The People's Lawyer Consumer News Alert
Center for Consumer Law
  Volume 103 Number 8

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The People’s Lawyer’s Tip of the Day

As a general rule, a business is not liable for a slip and fall injury simply because it owns the property where the injury occurred.

For the business to be responsible the injured person must show the business was "negligent" and that is why the injury happened. For example, if the business knew there was a slippery spot on the floor and did not take reasonable steps to clean it up, it would be liable to a customer who was injured as a result of its negligence.

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

Supreme Court Allows Texas Voter ID Law

On October 9, the Supreme Court of the United States blocked a Wisconsin voter ID law from being implemented for the November election. Now, Wisconsin voters won't be required to show an ID to vote.

On Saturday, the Supreme Court of the United States allowed a similar voter ID law in Texas to move forward. The ruling was met with heavy criticism, as some 600,000 Texas residents don't have state issued identification. According to the NAACP, 25% of African Americans and 16% of Latinos of voter age don't have a government-issued ID.

United States Attorney General Eric Holder described law as a step backward and "designed to discriminate."

Hundreds of thousands of otherwise voter-eligible Texas citizens will not be able to participate in the upcoming election. Supporters of the law insist the move is necessary to preserve the integrity of the election.

Why did the Supreme Court allow the Texas ID requirement to move forward? What did the dissenting justices have to say about the law?
 Click here for more.

Drug-Scammers Cashing in on Ebola

There are no FDA-approved drugs or vaccines designed to cure Ebola. However, that's not stopping drug-scammers from trying to take advantage of a public fearful of the deadly virus.

Don't let fear of Ebola lead you to make a bad decision. If you see a person or business offering an Ebola treatment, don't buy in. The medication could be dangerous and you could expose yourself to potential identity theft if you engage in a transaction with a shady operation.

Have you come across someone selling Ebola treatments? Find out what to do!
 Click here for more.

Dealerships Battle With Tesla

Tesla is different from just about every other car on the road. The vehicle is emission-free and sold directly to consumers.

So what does that mean?

Unlike a conventional car sale, a consumer can't buy a Tesla from a dealership. None exist. Instead, when a consumer buys a Tesla, she's getting it directly from the company. Although Tesla has limited locations where consumers can view a vehicle, the sale of a Tesla doesn't involve exploring a car lot and negotiating add-ons.

Needless-to-say, some dealerships aren't happy about it and want Tesla to be forced to join the ranks. Some states, like New Jersey, have passed legislation to expressly allow the sale of the vehicle directly to consumers. Other states, like Michigan, are feeling pressure from the auto industry to ban the direct-to-consumer sales.

Where do you stand? Should Tesla be allowed to sell directly to consumers? Without Tesla dealerships, where will Tesla owners get vehicle maintenance completed?
 Click here for more.

Your Money

Which is right for you - a new or used car?
 Click here for more.

For the Lawyers

Website’s terms of use unenforceable when consumer lacks reasonable notice.

The Ninth Circuit held that a website user was not bound by terms available via a link at the bottom of a website, where the user was not required to check a box agreeing to the terms and was not given reasonable notice that the terms were there. The court rejected an argument that the "terms" link was "close enough" to other key content that the user should have clicked on it.

The court held:

[W]here a website makes its terms of use available via a conspicuous hyperlink on every page of the website but otherwise provides no notice to users nor prompts them to take any affirmative action to demonstrate assent, even close proximity of the hyperlink to relevant buttons users must click on—without more—is insufficient to give rise to constructive notice. . . . [C]consumers cannot be expected to ferret out hyperlinks to terms and conditions to which they have no reason to suspect they will be bound.
Click here for more.

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