SANTA CLARA, Calif.— June 4, 2003—The East San José Community Law Center, the civil clinical program for the Santa Clara University School of Law, joined the law firm Hoge, Fenton, Jones & Appel, Inc. to file a statewide class action lawsuit against GoodTimes Entertainment (GoodTimes), a company that markets products through infomercials on television. The company sells weight loss and exercise videotapes, cooking pans, and other products.
The East San Jose Community Law Center provides opportunities for Santa Clara University law students to serve low-income families on a pro-bono basis in clinics specializing in consumer law, employment law, immigration law, and small business.
The suit was filed on behalf of California consumers who were charged for products and/or services they did not agree to buy. The plaintiff, Ena Aguirre, alleged that GoodTimes violated California law by sending her unsolicited goods and services, and billing her debit card for the unordered merchandise. “Ms. Aguirre made numerous attempts to resolve the situation and stop the unauthorized charges, but the company ignored her letters and phone calls,” said Chris D’Anjou, a certified law student at Santa Clara University School of Law who filed the complaint.
"Ms. Aguirre, like many other victims, was forced to close her debit card account just to stop the unauthorized charges," said Scott Maurer, a consumer law attorney with the East San Jose Community Law Center. The complaint also alleges that GoodTimes sent Aguirre a letter to call a toll-free number to make payment arrangements, but she was billed for the call.
Aguirre is not alone in her complaints. The New Jersey attorney general filed suit against the GoodTimes company earlier this year. According to a press release by the New Jersey Department of Law and Safety, the action was filed after receiving 330 similar consumer complaints from the United States and Canada.
The New Jersey action seeks relief on behalf of all consumers who have filed complaints. The California action seeks restitution on behalf of all California residents who were charged for unauthorized products, whether or not the consumers have a complaint on file. The California suit also seeks statutory penalties and damages under California’s Unfair Debt Collection Practices Act.
“Consumers should be very cautious about giving out their credit or debit card numbers to companies they have not dealt with before,” said Maurer. “Consumers should review every credit and debit card statement for possible unauthorized charges.” Maurer advised consumers to dispute any unauthorized charges with the bank that issued the card to the consumer, in addition to disputing the charge with the retailer. The lawsuit also names Quadrangle Capital Partners, LP, which recently acquired GoodTimes.
About SCU School of Law
The SCU School of Law, founded in 1912, combines a tradition of excellence with a commitment to ethics, diversity, and social justice, and is fully accredited by the American Bar Association. Many of its 968 students work in criminal and civil community law clinics, and may earn certificates in intellectual property law, international law, or public interest law. Law degrees may be combined with MBA or master’s in taxation degrees, and the law school offers lawyers master’s degrees in international law and intellectual property law.
About Santa Clara University
Santa Clara University, a comprehensive Jesuit, Catholic university located in California’s Silicon Valley, offers its 8,060 students rigorous undergraduate curricula in arts and sciences, business, and engineering, plus master’s and law degrees. Distinguished nationally by the fourth-highest graduation rate among all U.S. master’s universities, California’s oldest higher-education institution demonstrates faith-inspired values of ethics and social justice. More information is online at www.scu.edu.
class action lawsuit
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