Wednesday, December 28, 2016
How do you know you’ve hired the right attorney? Martindale-Hubbell sets the standard in objective attorney ratings. So when Attorney Dani Liblang recently achieved an AV Preeminent rating, the highest rating Martindale-Hubbell gives, the honor indicated that Dani is respected by clients and professionals alike.
Wednesday, December 21, 2016
What can a magazine do with your subscriber information? Do they have the free speech right to share your information? Or can states like Michigan create consumer privacy laws to protect you from an onslaught of solicitation? It depends on whether the Michigan Preservation of Personal Privacy Act is deemed unconstitutional in a federal lawsuit filed in New York.
Wednesday, December 14, 2016
Wells Fargo recently became the center of attention when it came to light the company’s employees were creating sham accounts using its customers’ personal information. But now the company is using private arbitration to bury settlements from the public eye.
Wednesday, December 7, 2016
Every year, thousands of people in America die because of distracted driving. But when laws against texting while driving don’t work, how can the government get motorists to put the phone down? The NHTSA says it’s up to cell phone manufacturers to take the next step.
Wednesday, November 30, 2016
What rights to do you have if you lose a prepaid debit card? Can you get a refund? Can you keep someone else from using it? New CFPB regulations provide increased transparency and protection.
Wednesday, November 23, 2016
When banks lenders charge more to people of color, who is hurt? The individual, obviously, but what about the city? The U.S. Supreme Court has taken up the question and will soon decide whether a city has the authority to sue for predatory lending under the Fair Housing Act.
Wednesday, November 16, 2016
Just weeks after electronics manufacturer Samsung was forced to abandon its Galaxy Note 7 smart phone, the company is announcing another recall. This time, the company is recalling 2.8 million washing machines because of a risk of injury.
Wednesday, November 9, 2016
Choosing the right used car can be a guessing game. Improper maintenance, hard use, and multiple owners can turn even the best model car into a lemon that could leave you stranded, or worse. But some makes and models are worse than others. Find out whether your used car is one of the “most dangerous cars in America.”
Wednesday, November 2, 2016
When consumers find themselves at odds with big companies or financial companies, they turn to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) for help. A recent U.S. Court of Appeals decision will hamper efforts to fight for consumers’ rights.
Wednesday, October 26, 2016
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has done the hard work of protecting US consumers since it was created in 2010. Now a U.S. Court of Appeals decision has ruled the CFPB’s structure unconstitutional, subjecting the agency and consumer safety to the political system.
Wednesday, October 19, 2016
You’ve gone to trial and put on your best case. All the evidence is in. And yet, somehow the jury comes back with a $0 verdict. You’re stunned. Now what? What can you do when the jury gets it wrong?
Wednesday, October 12, 2016
Nursing homes house some of America’s most vulnerable populations. Residents are at risk for elder abuse and neglect, as well as medical problems. But until recently, arbitration clauses have kept the victims of assisted living facilities out of court. Now the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services is putting a stop to that.
Wednesday, October 5, 2016
Michigan Attorney General Bill Schutte jointed a multi-state lawsuit against MonoSol Rx and Reckitt, the makers of Suboxone, claiming the company performed illegal anti-trust activities to prevent competition and drive up the cost of the drug. If the law is successful, consumers suffering opioid addiction could be able to get help for a lot less money.
Wednesday, September 28, 2016
If you drive a car in Michigan, you’ve probably used a gas station’s “pay-at-the-pump” machines. You know how convenient it is to pump and pay without the trouble of heading inside. But that same convenience makes it easy for scammers to use credit card skimmers to steal your identity. A new bill hopes to stop that.
Wednesday, September 21, 2016
Imagine discovering that your bank has been moving your funds into a bank account you never authorized. Or worse, a credit card account. Wells Fargo is under the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s microscope after its community banking division was caught opening fraudulent accounts at its customers’ expense.
Wednesday, September 14, 2016
Imagine bringing home a brand new smartphone, plugging it in to charge, and having it explode or catch on fire. That’s what happened to over 30 buyers of the new Samsung Galaxy Note 7. Now Samsung has halted sales and instituted an unofficial recall worldwide.
Wednesday, September 7, 2016
How far should a plug-in hybrid be able to travel on all electric power? One man is suing Toyota over its claims that the 2012 Prius was good for 13 miles of all-electric driving, claiming the actual numbers fell far short.
Wednesday, August 31, 2016
Craigslist is notorious for the scammers who use it. Whether it’s a person selling an item for far more than it is worth, or shady financial assistance, it seems like there is always a new Craigslist scheme. But it’s not just buyers who should beware of anyone making promises online. The latest Craigslist scam targets vehicle sellers, and could leave them holding a loan, but no car.
