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Trek sued over Wavecell helmet safety claims

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Trek sued over Wavecell helmet safety claims

Old 01-09-21, 12:30 PM
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MinnMan
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Trek sued over Wavecell helmet safety claims

https://cyclingtips.com/2021/01/trek...safety-claims/
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Old 01-09-21, 04:50 PM
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Class action suits like this benefit the plaintiff lawyers, and typically offer next to nothing for the consumer. These guys will nit pic Trek’s advertising, throw spaghetti against the wall, and hope enough sticks to coerce a settlement from Trek that will pay the lawyers millions, and give Wave cell helmet purchasers a $10 coupon on a new helmet.

There’s data out there on Wave Cell, MIPS, and standard helmets. As a consumer, you can review that data and draw your own conclusions.

A class action lawsuit industry that enriches lawyers only drives up costs, and does nothing to help me as a consumer.
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Old 01-09-21, 05:49 PM
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Put me on the jury. Plaintiff will not be happy.
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Old 01-09-21, 06:10 PM
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amazes me that if you have not sustained an injury directly from the product how can you have standing to sue them for class action. I kind of wonder if this guy has stock in MIPS...
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Old 01-09-21, 06:16 PM
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This is really kind of dumb to me. A lawyer is the motivating factor to make money on this. I hope this doesn't get very far. Next thing we will see on helmet labels is coffee is hot?

Don't forget about the prop 56 from California...bunch of crap
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Old 01-09-21, 11:19 PM
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I don't disagree with the point that in theory consumers can digest data and make their own decisions. In theory. More likely, an average consumer has no training or experience in distinguising between good and relevant testing vs. testing that is biased in favor of the product's marketing strategy.

Also don't disagree that lawyers make a lot of money on this stuff and that the benefit to the little consumer is usually minor and often not even usable (see example below).

But the onus is also on companies to not mislead consumers with false claims and biased testing. Are these helmets really 48 times more effective in preventing concussions than traditional foam helmets? (I haven't seen those ads, but will take the statement in the linked article at face value).

I say that with such an extravagant claim - which naturally will boost product sales and support premium pricing - yeah Trek, prove it. As for the benefit or lack of benefit to consumers by class action suits - how can you hold a large corp. like Trek's feet to the fire as an individual? Seems like class action suits are made for this sort of situation.

As for standing (the above comment on injury) - as far as the article goes, the suit isn't about injury, it's about whether the advertising claim is valid or not. Injury has no bearing on standing. The question is - where the claims false and thus enticed people to spend money on a product that is not as advertised.

My personal example of class action suits: I owned a mid-80s Chevy pickup. Those pickups had dual tanks, I think they were called side saddle tanks or something like that. They were a proven hazard in relatively minor t-bone type crashes - ruptured and burst into flames. The class action suit (1) proved that the tanks, compared to other similar vehicles, were a poor design and unreasonably unsafe and (2) caused GM to change their fuel tank design to one that was more safe.

I got a multi hundred, maybe even $1,000 certificate that could be used for the purchase of a new GM product. I never had a use for that so I got $0 out of the deal. I'm sure law firms made hay. But none of that negates the worth of the class action suit. I don't agree that normal consumers can protect themselves from stuff like this or the (potentially) false claim of a helmet manufacturer.
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Old 01-10-21, 10:18 AM
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Everyone is looking to get a fast buck if they can.
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Old 01-10-21, 09:56 PM
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I have actually sent in letters removing me from the class settlement. But it's a hassle. I once got called by a reporter asking why I withdrew -- said I had not interest in making lawyers rich. But I did get a "settlement" on a Hyundai class action recently (didn't know I was in the class). I guess if the paint job on my car fails I get a hundred bucks off a repaint or something.

scott s.
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Old 01-11-21, 09:28 AM
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Originally Posted by merlinextraligh View Post
There’s data out there on Wave Cell, MIPS, and standard helmets. As a consumer, you can review that data and draw your own conclusions..
You're an attorney, right? I'm not being facetious, asking seriously.

You'd agree that having data to review has no legal consequence at all with an UDAP action. Granted I haven't read the complaint, but this just struck me so I thought I'd ask.
A class action lawsuit industry that enriches lawyers only drives up costs, and does nothing to help me as a consumer.
No doubt.
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Old 01-11-21, 11:44 AM
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Yes, I am a lawyer, and at one point years ago defended various financial entities against deceptive practices claims, but with the passage of time wouldn’t claim any current expertise.

That said the precise requirements for a deceptive practices claim vary from state to stat, but typically to prevail in a claim for damages you’re going to have prove that the ad was objectively deceptive, and in many cases that the consumer reasonably relied on the false information, was in fact deceived and damaged thereby.

To the extent that the Trek ad was based on a arguable interpretation of a specific study, that was referenced and available to consumers, Trek has an argument that even if people disagree with Trek’s conclusion, the assertion was not deceptive.

In that sense, the fact that the underlying data was referenced and available to consumers does go to the elements, of deception, reliance and causation.

My point though really is that some purported “injuries” are so deminimis that the law does not provide a practical remedy. In recent years the expansion of tort and consumer law, and the growth in class actions has given rise this sort of litigation. And the remedy is often a worthless coupon. Given the huge cost, ultimately born by consumers, there really isn’t a cost effective legal strategy to address minor perceived grievances like being misled by a claim based upon a debatable study
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Old 01-11-21, 03:02 PM
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Originally Posted by merlinextraligh View Post
Yes, I am a lawyer, and at one point years ago defended various financial entities against deceptive practices claims, but with the passage of time wouldn’t claim any current expertise.

That said the precise requirements for a deceptive practices claim vary from state to stat, but typically to prevail in a claim for damages you’re going to have prove that the ad was objectively deceptive, and in many cases that the consumer reasonably relied on the false information, was in fact deceived and damaged thereby.

To the extent that the Trek ad was based on a arguable interpretation of a specific study, that was referenced and available to consumers, Trek has an argument that even if people disagree with Trek’s conclusion, the assertion was not deceptive.

In that sense, the fact that the underlying data was referenced and available to consumers does go to the elements, of deception, reliance and causation.

My point though really is that some purported “injuries” are so deminimis that the law does not provide a practical remedy. In recent years the expansion of tort and consumer law, and the growth in class actions has given rise this sort of litigation. And the remedy is often a worthless coupon. Given the huge cost, ultimately born by consumers, there really isn’t a cost effective legal strategy to address minor perceived grievances like being misled by a claim based upon a debatable study
The interesting twist on this is the allegation that the tests weren't actually performed on the production model of the helmet, and there's plausibly an argument there that the study was designed to be misleading--tests no one else performs on helmets no one is actually wearing. But you're right, the damages that can be claimed are really just that someone might have paid a few too many bucks for a hot heavy helmet due to a fraudulent "study".

This is probably better fodder for an FTC complaint than a real lawsuit. This is one of those entrepreneurial class actions--a trivial complaint in search of plaintiffs.
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Old 01-11-21, 03:45 PM
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Not a lawyer. My guess, the law firm bringing the suit against Trek isn't really going to take it all the way, they wants a quick settlement, nice check into the partners account from Trek.
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