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Thursday
Mar212019

Passenger sues Royal Caribbean after 20-foot fall on bungee attraction

Obtained by ABC News(MIAMI) -- A passenger is suing Royal Caribbean for $75,000 over injuries sustained in a bungee trampoline accident on the company's Mariner of the Seas cruise ship.

Casey Holladay, 26, said he fractured his pelvis in a 20-foot fall on the ship's "Sky Pad," a bungee trampoline activity, in February when the harness malfunctioned while he was suspended in the air, according to the lawsuit.

Holladay, a native of Washington, was enjoying a weekend cruise to the Bahamas and looking forward to trying out the "Sky Pad" when the accident occurred, the suit said.

The suit, filed last week in U.S. District Court in Miami, said the accident happened on the 13th deck of the cruise ship, which has a hard surface with no "padding or safety nets in case a participant did fall and missed the trampoline."

He said the fall left him with a disability and permanent injuries.

"As a result of the substantial injuries and surgery, [Holladay] has become disabled, has plates and screws in his pelvic area, and has suffered severe orthopedic injuries," the suit said, "which will require lifetime medical care and treatment, including the possibility of multiple future hip replacements."

The suit accuses Royal Caribbean of negligence for allegedly failing to operate the attraction safely.

Holladay "had to be placed in the ship’s medical facility and kept there for many hours until the ship could return to Miami, Florida," according to the suit. He was eventually taken to the Jackson Trauma Center, where he was admitted for the next 10 days, the suit claims.

The passenger is suing the Miami-based cruise line for over $75,000 in compensatory damages. He's also seeking an unspecified amount for punitive damages.

Royal Caribbean spokesperson Owen Torres told ABC News that the company does "not comment on pending litigation."

"We operate all our ships safely, professionally and responsibly," Torres said in a statement.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Thursday
Mar212019

Gucci is selling $870 sneakers that are intentionally dirty

Gucci (NEW YORK) -- Just when we found out avocado sneakers are a thing, Gucci drops a pair of men's sneakers that all look like they have been worn and ran through a few dirt roads.

The luxury retailer's Screener leather sneaker costs $870 and comes in three different styles featuring the brand's classic red and green stripe.

Gucci's website describes the sneakers as "influenced by classic trainers from the '70s, the multicolor Screener sneakers — named for the defensive sports move — reference the colors of the House Web stripe, treated for an allover distressed effect."

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Wednesday
Mar202019

Founder of Jelly Belly releases cannabis-infused jelly beans

Garrett Aitken/iStock(NEW YORK) -- Jelly bean aficionados will now be able to get high with something stronger than a sugar rush.

The creator of one of the most recognized brands of jelly beans has debuted a line of cannabis-infused sweets for candy lovers to enjoy.

Last month, "Candyman" David Klein, responsible for the creation of Jelly Belly's jelly beans in 1976, announced the founding of his new company, Spectrum Confections, that will offer the psychedelic treats in 38 flavors.

The company tests each recipe to ensure that the correct amount of cannabidiol, or CBD, is added to each bean, according to their website. Every bean is infused with 10 milligrams of CBD, and Spectrum Confections does not process CBD with a higher content than .3 percent, the company said.

Customers 18 and older must provide their own CBD, along with a lab report so the company can make sure they are "compliant with laws in handling your product." Orders are processed within two weeks, the website states.

Some vendors have been selling the beans for about $2 each, according to Spectrum Confections. The company only processes bulk orders with a minimum of 800 beans and are currently sold out.

"Due to recent media attention, our inventory has been depleted," the website announced.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Wednesday
Mar202019

Peloton hit with $150M infringement lawsuit over use of songs

Roberto Machado Noa/LightRocket via Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Publishers representing songwriters behind hits by Rihanna, Justin Timberlake, Lady Gaga and others filed a $150 million lawsuit against Peloton on Tuesday, accusing the fitness technology firm of copyright infringement.

The National Music Publishers’ Association, whose members include Downtown Music Publishing, Big Deal Music, Reservoir and Royalty Network, said Peloton used more than 1,000 songs without permission, leading to a "great deal" of lost income to songwriters, according to the lawsuit.

