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Preview: LexisNexis® Mealey's™ Class Actions Legal News

LexisNexis® Mealey's™ Class Actions Legal News



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Split 5th Circuit: 2 Suits Over Radioactive Material May Be Removed As Mass Action
NEW ORLEANS - Two personal injury lawsuits related to naturally occurring radioactive material (NORM), one of which was filed before the effective date of the Class Action Fairness Act (CAFA), may be removed to a federal court under CAFA as a mass action after the plaintiffs sought to consolidate the two cases, a divided Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Jan. 9 (Warren Lester, et al. v. Exxon Mobil Corporation, et al., Shirley Bottley, et al. v. Exxon Mobil Corporation, et al., No. 14-31383, 5th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 547).



Federal Judge: New Hampshire's Opioid Lawsuit Isn't A Class Action; Case Remanded
CONCORD, N.H. - A New Hampshire federal judge on Jan. 9 granted a motion by New Hampshire to remand its opioid lawsuit against Purdue Pharma LP to state court, agreeing that the state's lawsuit as a parens patriae action does not convert it into a federally removable class action under the Class Action Fairness Act (CAFA), 119 Stat. 4 (State of New Hampshire v. Purdue Pharma, et al., No. 17-427, D. N.H, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 3492).



Class Suit Over Potato Chips' Labeling Is Kept In California Federal Court
SAN DIEGO - A California federal judge on Jan. 9 denied a motion by two consumers to remand a class suit over the labeling of salt and vinegar potato chips, finding that the amount in controversy meets the Class Action Fairness Act (CAFA) requirement (Barry Allred, et al. v. Kellogg Company, et al., No. 17-1354, S.D Calif., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 3998).



N.J. Federal Judge Sends FACTA Receipt Class Suit Back To Illinois State Court
NEWARK, N.J. - A New Jersey federal judge on Jan. 11 adopted a federal magistrate judge's recommendations and sent a class complaint alleging that the printing of more than five digits of credit card numbers on receipts violated the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACTA) amendment to the Fair Credit Reporting Act back to an Illinois state court (Anita Parker, et al. v. J. Crew Grp., Inc., et al., No. 17-1214, D. N.J., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 5360).



Lenders, Marketing Companies Deemed Not Liable For Third Party's Unlawful Texts
SAN FRANCISCO - Three lenders and two marketing companies that purchased leads that had been obtained in a manner that violated the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) had no way of knowing that a federal law had been violated, a Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Jan. 10, affirming a trial court decision clearing those companies of liability (Flemming Kristensen v. Credit Payment Services Inc., et al., No. 16-15823, 9th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 650).



Lack Of Injury Dooms FACTA Class Suit Against Burger King
MIAMI - A customer's class complaint over a fast food chain's failure to truncate credit card numbers on its receipts fails due to the plaintiff's lack of injury or appreciable risk of harm, a Florida federal judge ruled Jan. 5 (Andrew Tarr, et al. v. Burger King Corporation, No. 17-23776, S.D. Fla., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 2176).



Class Suit Over Costco's Canned Chicken Labeling Tossed For No Claims
WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. - A New York federal judge on Jan. 10 granted a motion to dismiss a class complaint accusing a membership-only warehouse club of deceptively marketing its canned chicken at a price per pound that included the weight of the water in the can, finding that reasonable consumers would not be misled by the plan language on the packaging (Mary La Vigne, et al. v. Costco Wholesale Corporation, No. 16-7924, S.D. N.Y., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 5308).



Judge Allows UCL, CLRA Class Claims Against Dive Equipment Maker To Proceed
SAN DIEGO - A California federal judge on Jan. 8 found that purchasers of allegedly defective dive computers sufficiently alleged facts to allow their claims for violation of California's unfair competition law (UCL) and Consumers Legal Remedies Act (CLRA) to survive dismissal, but granted the maker of the equipment's motion to strike a third-party complaint against it (Ralph A. Huntzinger, et al. v. Aqua Lung America Inc., et al., No. 15cv1146, S.D. Calif., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 3222).



N.J. Federal Judge Tosses Sherman Act Class Suit Over Range Rover Overseas Resales
NEWARK, N.J. - A Range Rover owner who alleged that the car marker's contract for buyers barring them from reselling their vehicles overseas violates the Sherman Act and numerous state antitrust and consumer protection laws may not proceed with his class claims because he failed to allege actions that restrained trade or identify a cognizable relevant market, a New Jersey federal judge ruled Jan. 9 (Brian Baar v. Jaguar Land Rover North America, LLC, et al., No. 17-4142, D. N.J., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 3867).



Judge Dismisses Some Claims In ERISA Class Action Against Vanderbilt University
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - A Tennessee federal judge on Jan. 5 granted in part and denied in part Vanderbilt University's motion to dismiss a putative class action lawsuit accusing it of mismanaging its employee retirement plans in violation of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (Loren L. Cassell, et al. v. Vanderbilt University, et al., No. 16-02086, M.D. Tenn., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 2364).



Judge Refuses To Dismiss Added Plan Participant's Breach Of Fiduciary Duty Claim
CHICAGO - An Illinois federal judge on Jan. 10 denied the University of Chicago's motion to dismiss a breach of fiduciary duty claim that was brought by a retirement plan participant who was added as a plaintiff in a first amended complaint alleging excessive fees (Winifred J. Daugherty, et al. v. The University of Chicago, No. 17-3736, N.D. Ill.).



New York Federal Judge Dismisses Class Claims Over PBM's Pricing, Allows Amendment
NEW YORK - A New York federal judge on Jan. 5 dismissed Employee Retirement Income Security Act and Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act class claims against the largest pharmacy benefits manager (PBM) and a health insurance provider over prescription pricing, but gave the plaintiffs 21 days to file a third amended complaint (In re Express Scripts/Anthem ERISA Litigation, No. 16-3399, S.D. N.Y., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 3081).



