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Archives : 2011 : April

Nationwide Class Action Filed by Franchisees of BP, ARCO, and am/pm Against BP and Retalix

April 29th, 2011

The law firms of Seeger Weiss LLP and Lee Tran & Liang, APLC announce that they jointly filed a class action lawsuit today in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California on behalf of owners of BP and ARCO gas station franchises and am/pm convenience store franchises. The defendants are BP West Coast Products LLC and BP Products North America, Inc., both subsidiaries of BP p.l.c. (LSE: BP; NYSE: BP), and Retalix LTD (NASDAQ: RTLX).

The case is entitled Green Desert Oil Group Inc. et al. v. BP West Coast Products LLC et al. (N.D. Cal case number CV-11-2087).

The wrongful and illegal conduct set forth in the complaint include the following: (i) BP Defendants required all franchisees to install a new centralized point of sale (“POS”) computer system developed by co-defendant Retalix LTD that is defective which in turn, resulted in substantial damages to the franchisees such as lost operation time, lost revenue, lost or inaccurate inventory, lost receivables and cash, and increased operating costs and burdens; (ii) BP’s illegal manipulation of gas supply and pricing; (iii) BP’s improper direct control of and/or pricing by third-party vendors; (iv) BP’s policy of forcing sale of items and collection of fees for which Plaintiffs receive no compensation.

There are over 1600 franchised BP and ARCO gas stations and am/pm stores across the country, all of whom are part of the proposed class for this lawsuit. The Service Station Franchise Association, Inc. (SSFA), which represents a large number of the franchisees, has been instrumental in assisting the plaintiffs in their quest to bring the defendants to justice via this action.

Seeger Weiss is one of the nation’s preeminent plaintiffs’ law firms with offices in New York City, Los Angeles and other cities. It specializes in mass tort and class action litigation. The firm’s reputation for exceptional results, leadership and innovation has resulted in its appointment to numerous plaintiffs’ steering or executive committees in a variety of high-profile multidistrict litigations throughout the United States. Among its recent accomplishments include acting as Lead Counsel for Plaintiffs in the Vioxx Litigation against Merck & Co. that resulted in historic $4.85 billion settlement, one of the largest settlements of a mass litigation in United States history.

LTL, based in Los Angeles, is one of the most technologically-savvy business trial law firms in the country. LTL has extensive experience–and achieved significant successes–handling high-stakes matters involving some of the most sophisticated computer technologies. Founded in 2003 as the first spin-off of Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP, one of the leading business trial law firms in the world, LTL has garnered its shares of accolades and successes. LTL attorneys have consistently been honored by their peers and legal publications as among the rising stars in the legal profession.

Builder may be forced to fix Chinese drywall homes in York County, Virginia

April 29th, 2011

Newport News Daily Press:

The homebuilder for Overlook Point subdivision might be required to fix four homes contaminated with Chinese drywall, a state review board has ruled.

Homeowner Psyche Page, who lives in Overlook Point in one of the four homes covered by the case, said for the first time, she’s encouraged by the government’s response.

“Patience is a virtue. It’s taken a long time, but we have to persevere,” Page said.

Since 2009, homeowners in Hampton Roads have been dealing the effects from toxic gases released by the drywall. The gases have corroded electrical systems, damaged appliances and air conditioners, and caused many homeowners to complain of “rotten eggs” smells and health problems.

Toxic Drywall Taxes Katrina Relief Groups

April 27th, 2011

Huffington Post:

Relief organizations whose volunteers built or repaired hundreds of damaged houses after Hurricane Katrina have found they installed toxic Chinese drywall in more than 200 buildings, requiring hundreds of low-income families to move out for months while the houses are gutted anew and rebuilt.

For many families, it’s a return to stress, dislocation and helplessness more than five years after the storm — and long after they thought their ordeal was over.

And for relief organizations, which have decided to shoulder the full cost of millions of dollars in repairs, doubling back to gut and rebuild old homes is a major budget setback that cuts into their future work.

Chinese Drywall Lawsuits Are Partially Settled by Louisiana Supplier InEx

April 26th, 2011


Interior/Exterior Building Supply Ltd. of Louisiana agreed to pay $8 million cash and assign $72 million in insurance rights to resolve claims by thousands of U.S. property owners whose homes were ruined by defective Chinese drywall.

