Google, Nissan and More Are Among September’s Class-Action Settlements

A google sign hangs outside of one of their buildings in California.
A sign is shown on a Google building at their campus in Mountain View, Calif. If you used the Google+ social networking platform, you could benefit from a portion of a $7.5 million class-action settlement regarding allegations that users’ private profile information was exposed to third party app developers. Jeff Chiu / AP Photo

Allegations of overpriced medications, prematurely peeling auto paint, a data breach and even more unwanted text messages are part of this month’s highlighted class-action settlements.

Read on to see if you qualify to receive a portion of any of the following settlements before the deadlines pass.

Mike and Ike and Hot Tamales: Packaging

Just Born, the maker of Mike and Ike and Hot Tamales, has agreed to a $3.3 million class-action settlement regarding allegations of deceptive packaging. Plaintiffs alleged the size of the boxes led them to believe they were getting more candy than was actually provided.

If you bought one or more cardboard boxes of Mike and Ike and/or Hot Tamales candies between Feb. 3, 2013 and July 23, 2020, you could be eligible for either a cash payment or vouchers for free candy.

Vouchers will be good for one free box of Mike and Ike or Hot Tamales candies for every two boxes purchased for a maximum of eight free boxes of candy. Eligible class members may instead choose to receive about $0.50 per purchased product, but the cash payments may be adjusted depending upon the number of valid claims received.

Get a taste of this class-action settlement by submitting your valid claim by Nov. 10, 2020.

Nissan and Infiniti: White Paint Peeling

If you own a white-painted Nissan Rogue or INFINITI QX56 vehicle, you could be eligible for extended warranty coverage or reimbursement if you paid to have your vehicle repainted.

The vehicles covered under this class-action settlement are white-painted Nissan Rogues made between Jan. 11, 2013 and April 23, 2013 and white-painted INFINITI QX56s made between Nov. 20, 2009 and Dec. 12, 2012.

Owners of these vehicles claimed the paint was defective, which resulted in the paint fading and peeling. Plaintiffs say the paint’s premature failure caused them to pay out-of-pocket to repaint the vehicles.

Nissan has not admitted to any wrongdoing, but agreed to the class-action settlement, which will allow class members to have repainting costs covered under a four-year extended warranty.

Class members who bring a covered vehicle to an authorized dealer will have some of the repainting costs covered by Nissan, which is offering 90% of repaint cost coverage for the first two years of the warranty, and 70% repaint cost coverage for the final two years of the warranty.

Compensation and coverage payments are limited to $400 for Nissan Rogue repaints and $600 for INFINITI QX56 repaints.

Submit your valid claim by the Jan. 10, 2021 deadline, but be sure to check the details first.

Suboxone: Trade Practices

A person holds a prescription of Suboxone.
George Ballentine holds his prescription medicine Suboxone outside a pharmacy in Greenfield, Mass. The Federal Trade Commission accused Indivior Inc. and its subsidiary Reckitt Benckiser Group of stopping a cheaper generic version of Suboxone from competing with its sales of the brand-name tablets. Elise Amendola / AP Photo

You could benefit from a $60 million settlement regarding alleged trade violations committed by the maker of opioid addiction medication Suboxone.

The Federal Trade Commission accused Indivior Inc. and its subsidiary Reckitt Benckiser Group of stopping a cheaper generic version of Suboxone from competing with its sales of the brand-name tablets. Right before a generic version of the pill was released, Reckitt Benckiser Group began marketing its Suboxone Film as being “less susceptible to accidental pediatric exposure than Suboxone Tablets.”

The anticompetition lawsuit alleged the claim was misleading and designed to compel consumers to choose the more expensive brand-name Film over the less expensive generic tablets. By essentially squelching the competition’s business opportunity through improper business practices, Reckitt Benckiser Group allegedly violated Section 5 of the FTC Act, said the lawsuit.

Class members include U.S. patients who were prescribed Suboxone Film between March 1, 2013 and Feb. 28, 2019. The amount of the potential award will depend upon how long the consumer took Suboxone and how many valid claims are submitted overall.

Submit your valid claim form by the Dec. 1, 2020 deadline.

Google+: Data Breach

If you used the Google+ social networking platform, you could benefit from a portion of a $7.5 million class-action settlement regarding allegations that users’ private profile information was exposed to third party app developers.

