Lawsuits against individuals and corporations are filed regularly in the United States. Over the past year, several have forced big corporations or local governments to make expensive payouts. Below are some of the largest and most nationally relevant legal payouts from 2013.
Naked Juice is Not So All Natural ($9 Million)
People who purchased Naked Juice between September 2007 and August 2013 can earn a share of the $9 million settlement with Naked Juice’s parent company PepsiCo. While Naked Juice often advertises their products as healthy, all-natural beverages, a class action lawsuit alleged that these brandings were inaccurate. PepsiCo denied the allegations, but agreed to the settlement.
The company is refunding up to $75 for those who kept receipts and purchased the qualifying beverages. Those without receipts are only eligible to earn up to $45.
Facebook Needs to Pay Up ($20 Million)
In August, a California judge ordered Facebook to pay $20 million to users whose images were used in paid advertisements. The case involved Facebook account holders who did not realize their images could be used in these ads.
Back in 2011, Facebook launched “Sponsored Stories.” This system allowed advertisers to take the Facebook images of people who “liked” that advertiser’s product and use them for ads. People didn’t realize their pictures were being used in these ads and filed a class action suit.
Merrill Lynch Racial Bias Case ($160 Million)
For the past eight years, brokerage firm Merrill Lynch fought a racial bias lawsuit. After a second failed appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court, the firm finally agreed to pay $160 million to victims.
The complaint was filed in 2005 by hundreds of African-American brokers who claimed bias when it came becoming successful brokers. This complaint was surprisingly confirmed by an African-American executive, who acknowledged that the majority of the firm’s clients were white, and that they might not trust a black broker with their money.
Bank of America has since purchased Merrill Lynch, but the company agreed to listen to advice from ethnic employees on helping employees become brokers.
The NFL Owes Up for Hiding True Effects of Concussion ($765 Million)
More than 4,500 former NFL players sued the league for concussion-related ailments. Thousands of former players and their families filed these suits, claiming the NFL hid the long-term effects of concussions from players. Among those filing suits were the families of two former NFL players who committed suicide.
With the $765 million settlement, retired players and their families receive immediate support and neurological care. Payouts are being capped at $3 million for players with dementia, $4 million for players whose cause of death was found to be chronic traumatic encephalopathy, and $5 million for players with cognitive impairment.
Dallas County, Texas, to Pay Up for Racial Bias ($1.2 Billion)
In one of the largest payouts of the year, some residents of Dallas County in Texas will soon be seeing a significant infusion of cash. The lawsuit, filed in 2010, claimed that Texas banks were denying loans to African-American farmers in Dallas County. Congress agreed and the discrimination case led to a settlement of $1.2 billion.
Three years later, the people who filed this class action suit are finally receiving their award letters. After taxes, the farmers expect to receive $50,000 each. Many of the farmers who filed suit are now deceased; their shares will be given to living relatives.
Gavin Pilkington is a freelance writer based in Baton Rouge, Louisiana who focuses on finance, law & politics. Gavin knows the it is critical to select an experienced lawyer for legal needs, and so he recommends Shrader Law to those with such needs.
Image credit goes to YazLawsuitx.