6th Circuit Won't Review Certification In Nurses' Missed Breaks Wage Suit
CINCINNATI - A Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Jan. 8 denied an employer's petition for permission to appeal a district court's certification of a class of nurses in a collective action filed under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) seeking wages for missed breaks (In re: Marietta Memorial Hospital, et al., No. 17-0312, 6th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 460).



2nd Circuit Will Not Reconsider Ruling In Dark Pool Securities Class Appeal
NEW YORK - The Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Jan. 5 said it will not reconsider its Nov. 6 ruling that a federal judge did not err in granting a motion for class certification filed by shareholders in a securities class action lawsuit even though the judge erred in applying the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling in Affiliated Ute Citizens of Utah v. United States Affiliated Ute Citizens of Utah v. United States (Joseph Waggoner, et al. v. Barclays PLC, et al., No. 16-1912, 2nd Cir.).



Franchisors Object To Recommended Partial Judgment In Applebee's Wage Suit
BROOKLYN, N.Y. - Franchisors of Applebee's restaurants in the greater New York City area on Jan. 11 filed objections in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York to a magistrate judge's report and recommendation granting partial summary judgment and class certification to employees alleging that millions of dollars of wages were stolen from them (Carlos Marin, et al. v. Apple-Metro, Inc., et al., No. 12-5274, Shaunta Dove, et al. v. Apple-Metro, Inc., et al., No. 13-1417, E.D. N.Y.)



Class Of Eddie Bauer Employees Certified In Bag Check Suit
SAN JOSE, Calif. - A California federal judge on Jan. 10 ruled that claims for unpaid minimum and overtime wages, wage statement violations and violations of California's unfair competition law (UCL) are appropriate for class treatment in a lawsuit brought by Eddie Bauer LLC employees who allege that they were denied pay for time spent undergoing bag checks before they left the stores (Stephanie Heredia v. Eddie Bauer LLC, No. 16-6236, N.D. Calif., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 4747).



Florida Federal Magistrate Denies Motion To Strike Class, Subclass In TCPA Suit
ORLANDO, Fla. - A Florida federal magistrate judge on Jan. 11 denied a motion by Cigna Corp. to strike a proposed class and subclass in a lawsuit accusing the company of violating the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) by placing automated calls to individuals who did not give their consent and to wrong numbers (Crystal DeJesus v. Cigna Corporation, No. 17-1208, M.D. Fla., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 5149).



Securities Suit Remanded For Proper Application Of Basic Reliance Standard
NEW YORK - It is unclear whether a federal district court properly applied the correct standard in determining that defendants in a securities class action lawsuit failed to properly rebut the presumption of reliance by a preponderance of the evidence as required pursuant to the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling in Basic Inc. v. Levinson, a Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Jan. 12 in vacating and remanding the lower court's grant of class certification (Arkansas Teachers Retirement System, et al. v. Goldman Sachs Group Inc., et al., No. 16-0250, 2nd Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 810).



Parties Debate Whether Follow-Up Certiorari Is Merited In FCRA Article III Dispute
WASHINGTON, D.C. - In a Jan. 3 reply brief supporting its certiorari petition, an online data aggregator that has twice received adverse rulings on a Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) complaint against it asks the U.S. Supreme Court to grant review to address a follow-up question pertaining to standing under Article III of the U.S. Constitution that it says was not resolved in a 2016 ruling by the high court in the same case (Spokeo Inc. v. Thomas Robins, No. 17-806, U.S. Sup.).



High Court Strikes Supplemental Brief In SLUSA Preemption Suit
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on Jan. 8 granted a communications networks hardware and software supplier's motion to strike shareholders' supplemental brief challenging a California Superior Court ruling that the shareholders in a securities class action are not preempted by the Securities Litigation Uniform Standards Act (SLUSA) from bringing their Securities Act of 1933 claims (Cyan Inc. v. Beaver County Employees Retirement Fund, et al., No. 15-1439, U.S. Sup.).



2nd Petition Filed Challenging Cy Pres Ruling In Settlement Of Claims Against USDA
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A representative for a class of Native American farmers who settled their discrimination claims against the U.S. Department of Agriculture for $680 million filed a second petition for a writ of certiorari with the U.S. Supreme Court on Dec. 19, challenging the distribution of surplus settlement funds to cy pres parties (Keith Mandan v. Sonny Perdue, et al., No. 17-897, U.S. Sup., 2017 U.S. S. Ct. Briefs LEXIS 5094).



High Court Will Not Review Representational Standing Ruling In Pension Case
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on Jan. 8 declined to review a Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruling that a defined-benefit pension plan participant has representational standing to sue brokers who manage funds on behalf of the plan for breach of fiduciary duties under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (Convergex Group LLC, et al. v. Landol Fletcher, No. 17-343, U.S. Sup.).



Google Buzz Class Action Settlement Objector Denied Certiorari Bid
WASHINGTON, D.C. - In its Jan. 8 order list, the U.S. Supreme Court denied a petition for certiorari by a man who claimed to have opted out of the 2011 settlement of a privacy class action against Google Inc. over its now-defunct Google Buzz feature, letting stand a Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruling affirming dismissal of the suit under the doctrine of res judicata (Michael Amalfitano v. Google Inc., No. 17-358, U.S. Sup.).



No Stay In Wages Class Suit While California High Court Considers Questions
SACRAMENTO, Calif. - A California federal judge on Jan. 10 denied a motion to stay a certified class action seeking wages for time spent going through bag checks and unreimbursed business expenses pending decisions by the California Supreme Court in two cases concerning wages, finding "a fair possibility" of harm to class members with a stay (Jimmy Greer, et al. v. Dick's Sporting Goods, Inc., et al., No. 15-1063, E.D. Calif., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 4711).