Google pulled the plug on Google+ in April 2019, but before the platform was shut down, plaintiffs say their names, email addresses, interests, relationships, photos and hometowns were shared through a large data breach.

Class members include those who had Google+ accounts between Jan. 1, 2015 and April 2, 2019, as that was the time when users’ personal information was exposed due to “software bugs” announced on Oct. 18, 2018 and Dec. 10, 2018.

Google was accused of reporting that only 500,000 users were affected over a two-week period, but the lawsuit says the data breach actually took place over nearly three years, which means many more users were likely compromised due to Google’s alleged “calculated business decision” to hide the breach from users and the public.

Class members who file valid claims will receive a pro rata share of the fund, starting with up to a $5 payment, but if settlement funds remain after the initial payout, an additional distribution of up to $12 (total) will be paid.

A valid claim form must be filed by Oct. 8, 2020.

Freedom Boat Club: Unwanted Text Messages

A man checks his text messages as he walks toward public transportation.
Getty Images

Freedom Boat Club has agreed to settle allegations the company violated the Telephone Consumer Protection Act by sending unwanted text messages.

A nearly $1 million settlement agreement will benefit consumers who received an unsolicited text either from or on behalf of Freedom Boat Club between March 26, 2015 and June 25, 2020.

The complaint says the TCPA requires companies to obtain express prior consent from cell phone users in order to legally send telemarketing text messages through an autodialing system, which the Freedom Boat Club allegedly failed to do.

Freedom Boat Club denies the allegations, but all parties agreed to settle the lawsuit to avoid continued costs and risks associated with further litigation.

Exact amounts of potential benefits to each class member is unknown, but is said to be around $7.25 and reportedly will not exceed $10.50 per class member.

Paddle on over to this link for complete details and to file a valid claim by Oct. 5, 2020.

Five Below: Data Breach

Discount merchandise website Five Below has agreed to a $112,000 class-action settlement regarding claims the website suffered several data breaches in 2018 and 2019.

Class members include consumers who made a credit or debit card purchase on the Five Below website on Aug. 14, 2018; Aug. 28, 2018; from approximately Sept. 18, 2018 through Sept. 19, 2018; and from Nov. 13, 2018 through Jan. 11, 2019.

Plaintiffs say the company failed to protect their information from unauthorized access, which placed them at risk for fraud. Some plaintiffs say they incurred financial injury.

Five Below admitted no wrongdoing, but agreed to settle the claims against them.

Class members are eligible for payments of up to $250 to reimburse them for out-of-pocket expenses and lost time incurred as a result of the data breaches. The lost time is available at $20 per hour with a limit of five hours documented lost time, or three hours undocumented time if class members experienced fraudulent charges.

An additional $22 payment may be paid for each credit or debit card on which documented fraudulent transactions were made as a result of the security failure.

See the complete details on covered expenses and instructions on submitting a claim form by the Oct. 9, 2020 deadline.

Thalomid and Revlimid: Price Fixing

You may be eligible for a portion of a $34 million class-action settlement involving allegations that drug maker Celgene conducted a price-fixing scheme to increase the cost of cancer drugs Thalomid and Revlimid.

Patients and third parties who paid for Thalomid or Revlimid in certain states could qualify as class members if the purchases were made any time prior to May 20, 2020. The covered states include:

  • California
  • District of Columbia
  • Florida
  • Kansas
  • Maine
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • Nebraska
  • New York
  • North Carolina
  • Oregon
  • Pennsylvania
  • Rhode Island
  • Tennessee

Cancer patients, their families and insurers filed the Celgene class-action lawsuit alleging the drug company conspired to prevent less expensive, generic versions of Thalomid and Revlimid from reaching the market in order to continue greater profits from the brand versions. As a result, the plaintiffs say they paid more for the drugs than they otherwise would have had to pay.

Celgene denies any wrongdoing, but agreed to settle the multidistrict litigation to avoid the continued costs and risks of litigation.

Class members will be eligible to receive a proportional amount of the settlement fund after attorneys’ fees are paid from it; separate claim forms exist for consumers and third-party payors. The amount of the potential award is currently unknown.

Find the complete details and instructions on submitting a claim by the Oct. 15, 2020 deadline.