Wednesday, August 24, 2016
Two amusement park ride accidents within two days have left four children seriously injured. The closeness of the two crashes leave some doubting carnival safety, and others calling for tighter regulation of amusement park companies.
Wednesday, August 17, 2016
On June 2, 2016, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau issued proposed rules to regulate the payday loan industry. These rules close the traps that many low-income residents find themselves in when money runs short. Here’s what you need to know about the new payday loan rules, and why they are necessary.
Wednesday, August 10, 2016
The Michigan Consumer Protection Act is a broad statute designed to shield consumers from a lot of wrongful conduct by the companies they work with. But even the MCPA can be stretched too thin. For example, a recent court case held that the consumer protection law did not protect a renter from paying for damages caused by a squirrel cooking fire.
Wednesday, August 3, 2016
It’s no secret that Michigan has some of the highest rates in the country for auto insurance. But how much a particular person pays has to do with far more than his or her driving record. Now advocates are calling for reforms to keep poor Michigan residents from paying more for their auto insurance than their wealthy counterparts.
Wednesday, July 27, 2016
When you subscribe to a magazine, you do so because you enjoy the content or want to receive information on a given topic. You wouldn't expect that you are putting your name out there to third-party advertisers. But if you get magazines from Rodale Inc., your privacy may have been compromised.
Wednesday, July 20, 2016
The push to get autonomous vehicles like the Tesla Model S on the road, is that they are safer because they remove the chance for human error. But a recent fatal crash involving Tesla’s autopilot technology has drawn the attention of federal regulators, and could slow down the march toward driverless vehicles.
Wednesday, July 13, 2016
Is it a violation of Michigan consumer protection laws for a music sharing app like Pandora to share your music preferences without your knowledge? The Supreme Court says no. Its decision raises the question of who the company's customers really are.
Wednesday, July 6, 2016
Last year, Volkswagen admitted it had cheated on diesel emissions tests in Europe and the US. Now the auto maker has entered into a provisional agreement with the US government and auto owners' attorneys to pay up to $14.7 billion in a first step to settle claims worldwide.
Wednesday, June 29, 2016
The sudden and tragic death of Star Trek actor Anton Yelchin took social media by surprise last week. The accident may be connected to a recall on his Jeep Wrangler, which demonstrates how important it is not to ignore recall notices.
Wednesday, June 22, 2016
With how much the defective airbags from Takata have been in the news, most consumers would expect that automakers wouldn't still be using them. But they would be wrong. Several auto manufacturers are still making new cars containing the dangerous safety devices. Is yours one of them?
Wednesday, May 25, 2016
When you open up a music streaming app like Pandora, are you borrowing the music (like a video rental) or just tuning in (like a radio station)? Federal and Michigan state courts are weighing this issue right now. And the outcome could mean big changes in consumer protection.
Wednesday, May 18, 2016
The Japanese airbag manufacturer, Takata, has been covering up defects in its airbags since 2004. Now the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has identified the cause of the defect. The investigation has sparked another recall of 30-40 million vehicles that could close the company.
Wednesday, May 11, 2016
When you hire a professional, you want to know they're going to use the right methods, tools, and expertise. That's what the Michigan Consumer Protection Act is all about. A recent court decision confirms: that means more than just fraud.
Wednesday, May 4, 2016
2016 is promising to continue the trends of intense automotive regulation and massive recalls. On April 22, 2016, Fiat Chrysler announced a recall of over 1.1 million vehicles. The transmission problems have been tied to 24 injuries already, and more could be on the way.
Wednesday, April 27, 2016
Imagine you are riding along the bike lane of your local neighborhood when suddenly, you find yourself flying toward the pavement. That's the reality for thousands of people across the country every year. But when a serious bicycle accident happens, where do you turn to get your expenses paid for? Is a bicycle accident a no-fault claim or a personal injury lawsuit?
Vehicle on Bicycle AccidentsMany times, bicycle accidents happen when bikers and drivers try to share busy city intersections or winding rural roads. In 2013, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimated that 48,000 cyclists were injured in motor vehicle accidents. That's an 8.9% increase since 2001. As bike attorney Bruce Deming told the Washingtonian:
“The growth is primarily among new riders in their twenties and thirties who use bikes for transportation. . . . They’re less skilled in the art of accident avoidance. They also trust in bike lanes a little more than they should.”When an automobile is involved in your bicycle accident, it gives you access to all the benefits of the Michigan No-Fault Act. A valid insurance claim will cover your medical expenses, up to 3 years of lost wages, and attendant service costs. The challenge is to demonstrate that your injuries were caused by the use of a motor vehicle.
That's where an experienced auto accident attorney can help. The Liblang Law Firm, PC, will bring in investigators and accident reconstructionists to show the judge and jury exactly what happened to cause your accident. That way you can take advantage of Michigan's extensive no-fault auto insurance law.
