House Fire Prompts $1 Million Dispute With Airbnb

Eight Airbnb guests were staying in the three-story house that overlooked the Sonoma Valley. Fortunately, all eight escaped the flames unharmed. Minutes after they made it out, the burning house came crashing down.

The Sonoma Valley Fire and Rescue fire marshal’s report on the incident notes non-code electric work near a wooden outdoor deck. Investigators also noted two of the Airbnb renters admitted they were smoking on that deck, about an hour before the fire started:

– It was possible that one of them threw cigarette butts over the deck railing or dropped some on [the] deck.

Ultimately, the fire’s cause was declared “undetermined” by the fire marshal. But no matter what ignited the flames, the house was a total loss.

The $1 million question

After the fire, the homeowners obtained a contractor’s estimate to rebuild. The estimate: $1.8 million.

The homeowners — who are remaining anonymous — told NBC Bay Area they received a $600,000 payment from their property insurance provider, but not the $1 million they were counting on from Airbnb. Its “Host Guarantee” offers homeowners “Property damage protection of up to $1 million for every host and every listing—at no additional cost.”

Consumer attorney Robert Tauler says promises like the Airbnb Host Guarantee aren’t always easy to redeem.

“They don’t just write checks for a million bucks without kicking the tires, for sure,” Tauler said.

Tauler specializes in holding tech companies accountable for their advertising. He says simple assurances spelled out on an app look easy, but putting those promises into practice — like after a fire — might meet resistance.

“Frequently, their acts are inconsistent with their words,” Tauler said. “That’s a real serious problem.”

Click here to read the full article and view the segment aired on NBC Bay Area.

Coco Rocha loses modeling agency battle

Coco Rocha has gotten herself caught in the middle of a model war.

The cover girl, who took a management and ownership stake in Nomad Mgmt two years ago, just lost a battle with Federico Pignatelli, the owner of Industry Model Group and Pier59 Studios. Pignatelli sued Nomad after Giovanni Bernardi left Industry’s Los Angeles office after just six months to help create Nomad Los Angeles.

“It is clear that Bernardi only took the position at Industry to obtain trade secrets, confidential information, employees and resources for his own venture,” Pignatelli’s lawyer Robert Tauler wrote in an LA Superior Court suit.

Click here to view full article on Page Six.

Doping experts contradict some of Clemson’s theories on drug test results

Medical experts this week cast doubt on some of the theories laid out by Clemson as to how three football players, including star defensive tackle Dexter Lawrence, tested positive for the banned substance ostarine prior to the College Football Playoff.

In a press conference before the Cotton Bowl last month, Clemson coach Dabo Swinney said the drug could have come from any source. The players were ruled ineligible for the Tigers’ Cotton Bowl matchup with Notre Dame and the national championship game, which Clemson won in a one-sided victory over Alabama.

Click here to read the full article on The Post and Couriers.

Athletes Falling Victim to Production Contamination

Clemson losing hope that Dexter Lawrence can play vs. Notre Dame: ‘You feel heartbroken for him’

Robert Tauler, a trial lawyer for the Los Angeles firm Tauler Smith, told the Tribune that bits of ostarine can end up in NCAA-approved supplements such as protein powder if factory workers are not careful about product “runoff” or diligent about cleaning machinery.

“We’ve seen it happen a lot,” Tauler said. “Athletes’ careers are in jeopardy, and it’s really a travesty. The concept that they would take (ostarine) and risk everything is ridiculous; the effect is not even close to that of steroids.”

Read full article on chicagotribune.com.

FDA isn’t alone in targeting male enhancement products laced with drugs

A company selling male enhancement products has devised a strategy to target competing products adulterated with undeclared drugs: sue the retailers that sell them.

Attorney Robert Tauler can relate to the challenges facing FDA in holding accountable distributors of products marketed as dietary supplements but contaminated with undeclared prescription drugs.

His law office, Tauler Smith LLP, has estimated there are 10,000 name variations of similar male enhancement products containing adulterants. They feature such names as Black Mamba Premium, Rhino 8 Platinum 8000 and Stiff Nights.

Read full article at Natural Products Insider.

Tauler Smith LLP files lawsuit in Michigan against convenience stores

The suit filed in Detroit federal court accuses the companies that own the gas stations and covenience stores of selling pills that are billed as sexual enhancement supplements, which lab tests have found actually contain drugs such as sildenafil, desmethyl carbodenafil, dapoxetine and tadalafil.

