Class Action Lawsuits

The class action lawyers of Aylstock, Witkin, Kreis and Overholtz are experienced in representing consumers in seeking justice for a wide range of consumer issues, including consumer fraud, antitrust violations, medicare fraud, overpricing, price fixing, discrimination, and other anti-consumer actions. Our class action lawyers have served as Lead Counsel in major consumer fraud cases, including the In Re America Online Litigation, which settled for over $15 Million, In Re MMCI Litigation, which settled for over $89 Million dollars, as well as serving as class counsel or on executive committees of numerous consumer class actions around the country.

Currently we are investigating or litigating the following class actions.


Landmark Countrywide Home Loan Settlement to Assist Homeowners

A landmark settlement has been reached between the Office of the California Attorney General and Countrywide Home Loans to provide some $8.68 billion in national relief to those affected by — according to Attorney General Edmund G. Brown Jr. — “the catastrophic damage caused by Countrywide.” The July 2009 settlement is the largest in history targeted at predatory lenders, surpassing the previous high of $484 million in 2002.

Although the Countrywide settlement is not, by itself, enough to counter the magnitude of the current housing problems faced by Americans, it is viewed as a victory against predatory lenders and one big step forward out of the mire of the current foreclosure crisis.

Settlement a Victory for Homeowners

Attorney General Brown led the charge against juggernaut mortgage lender Countrywide Home Loans, filing a lawsuit on June 30, 2009, alleging that the lender willfully deceived and misled clients by misrepresenting loan terms, payment increases and even affordability. Said Attorney General Brown, “Countrywide’s lending practices turned the American dream into a nightmare for tens of thousands of families by putting them into loans they couldn’t understand and ultimately couldn’t afford.”

With forty states participating in the settlement, the ruling is sure to spell a degree of relief for families throughout the country who are struggling to make ends meet during these trying times.

Countrywide Settlement Eligibility

There are various prerequisites that must be met in order for homeowners to be eligible for the loan modifications afforded through the Countrywide settlement.

Borrowers seeking payment must demonstrate receipt of a Countrywide loan during the period between January 2004 and December 2007. In addition, foreclosure must have occurred during the period between January 2004 and December 2008.

The loans covered under the settlement — subprime and pay-option mortgage loans — are those with the greatest risk and highest rate of default. Under the terms of the modification, borrowers’ loan balance must be at least 75 percent of the total value of the home. Borrowers must also be able to make the adjusted monthly payments provided in the terms of the modification.

If eligible, your paperwork must be filed before October 22, 2009 in order to participate in the settlement payout. Payments will vary. In Florida, the minimum payout associated with the settlement will be $3,019.28.

Countrywide Home Loan Settlement Attorneys

If you have defaulted on your Countrywide home loan, you may be eligible to receive a revised loan to help keep your home and prevent foreclosure. The lawyers and staff of Aylstock, Witkin, Kreis and Overholtz are experienced professionals adept at managing a variety of legal claims. Contact class action lawyers at AWKO Law to determine whether you are eligible to file for loan assistance. The deadline to file your claim in Florida is October 22, 2009.


Chinese Drywall Under Investigation

The United States Consumer Product Safety Commission is investigating claims against a Chinese drywall company that was employed in the construction of some Southern Florida and Virginia homes.

The imported Chinese drywall is believed to contain high amounts of sulfur, leading to a rotten egg stench that can affect home values. In addition, the sulfur compound corrodes wiring and air conditioning coils, leading to problems with pipes, wiring, heating and air conditioning systems.

Concerns are mounting about the health consequences associated with prolonged sulfur exposure and corroded electrical wiring.

Chinese Drywall Problems

Several Southern Florida building companies imported drywall from China in response to a drywall shortage in the United States between 2004 and 2006. Some of this imported drywall came from the German-based company, Knauf Plasterboard Tianjin Company Ltd. of China.

Many have speculated that Knauf created their products using waste materials from power plants, a substance known as “fly ash.” Others believe that storage of the drywall in humid conditions is what caused the problems. Knauf representatives have countered claims of negligence on its part, denying any health repercussions as a result of the Knauf drywall, as well as its corrosive effect on electrical wiring.

Officials estimate that more than 10 million square feet of Chinese drywall was imported and used in almost 100,000 homes across the country. Two building companies known to have used the imported Chinese drywall include Taylor Morrison and Lennar Corporation, the latter of which is offering to replace the drywall and reimburse families for relocation fees.

