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Consumer Protection

 
Defending your rights against powerful interests

Consumers who need an honest answer come to us.

Valerian Law attorneys represent consumers who have been injured by deceptive, unlawful, and unfair business practices.

Some of the consumer rights claims we handle include:

Advertising that is likely to mislead a reasonable consumer generally violates California’s consumer protection laws. Misrepresenting the characteristics, benefits, price, or origin of a good or service is false advertising. California consumer protection statutes prohibit not only false statements of fact, but also deceptive half-truths and omissions. As Benjamin Franklin put it, “Half the Truth is often a great Lie.” Leaving out certain key details deprives potential buyers of a complete picture of the product or service, and therefore may be an unlawful deceptive business practice. Examples of false advertising include hidden fees that change the true cost, undisclosed recurring subscription renewals, bait-and-switch ads that use a low-priced item that turn out to be out of stock, and bold ads making broad claims that are contradicted by the fine print.

Companies that don’t keep their promises to consumers may be liable for breach of contract. California law protects both the express promises set forth in a contract as well the promises implied by the duty of good faith and fair dealing. This duty requires upholding the spirit of the agreement and not doing anything that will interfere with the other party’s right to receive the benefits of the bargain. Examples of breaches of contract include charging unauthorized fees and failing to deliver goods or services as promised.

When consumers use their computers, smart phones, televisions, and other electronic devices, companies routinely collect their sensitive personal information for marketing purposes. Numerous state and federal statutes such as the Electronics Communications Privacy Act (ECPA), the California Invasion of Privacy Act (CIPA), the Video Privacy Protection Act (VPPA), the Cable Act, and the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) protect the privacy interests of consumers in their personal information. Many of these statutes require that companies obtain consent from consumers before collecting, using, or disclosing their personally identifiable information for marketing purposes. We represent consumers whose personal information was collected, used, or disclosed in violation of consumer privacy laws.

The Unfair Competition Law (UCL) protects businesses and consumers against unfair business practices. The UCL prohibits fraudulent, unlawful, or unfair practices in business including deceptive, unfair, misleading, and untrue advertising.

Examples Of Unfair Business Practices

  • Harassment related to attempts to collect a debt
  • Predatory lending
  • Deceptive trade practices
  • Banks improperly manipulating the order of transactions to maximize overdraft fees
  • Misleading credit card add-on products such as protection plans and credit monitoring
  • Charging illegal upfront fees for mortgage or other debt-relief services that were not provided
  • Conspiring to fix market prices by discussing prices with competitors
  • Failure to honor warranty
  • Auto fraud 

Representative Cases

Here are some of the consumer cases Valerian Law attorneys have worked on over the course of their careers:

  • Chen v. Chase Bank USA, N.A., No. 19-cv-01082-JSC (N.D. Cal. 2020). Represented credit applicants in Equal Credit Opportunity Act claims against Chase for allegedly failing to provide the specific reason for adverse credit actions resulting in $429,659 class settlement
  • Kirby v. Excelsior I, Inc., No. 2019-CP-40-01109 (S.C. Court of Common Pleas 2019). Represented used car buyers in claims against their lender for allegedly repossessing and reselling their vehicles without taking the steps required by South Carolina law and secured a $2 million class settlement
  • Garcia v. Vivint Solar Developer LLC, Case No. RG16838596 (Alameda Super. Ct. 2018). Represented consumers in claims against solar company for alleged false advertising and failure to contract in the language of the sales pitch and secured individual damages and an injunction requiring contracts to be in the same language as the sales presentation
  • Matera v. Google LLC, No. 5:15-cv-04062-LHK (N.D. Cal. 2018). Represented non-Gmail users in claims alleging Goodge violated anti-wiretapping laws by scanning their email and secured an injunction requiring Google to stop scanning emails to Gmail accounts for advertising purposes
  • Corley v. Google, Inc., No. 16-CV-00473-LHK (N.D. Cal. 2016). Represented hundreds of Google Apps for Education users in claims against Google for allegedly reading user account emails in violation of anti-wiretapping laws that resulted in a confidential settlement
  • Huber v. San Diego Ballpark Funding, LLC, No. 37-2013-00066456-CU-CO-CTL (San Diego Super. Ct. 2016). Represented Padres personal seat license (PSL) holders in claims alleging breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing based on the club’s discontinuation of the PSL program and secured a $2 million class settlement
  • Bottoni v. Sallie Mae, Inc., No. C 10-03602 LB, 2013 WL 12312794 (N.D. Cal. 2013). Represented private student loan borrowers in claims challenging imposition of never incurred percentage-based collection charges and secured a class settlement that resulted in an estimated $76 million in debt relief and $1 million in refunds
  • Amador v. California Culinary Academy, Inc., No. CGC-07-467710 (S.F. Super. Ct. 2012). Represented former culinary school students in claims alleging false advertising against their school that resulted in a $40 million settlement

Contact the Consumer Protection Attorneys At Valerian Law

Valerian Law attorneys are experienced in a broad range of consumer protection litigation. We take the time to understand your needs and carefully examine all details surrounding your case in order to provide you with effective solutions.

Call our law office today or use the contact form on this page to schedule a consultation.

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