end users from finding alternative methods to fix their products.

Think of it this way: Let’s say you bought a car, and had your alternator replaced by a local mechanic.  Under Apple’s strategy, your car would no longer start because you didn’t bring it to an official dealership.  They intentionally disable your car because you tried to fix it yourself.

That is wrong, and we hope to prove that it violates various consumer protection laws in the United States.

If you have encountered “Error 53” with your iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, or a newer iPhone device, we’d like to hear from you.  There is no cost to contact us and we only get paid if we win.

If you still have your phone, right now, we recommend you keep it.  Also keep any written information from Apple or any quotes/receipts you may have related to the repair.

Contact us about the Apple Error 53 Issue today

April 6, 2015

Questions about Premera IT Department Pre-Date Breach

Even before the private information of more than 11 million Premera Blue Cross customers was compromised by hacked servers, the health insurers’ information technology [IT] department was in turmoil.

PCVA has learned that in June, 2011, Primera had to pay a class action settlement of $1.45 million dollars after a group of its current and former IT employees sued over the company’s illegal practice of failing to pay overtime and other benefits in violation of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act, or FLSA.

Premera, and its subsidiaries LifeWise Health Plan of Oregon and LifeWise Assurances Co., employs hundreds of technical support workers nationwide.

Premera’s past practices within its IT department will be one of the focuses of the lawsuit filed by PCVA in the wake of the personal data breach of its insurance customers.

Premera officials were silent for over a month-and-a-half as it customers’ personal identifiers – including names, credit card information, bank account numbers and social security numbers – were exposed to hackers.

There are state and federal laws that require businesses to notify customers immediately after an online data breach like the one Primera discovered in January.

The Mountlake Terrace-based health insurer apparently ignored state and federal auditors’ recommendations that it update its software and internet security after finding that it was particularly vulnerable to cyberattacks and malware breaches.

The confidential information breach lawsuit filed Primera was filed on March 23, 2015, in U.S. District Court in Seattle, by PCVA attorney Darrell Cochran, (Hoirup et al v. Premera Blue Cross; 2:15-cv-00445-MJP).

PCVA is a Pacific Northwest trial law firm with offices in Seattle and Tacoma.  If you are interested in finding out more about the lawsuit or PCVA, please visit premeralawsuit.com.

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June 5, 2014

Rekhter v. DSHS – Victory in nearly $90M Class Action

WA Supreme Court DENIES State’s Motion for Reconsideration

The Washington Supreme Court today denied the State of Washington’s motion to reconsider its ruling in favor of the Class Plaintiffs on their $57 million jury verdict with post-judgment interest. The judgment of roughly $90 million will stand.

Once finalized, the case will be returned to Thurston County Superior Court for final work to be completed on payment and the payment process that will be ordered by the court. The Court will determine the most appropriate way to make sure that the Class Members know about the result and the manner in which money will be distributed to the Class Members.

Please check in frequently here on the website for updated details as we move towards completion of this process.

Read the order from the Supreme Court here

This case is about in-home care providers who lost out on benefits promised them by WA DSHS.  In 2010, the case went to trial and the jury awarded the plaintiffs over $57,000,000.  After a lengthy appeals process, the total award with post-judgment interest will be nearly $90,000,000.

April 4, 2014

Supreme Court Upholds $57M Verdict for Home-Care Workers

Our case against DSHS, Rekhter, et al. v. DSHS, et al. was won at trial in December 2010, with a jury verdict of over $57,000,000.  The State appealed that verdict to the State Supreme Court, and oral arguments were heard in May 2013.  After a long wait, the decision came back from the State’s highest court.  While the Supreme Court overturned an award of pre-judgment interest of over $39M, they upheld the verdict of over $57M and allowed post-judgment interest, bringing the total to over $80M.  The local news media covered the Supreme Court ruling at length.  We’ve linked to the articles below.  Find out more information about the case at our website, www.dshslawsuit.com

Rekhter v. DSHS News Coverage

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