Chinese Drywall Lawsuit Florida

Several homeowners in the Southern Florida area had to replace electrical wiring, air conditioning and heating units as a result of defective Chinese drywall. They also have lost property value caused by the unpleasant fumes the drywall emits. In addition, residents in homes with defective drywall are exposed to several chemicals from the sulfur and corroded wiring, which could lead to adverse health reactions.

The lawyers at Aylstock, Witkin, Kreis and Overholtz can help residents earn compensatory damages to reimburse the costs caused by defective drywall. Many are eligible to have the drywall replaced, as well as fix any damage done to their electrical wiring. Under the expertise of AWKO, many earn reimbursement for their damages. Contact AWKO today at 844-794-7402

.


Credit and Debit Card Processor Security Breach

Heartland Payment Systems, the sixth largest credit and debit card processor in the country, has reported one of the largest security breaches in history. After reported suspicious activity from Visa and MasterCard, Heartland officials discovered malicious software in their databases. Robert H.B. Baldwin, Heartland’s president, has speculated the breach is a part of “a widespread global cyber fraud operation.”

The security breach has affected more than 530 bank and credit companies, including HSBC North America, M&T, Citigroup, Bank of America Corporation, JP Morgan Chase & Company and Summit Federal Credit Union of Rochester. Heartland has notified the U.S. Secret Service and Justice Department and other law enforcement officials.

Security Breach of Heartland’s Databases

While the security breach is under investigation, officials believe credit card numbers, expiration dates and other card data has been exposed. It is also possible for the names of cardholders to be vulnerable.

Credit and debit card companies are urged to notify consumers, as well as reissue credit or debit cards with new numbers. Consumers are not held liable for unauthorized credit or debit card purchases by unknown parties if the activity is reported quickly. Heartland and law enforcement officials encourage consumers to carefully monitor their financial transactions.

Credit and Debit Card Security Breach Lawsuits

If your personal information was compromised due to the Heartland security breach, you may be eligible for compensation. Victims of identity theft and other consequences of security breaches often experience financial burdens. Heartland and other companies are responsible for securing consumers’ private information. To review your claim with a lawyer, please contact our class action attorneys at (844) 794-7402.


Kaiser Permanente Employee Security Breach Linked with Identity Theft

Almost 30,000 employees of Kaiser Permanente, a healthcare organization with facilities across the United States, have had their personal information compromised. The personal information includes full names, addresses, birthdates and social security numbers. A few Kaiser Permanente employees have already reported identity theft stemming from the breach.

Kaiser Permanente became aware of the security breach following the arrest of an unknown party – not employed by Kaiser – who possessed a file with employees’ personal information. The file contained information obtained for human resources services and did not include Kaiser Permanente member information or personal health information. Limited information has been given about the identity of the arrestee, as well as the primary reason for the arrest.

Kaiser Permanente is working closely with law enforcement officials to prevent further reports of identity theft. The company has contacted vulnerable employees with automated phone messages, in addition to sending letters to their mailing addresses and e-mails to their work accounts. Employees are encouraged to call 1-877-281-3573 if they have any questions. Kaiser Permanente is offering a complimentary year subscription for credit monitoring to affected employees.

Kaiser Permanente Law Suits

If your personal information has been compromised due to the Kaiser Permanente security breach, you are eligible for compensation. Kaiser Permanente is responsible for protecting employees’ sensitive personal information and may be held liable for security breaches. Consequences of identity theft can cause employees emotional distress, pain and suffering, as well financial and personal conflicts.

Victims who received a message from Kaiser Permanente about the compromise of their personal information should contact the attorneys of Aylstock, Witkin, Kreis and Overholtz at (844) 794-7402 to review their case and receive their rightful compensation.


Wyndham Hotels and Resorts Privacy Data Breach

Wyndham Hotels and Resorts experienced a breach in security that has caused thousands of hotel guests’ credit card information to be compromised. The sophisticated hacker(s) penetrated the company’s servers to gain access to customer transaction files and created a separate file with certain guests’ credit and debit card numbers, expiration dates and names.

Wyndham has taken action to correct for allowing for the breach in security, as well as prevent future incidents. Wyndham has reviewed their security system to ensure appropriate protection of customer data and has notified law enforcement officials of the incident. In addition, the organization has contacted several credit card companies to inform them of the compromised accounts and has also sent notifications to clients they believe might have been affected.

Despite Wyndham’s actions, affected clients are urged to monitor their credit card activity closely and immediately report anything suspicious. Clients are also strongly discouraged to respond to any e-mail requesting personal information. Wyndham said it will never request social security numbers or other sensitive personal information from guests.

