Consumer class actions against auto carriers for improper add-on charges and fees: Our firm has successfully litigated and settled several class actions against auto insurance companies for improperly and deceptively charging consumers for certain unauthorized charges or ancillary products. Once such example is our team successfully settling a class case against Acceptance Insurance involving their practice of improperly assessing consumers for an unrequested “motor-club” ancillary product. We settled a similar case against Direct General involving its practice of deceptively charging insureds for add-on products.
ERISA class actions for workers or former employees: Another area of our firm’s expertise deals with ERISA claims by retirees or former employees. Cases involving changes to retirement benefits by a company, improper retirement investment practices, excessive administrative fees surrounding retirement plans, failure to provide proper COBRA notices, and ERISA disability can be great. A few years ago, Brent Irby was lead counsel in an ERISA class case against Cooper Tire on behalf of several retirees whose retirement benefits had been altered or cut off. The Cooper Tire case settled for over $50,000,000. See Cates v. Cooper Tire, 3:06-CV-00940-JGC(N.D. Ohio).
MOTOR VEHICLE ACCIDENTS
Lyons-Irby has handled thousands of car wreck cases and has recovered millions of dollars in these cases in his career. In the early part of his career, Champ Lyons worked for the insurance companies defending these cases and learned valuable insight into the numerous ways the insurance companies try to fight and deny claims. For over 20 years, Champ has represented the people and has fought tirelessly to make sure the insurance companies pay every penny his clients deserve. Our firm has the expertise to guide you through all aspects of a car wreck claim, including a vast knowledge of dealing with your own insurance carrier on an uninsured motorist claim. We also routinely handle claims related to accidents involving commercial vehicles, motorcycles and pedestrians.
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CONSUMER WARRANTY LIABILITY
Defective consumer products and appliances: In the last few years our firm has successfully litigated and settled consumer class claims involving defective consumer appliances and other products. For example, in 2018 I was lead counsel in class action litigation against Electrolux challenging its defective front load washer machines. The Electrolux case settled nationwide for over $45 million, with attorney’s fees of $4.8 million dollars. In 2019, Brent Irby served as lead counsel in class litigation against Whirlpool involving defective dishwashers that settled on a nation-wide basis.
Defective auto class actions: Our firm has a successful record in cases regarding defective automobiles including being counsel in a nationwide MDL against Ford Motor Company surrounding Ford’s defective spark plugs. See In re: Ford Motor Company Sparkplug Products Liability Litigation, MDL No. 2316 (N. D. Ohio).
NURSING HOME ABUSE & NEGLECT
Our firm has a passion for protecting those who have been victims of neglect and abuse at a nursing home. Unfortunately, we have seen a lot of cases where the elderly in our community have been neglected and mistreated by a nursing home facility. Champ has the expertise to hold nursing home operators accountable for their carelessness and negligence. Champ has handled dozens of cases involving falls, dehydration and malnutrition, and pressure ulcers. While investigating cases of nursing home abuse, we discover that the causes often include patterns of understaffing, lack of training and poor supervision of caregivers. In some cases, supervisors and administrators may have turned a blind eye to negligence and abuse. We will determine every party who was in any way responsible for the abuse and then create a personalized strategy to get justice.
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When we buy products, we expect them to be safe. Unfortunately, we have seen many cases where an unsafe product caused serious injury and even death. Champ Lyons has successfully handled numerous cases against product manufacturers. The claims consist of unsafe product design (the product design was inherently dangerous), defective manufacturing (the design itself was acceptable but mistakes were made in the production process) and failure to warn (the consumer should have been given more detailed warnings). Many product manufacturers fail to comply with basic standards and accepted industry practices. While the manufactures see substantial revenue and profits, the consumers are the ones who are forced to pay the price. If you or someone you love was severely injured because of an unsafe product, Champ can help you get the justice you deserve.
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Our team at Lyons-Irby has handled dozens of cases involving serious injury after a workplace accident. In addition to the recovery for workers compensation benefits, our attorneys have the expertise to successfully litigate claims against third parties (an at-fault person or company other than your employer) to maximize the recovery that you deserve after an on-the-job injury. We are well versed in the safety standards and regulations that must be followed on a jobsite and can leverage this expertise to hold all responsible parties accountable for their negligence and carelessness.
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False advertising of consumer products: While false advertising claims can sometimes be difficult to pursue in certain states, we typically bring these claims in the company’s resident state. Our firm currently have false advertising claims pending outside of Alabama against Dollar General and AutoZone regarding certain consumer products sold by them.
