Preview: LexisNexis® Mealey's™ Class Actions Legal News
LexisNexis® Mealey's™ Class Actions Legal News
Headline Class Actions Legal News from LexisNexis®
Class Member Objects To Proposed $25M Trump University Settlement
SAN DIEGO - A former Trump University LLC student on March 6 filed an objection to the $25 million settlement to be paid by the now-defunct school, owned by President Donald J. Trump, to end claims that the school was a sham and defrauded its students out of millions of dollars, arguing that the settlement agreement fails to provide class members with the option to be excluded from the settlement (Sonny Low, et al. v. Trump University, LLC, et al., No. 10-940, Art Cohen, et al. v. Donald J. Trump, No. 13-2519, S.D. Calif.).
Banks Seek Approval Of $27.2 Million Settlement In Home Depot Data Breach Suit
ATLANTA - A putative class of banks and financial institutions (FIs) on March 8 filed an unopposed proposed settlement of their claims against The Home Depot Inc. arising from a 2014 data breach, asking a Georgia federal court to approve the $27.2 million settlement that they state was the result of good-faith arm's-length negotiations with the retailer (In re: The Home Depot Inc., Customer Data Security Breach Litigation, No. 1:14-md-02583, N.D. Ga.).
Judge Preliminarily OKs $22.5 Million Settlement Of Google AdWords Class Action
SAN JOSE, Calif. - Preliminary approval of a $22.5 million settlement of a class action over Google Inc.'s AdWords program under California's unfair competition law (UCL) and false advertising law (FAL) was granted March 9, with a California federal judge approving a proposed settlement class and settlement fund and setting dates for class notification and a fairness hearing (In Re Google AdWords Litigation, No. 5:08-cv-03369, N.D. Calif.).
Sex Toy Maker Seeks To Settle Privacy Suit For $3.75 Million
CHICAGO - A sex toy maker accused of wrongfully collecting highly sensitive personal information about its consumers' usage of its products seeks to settle a class complaint for approximately $3.75 million, the plaintiffs state in a motion for preliminary approval of the class action settlement filed March 9 in an Illinois federal court (N.P., et al. v. Standard Innovation [US], Corp., d/b/a We-Vibe, No. 16-8655, N.D. Ill.).
Judge Approves $9.3M Settlement Over Rust-Oleum's Restore Products
CHICAGO - A federal judge in Illinois on March 6 entered final approval of a $9.3 million settlement that certified a class of consumers who purchased a concrete resurfacing paint made by Rust-Oleum Corp. that allegedly bubbled and flaked prematurely (In re: Rust-Oleum Restore Marketing, Sales Practices and Products Liability Litigation, MDL 2602, Case No. 15 C 1364, N.D. Ill.).
California Federal Judge OKs Settlement In Dispute Over Offset Of Veterans' Benefits
OAKLAND, Calif. - A California federal on March 1 approved a class action settlement between former U.S. veterans and Liberty Life Assurance Company of Boston after determining that the terms of the settlement, which provides compensation to class members whose disability benefits were offset or reduced by Liberty Life, are reasonable (James L. Bush v. Liberty Life Assurance Company of Boston, et al., No. 14-1507, N.D. Calif.).
Class In Facebook Message-Scanning Suit Seeks Approval Of Settlement
OAKLAND, Calif. - In a March 1 motion in California federal court, the plaintiffs in a class action accusing Facebook Inc. of privacy violations in its scanning of users' private messages (PMs) seek preliminary approval of a settlement with the social network, noting changes that Facebook has made to its allegedly illegal practices (Matthew Campbell, et al. v. Facebook Inc., No. 4:13-cv-05996, N.D. Calif.).
California Federal Judge Denies Sephora's Request For Partial Stay In Wage Dispute
SAN FRANCISCO - A motion for a partial stay filed by an employer in a wage-and-hour dispute pursuant to the Colorado River Water Conservation Dist. v. United States, 424 U.S. 800 (1976), doctrine must be denied because it was an attempt to dismiss "the potentially meritorious" claims of a nationwide class, a California federal judge ruled March 13 (Lacey Hernandez, et al. v. Sephora USA, Inc., No. 16-5392, N.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 35758).
