The People's Lawyer Consumer News Alert
Center for Consumer Law
  Volume 106 Number 7

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The People’s Lawyer’s Tip of the Day

The Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act requires full disclosure by sellers. If a seller intentionally withholds material information, he could be responsible for three times the consumer's damages, plus court costs and attorney's fees.

For more general information about the law, check out my website.
 Click here for more.

Airlines Pull Record Profits in 2014

Despite dramatically lower fuel costs, the major airlines aren't dropping ticket prices. Instead, airlines are raking in record profits as airplanes have more people on board than ever before.

United, Delta, Southwest, and American all reported massive profits for 2014. As American posted a $4.2 billion profit (its largest profit ever), its CEO said, "We're going to continue operating American as though oil was still above $100 a barrel." However, oil prices remain under $50 a barrel.

In recent years, Northwest merged with Delta, Continental merged with United, and US Airways merged with American. With reduced competition, there's less incentive to drop prices to compete for consumers. In many instances, consumers don't have a real choice, so they're stuck with the prices as they're set.

What are the airlines doing with their profits?
 Click here for more.

Audi Issues Recall for Gas Leak

If you drive a 2011-2012 Audi S4, S5, Q7, 2012 Audi A6, Volkswagen Touareg Hybrid, or 2012-2013 Audi A7, you could have a dangerous gas leak. The problem stems from a fuel injector valve that can go out of position when driving. Fuel near the ignition is a serious fire risk.

Do you drive one of the 26,000 affected vehicles? Find out now!
 Click here for more.

Consumer Confidence High

Consumer confidence is at its highest level since August 2007. The index that measures consumer confidence rose from 93.1 to 102.9 in December, which was nearly 8 points higher than economists were predicting.

The boost in consumer confidence has followed a extended drop in gas prices and a strong job market. The average national price of regular unleaded stands at $2.03 per gallon. Employers added 252,000 jobs last month and 20% of consumers are expecting more income.

What does a boost in consumer confidence mean for the economy? What does it mean for you?
 Click here for more.

Your Money

How do you maximize your employer 401(k) match?
 Click here for more.

For the Lawyers

Arbitration agreement is unenforceable because it did not contain clear and unambiguous language that the plaintiff is waiving her right to sue.

The New Jersey Supreme Court invalidated an arbitration provision in a debt-adjustment company contract, largely by characterizing arbitration as a waiver of a citizen’s right under the New Jersey Constitution to a trial by jury. The court assumed that “an average member of the public may not know…that arbitration is a substitute for the right to have one’s claim adjudicated in a court of law.”

Given that framing of the issue, the court found the arbitration clause lacked “clear and unambiguous language that the plaintiff is waiving her right to sue or go to court to secure relief,” and therefore was unenforceable.
Click here for more.

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