In any of the personal injury practice areas handled by the firm, we are often faced with the worst possible outcome for our clients – death. The loss of a loved one in an accident caused by the negligence of another is a devastating experience. Beyond the grief, there is also the loss of financial and emotional support that can leave your family reeling. Our attorneys have successfully litigated dozens of wrongful death cases over the years. The wrongful death laws in Alabama are very unique and you need an experienced attorney to help guide you through the process. If you have lost a family member because of an accident, Lyons-Irby will work tirelessly to get you the best possible outcome in an efficient manner.
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Improper ancillary charges or add-ons from utility or service providers: Our firm has successfully litigated several class actions on behalf of consumers and small businesses challenging deceptive and disguised fees from service providers, including representing consumers and small businesses challenging certain bogus “fuel surcharges” and “environmental surcharges” charged by uniform supply companies and restaurant vendors.
Improper ancillary charges or add-ons from auto dealers: Auto dealers can be notoriously bad about including worthless and unrequested add-on products in consumer car transactions.
Consumer protection of military members: Two of the strongest consumer protection statutes on the books include the Military Lending Act and the Servicemembers Relief Act. The Military Lending Act caps interest rates and provides other protections to military members, their spouses, and dependence when loans are taking out by them. Likewise, the Servicemembers Relief Act requires certain actions to be taken by creditors of military personnel when they are called to active duty.
Improper overdraft fees, NSF fees, and ATM fees charged by banks and credit unions: Our firm is currently involved in a series of class action cases against banks and credit unions for improper practices surrounding the wrongful assessment of overdraft fees and ATM fees. Banks and credit unions make a ton of money from these fees, often at the consumers expense, by engaging in undisclosed practices that maximize the collection of these fees.
Mortgage servicers charging “pay to pay” fees: Several mortgage servicers are improperly charging consumers fees when the borrower pays her mortgage through certain channels, such as online, by telephone, or by ATM. Oftentimes, these charges violate the mortgage documents. These “pay to pay” fees can have various names, including “speed pay” fees, “convenience” fees, or “processing” fees.
The negligence of a business or individual can cause a person to slip or trip and fall at a commercial establishment or on an individual’s private property. Champ Lyons won one of the largest slip and fall jury verdicts in the history of the state of Alabama and our firm has handled hundreds of slip-and-fall cases over the years – accumulating a has vast knowledge of all aspects of Alabama law in these cases. Inevitably, the business owners will try to blame the customer for any injuries that may occur on the business premises but Lyons-Irby has the expertise to guide you through these baseless attacks.
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Fair Credit Reporting Act claims: For years, attorney’s on our team have handled both individual and class cases involving the Fair Credit Reporting Act. Recently, Brent Irby has been involved in cases where defendants pull and use the consumer’s credit report in an improper fashion and take adverse action against the consumer based on information pulled from the report without complying with the statute. Specifically, we specialize in cases where potential employers pull credit reports or conduct criminal background checks against potential employees and fail to provide proper notice and in cases where auto insurance companies pull consumer credit reports and then improperly use them in adjusting claims or in establishing premium amounts without informing the consumer that their credit report is being adversely used against them.
Fair Credit Reporting Act claims: For years I have handled both individual and class cases involving the Fair Credit Reporting Act. Recently, I have been involved in cases where defendants pull and use the consumer’s credit report in an improper fashion and take adverse action against the consumer based on information pulled from the report without complying with the statute. Specifically, I am involved in cases where potential employers pull credit reports or conduct criminal background checks against potential employees and fail to provide proper notice. I am also involved in cases where auto insurance companies pull consumer credit reports and then improperly use them in adjusting claims or in establishing premium amounts without informing the consumer that her credit report is being adversely used against her.
PRIVACY & DATA BREACH
Consumer privacy and use of consumer digital data: As most consumer transactions have become digital/online, this is a hot and growing area of consumer litigation. New laws and regulations are being put into place to provide consumer privacy protection and prevent the unauthorized sharing of consumer info.
Fraudulent sales of short-term medical insurance policies: These policies were aggressively sold under the Trump administration, oftentimes fraudulently to consumers who are led to believe that the policies provide real, meaningful health insurance. These short-term medical policies are often bogus, provide little coverage to the insured, and leave the insured with unexpected and significant medical bills.