Auto Wrecking Company To Pay $195,000 To Settle FACTA Class Suit
FRESNO, Calif. - A California federal judge on Jan. 5 granted preliminary approval of a $195,000 class action settlement to be paid by an auto wrecking and recycling company to end claims that it violated the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACTA) by printing credit and debit card expiration dates on its receipts (Cirena Torres, et al. v. Pick-A-Part Auto Wrecking, et al., No. 16-1915, E.DCalif., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 2446).



Class, Health Insurer Reach $7M Settlement Over Mental Health Coverage
SAN JOSE, Calif. - Health insurer Blue Shield of California and a class of people who claim that the company improperly denied coverage for mental health services reached a $7 million agreement resolving the case on Jan. 15 (Charles Des Roches, et al. v. California Physicians' Service, et al., No. 16-2848, N.D. Calif.).



Parties Agree To $110M Accounting Fraud Class Action Settlement
NEW YORK - A data and metrics provider for the media, advertising and marketing industries will pay $110 million to settle claims that it and certain of its current and former officers and directors violated federal securities law by engaging in a massive accounting fraud, lead plaintiffs claim in a motion for preliminary approval of settlement and stipulation of settlement filed Jan. 12 in New York federal court (Fresno County Employees' Retirement Association, et al. v. comScore Inc., et al., No. 16-1820, S.D. N.Y.).



Petrobras Agrees To Pay $2.95B To Settle Securities Class Action Claims
NEW YORK - Brazilian oil company Petroleo Brasileiro S.A. (Petrobras) will pay $2.95 billion to settle claims that it concealed from investors its involvement in an illegal bribery and kickback scheme in violation of federal securities laws, according to a press release issued by the company on Jan. 3 (In re Petrobras Securities Litigation, No. 14-9662, S.D. N.Y.).



Consolidated Equifax Suit To Have Separate Consumer, Financial Institution Tracks
ATLANTA - A month after almost 100 lawsuits over the recently announced Equifax Inc. data breach were consolidated, the presiding Georgia federal judge, in a Jan. 9 case management order, announced that the case would proceed with separate, concurrent tracks for individual consumer and financial institution (FI) plaintiffs (In Re: Equifax Inc., Customer Data Security Breach Litigation, No. 1:17-md-2800, N.D. Ga.).



IPhone User Seeks Transfer, Consolidation Of Apple 'Performance Throttling' Suits
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A California woman who sued Apple Inc. in the wake of its admission of intentionally slowing the performance of certain older iPhone models, filed a motion Jan. 2 with the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPMDL) to consolidate and transfer the growing number of similar class actions to the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California (In re: Apple Inc. Device Performance Litigation, No. 2827, JPMDL).



Motion To Compel Deposition Of Third Party Granted In Starbucks FCRA Class Suit
SEATTLE - A Washington federal judge on Jan. 8 granted a motion to compel deposition of a third party filed by the lead plaintiff in a class suit accusing Starbucks Corp. of violating the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) by revoking employment offers made to job applicants with negative results on their background checks before providing applicants with a copy of the checks and a description of their rights (Jonathan Santiago Rosario, et al. v. Starbucks Corporation, No. 16-1951, W.D. Wash., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 3825).



Ogletree Attorney Seeks More Than $300 Million In Equal Pay Act Class Lawsuit
SAN FRANCISCO - Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart favors men in pay, promotions and other opportunities, and leadership fosters an environment where women are marginalized and demeaned, one female attorney and nonequity shareholder of the firm alleges in her class and collective action complaint seeking more than $300 million, filed Jan. 12 in a California federal court (Dawn Knepper, et al. v. Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, P.C., No. 18-303, N.D. Calif.).



Domino's Franchisor Hit With Class Suit By Delivery Driver For Reimbursements
DENVER - A Domino's Pizza franchisor employs a flawed method to determine its per-trip reimbursement rate for its delivery drivers, causing their wages to fall below minimum wage during some or all workweeks, a former driver alleges in her class complaint filed Jan. 15 in the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado (Kaylee Wilson, et al. v. DFL Pizza, LLC, No. 18-109, D. Colo.).



Class Claims Insurer's ACA Plan Coverage, Provider Network Are A Mirage
SEATTLE - An insurer fictitiously promotes Washington health insurance exchange plans as being Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) compliant and including a broad network of providers, when in reality its network is so small and coverage so inadequate it assigned an ob/gyn as a man's primary care physician, plaintiffs claim in a Jan. 11 class action filed in federal court (Cynthia Harvey, et al. v. Centene Corp., et al., No. 18-12, E.D. Wash.).



Defective Air Conditioning, Wage Violations, Other Complaints Hit Courts
Recent class action lawsuits filed in federal and state courts across the country include complaints alleging violation of consumers' statutory rights, defective air conditioning, wrongful debt collection and wage violations.



Judge Partially Certifies Class Of Iraqis Facing Deportation, Orders Hearings
DETROIT - A Michigan federal judge on Jan. 2 partially granted a motion for class certification filed by Iraqi nationals seeking to stop their removal from the United States and ordered the release of those who have been detained six months or more as of the date of the order, unless a bond hearing is conducted on or before Feb. 2 (Usama J. Hamama, et al. v Rebecca Adducci, et al., No. 17-11910, E.D. Mich., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 421).



Partial Class Certification Granted In Suit Over Unwanted Faxed Ads
SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge on Dec. 26 partially certified a class in a lawsuit accusing an insurance agent of sending faxed advertisements to parties who had not consented to receiving them in violation of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), finding that the named plaintiff may represent only one of two proposed classes (John C. Etter, et al. v. Allstate Insurance Company, et al., No. 17-184, N.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 212166).



Pennsylvania Judge Certifies Class Alleging City's Trash Charges Are Excessive
SCRANTON, Pa. - A Pennsylvania resident may proceed with his class action accusing the city where he lives of overcharging residents for trash services, a Pennsylvania judge ruled Jan. 2, granting the motion for class certification (Adam Guiffrida v. City of Scranton, No. 2016-CV-6933, Pa. Comm. Pls., Lackawanna Co.).



