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AARP Foundation Legal Advocacy

Docket: Consumer and Utilities


Case Name: Impression Products v. Lexmark International

Court: U.S. Supreme Ct.  Docket: 15-1189

Decided: 5/30/2017

Read AARP's Amicus Brief (PDF) Article, and Decision

Case Result: In a landmark decision, the Court held that while patent owners are free to set the price and negotiate contracts with purchasers, once an item is sold, a patent owner may not, by virtue of its patent, control the use or disposition of the product after ownership passes to the purchaser.

Case Name: Hall v. Minnesota

Court: Minn. Supreme Court    Docket: A16-0874

Filed: 5/25/2017

Read AARP's Amicus Brief (PDF)

Case Issue: Does Minnesota's Unclaimed Property Act (MUPA) violate constitutional guarantees of due process and just compensation for takings because it allows the State to deem private personal property abandoned after three years and to take such property for its own use: (a) without adequate notice to the original owner and (b) without payment of compensation, including interest, to the property holder if subsequently claimed by the original owner. 

Case Name: McGill v. Citibank

Court: Cal. Supreme Court Docket: S224086

Decided: 4/6/2017

Read Summary, AARP's Amicus Brief (PDF) and Court Decision (PDF)

Case Result: The court held that an arbitration agreement that waives the public's right to injunctive relief is invalid and contrary to public policy.

Case Name: Board's Investigation Regarding the Reclassification (N.J. Verizon Deregulation)

Court: N.J. Superior Ct. Docket: A-004769-14T2

Decided: 4/3/2017

Read AARP's Amicus Brief (PDF)

Case Result: The court deferred to and affirmed the decision of the Board of Public Utilities to deregulate and reclassify four telephone services provided by Verizon as competitive.

Case Name: PHH v. CFPB

Court: U.S. Ct. App. D.C. Cir. Docket: 15-1177 (en banc)

Filed: 3/31/2017

Read AARP's Amicus Brief (PDF) 

Case Issue: Is an administrative order of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) invalid because: 1) the CFPB's interpretation of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) is a drastic departure from the longstanding interpretation of the regulations upon which industry relied; 2) the CFPB does not have authority to issue an injunction against PHH using an administrative procedure; 3) the Order was issued by an agency that has an unconstitutional structure, and; 4) the claims are barred to the extent that the CFPB exceeded the applicable 3-year statute of limitations. The order required PHH to return $109 million that it collected from residential mortgage borrowers for Private Mortgage Insurance in violation of RESPA.

Case Name: Wayside Church v. Van Buren County

Court: U.S. Ct. App. 6th Cir.  Docket: 15-2463, 15-2525

Decided: 3/23/2017

Read AARP's Amicus Brief (PDF)

Case Result: The circuit court affirmed the trial court's decision dismissing the taxpayers' claim for lack of subject matter jurisdiction, finding that they must first seek relief in the state courts to recover the excess proceeds of sales of their foreclosed properties. 

Case Name: PHH Corp. v. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB)

Court: U.S. Ct. App. D.C. Cir.  Docket: 15-1177

Decided: 10/11/2016

Read AARP's Amicus Brief (PDF)

Case Result: The CFPB structure is unconstitutional because a single head of the agency is not removable by the President except "for cause." The "for cause" requirement is therefore struck, such that the President may remove the Director for any reason. All the rules and regulations and decisions of the CFPB are otherwise valid. The interpretation given to RESPA by the Director cannot be applied to PHH until it is notified in advance of the change in interpretation. The statute of limitations for agency enforcement of violations of RESPA is three years.

Case Name: Torres v. SGE Management  (en banc)

Court: U.S. Ct. App. 5th Cir.  Docket: 14-20128

Read AARP's Amicus Brief (PDF)

Decided: 9/30/2016

Case Result: In an en banc decision, the court affirmed the district court class certification decision, holding that it is not necessary to prove first-party reliance to show that an alleged pyramid scheme violates the Racketeer Influenced Corrupt Organization Act thus individual issues cannot predominate to defeat class certification.

Case Name: Residential Utility Consumer Office (RUCO) v. Arizona Corp. Comm'n

Court: Arizona Supreme Court   Docket: CV-15-0281-PR

Decided: 8/8/2016

Read AARP's Amicus Brief (PDF) 

Case Result: The system's improvement benefits mechanism that adds a surcharge to the bills of residential water customers complies with the Arizona Constitution's mandate that the Commission determine the fair value of a utility's property when setting rates to improve the water infrastructure.

Case Name: Cottrell v. Alcon Labs

Court: U.S. Ct. App. 3d Cir.     Docket:  16-2015

Filed: 8/1/2016

Read AARP's Amicus Brief (PDF)

Case Issue:  Do glaucoma patients who use prescription eye drops have standing to sue pharmaceutical manufacturers for allegedly causing them economic injury by using packaging that dispenses eye drops that are too large, such that it overflows their eyes and is unavoidably wasted, in violation of state law that prohibits unfair practices. More specifically, can plaintiffs allege economic injury of paying for medication that is unavoidably wasted because the droppers deliver drops that are too large, such that they overflow the eye, where the manufacturer has discretion to set the price of the medication, state an injury in fact for purpose of Artilce III standing.

Case Name: Sergeants Benevolent Ass'n Health and Welfare Fund v. Sanofi-Aventis

Court: U.S. Supreme Court   Docket: 15-1525

Filed: 7/21/2016

Read AARP's Amicus Brief (PDF) 

Case Issue: Where purchasers allege that a manufacturer misrepresented a drug's safety to prescribing doctors to increase sales, does the presence of the doctor break the causal chain - for the purposes of RICO causation - between the manufacturer's misrepresentation and purchasers' economic injuries?

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Legal Cases

Find cases in which AFL has advocated in courts nationwide for the rights of older persons, and filed AARP’s amicus curiae (“friend of the court”) briefs that help courts decide precedent-setting cases. The cases within the drop-down categories below are in alphabetical order for ease of searching.

Strengthening Law and Policy through
Legal Advocacy

Our legal advocacy initiatives  - conducted by AARP Foundation Litigation (AFL) - reflect nearly 20 years of work in federal and state courts across the country. Through our efforts, we support the Foundation’s four impact areas: Tackling Senior Hunger, Paving the Way to Stable Income, assuring the adequacy and availability of Safe and Afffordable Housing and Reconnecting People to Families and Communities, and ensure that those 50 and older have a voice in the laws and policies that affect their daily lives.