In 2005 and 2006, InEx bought more than 500,000 pieces of drywall from units of the Knauf Group and other Chinese manufacturers. The products allegedly contained chemicals that released foul-smelling gases and corroded wiring and appliances which homeowners were forced to rip out and replace.

InEx’s primary insurers, Arch Insurance Co. and Liberty Mutual Fire Insurance Co., each agreed to pay $4 million cash toward the claims. InEx assigned claimants its rights to pursue an additional $72 million in excess insurance coverage from North River Insurance Co., according to the court papers.

Chinese drywall distributor in New Orleans agrees to settlement

April 26th, 2011

New Orleans Times-Picayune:

A settlement has been reached with Interior/Exterior Building Supply LP, the New Orleans company that distributed the Knauf-brand imported Chinese drywall from Texas to Alabama, and its insurers, potentially putting money in the hands of beleaguered homeowners.

Under the deal, which is still subject to court approval, Interior/Exterior’s two primary insurers will put up the $8 million limit of their insurance policies to compensate homeowners. Later this year, the plaintiffs will proceed to trial against Interior/Exterior’s excess insurers, who have another $72 million in coverage.
U.S. District Court Judge Eldon Fallon is expected to announce details at this morning’s previously scheduled monthly status conference in the Chinese-Manufactured Drywall Products Liability Litigation that has been consolidated in New Orleans. The hearing began about 9:15 a.m. Fallon presides over more than 10,000 cases in the litigation.

PBS: Joaquin Sapien on Chinese drywall

April 26th, 2011

Osteoporosis Drugs: The Good, the Bad, the Natural Alternatives

April 25th, 2011

Huffington Post:

The FDA, which approved bisphosphonates in the first place has backpedaled a bit. Last October the government issued a warning about the increased risk of fractures of the femur — the thigh bone — for those who take these drugs for more than five years.

What a quandry for those who need to halt and reverse the bone loss that can lead to “dowager’s hump,” spinal compression fractures and fractures of the leg. And the number of people who suffer from bone loss is in the hundreds of millions.

If you have experienced health complications while taking Fosamax, contact Seeger Weiss to talk about your legal options.

Lawsuit filed over manufacturer’s alleged ‘over-promotion’ of Fosamax

April 25th, 2011

The Louisiana Record:

A Lafourche Parish resident has filed a personal injury lawsuit against the manufacturers of the drug Fosamax regarding over-promotion of the drug for alleged non-approved or “off-label” uses.

Josephine P. Naccio filed suit against Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp. f/k/a Merck & Co. Inc., Watson Pharmaceuticals Inc. and Barr Laboratories Inc. on April 18 in federal court in New Orleans.

According to the lawsuit, Naccio was prescribed Fosamax for long-term use for the treatment of osteoporosis and as a result, she states she suffered an unexplained femur fracture. Naccio states she would not have taken the drug had she known of the risks associated with long-term use.

If you have experienced health complications while taking Fosamax, contact Seeger Weiss to talk about your legal options.

Newer Birth Control Pills Carry a Higher Risk of Blood Clots

April 25th, 2011


The two trials, one of which involved a U.S. population of women and the other a British cohort, found that women taking newer forms of oral contraceptives, which include drosperinone, a synthetic version of the hormone progesterone, increased their risk of developing a blood clot by two or three times over those taking older birth control pills that rely on a different form of the hormone known as levonorgestrel. …Newer oral contraceptives include Yaz, Yasmin and Ocella, and their makers all include warnings about increased risk of blood clots on the drugs’ labels.

If you have experienced health complications while taking Yaz, Yasmin or Ocella, contact Seeger Weiss to talk about your legal options.

CPSC can’t link tainted drywall to American manufacturers

April 22nd, 2011

Consumer Reports:

The drywall saga continues: A Consumer Product Safety Commission report says some products believed to be made in the USA have the same issues as tainted Chinese drywall. Trouble is, the agency can’t confirm it’s really American-made, according to a report from the non-profit investigative journalism enterprise ProPublica.