Steak N Shake Managers Granted Certification In Wage Dispute
ST. LOUIS - A Missouri federal judge on Dec. 22 certified a collective of Steak N Shake Operations Inc. (SnS) managers suing for unpaid overtime, finding that the managers showed that their experiences in terms of how they spend their time at work and to what extent they exercise management responsibilities are substantially similar (Sandra Drake, et al. v. Steak N Shake Operations, Inc., No. 14-1535, E.D. Mo., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 210630).



Court Affirms Refusal To Certify UCL, FAL Claims Related To Pool Size
SAN FRANCISCO - A California appeals court on Dec. 4 affirmed a trial court's decision to deny class certification in a case filed by a consumer who asserted a claim for violation of California's unfair competition law (UCL) among other claims, finding that his counsel failed to conduct the appropriate discovery to obtain the necessary facts before filing the motion for certification (Diana Nieves Noel v. Thrifty Payless Inc., No. A143026, Calif. App., 1st Dist., Div. 4).



Nationwide Class Certified In Suit Over Vacuum, Filter In-Home Sales Practices
EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. - An Illinois federal judge on Jan. 2 granted a motion for class certification filed by an Illinois consumer who accuses a company that sells vacuums and filters of engaging in practices that defraud consumers in violation of the Federal Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act and state laws (Sabra Rench, et al. v. TD Bank, N.A., et al., No. 13-922, S.D. Ill., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 368).



Judge Strikes Expert's Opinions, Denies Certification Of Class Over Siding
MINNEAPOLIS - A proposed class for consumers claiming that fiber cement siding on their homes prematurely fades and delaminates cannot be certified, a federal judge in Minnesota ruled Jan. 2, finding that individual issues involving each class member's home would require a mini-trial (In re: HardiePlank Fiber Cement Siding Litigation, MDL 2359, Case No. 12-md-2359, D. Minn.).



Federal Judge Certifies Class In Dispute Over Monthly Deduction Rate Increase
LOS ANGELES - A California federal judge on Dec. 11 granted policy holders' motion for class certification, appointment of class representatives and appointment of class counsel in their lawsuit challenging a life insurer's increase of its monthly deduction rate (MDR) (Gordon Feller, et al. v. Transamerica Life Insurance Company, No. 16-1378, C.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 206822).



Class Certified In Securities Lawsuit Against Drug Company, Others
SANTA ANA, Calif. - Certification of a class of investors in a securities lawsuit against pharmaceutical company Puma Biotechnology Inc. and certain of its executive officers is proper because the lead plaintiff has met all statutory requirements for approval, a federal judge in California ruled Dec. 8 in granting the plaintiff's motion (Hsingching Hsu v. Puma Biotechnology Inc., et al., No. 15-0865, C.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 206236).



No Stay During Appeal Of Arbitration Denial In TCPA Unwanted Texts Class Suit
SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge on Dec. 29 denied a motion to stay district court proceedings in a Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) class complaint over unwanted texted advertisements pending appeal of a denial of arbitration, finding that there are serious questions about the merits of the defendant's claims that an arbitration in a leasing agreement can apply to claims arising out of a completely separate terms of use agreement (Shawn Esparza, et al. v. SmartPay Leasing, Inc., No. 17-3421, N.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 213490).



$290M Settlement Reached In Related Valeant Insider Trading Suits
SANTA ANA, Calif. - Defendants in a pair of related securities class action lawsuits alleging an insider-trading and front-running scheme regarding pharmaceutical company Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc.'s attempt at a hostile takeover of Allergan Inc. will pay $290 million to settle the claims against them, according to a press release issued by Valeant on Dec. 29 (Anthony Basile, et al. v. Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc., et al., No. 14-2004, C.D. Calif., and Timber Hill LLC v. Pershing Square Capital Management, No. 17-4776, C.D. Calif.).



Settlement Granted Preliminary Approval In Suit Over Burger King's BOGO Coupons
GREENBELT, Md. - A Maryland federal judge on Dec. 19 granted preliminary approval of a settlement between Burger King Corp. and its customers that will provide cash or coupons for the settlement class in a lawsuit accusing the fast food company of overcharging for certain sandwiches when customers used buy-one-get-one (BOGO) coupons (Koleta Anderson, et al. v. Burger King Corporation, No. 17-1204, D. Md.).



Settlement Valued At More Than $17.5M Approved In Stain Protection Suit
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - A Florida federal judge on Dec. 15 granted final approval of a settlement providing up to $13.5 million in cash to a class and millions more in vouchers, ending a complaint over the effectiveness of stain protection treatments on furniture (Benjamin Hankinson, et al. v. R.T.G. Furniture Corp., et al., No. 15-81139, S.D. Fla., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 207522).



Judge Seeks More Class Allocation Info Before Approving Race Bias Settlement
CHICAGO - An Illinois federal judge on Dec. 20 ordered plaintiffs in a race bias employment suit seeking to settle with one of four defendants to file additional allocation information before he would consider granting preliminary approval (Brian Lucas, et al. v. Vee Pak, Inc., et al., No. 12-9672, N.D. Ill., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 209872).



$14M Class Action Settlement Preliminarily Approved By Federal Magistrate Judge
SAN JOSE, Calif. - A California federal magistrate judge on Dec. 22 entered an order preliminarily approving a $14 million class action settlement in a suit in which participants of Fujitsu Technology and Business of America Inc.'s 401(k) plan alleged that the plan breached its fiduciary duty by charging excessive fees and by mismanaging the company's defined contribution retirement plan (Jerry Johnson, et al. v. Fujitsu Technology and Business of America Inc., et al., No. 16-3698, N.D. Calif.).



Plaintiffs Seek Approval Of $25M Class Action Settlement In ERISA Suit Against Wawa
PHILADELPHIA - Class action plaintiffs that accused their former employer Wawa Inc. of violating the Employee Retirement Income Security Act moved Dec. 29 for preliminary approval of a $25 million settlement to resolve claims arising out of a 2015 Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) amendment (Greg Pfeifer v. Wawa, Inc., et al., No. 16-497, E.D. Pa.).