Hotel Security Breach of Wyndham

In response to the security breach of guests’ credit and debit card information, Wyndham has offered a complimentary year subscription to Equifax Credit Watch™ 3-in-1 Alerts product. Guests are also eligible for discounted membership to the Preferred Customers Rate program, which offers a 20 percent discount on Wyndham hotel stays reserved before March 31, 2009.

Wyndham Hotels and Resorts Lawsuits

If your credit or debit card information has been compromised, you may be entitled to compensation. Wyndham Hotels and Resorts is responsible for providing adequate protection of guests’ sensitive personal information. Identity theft and credit fraud can cause large amounts of pain and suffering to victims and interfere with their finances and personal lives.

Victims who have received a notification from Wyndham Hotels and Resorts about the compromise of their personal information should contact Douglass A. Kreis of Aylstock, Witkin, Kreis & Overholtz, LLC, at 844-794-7402 or DKreis@awkolaw.com to earn their rightful compensation.


Monster.com Database Security Breach

The online job database Monster.com experienced a breach in security as a result of hackers gaining access to millions of users’ information. More than 1.3 million users have had their personal information stolen through the Monster.com security breach.

While the site does not contain sensitive information like financial data or social security numbers, it does contain user IDs, passwords, e-mail addresses, names, phone numbers and other personal contact information that can lend itself to e-fraud. Monster security officials fear the hackers will use this information to send “phishing” emails to gain sensitive information or spread malicious software. As of now, they have not detected any misuse of users’ information but continue to strongly urge users to change their passwords immediately.

Security Breach of Monster.com

Monster Worldwide, Inc. issued a mandatory password reset on January 28, 2009, at 10 p.m. Eastern time in hope that it will prevent future security problems.

Security officials said the hackers did not break into the network security of Monster.com. Some think they breached recruiter accounts, providing access to millions of resumes and the personal information therein. Others believe the hackers obtained information through “phishing,” or sending misleading emails to users to obtain sensitive information. Security officials said to disregard any e-mail that appears to be from Monster that requests user names, passwords or other personal information.

In addition to Monster.com, hackers obtained information from USAJobs.gov, a Monster-run career database for government positions.

The security team of Monster Worldwide, Inc. is working with law enforcement officials to track the hackers, as well as monitoring the site diligently for any suspicious behavior or illicit use of information from the database. Monster Worldwide, Inc. announced they will spend $80 million on site upgrades, including more security regulations.

Monster Security Breach Lawsuits

If your personal information was stolen from Monster.com or USAJobs.gov, you may be entitled to compensation. Identity theft and other consequences of online security breaches can cause victims pain and suffering, as well as interfere with their finances or personal life. Companies with large databases need to secure the information to prevent any criminal activity from occurring to their users. To review your claim with a class action lawyer, please contact the law offices of Aylstock, Witkin, Kreis and Overholtz at (844) 794-7402.


Engle Class Action

At the hearing on April 15, 2008, the Court set a schedule for the allocation and distribution of the Engle Trust Fund. Qualified Engle class members MUST register by mail or online no later than June 16, 2008, to be eligible to receive a share of the Engle Trust Fund. Registration does not assure qualification to share in the Engle Trust Fund.

Aylstock, Witkin, Kreis & Overholtz is currently accepting cases, and will handle all claims registration repsonsibilities.

The Claims Administrator will mail letters acknowledging receipt of each Registration Form. The letters will request and identify all additional information and paperwork necessary to determine whether you qualify for a share of the Engle Trust Fund. The letter will also provide specific information regarding deadlines. Class member paperwork must be submitted to the Claims Administrator by August 1, 2008.

Distribution by the Claims Administrator shall be equally made on a per smoker basis.

Qualifying Diseases or Medical Conditions:

  • Aortic Aneurysm
  • Bladder Cancer
  • Cervical CancerCerebrovascular Disease (including stroke) Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease – COPD (including emphysema) Coronary Heart Disease (including cardiovascular disease, hardening of the arteries, atherosclerosis, coronary artery disease and arteriolosclerosis, angina, abnormal blood clotting, blood vessel damage, myocardial infarction (heart attack))
  • Esophageal (Throat) Cancer Kidney Cancer
  • Laryngeal (Throat or Voice Box) Cancer
  • Lung Cancer (including adenocarcinoma, large cell carcinoma, small cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma)
  • Complications of Pregnancy (miscarriage)
  • Oral Cavity/Tongue Cancer
  • Pancreatic Cancer
  • Peripheral Vascular Disease (including Buerger’s disease)
  • Pharyngeal Cancer
  • Stomach Cancer

If you think you have a case, contact our class action lawyers today for a free and confidential consultation.