False Advertising? Cry Me a River

City Java smoothies, by flickr user Ken Hawkins, licensed by Creative Commons.

Berry, berry interesting.

As temperatures rise during spring and summer months, who doesn’t enjoy an ice cold beverage? Apparently, there are a group of people who would rather file a lawsuit claiming false advertising than sit back, relax, and pop open a tasty drink. The product is Bai, owned by the Dr. Pepper Snapple Group, and the lawsuit claims that the fruity beverage actually contains a bid of “malic acid”, most likely used to give the drink a little bit more flavor. It has recently come out that even the drink’s sponsor has been named in the lawsuit; yes, American musician Justin Timberlake is the “Chief Flavor Officer” at Bai Brands. The lawsuit was filed by a single person in the state of California, but could become a class action lawsuit if more people enter the fray. Read More

Sent Off: Soccer Manager Sees Red

Penalty Kick, by flickr user Robert Francis, licensed by Creative Commons.

“That’s poor defending.”

While many people thought soccer in the United States would never make headlines, the coach of a US-based club has proved that thought false. Piotr Nowak, former manager of the MLS’s Philadelphia Union, had filed a lawsuit against the team for wrongful termination. Nowak claims he was never given a fair shake as manager and was unfairly let go from his position. Union CEO Nick Sakiewic begs to differ, and cited the team’s poor performance, lackluster direction, and a number of questionable management decisions as grounds for the firing. With the lawsuit being moved to a new judge, the case files have been released to the public. This has painted Nowak in a terrible light, as there are now details of certain coaching techniques and acts which violate MLS rules and regulations. Nowak had been seeking damages exceeding $115,000.

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“Gamer vs Cartoon” Lawsuit Gets Erased

More Arcade Games, by flickr user Sam Howzlt, licensed by Creative Commons.

Game Over, Please Insert Coin

Sometimes the court room can become a little cartoonish, but a recent case regarding a real man’s likeness to a TV show character has reached a new level. Billy Mitchell, the man famous for holding the world record for the video game Donkey Kong, recently filed a lawsuit against Cartoon Network. One of the network’s shows, aptly named “Regular Show”, featured a character who looks very similar to Mitchell, who appears as a floating head with video game skills. The character, named “GBF”, has long brown hair and big beard, very similar to the plaintiff. Mitchell came to fame in 2007 alongside the documentary “King of Kong”, which tells the story of how he broke the world record for Donkey Kong, and also details his prowess in other arcade games like Pac-Man. A judge in New Jersey recently decided that the lawsuit itself was without merit, and decided to pull the plug.

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Uber and Lyft are Driving People Crazy

Volkswagen CC TDi 2012 - Driver's Seat by flickr User Miles Continental, Licensed by Creative Commons

Speeding to the courtroom

While many people love the convenience of having a car appear at your doorstep at the tap of a button, it appears that those days may be numbered. The popular transportation services Uber and Lyft are headed to the courtroom, thanks to unhappy drivers. The main issue seems to center around a debate on whether or not the drivers of these services are employees or simply independent contractors. We’ve talked in the past about Uber’s problems with the law, however this series of lawsuits may force the companies to alter their business model. The lawsuits were filed in the San Francisco Federal Court and are only relevant to California-based drivers, although the results of each class-action will be closely monitored by drivers across the United States. Read more

Trees Falling in Michigan, Still Making Sounds

Looking up through the trees, by flickr user Chris Connolly, licensed by Creative Commons

Blood on the leaves?

There is an old philosophical argument that goes as follows: If a tree falls in the forest, and no one is around to hear it, does it still make a sound? A recent lawsuit in Michigan is finally providing an answer: Yes. Residents of Bloomfield Hills, MI have taken up a class-action against tree removal by the power company DTE Energy. Reports say they hired a tree-trimming company to take trees down in a short period of time without giving notice to the community. The power company was worried about the trees interfering with cables they had been running in the area, and had petitioned to remove them. Clearly upset by the secretive manner in which DTE went about this deforestation, the people living in Bloomfield Hills are now seeking $54 million in restitution. Read more