Federal Judge Approves Revised Class Action Settlement In Pension Plan ERISA Suit
SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge on Dec. 28 approved a revised settlement as "fair, reasonable, and adequate" in a class action lawsuit alleging that an amendment to a pension plan is illegal under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act because it was not enacted in accordance with ERISA's provisions (Juan M. Reyes, et al. v. Bakery & Confectionery Union & Indus. Int'l Pension Fund, No. 14-05596, N.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 212816).



Judge Approves Final Class Settlement Related To $40M Stock Offering
NEW YORK - A New York federal judge on Dec. 14 ordered that a class action settlement reached with the officers of an energy firm and its underwriters in relation to the offering of $40 million in preferred stock from the company receive final approval and that the claimants be awarded fees (Vaccaro v. New Source Energy Partners, L.P., No. 15-8954, S.D. N.Y., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 205785).



Home Depot Appeals $15.3 Million Attorney Fees Award In Data Breach Suit
ATLANTA - In a Dec. 18 brief in the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, Home Depot Inc. appeals what it describes as a "staggering" attorney fees award granted to a group of financial institutions (FIs) that sued over the retailer's 2014 data breach (Northeastern Engineers Federal, et al. v. Home Depot Inc., et al., No. 17-14741, 11th Cir.).



3rd Circuit: Super Bowl Fan Has Standing To Bring Claims Over Prices
PHILADELPHIA - Considering a class complaint alleging artificially inflated ticket prices for the 2014 Super Bowl for the second time, a Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Dec. 15 reversed a trial court ruling and found that a fan interested in purchasing tickets had standing to his claims after providing plausible economic facts in his amended complaint (Josh Finkelman, et al. v. National Football League, et al., No. 16-4087, 3rd Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 25356).



Hearst Found To Have No Duty To Preserve Evidence Between Cases
NEW YORK - A magazine publisher that has faced several class complaints alleging unlawful disclosures of customers' data had no duty to preserve evidence between the termination of the first class complaint and the filing of the second, a New York federal magistrate judge ruled Dec. 18 (Josephine James Edwards v. Hearst Communications, Inc., No. 15-9279, S.D. N.Y., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 207540).



Class Claims Over Airline's Revocation Of Hiring Program Are Preempted By RLA
CHICAGO - An aviation maintenance technician's breach of contract class claims filed after his employer eliminated the program under which he was hired, affecting the speed at which he would achieve the top pay he was promised, are preempted by the Railway Labor Act (RLA), an Illinois federal judge ruled Dec. 18, granting the defendant's motion to dismiss (Thomas Ballard, et al. v. American Airlines, Inc., No. 17-2534, N.D. Ill., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 206948).



Magistrate Judge Won't Dismiss Amended Complaint In Generic Lovenox Antitrust Case
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - A Tennessee federal magistrate judge on Dec. 14 allowed two plaintiffs to file an amended complaint against two drug companies for alleged antitrust violations for their distribution of enoxaparin, a generic version of the anticoagulant Lovenox (The Hospital Authority of Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County, Tennessee, et al. v. Momenta Pharmaceuticals, Inc., et al., No. 15-1100, M.D. Tenn., Nashville Div., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 205747).



California Federal Judge Trims 1 Plaintiff From Macy's Pricing Class Suit
OAKLAND, Calif. - A California federal judge on Dec. 21 partially granted a motion to dismiss as to one named plaintiff in a class complaint accusing Macy's Inc. of misleading pricing practices, but otherwise denied the motion and gave Macy's until Jan. 12 to respond to the amended consolidated complaint (Kristin Haley, et al. v. Macy's Inc., et al., No. 15-cv-06033, N.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 210486).



Judge Dismisses ERISA, RICO Claims In Pharmacy Benefit Case Against Insurer
ST. PAUL, Minn. - A class action alleging that an insurer improperly profited when medications cost less than the insured's copay fails to support claims under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), Racketeering Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act or state law, a federal judge in Minnesota held Dec. 19 in dismissing more than a dozen such claims (In re: UnitedHealth Group PBM Litigation, No. 16-3352, D. Minn., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 208328).



6th Circuit Panel Rules That District Court Erred In Loss Causation Analysis
CINCINNATI - A federal district court erred in dismissing a shareholder class action against the operator of the country's largest for-profit hospital system and certain of its executive officers for failure to plead loss causation because lead plaintiffs have shown that the filing of a complaint against the company alleging Medicare fraud and the defendants' own disclosures that the company's stock was down were sufficient corrective disclosures, a Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Dec. 13 in reversing and remanding (Norfolk County Retirement System v. Community Health Systems Inc., et al., No. 16-6059, 6th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 25136).



Summary Judgment Denied In Korean Ramen Price-Fixing Class Suit
SAN FRANCISCO - Purchasers of Korean ramen noodles who allege that a price-fixing scheme was started in 2001 by the noodle makers may proceed with claims against the two companies that remain as defendants, a California federal judge ruled Dec. 28, denying motions for summary judgment (In re Korean Ramen Antitrust Litigation, No. 13-4115, N.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 212843).



No Jurisdiction Under CAFA's 'Mass Action' Provision, Panel Says, Affirms Remand
PASADENA, Calif. - The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Dec. 14 affirmed a lower federal court's remand of a lawsuit arising from claims over defective water supply lines, finding that 26 insurers, acting as subrogees of 145 insureds, are the only plaintiffs and therefore fail to satisfy the numerosity requirement under the Class Action Fairness Act (CAFA) to retain federal jurisdiction (Liberty Mutual Fire Insurance Company, et al. v. EZ-Flo International, Inc., No. 17-56523, 9th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 25306).