Environmental Bicycle AccidentsIt doesn't take a vehicle to cause a serious bicycle accident. Sometimes environmental risks like damaged cement, overgrown plants, or rutted terrain can cause a bicyclist to lose control.
Your first line of defense in an environmental bicycle accident is your health insurance. It will cover much of your medical expenses. But depending on your policy, you will still have to pay deductibles, co-insurance, and co-pays.
Environmental bicycle accidents fall within the world of personal injury, specifically premises liability lawsuits. Depending on the circumstances in your particular case, you may be able to sue the owners of the property where you were injured. The lawsuit will claim that negligence in the upkeep of the property created an unreasonable risk that you would be injured.
That can even include damages caused by local or state governments. If a pot hole or other damage to the bike path or roadway goes unrepaired, the city itself could be liable for your injuries.
The Liblang Law Firm, PC, handles every kind of personal injury case. Whether your bicycle injury was caused by a vehicle or an environmental threat, Dani K. Liblang can help you get the recovery you need to heal and move on with your life. Contact the Liblang Law Firm, PC, today to schedule a free consultation.
Wednesday, April 20, 2016
Michigan legislators are considering two bills that would cut regulations to middle men in the collections industry. But repo companies are saying the changes will hurt consumers and professional repossession officers. They are calling on legislators to enforce the law regulating collections companies, not get rid of it.
Wednesday, April 13, 2016
This spring has been particularly cold, snowy, and icy. Another wave of winter weather just went through Southeast Michigan, and with it, in all likelihood, came some slip and falls. But should you call a lawyer after you fell on ice? It depends.
Wednesday, April 6, 2016
You're busy, so your commute seems like a perfect time to return a few phone calls. Traffic jams create boredom and the urge to browse social media. But all of that puts you at risk. This April, take part in National Distracted Driving Awareness Month, and pledge to put the phone down.
Wednesday, March 30, 2016
Where should the steering wheel be in a car that is driven by a computer? Google asked the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to clarify this and other issues recently, and the results might surprise you.
Wednesday, March 23, 2016
Federal regulators are investigating claims that Ford F-150s, one of the most popular vehicles in the nation, is prone to defective brake failure. The investigation stems from many recent complaints, some involving crashes.
Wednesday, March 16, 2016
Payday loans are a debt sentence to low-income families across Michigan. But while federal regulators are trying to find ways to crack down on the industry, the Michigan Legislature is considering just the opposite. Two new bills would loosen payday loan laws and make it easier for lenders to take advantage of poor Michigan families.
Wednesday, March 9, 2016
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is expected to crack down on payday loan regulations later this year. But a bill working its way through the House of Representatives in Washington could stop these important consumer protections in their tracks.
Wednesday, March 2, 2016
As Michigan consumers gear up for tax season, scam artists are picking up their game too. Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette recently issued a new, updated consumer alert to help residents fight back against IRS scams.
Wednesday, February 24, 2016
There are plenty of benefits to home ownership, but paying less on your car insurance shouldn't be one of them. A recent study by the Consumer Federation of America shows that renters can pay up to 47% more than renters for the same car insurance. The organization is calling for stronger consumer protection laws to combat the practice.
Wednesday, February 17, 2016
Do you have creditors who won't leave you alone? Michigan has clear rules about what collection companies are and are not allowed to do. But that doesn't mean they are followed. Find out what you can do to help fight creditor harassment and get the collection companies off your back.
Wednesday, February 10, 2016
Six years ago, two women died when their Arctic Cat snowmobile reversed off a 40 foot cliff on Mackinac Island. Now those women's families will finally get their day in court. A Michigan Court of Appeals has sent the snowmobile defect case back to trial.
Wednesday, February 3, 2016
Lending companies have taken advantage of Michigan's poorest residents for years. They rely on the fact that most people don't know lending laws and don't hire a consumer protection lawyer when they are the victim of collections harassment. But now, Internet companies like Liquidation, LLC, have taken that harassment to a new level. Their auto title loans leave residents with huge debts while depriving them of their most valuable asset – their car.
Wednesday, January 27, 2016
Have you ever been tempted by a short-term loan with no credit check “and you get to keep your car”? Don't get sucked in by an illegal auto title loan. Michigan is fighting back against them and you can help!
Wednesday, January 20, 2016
Detroit is buzzing with the excitement of the annual North American International Auto Show. Volkswagen is wooing customers with concept cars and the newest models. But behind the scenes, the company is still dodging settlements to protect the very consumers they are chasing.