Check out the coverage by various local TV stations and newspapers in Michigan:

WJBK (Fox) Detroit: http://www.fox2detroit.com/news/local-news/lawsuit-detroit-gas-stations-selling-male-enhancement-pills-with-hidden-active-ingredients

WXYZ (ABC) Detroit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TD5H_gL5mws

WDIV (NBC) Detroit: https://www.clickondetroit.com/news/metro-detroit-gas-stations-accused-of-selling-viagra-to-unsuspecting-customers

WWJ News Radio, Detroit: https://wwjnewsradio.radio.com/articles/detroit-gas-stations-named-federal-lawsuit-selling-viagra-without-prescription

Detroit Free Press, Detroit: https://www.freep.com/story/news/local/michigan/detroit/2018/08/13/do-you-need-prescription-viagra/974946002/

Metro Times, Detroit: https://www.metrotimes.com/news-hits/archives/2018/08/13/sunoco-may-be-selling-viagra-disguised-as-enhancement-pills

Courthouse News: https://www.courthousenews.com/gas-stations-accused-of-selling-illegal-male-enhancement-drugs/

Texas gas stations secretly selling Viagra are exposed by False Advertising Law Firm Tauler Smith LLP

The suit filed in Houston federal court accuses the companies that own the gas stations of selling pills that are billed as sexual enhancement supplements, which lab tests have found actually contain drugs such as sildenafil, desmethyl carbodenafil, dapoxetine and tadalafil.

Check out the coverage by various local TV stations in Texas:

KTRK/CNN Tyler, Texas: https://www.easttexasmatters.com/news/top-stories/gas-stations-selling-illegal-viagra/1351659361

KGNS (NBC) Laredo, Texas: http://www.kgns.tv/content/news/Texas-lawyer-sues-gas-stations-over-490283331.html

KXAN (NBC) Austin, Texas: https://www.kxan.com/news/texas/lawsuit-houston-convenience-stores-sell-viagra-laced-supplements/1351083377

Channel 2 (NBC) Houston, Texas: https://www.click2houston.com/video/15-convenience-stores-accused-of-selling-pills-with-drug-found-in-viagra

ABC 13 Houston, Texas: https://abc13.com/health/viagra-laced-pills-allegedly-being-sold-at-houston-gas-stations/3895662/

LA Times – Lawsuit claims San Diego stores sell tainted love pills

Illegal and dangerous erection-inducing products containing Viagra and Cialis are being deceptively sold across San Diego, according to a lawsuit against dozens of San Diego convenience stores.

The products often bear sexually suggestive names like Black Stallion 35000Rhino 69, and New Stiff Nights Platinum 10K. They’re sold in convenience stores, liquor and smoke shops, as dietary or natural supplements.

Read full article on Los Angeles Times.

SMDP – Local liquor stores face lawsuit over male enhancement pills

Santa Monica Daily Press – Pills promising better sex are at the center of a lawsuit filed against a dozen local liquor store owners, as a Los Angeles area law firm brings a multi-state legal threat to its hometown. The firm is representing a Texas-based supplement company, Outlaw Laboratory, who says mom-and-pop store owners are profiting from products that secretly contain sildenafil, the active ingredient in Viagra. Suddenly, the convenience store owners find themselves deciding between a five-figure settlement or a protracted court battle.

 

Read full article at Santa Monica Daily Press.

Daily Journal – Contract flaws spell doom for Beats defense

Attorney Gil Peles of Tauler Smith LLP was sought for his expert opinion by the Los Angeles Daily Journal as jurors considered a high-profile breach-of-contract lawsuit involving Beats by Dr. Dre headphones and a man who was key in developing them.

Peles has published numerous articles about intellectual property law, one of his specialties, and litigates entertainment, employment, corporate and general commercial disputes.

The Beats case involved a dispute over whether a royalty agreement was meant to cover a single product or multiple products based on the same design. The contract didn’t clearly spell out the terms, and that ambiguity was a serious flaw, Peles said.

“One would think (Dr. Dre’s) highly paid attorneys would have made that abundantly clear in the contract language,”

Peles told the Daily Journal. “This circumstance will not be lost on the jury.”

It wasn’t. As Peles correctly predicted, the jury awarded the plaintiff $25 million in owed royalties.

Read the full story here (subscription may be required): https://tinyurl.com/PelesOnBeats