Jay Jackson - Director of Communications – BCA Marketing
St. Louis, MO – November 12, 2009 - The consumer protection division of Brent Coon & Associates has filed a landmark lawsuit against Redbox. The suit alleges deceptive and unfair business practices relating to Redbox’s guarantee of “no late fees.” The suit, originally brought by a single mother in Southern Illinois, alleges that Redbox’s policy of charging consumers $1 for DVDs returned after 9pm is a de-facto late fee and that the $25 charged to consumers who keep a DVD for more than 24 days are unfair business practices. The $25 charge is more than triple what Redbox charges to buy its used DVDs. The lawsuit promises to be a major, nationwide class action suit. Brent Coon & Associates seeks to be the top firm on the plaintiff’s steering committee as other plaintiffs and firms join the suit.
The lawsuit, Laurie Piechur v. Redbox Automated Retail, LLC, Case No. 09-L-562 filed in St. Clair County, Illinois by attorneys Thomas G. Maag of Wendler Law Firm and Jeffrey A. J. Millar of Brent Coon & Associates, seeks to certify a nationwide class of consumers who rented DVDs from Redbox and incurred a late fee, despite the “No Late Fees” promise. The suit was brought for violations of the Illinois Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act, unlawful penalties, unjust enrichment and a violation of the Illinois Rental-Purchase Agreement Act. The terms and conditions for use of Redbox DVD rentals requires the application of Illinois law, as well as subjecting the parties to the personal and exclusive jurisdiction of the Illinois state courts. Redbox kiosks require an e-mail address and credit or debit card to complete transactions. When a DVD is returned late, Redbox automatically charges the customer’s account $1. The lawsuit also seeks remedies for violation of Illinois’ Automatic Contract Renewal Act, which requires a clear and conspicuous disclosure of the automatic renewal clause and the cancellation procedure, both of which are notably absent from Redbox’s terms and conditions available on its website.
Redbox is no stranger to high profile litigation. With its aggressive, take no prisoners approach to business, Redbox and has recently garnered media attention in lawsuits it filed against three Hollywood Studios, Universal Studios Home Entertainment, Warner Home Video and Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment, for alleged violations of the federal antitrust law. Redbox claims these three studios shut it out of their distribution systems and not readily provided them new release DVDs. Coming at a time when threatening to raise prices while simultaneously showing record profits, Redbox legal department is working overtime in a sue or be sued mentality. Needless to say, many people are calling for an end to the insanity and a return to accountability.
Brent Coon & Associates has built the interactive resource website, www.redboxlatefees.com, to encourage consumers to get involved. Designed to help facilitate the class action suit and to collect witness information for court records, the site also acts as an information resource for the media and general public and contains a “claim evaluator” tool so consumers can determine if they’re eligible to take part in the suit.
About Brent Coon & Associates:
Brent Coon & Associates was founded in 2001. Today, with 12 offices around the country, it is one of the largest trial law firms in the nation and the epitome of the 21st century law practice. Brent Coon & Associates employs over 30 aggressive litigators, with solid experience in individual and complex multi-party, occupational/environmental, health and personal injury cases. The majority of the firm’s cases are referred from attorneys who have confidence in the firm’s integrity, expertise and solid work ethic. The firm has a proven track record for handling complex, multi-party cases, with an emphasis on occupational and environmental law and personal injury practice.