Wednesday, January 13, 2016
Takata, the company that made airbags for Honda and other auto manufacturers, was in hot water throughout 2015 as regulators and legislators held them under the microscope for airbag defects. Now a private lawsuit has revealed emails showing the company engaged in blatant data manipulation about the safety of their products.
In 2015, Takata faced legislative hearings, regulatory investigations, and ultimately fines because airbags it made explode, sending shrapnel into the passenger cabin. Takata airbag defects have killed 8 people and injured hundreds more.
All of this culminated in November 2015 when Honda fired Takata and the National Highway Traffic Safety Association (NHTSA) imposed a $70 million penalty on the company. Both entities listed data manipulation as a reason for their behavior.
But evidence of Takata's manipulation of mandatory safety data had never been public before. That is, until a Florida woman sued the company for a 2014 accident. The aggressive deployment of the Takata airbag left her paralyzed. In investigating her private lawsuit, the plaintiff's lawyers discovered emails that showed how deeply data manipulation was ingrained in Takata's corporate policy. Those emails were unsealed and shared with the New York Times, who hired experts to review them.
Back in 2005 Takata airbag engineer Bob Schubert had reported in an internal memo that he had been “repeatedly exposed to the Japanese practice of altering data presented to the customer,” which the business called “the way we do business in Japan.”
But one year later, Schubert was encouraging fellow employees to engage in data manipulation himself, saying “Happy Manipulating!!!” The Times reported:
“Hey, I manipulated,” Mr. Schubert responded. The objective, he said, was to help disguise that some of the inflaters performed differently from the rest — a dynamic referred to as “bimodal distribution.”“I showed all the data together, which helped disguise the bimodal distribution,” Mr. Schubert wrote. “Nothing wrong with that. All the data is there. Every piece,” he added. But then he suggested using “thick and thin lines to try and dress it up, or changing colors to divert attention.”
But Linda Rink, a former senior staff scientist for airbag manufacturer Autoliv, disagreed that nothing was wrong with manipulating data to hide problems with performance:
“If they would disguise inflater data sent to the customer, there is a serious problem with ethics within that company,” she said. “Having a bimodal distribution requires an explanation and a root-cause analysis, not a cover-up.”
If the plaintiff's attorney in Florida can show Takata knew about the dangers of their airbags, it could open the door for more lawsuits. Motorists hurt in Hondas and other vehicles equipped with the Takata airbags could find the way cleared to be compensated for their injuries.
Dani K. Liblang is an attorney for The Liblang Law Firm, P.C. She defends the victims of defective vehicle crashes against auto manufactures who dodge safety requirements. If you or someone you know has been hurt by a defective vehicle, contact The Liblang Law Firm, P.C., today for a free consultation.
Wednesday, January 6, 2016
Getting a new car for Christmas should be about a big bow and a sleek new ride. But for some new car owners, the new year brings new problems. Find out what you should do if you got a lemon car for Christmas.
What is a Lemon Car?Just because you don't like your new car doesn't mean it counts as a lemon. Instead, a lemon is a passenger car or truck that continues to have the same defect that negatively impacts the value of the vehicle. It's not enough for your car to need repairs after you buy it. But if repeated efforts to fix the automobile keep falling short, you may be driving a lemon.
Repairing a LemonBefore your troubled vehicle becomes a lemon you have to give the manufacturer or dealership a “reasonable number of repair attempts.” Under Michigan law, this means:
- You've brought the car in for the same repair 4 or more times
in 2 years; or
- Your car is out of commission for at least 30 days of your
first year for one or more problems.
Notifying the ManufacturerIf your vehicle is headed toward being categorized as a lemon, you need to notify the manufacturer about the need for repair by certified mail, return receipt requested either after the third repair or after the vehicle has been in the shop for 25 days. Talk to a Michigan Lemon Law Lawyer, like Dani K. Liblang before you send it in, to make sure your notice satisfies Michigan law.
Opportunity to Repair or ReplaceThe manufacturer gets one last chance to fix your car after you send in the notice. If it can't do so within 5 days, your car is a lemon and you are entitled to a replacement or a refund.
Returning Your Christmas LemonIf the manufacturer can't fix your car it must give you two options:
- Replace the vehicle. You have the authority to accept
or reject the replacement.
- Refund the cost of the vehicle. You are entitled to
the full purchase price of the vehicle, minus an amount representing
your use of the vehicle.
Heading to CourtManufacturers will often fight the process of returning a lemon car. If your manufacturer or dealership won't work with you, you may need to attend arbitration or even file a lawsuit to get the relief you deserve according to Michigan law.
Don't let your biggest Christmas gift leave a sour taste in your mouth. If repeated repairs are getting in the way of enjoying your new car, contact Lemon Law Lawyer Dani K. Liblang. She will walk you through the process and make sure you get what you deserve under the law.