Nationwide Seeks Stay Of Discovery In Remanded Data Breach Class Actions
COLUMBUS, Ohio - In a March 2 motion in Ohio federal court, Nationwide Mutual Insurance Co. requests reconsideration of an earlier ruling declining to stay discovery in a pair of class actions over a 2012 data breach, arguing that the claims under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) will likely be dismissed and calling the plaintiffs' discovery requests broad and burdensome (Mohammad S. Galaria, et al. v. Nationwide Mutual Insurance Co., No. 2:13-cv-00118, and Anthony Hancox, et al. v. Nationwide Mutual Insurance Co., No. 2:13-cv-00257, S.D. Ohio).
2nd Circuit: Depositing A Check With Court Clerk Doesn't Moot TCPA Class Suit
NEW YORK - The deposit of a check with the clerk of a district court in satisfaction of judgment made by the defendant in a Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) class complaint doesn't moot the suit, a Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled March 9, vacating the judgment of the district court and remanding for further proceedings (Radha Geismann, M.D., P.C., et al. v. ZocDoc, Incorporated, No. 14-3708, 2nd Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 4150).
Class Suit Over Costco Employment Application's FCRA Disclosure Will Proceed
SEATTLE - A Washington federal judge on March 10 denied a motion to dismiss filed by Costco Wholesale Corp. in a class complaint accusing the retailer of violating the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) by failing to provide a full and correct disclosure when requesting authorization to conduct background checks of job applicants (Julius Terrell v. Costco Wholesale Corp., No. 16-1415, W.D. Wash., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 34821).
No Court Remedy For Diabetes Products Tax Dispute
LOS ANGELES - A class of customers who purchase skin puncture lancets and test strips used by diabetics and filed a class complaint seeking an order to compel pharmacies to file a claim seeking a refund of the sales tax paid for those items failed to establish that the necessary "unique circumstances" exist that would require a court to create a new tax refund remedy, a California appellate panel ruled March 13 (Michael McClain, et al. v. Sav-On Drugs, et al., Nos. B265011 and B265029, Calif. App., 2nd Dist., Div. 2, 2017 Cal. App. LEXIS 217).
Court Dismisses Employment Claims Related To Shared Tip-Pooling Policy
SAN DIEGO - After finding that a restaurant chain's shared tip-pooling policy is not unlawful, a California federal judge on Feb. 28 dismissed a former server's claims for violation of California's unfair competition law (UCL) and for penalties under the California's Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA) (Brendan Wilkes v. Benihana Inc., et al., No. 16cv2219, S.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 29127).
Pregnancy Bias Class Suit Against UPS Dismissed For Lack Of Sufficient Proof
CHICAGO - An Illinois federal judge on March 3 dismissed, with leave to amend, a proposed nationwide pregnancy discrimination class suit against United Parcel Service Inc. (UPS) based on the lead plaintiff's failure to show that UPS accommodated other employees while denying accommodation to pregnant ones (Jamie Anfeldt, et al. v. United Parcel Service, Inc., No. 15-10401, N.D. Ill., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 30150).
Vizio Smart TV Video Privacy Class Claim To Proceed; Wiretap Claim Dismissed
SANTA ANA, Calif. - Finding that Vizio Inc. qualifies as a "video tape service provider" under the Video Privacy Protection Act (VPPA), a California federal judge on March 2 denied dismissal of a putative class claim under the statute for the purported disclosure of consumers' personally identifiable information (PII) via the firm's smart TVs (In Re: Vizio, Inc., Consumer Privacy Litigation, No. 8:16-ml-02693, C.D. Calif.).
