Grande Law Offices principal Thomas Grande has advocated for consumer rights and protections for over thirty years. As executive director of Common Cause/Hawaii, Mr. Grande lobbied for open government and open records laws, as well as reforms to give consumers a greater say in government affairs.
More recently, Mr. Grande drafted and obtained passage of amendments to Hawaii’s Consumer Protection Statute that allowed consumers and small businesses to sue for unfair methods of competition and allowed consumers to bring class action anti-trust cases directly against manufacturers and distributors.
Mr. Grande’s legislative efforts substantially aided a later client who obtained a $38 million verdict against a large national company for using inside information to unfairly compete for the purchase of a business.
Mr. Grande has been active in both state and national consumer rights organizations and such as the Consumer Lawyers of Hawaii, National Consumer Law Center and the National Association of Consumer Advocates.
Homeowner Class Action Settled
Grande Law Offices and Wayson Wong have obtained settled a construction defect class action on behalf of homeowners at the SummerHill Subdivision in Ewa, Hawaii. The case, which was filed in 2001, will give more than 100 homeowners extended warranties and compensation for past and future damages. The houses have a defective foam skit that allows ground termites to enter the homes undetected.
“This was a case that required tremendous perservence,” said Thomas Grande. “The case was first dismissed because of an arbitration clause that we defeated in an important Hawai’i Supreme Court decision on homeowner arbitrations,” Grande noted. “After our first certification hearing, Defendants were allowed to take nineteen depositions of potential class members. We are extremely pleased that the Court made what we believe was the best decision for the homeowners — allow them to go foward as a class.”
Grande commended co-counsel Wayson Wong, who handled all of the nineteen depositions. “Wayson displayed true dedication to this case. The SummerHill homeowners made the right choice when they asked him to represent them in the case,” Grande noted.
Grande said that the settlement was unprecendented. “The settlement gives the homeowners a twenty-five year warranty against termite damage, which is unprecedented in my experience,” Grande said. Grande estimated the settlement value at $8,000 per house, or almost $1 million for the class.
To read a copy of the Supreme Court decision,
Pet Food Class Action Settlement Highest in US & Canada
Grande Law Offices has obtained the first certification and settlement in the United States of a class action lawsuit for consumer purchase and pet screening claims against pet food manufacturer Menu Foods for its sale of contaminated pet food. The case resulted in the highest settlement in the United States and Canada for any state or province.
Out of 120 cases filed nationwide, the case filed by Grande Law Offices was the only one to successfully stay in state court.
“We wanted to make sure that our class members got the protection of Hawaii’s consumer statute, which is one of the strongest in the United States,” Thomas Grande told media representatives at the press conference announcing the settlement.
“Our strategy worked,” Grande noted. “We got $240,000 for consumer and pet screening claims for Hawai’i residents; the rest of the United States and Canada combined got $650,000. It emphasizes the importance of having Hawai’i courts resolve claims for Hawai’i’s citizens,” Grande said.
To see KHNL news coverage, click here.
To see Honolulu Star-Bulletin news coverage, click here.