“Unfortunately, instead of recognizing the integral role of songwriters to its company, Peloton has built its business by using their work without their permission or fair compensation for years," the association said in a statement Tuesday.

“It is frankly unimaginable that a company of this size and sophistication would think it could exploit music in this way without the proper licenses for this long," the statement added, "and we look forward to getting music creators what they deserve.”

The suit, filed in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, alleges that Peloton released thousands of videos that included unlicensed music from various artists, including Bruno Mars, Katy Perry, Ariana Grande, Justin Bieber, Gwen Stefani and many more.

The suit seeks more than $150 million in damages over infringements that the association said date as far back as 2014, the year Peloton launched its at-home workout streaming service.

"Peloton is a textbook willful infringer," the lawsuit claims. "Peloton’s fitness videos contain music from start to finish. Music not only can provide a tempo for a treadmill run or stationary bike ride; it is essential to creating the instructor’s desired atmosphere."

Peloton, which manufactures high-end exercise equipment and offers instructor-led online fitness classes, did not immediately respond to ABC News' request for comment, but a company spokesperson told Variety that the firm was still evaluating the lawsuit.

“We just received the complaint this morning, and we are evaluating it," the spokesperson said. "Peloton has great respect for songwriters and artists. In fact, we have partnered with each of the major music publishers, record labels and performing rights organizations, and many leading independents."

Downtown Music Publishing, Pulse Music Publishing, ole, peermusic, Ultra Music, Big Deal Music, Reservoir, Round Hill, TRO Essex Music Group and The Royalty Network are all listed as plaintiffs in the suit.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Wednesday
Mar202019

Grace Eleyae turned her issue with hair breakage into a million-dollar business

Grace Eleyae(NEW YORK) -- After suffering hair breakage from wearing a hat while traveling, Grace Eleyae, chief executive officer and co-founder of the original Slap (Satin-Lined Cap), decided enough was enough.

Instead of complaining, she got creative.

"There has to be something that is stylish enough to go out in, but protective enough to wear to bed," Eleyae told ABC News' Good Morning America she thought to herself after her frustrating hair loss experience.

From there, Eleyae went on a six-month journey in 2013 seeking a different way to incorporate satin into more stylish headpieces. By 2014, "in a moment of divine inspiration," Eleyae added the final touches on the idea of the Slap.

"I sewed the first prototype myself," she said.

Now, celebrities such as actresses Gabrielle Union and Viola Davis as well as comedian and television host Loni Love are also fans of the brand.

Eleyae drew inspiration for the line from her childhood as one of the only dark-skinned black girls in a predominantly Caucasian suburb thirty minutes east of Los Angeles.

"The dolls I played with, though black, had silky hair," she said.

Refusing to chemically straighten or alter her naturally textured hair, she also realized, "There was no way I was ever going to get my ponytail puff to sway back and forth like the other girls on the soccer team."

With these discouraging childhood memories, Eleyae realized that it was important to launch her line of hats not just because it was convenient and provided hair protection, but also to help women live confidently in their everyday lives.

With a credit card that had a limit of $10,000, Eleyae was able to launch what would turn into a million dollar company in a little over four years.

"The biggest benefit of wearing our satin-lined products is that the idea of a 'bad hair day' no longer has to be part of our vocabulary," she said.

Using satin on your hair can be beneficial for a number of reasons. Unlike cotton, satin doesn't zap moisture from your strands, as mentioned on the brand's website. With satin, your hair can keep its shine, limit breakage, and even help combat frizz.

Today, Eleyae has expanded her eponymous company to not only include her Slap caps, but also fedoras, turbans, scrunchies, pillowcases, and more.

"When your style isn’t set or you don’t feel like doing your hair, you can put on a turban, Fedora or any of our satin-lined products, some cute earrings, and head to the office or out to brunch," Eleyae explained.

Since launching, people have been very receptive and excited about Grace Eleyae headwear.

"We have customers who have shared their battles with hair loss through alopecia or chemotherapy who’ve told us how much the Slap has helped restore their confidence," said Eleyae.

She continued, "We’ve had moms tell us how thankful they are that there is something convenient enough to go out in since they don’t have time to do their own hair in the morning with young children running around."