Chamber, Others Tells High Court That Error Into The Void Creates No ERISA Claim
WASHINGTON, D.C. - An erroneous statement by a pension plan sponsor that resulted in no injury to any plan participant is not actionable under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act and its litigation in federal court is not allowed under Article III, the Chamber of Commerce of the United States of America, the American Benefits Council and the Retail Litigation Center Inc. argue in an amicus curiae brief filed Dec. 11 in the U.S. Supreme Court (Foot Locker, Inc., et al. v. Geoffrey Osberg, et al., No. 17-690, U.S. Sup.).



Employer Asks High Court To Find Lifetime Benefits Ruling Misinterpreted Tackett
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals misinterpreted the U.S. Supreme Court's unanimous ruling in M & G Polymers USA, LLC v. Tackett, 135 S. Ct. 926 (2015), and recreated a conflict among the circuits when it held that the health care benefits for a class of retirees vested for life, an employer tells the U.S. Supreme Court in its Dec. 1 reply brief in support of its petition for writ of certiorari (CNH Industrial N.V., et al. v. Jack Reese, et al., No. 17-515, U.S. Sup.).



Cert Sought Over Cy Pres Provision In Deal Settling Indian Farmers' Bias Claims
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Alleging "self-dealing and collusion" among class counsel and class representatives in the distribution of money from a settlement of discrimination claims by Native American farmers against the U.S. Department of Agriculture, one class member took his battle against the allotment of surplus funds to cy pres nonprofits to the U.S. Supreme Court on Dec. 1 (Marilyn Keepseagle, et al. v. Sonny Perdue, et al., No. 17-807, U.S. Sup., 2017 U.S. S. Ct. Briefs LEXIS 4776).



Data Breach Victims Ask High Court To Deny CareFirst's Article III Petition
WASHINGTON, D.C. - An appeals court correctly found that they plausibly alleged an injury-in-fact due to a breach of their insurer's network and the theft of their personally identifiable information (PII), a group of insureds tell the U.S. Supreme Court in a Jan. 2 brief opposing the insurer's petition for certiorari challenging their standing under Article III of the U.S. Constitution (CareFirst Inc., et al. v. Chantal Attias, et al., No. 17-641, U.S. Sup.).



7th Circuit Reverses Anti-Suit Injunction In Suits Over Pay At Jimmy John's
CHICAGO - Calling an anti-suit injunction an "extraordinary" form of relief, a Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Dec. 14 found that a district court erred in providing that relief to a sandwich shop franchisor that is being sued in three consolidated suits seeking wages, in parallel wage cases where the franchisor is not named as a defendant and claims are brought only against the franchisees (In re: Jimmy John's Overtime Litigation, No. 17-1655, 7th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 25282).



Judge Transfers Class Action Challenging Natural Products Labeling
SAN DIEGO - A California federal judge on Dec. 15 refused to dismiss a class action complaint filed by the makers and sellers of allegedly all natural products, but granted a request to transfer the case where a similar action has been stayed pending a determination by the Food and Drug Administration on whether the term "natural" should be regulated on food labels (Janell Johnson Campbell v. Annie's Homegrown Inc., et al., No. 17cv1736, S.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 206808).



Hospital Sued By Former Employee Over Use, Disclosure Of Fingerprints
CHICAGO - An Illinois man filed a class complaint on Dec. 21 in an Illinois state court accusing a Chicago hospital of violating state law by collecting, storing and disclosing employees' fingerprints and then failing to destroy the data when employment ends (Corey Heard, et al. v. St. Bernard Hospital, et al., No. 2017-CH-16828, Ill. Cir., Cook Co.).



T-Mobile, Amazon And Employer Defendant Class Hit With Age Discrimination Suit
SAN JOSE, Calif. - T-Mobile US Inc., Amazon.com Inc., Cox Communications Inc. and hundreds of other employers and employment agencies specifically exclude older workers by targeting their employment ads to younger workers on social media, three workers and the Communications Workers of America (CWA) argue in a Dec. 20 class complaint filed in a California federal court (Communications Workers of America, et al. v. T-Mobile US, Inc., et al., No. 17-7232, N.D. Calif.).



Cryptocurrency Companies Hit With Lawsuits Over Securities Law Violations
A number of lawsuits have recently been filed in federal district courts throughout the country pertaining to the rise in popularity of the cryptocurrency market.



Wage, Fraud, Vehicle Defect, Other Complaints Hit Courts
Recent class action lawsuits filed in federal and state courts across the country include complaints alleging wage-and-hour violations, fraud, vehicle design defect and unlawful access of credit reports.



Split Ohio Appeals Panel: Wage Class May Proceed With Members Who Agreed To Arbitrate
WARREN, Ohio - A divided Ohio appeals court panel on Dec. 11 upheld certification of a class of sales people suing the employer for "pulling" earned commissions, finding that the fact that the class definition encompasses some employees who signed an arbitration agreement not signed by the class representative does not doom the certification (Edward G. Gembarski, et al. v. PartsSource, Inc., No. 2016-P-0077, Ohio App., 11st Dist., 2017 Ohio App. LEXIS 5383).



9th Circuit Upholds Arbitration Ruling In AT&T Data Class Suit
SAN FRANCISCO - A Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Dec. 11 upheld a ruling compelling arbitration in a class complaint brought by wireless customers who allege that AT&T Mobility LLC purposely slows data for "unlimited" customers, finding that there is no state action in the case and awarding costs to AT&T (Marcus A. Roberts, et al. v. AT&T Mobility LLC, No. 16-16915, 9th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 24946).



1st Circuit: No Arbitration Of Wage Dispute Where Worker Didn't Sign Agreement
BOSTON - A delivery company has no right to demand arbitration in a proposed class action wage dispute when the lead named plaintiff never signed the agreement containing the arbitration clause the company is now calling upon, a First Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Nov. 21 (Djamel Ouadani, et al. v. TF Final Mile LLC, f/k/a Dynamex Operations East, LLC, No. 17-1583, 1st Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 23493).



