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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 21, 2013 | By Maura Dolan
SAN FRANCISCO -- California retailers may be liable for large money awards if they falsely advertise that their products are on sale. A federal appeals court Tuesday revived a potential class-action lawsuit against Kohl's Department Stores for allegedly misstating in advertising that items had been marked down. The U.S. 9 th Circuit Court of Appeals said California consumer laws permit such lawsuits if the customer would not have made the purchase but for the perceived bargain.
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OPINION
August 22, 2013 | By Charles Duan
Patent trolls are a widely reported problem for big business and technology makers. They are companies that exist primarily to buy up patents and then collect money, in the form of licenses or lawsuit settlements, from alleged infringers of those patents. Trolls take advantage of a patent system with serious flaws, and their abuse of the system is creating, as a White House fact sheet recently put it, a "drain on the American economy. " And, as it turns out, a drain on you, the ordinary consumer.
BUSINESS
March 21, 2014 | By David Lazarus
Lee is making some changes in his life. He wants to know what happens if he renounces his U.S. citizenship and becomes instead a citizen of the Philippines. Can he keep receiving Social Security checks? An intriguing scenario. Lee doesn't say why he wants to switch teams, but it could have something to do with taxes. A number of Americans jump ship each year because they're displeased with the U.S. tax system. ASK LAZ: Smart answers to consumer questions In any case, the Social Security Administration does have a status for ex-citizens who may be due monthly checks.
BUSINESS
February 14, 2001 | NEDRA PICKLER, ASSOCIATED PRESS
The government released rollover risk ratings for 30 more vehicles on Tuesday, giving low marks to eight sport-utility vehicles and high grades to four cars. The ratings of the 2001 vehicles are based on a mathematical formula for measuring the vehicle's center of gravity and width. SUVs and pickup trucks are more top-heavy and thus more likely to get lower marks than a car or van.
BUSINESS
January 17, 2014 | By David Lazarus
Like millions of other Target shoppers, Janet has received an offer from the company for free credit monitoring. This is to help protect against identity theft after the hack attack against the retailer that resulted the personal information of up to 110 million people going astray. ASK LAZ: Smart answers to consumer questions Janet wants to know how she can tell if the email she received is legitimate. Couldn't this be another way for hackers to be coming after people?
ENTERTAINMENT
June 5, 2013 | By Meg James
NBCUniversal has hired Russell Hampton, a former top consumer products executive at the Walt Disney Co., to help bolster merchandising and mobile content strategies for the Comcast Corp.-owned media company. Hampton, who until a year ago served as president of Disney Publishing Worldwide, steps into the newly created position of executive vice president of franchise management and global consumer products.  He becomes the second major hire of Lauren Zalaznick who earlier this year became digital innovation strategist for NBCUniversal Chief Executive Steve Burke.
OPINION
June 28, 2012
Re "Suit targets consumer watchdog," Business, June 23 I found it amusing to read that C. Boyden Gray, an attorney in a suit challenging the constitutionality of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, complains about how unfair and wrong it is that "if you're a poor beleaguered financial institution … and you are set upon by this bureau, you have no access to the democratic system … to appeal what's happened. " Perhaps Gray might also consider the plight of a private individual set upon by one of those "poor beleaguered financial institutions.
OPINION
December 3, 2008
Re "U.S. tackles consumer debt market," Nov. 26 OK, I admit that I do not have a degree in economics. However, the information I am reading about "bailouts" defies any logic I know as a consumer. The latest is that the government plans to give billions to industries that will encourage consumer credit. Everyone I know is trying desperately to get out from under credit debt. Can someone who has credit-card debt explain how encouraging the use of further indebtedness through credit can help the average consumer?
BUSINESS
June 7, 2009
Re: David Lazarus' consumer column, "Finally, AT&T writes a contract in plain English," May 31: "The 8,000-word contract was a triumph of consumer-unfriendliness" -- and clearly was written by lawyers on steroids! Michael Lohnberg Agoura Hills
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