Eleyae has summers hats, more bold colors, and beautiful prints launching soon.

"We desire to keep making solutions for women to be able to feel confident in their everyday lives," she said.

"We like to give women that 'Wow, I didn’t know this was possible, and now it is' moment. Every single story helps fuel the reason behind why we’re doing what we’re doing," she said.

Eleyae's advice to curious female entrepreneurs just starting out:

Solve the problem in front of you. Do the most important and urgent thing in front of you and work your way down the list. And remember, it doesn’t have to be perfect. Don’t get into the analysis paralysis that keeps you on one thing for so long because you might be looking for perfection

Keep going! Stop and write down three things that are sure to be a part of the hope-full reality you are having trouble seeing right now. Shift directions if you absolutely need to. Just don’t stop moving forward.

If you find your people, you find your destiny. The people around you (friends, mentors, employees, etc) will be the ones who help navigate the road to your destination.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Tuesday
Mar192019

Facebook agrees to hide demographics from landlords, creditors looking to advertise

alexsl/iStock(NEW YORK) -- Facebook announced Tuesday that it will block landlords and creditors from using a person's demographic data including a person’s zip code, gender and age, to target certain groups in online advertisements.

The announcement is part of a legal settlement with groups that promote fair housing laws. They complained in court last year that the social media giant enabled real estate brokers and landlords to exclude certain demographics when advertising.

The federal government, under the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, had filed its own complaint against Facebook for violating the Fair Housing Act, which prohibits businesses from which prohibits the sale or rental of housing based on such factors as race or religion.

The company also was accused of allowing employers to discriminate against women by targeting job listings toward men only, specifically in traditionally male-dominated fields.

The complaints followed a 2016 report by ProPublica that found Facebook allowed advertisers to exclude anyone with an “affinity” for African-American, Asian-American or Hispanic people.

The 1968 Fair Housing Act of 1968 says its illegal "to make, print, or publish, or cause to be made, printed, or published any notice, statement, or advertisement, with respect to the sale or rental of a dwelling that indicates any preference, limitation, or discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin.”

Facebook said in a blog post Tuesday by Sheryl Sandberg, the company's chief operating officer, that it already prohibited certain categories from being used in advertising such as race, ethnicity, sexual orientation and religion. The company said it removed the option for landlords, employers and creditors to reach people with an "affinity for African-American or Hispanic-related content" about a year ago.

Under the new rules, a company looking to run housing, employment or credit ads also won’t be able to target Facebook members based on age, gender or zip code. And, Facebook said it was also building a tool that would let people search for all housing ads in the U.S. regardless of whether the ads are shown.

“Housing, employment and credit ads are crucial to helping people buy new homes, start great careers, and gain access to credit,” Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg wrote in the company’s online post. “They should never be used to exclude or harm people.”

A joint statement by the advocacy groups, including the National Fair Housing Alliance, said in a statement that the agreement represented a "significant and historic precedent for big data and tech companies" because it makes clear the information they collect can't be used to discriminate.

"Companies must understand that depending on how data is being used, it can harm people and communities," said Fred Freiberg, director of the Fair Housing Justice Center of New York. "This agreement will help other companies that rely on algorithms and data for a range of services and operations to carefully consider whether their policies, products, and platforms are illegally discriminating against consumers."

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Tuesday
Mar192019

Thousands of customers sign petition complaining about Instagram fitness influencer

oatawa/iStock(NEW YORK) -- An Instagram fitness influencer with more than 500,000 followers is facing complaints from thousands of dissatisfied customers.

New complaints are being filed with the Texas Attorney General’s Office alleging that Brittany Davis, the face of Brittany Dawn Fitness, never delivered on personalized diet and fitness plans that in some cases cost close to $300 per person.

Davis has issued apologies on her YouTube channel, most recently in a video post on Sunday.

“I made a mistake. I made a mistake. I made a mistake,” she said. “I have taken full responsibility for it. I made things right and I did whatever it took to make things right.”

Many customers are claiming they have not gotten full refunds from Davis. Some former clients in a Facebook group say they are looking into a class-action lawsuit against the influencer.