Swift Transportation Workers' Wage Class Suit Is Sent Back To State Court
RIVERSIDE, Calif. - A California federal judge on Dec. 7 granted a motion to remand a wage-and-hour class complaint by yard hostlers, finding that the federal court does not have subject matter jurisdiction over the claims because the amount in controversy, minus an estimate on the damages statement for an unpleaded claim, is below $5 million (Grant Frisch v. Swift Transportation Co. of Arizona, LLC, No. 17-2226, C.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 202705).



Judge Orders Parties To Provide Additional Information On UCL, Fraud Damages
SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge on Dec. 12 refused to remand a consumer's claims for violation of California's unfair competition law (UCL) and fraud against a rental car service until the parties can conduct additional discovery on whether the case meets the federal amount-in-controversy requirement for a class action (Jian-Ming "Scott" Zhao v. RelayRides Inc., et al., No. 17-cv-04099, N.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 204415).



Judge Keeps Class Suit Over Staffing At Nursing Homes In Arkansas Federal Court
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. - A class complaint accusing four nursing homes of breaching contractual and statutory duties by understaffing the facilities fails to qualify for any Class Action Fairness Act (CAFA) exemptions and belongs in federal court, an Arkansas federal judge ruled Dec. 4, denying a motion by the plaintiffs to remand the case (James Green, et al. v. Skyline Highland Holdings LLC, et al., No. 17-534, E.D. Ark., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 198553).



U.S. Veterans Seek Class Status In Suit Over 1966 Plutonium Dust Cleanup
WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. veterans who were present at the 1966 cleanup of plutonium dust in Palomares, Spain, moved Dec. 11 in the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims for class certification in a lawsuit alleging that they were improperly denied service-connected disability compensation based on exposure to ionizing radiation (Victor B. Skaar v. David J. Shulkin, M.D., No. 17-2574, Vet. Clms.).



9th Circuit: Wage Class Should Be Certified, Notice Of Violation Was Given
SAN FRANCISCO - A Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Dec. 7 reversed the denial of class certification in a wage-and-hour complaint, finding that the pleadings provided sufficient notice to the employer of violations of California Labor Code Section 226(a) violations, whether direct or derivative, and the district court must conduct a Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23 analysis (Silken Brown, et al. v. Cinemark USA, Inc., et al., No. 16-15377, 9th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 24764).



Class Certification, But No Tolling In Sephora Workers' Wage Suit
SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge on Dec. 8 granted a motion for conditional certification of a Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) claim brought by current and former employees of Sephora USA Inc. but denied the plaintiffs' request for equitable tolling (Lacey Hernandez, et al. v. Sephora USA, Inc., No. 16-5392, N.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 203452).



3rd Circuit: No Class Or Claims For Mercedes Owners Alleging Faulty Wheels
PHILADELPHIA - Three owners or leasers of Mercedes-Benz USA LLC (MBUSA) who filed a class complaint accusing the car maker of selling vehicles with faulty wheels failed to show that their motion for class certification should have been granted or that the subsequent grant of summary judgment to MBUSA on their individual claims was wrongly denied, a Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Dec. 5 (Vincent Luppino, et al. v. Mercedes Benz USA, No. 16-3762, 3rd Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 24511).



Noncitizens Seeking Arizona Driver's Licenses Granted Partial Class Certification
PHOENIX - A group of noncitizens with deferred action designations from the federal government who are suing seeking Arizona driver's licenses were granted partial class certification on Dec. 6 by an Arizona federal judge (Lucrecia Rivas Valenzuela, et al. v. Doug Ducey, et al., No. 16-3072, D. Ariz., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 200712).



Class Certification, Summary Judgment Motions Filed In Facebook Biometric Suit
SAN FRANCISCO - On Dec. 8, the same day that a group of plaintiffs moved for class certification in their claims under Illinois' Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA) against Facebook Inc., the social network moved for summary judgment, telling a California federal court that applying the Illinois law to its out-of-state facial recognition activities would violate the dormant commerce clause of the U.S. Constitution (In re Facebook Biometric Information Privacy Litigation, No. 3:15-cv-03747, N.D. Calif.).



Assistant Managers Conditionally Certified In Applebee's Franchise Wage Suit
CHICAGO - An Illinois federal judge on Dec. 8 partially granted conditional certification in a class complaint brought by a restaurant franchise assistant manager (AM) who alleges that she and others were misclassified as exempt under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and Illinois wage laws but granted a motion to dismiss by one of the franchisee defendants and gave the lead plaintiff one month to amend her complaint to show that that the defendant was her employer (Chamora Ivery, et al. v. RMH Franchise Corp., et al., No. 17-1619, N.D. Ill., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 202270).



Judge Certifies Investor Class In Securities Suit Against SeaWorld, Others
SAN DIEGO - Lead plaintiffs in a securities class action lawsuit against SeaWorld Entertainment Inc. and certain of its current and former executive officers over their alleged concealment of the negative impact the document "Blackfish" had on the company's business and financial condition have met all statutory requirements to certify the class of investors, a federal judge in California ruled Nov. 29 in certifying the class (Lou Baker v. SeaWorld Entertainment Inc., et al., No. 14-2129, S.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 196235).



Supreme Court Will Review Application Of American Pipe Tolling Doctrine In Securities Suit
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on Dec. 8 announced that it will determine whether the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals properly ruled that American Pipe & Construction Co. v. Utah tolls the statute of limitations to permit a previously absent class member to bring a subsequent class action outside the applicable limitations period (China Agritech Inc. v. Michael Resh, et al., No. 17-432, U.S. Sup.).



Spokeo Seeks 2nd Certiorari Grant Over Injury-In-Fact Standing Requirement
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Less than two years after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled on the concrete injury requirement to establish standing under Article III of the U.S. Constitution in a lawsuit over alleged violation of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), the data aggregator defendant filed a renewed petition for certiorari Dec. 4, citing conflicting lower court interpretations of the prior ruling and a remand ruling by the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals that it says undermines the 2016 decision (Spokeo Inc. v. Thomas Robins, No. 17-806, U.S. Sup.).



7th Circuit Upholds Gift Card Fees Settlement Giving Attorneys More Than Class
CHICAGO - Noting that a settlement in a class suit over gift card fees that provided the attorneys with more compensation than the class members was not perfect, a Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Dec. 7 affirmed it nonetheless, ruling that the district court chose the better option (Saul M. Kaufman, et al. v. American Express Travel Related Services Company, Inc., No. 16-1691, 7th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 24698).



NCAA Settles College Athletes Pay Cap MDL For Nearly $209 Million
OAKLAND, Calif. - A California federal judge on Dec. 6 granted final approval of a $208,664,445 settlement to be paid by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) to end all actions but one in a multidistrict litigation by student athletes who attended Division I schools and would have been awarded the full cost of attendance (COA) at those schools, but for the NCAA bylaw in effect until Jan. 1, 2015, that capped the maximum grant-in-aid at less than the COA (In Re: National Collegiate Athletic Association Athletic Grant-In-Aid Cap Antitrust Litigation, No. 14-2541, N.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 201104).



TJX Cos. To Pay $8.5 Million To End Class Claims Over Sale Prices
RIVERSIDE, Calif. - A California federal judge on Dec. 5 granted preliminary approval of an $8.5 million settlement to be paid by The TJX Cos. Inc., T.J. Maxx of CA LLC, Marshalls of CA LLC and HomeGoods Inc. to end class claims that the defendants used higher "Compare At" prices to make their "sale" prices look like a better deal (Staci Chester, et al. v. The TJX Companies, Inc., et al., No. 15-1437, C.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 201121).



Magistrate Approves Modified Settlement Agreement In FLSA Dispute With Franchisor
ROCHESTER, N.Y.- A federal magistrate judge in New York on Dec. 1 approved employees' motion for final approval of a modified $1.7 million class action settlement that increased the payout to the class members in a lawsuit alleging that their franchisor and franchisee employers violated the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), further granting the plaintiffs' motion for attorney fees that awards the attorneys 44 percent less than the original proposal (Adam Cunningham, et al. v. Suds Pizza, Inc., et al., No. 15-6462, W.D. N.Y., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 198250).



Dave & Buster's $7.4M ERISA Settlement Denied By New York Federal Judge
NEW YORK - A New York federal judge, in an order filed Dec. 1, declined preliminary approval of a class settlement worth up to $7,425,000 offered by Dave & Buster's Inc. to end claims that the nationwide restaurant/entertainment chain violated the Employee Retirement Income Security Act by reducing the hours of its work force in 2013 to avoid the costs associated with providing health insurance to its full-time employees in compliance with the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) (Maria De Lourdes Parra Marin v. Dave & Buster's, Inc., et al., No. 15-3608, S.D. N.Y.).



4 Class Representatives Object To J.P. Morgan ERISA $75M Settlement
NEW YORK - Four class representatives in a New York federal lawsuit accusing J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. (JPMC) of violating the Employee Retirement Income Security Act by mismanaging retirement savings funds filed an objection on Dec. 7 to a proposed $75 million cash settlement reached between eight of the class representatives and JPMC, arguing that the amount the class will actually receive is far less than the total class damages (In re J.P. Morgan Stable Value Fund ERISA Litigation, No. 12-2548, S.D. N.Y.).



JPMDL Transfers Equifax Data Breach Cases To Northern District Of Georgia
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPMDL) on Dec. 6 issued a transfer order centralizing 97 cases pending in various districts over Equifax Inc.'s recently announced data breach in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia (In Re: Equifax, Inc., Customer Data Security Breach Litigation, MDL No. 2800, JPMDL, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 200507).



Federal Magistrate Won't Reconsider Ruling On Counterclaims In Misfiring Suit
MIAMI - A Florida magistrate federal judge on Dec. 12 denied a request to reconsider his October ruling in which he re-designated counterclaims by a gun importer facing a class complaint alleging that its .357 revolvers are defective and can misfire as an affirmative defense and refused to strike it (Suzanne M. Bedwell, et al. v. Braztech International, L.C., No. 17-22335, S.D. Fla., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 204027).



Preemption Summary Judgment Reversed By 9th Circuit In Incretin Mimetic MDL Appeal
SAN FRANCISCO - The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Dec. 6 unsealed its Nov. 28 opinion reversing summary judgment in the incretin mimetic multidistrict litigation, saying the MDL judge misapplied a U.S. Supreme Court precedent, improperly blocked discovery, misinterpreted what constituted new evidence and improperly disqualified a plaintiff expert (In Re: Incretin-Based Therapies Products Liability Litigation, Jean Adams, et al. v. Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp., et al., No. 15-56997, 9th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 24674).



Montana Top Court Says Judge Improperly Allowed ERISA Defense
HELENA, Mont. - A judge improperly ignored the prejudice a class suffered when allowing a health insurer to raise Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 defenses after the class certification was granted and the decision affirmed on appeal, a divided Montana Supreme Court held in an opinion released for publication on Nov. 24 (Dana Rolan, et al. v. New West Health Services, No. DA 17-0009, Mont. Sup.).



Yard House Restaurant Worker's Wage Suit Is Stayed Pending Ruling In Morris
LOS ANGELES - A California federal judge on Dec. 11 stayed the proceedings in a wage-and-hour class complaint filed by a restaurant employee in which the defendants moved to compel arbitration, pending the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling in Morris v. Ernst & Young LLP, 834 F. 3d 975 (9th Cir. 2016), certiorari granted, Ernst & Young, LLP v. Morris, 137 S. Ct. 809 (2017) (Jener Da Silva v. Darden Restaurants, Inc., et al., No. 17-5663, C.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 203437).