A Change.org petition titled “Stop Brittany Dawn Fitness Scams” has also been signed over 11,000 times.

Kayla Lippens is one of Davis’ customers who signed the petition.

“I was upset that I trusted her. I’m upset that I told her about like my depression and I opened up to her, you know, expecting her to help me,” Lippens told “Good Morning America.” “She basically blew me off.”

Lippens said she paid $185 for two months of individualized workouts with weekly check-ins and macro nutrient adjustments. But she said she never received any of the services. Lippens also said she has only been offered half of her money back.

“For me I would just like for everybody that she has taken money from to get a full refund back,” she said. “Also I feel like for her the best thing would be to take away her platform of still scamming other people.”

Davis also apologized in a YouTube video posted last month, when the customer complaints first came to light.

“I’m sorry,” she said. “I realized I missed up and I’m moving forward.”

In the YouTube video Davis posted Sunday, titled “Calling Out the Hate,” she spoke about having a large social media platform.

“As a business owner, as an influencer, I have learned from it and I am a prime example of what can happen when you have a platform and you mess up,” she said.

Former clients say they don’t want more apologies, just their money back.

“The people who already got hurt and scammed and hurt from her are getting re-hurt and scammed by her waiting to respond,” Lippens said.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Tuesday
Mar192019

Nike expands sports bras to be more inclusive

Nike(NEW YORK) -- Fashion companies have been making strides to become more inclusive, and popular sportswear brand Nike is jumping in on these efforts with the expansion of sports bra sizes that will be featured in the brands Spring/Summer 2019 collection.

With the recent announcement of Nike's reimagined GE/NOM Flyknit Bra, it is also posted on the brand's news website, that the intent behind this new launch was to deliver a wide range of options that will include 57 styles across three support levels in sizes ranging up to 44G.

"The goal of the Nike FE/NOM Flyknit Bra was maximum support and comfort that would allow women to feel and look amazing while doing anything they choose," said Nicole Rendone, the brand's Design Director of Bras and Innovation, in a statement. "We prioritized support, breathability, and cooling in essential zones."

In addition to size expansion, the FE/NOM Flyknit Bra features ultra-soft nylon-spandex yarn for comfort, two single-layer panels for a seamless feel -- making it 30 percent lighter than any other bras from the brand.

The Spring/Summer 2109 Nike sports bras come in a variety of bright colors and styles that are equal parts stylish, functional, and made for a huge variety of cup sizes.

"This is bigger than a bra, really," said Nike's Vice President of Apparel Innovation Janett Nichol. "It's about breaking down the barriers women face in sports and life."

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Tuesday
Mar192019

Anthropologie launches plus-size collection that extends up to size 26

Joe_Potato/iStock(NEW YORK) -- Anthropologie has launched its first plus-size collection.

Just in time for spring, the new APlus line has expanded sizes that range from 16w-26w.

"This is an exciting starting point for Anthropologie," said Anthropologie's managing director, Richa Srivastava, in a press release from the brand.

"Our goal is to be a destination for everyone wanting to express their personal style and to feel like their best selves. At launch, we’ll offer a great range of options and an exceptional shopping experience. We’ll evolve both as we move forward, adding more styles and locations as we learn from customer feedback," the press release stated.

The new APlus line includes more than 120 different styles from some of the brand's most beloved labels -- Maeve, Cloth & Stone, DL1961 and more.

Anthropologie's new inclusive line is available to shop now on the brand's website and in 10 store locations. Additional stores will be added later this year.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Monday
Mar182019

Lyft hopes for big boost from upcoming IPO

Lyft(SAN FRANCISCO) -- Uber’s top competition is hoping to get a big lift when its stocks hit the trading floor for the first time.

Lyft has set its value at up to $23 billion as it gears up for its initial public offering, which could come as early as next week.

On Monday, the ride-hailing company kicked off the roadshow for its IPO.

“Lyft is offering 30,770,000 shares of its Class A common stock, plus up to an additional 4,615,500 shares that the underwriters have the option to purchase,” Lyft said in a press release. “The initial public offering price is expected to be between $62.00 and $68.00 per share.”

Shares of Lyft are expected to be traded on the Nasdaq under the "LYFT" ticker symbol.

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