Judge: Investors Failed To Plead Scienter In Chipotle Securities Suit
NEW YORK - Lead plaintiffs have failed to plead any material misrepresentations or scienter in making claims that Mexican restaurant chain Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. and certain of its executive officers issued certain misrepresentations concealing issues surrounding a widespread series of E. coli outbreaks in violation of federal securities laws, a federal judge in New York ruled March 8 in granting the defendants' motion to dismiss (Susie Ong v. Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc., et al., No. 16-141, S.D. N.Y., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 33170).
Oregon Federal Judge Refuses To Certify Class Of Naturopath Patients
PORTLAND, Ore. - An Oregon federal judge on March 9 denied a motion to certify a class of persons who were enrolled in an employer-issued health plan administered by Health Net Health Plan of Oregon who claimed that the plan discriminated against naturopathic physicians, finding that the plaintiffs lacked standing to sue because they could not show that they suffered an injury-in-fact (Eileen Fox-Quamme, et al. v. Health Net Health Plan of Oregon Inc., et al., No. 3:15-cv-01248, D. Ore., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 35964).
Class Of Call Center Agents Decertified In Unpaid Wages Dispute
ST. LOUIS - A Missouri federal judge on March 6 decertified a class of call center agents in a wage-and-hour lawsuit, finding that after discovery, the plaintiffs were unable to provide reliable evidence to overcome a lack of common policy (Penny Davenport, et al. v. Charter Communications, LLC, No. 12-7, E.D. Mo., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 31076).
7th Circuit Vacates Class Certification In Eye Drop Size Suit, Orders Dismissal
CHICAGO - A Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on March 6 vacated the grant of class certification in a lawsuit over the size of eye drops and remanded with directions to dismiss the lawsuit with prejudice, opining that there is no cause of action (Charlene Eike, et al v. Allergan, Inc., et al., No. 16-3334, 7th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 3954).
Federal Judge Denies Class Certification For Class Of Truck Drivers
LOS ANGELES - A California federal judge on March 3 denied a former truck driver's request to certify a class of truck drivers in relation to an alleged failure to pay a minimum wage for the hours worked, finding that he failed to meet the federal pleading requirements (Robert Gatdula, et al. v. CRST International Inc., et al., No. 11-1285, C.D. Calif., 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 184720).
Class Of Minor League Baseball Players Is Recertified In Wage Suit
SAN FRANCISCO - A little more than seven months after a class of minor league baseball players was decertified in a lawsuit seeking unpaid wages from the Office of the Commissioner of Baseball, its member franchises and former Commissioner Allan H. "Bud" Selig, a California federal magistrate judge granted in part a motion class certification and recertification of a Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) collective action (Aaron Senne, et al. v. Kansas City Royals Baseball Corp., et al., No. 14-608, N.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 32949).
Judge: MDL Court Can Rule On Jurisdictional Issues In Volkswagen Emissions Suit
SACRAMENTO, Calif. - A federal judge in California on March 7 stayed a consumer's lawsuit over the installation of defeat devices in some of Volkswagen Group of America Inc.'s diesel vehicles pending transfer to a multidistrict litigation court, finding that the MDL court can determine if jurisdictional issues warrant remanding the action to state court (Pamela Woodcox, et al. v. Volkswagen Group of America, Inc., d/b/a Volkswagen of America, Inc., et al., No. 17-215 WBS DB, E.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 32609).
Judge Remands Class Action Filed Against Ford To California Court
LOS ANGELES - A California federal judge on March 10 remanded a class action lawsuit filed by product specialists who assert wage-related claims against a car maker and staffing companies, finding that the amount in controversy did not meet federal jurisdictional requirements (Henry Chen, et al. v. United Talent Agency LLC, et al., No. 17-1848, C.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 34960).
1st Circuit Panel: Review Of Ruling In Drinking Water Case 'Not In Order'
BOSTON - A panel of the First Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Feb. 14 ruled that residents who contend that a company contaminated their drinking water with perfluorooctanoic acid (known as C8) cannot appeal a ruling of the district court that denied their motion to remand the case to New Hampshire state court (Kevin Brown, et al. v. Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics, No. 16-8055, 1st Cir.).
Firms Petition Supreme Court, Say Class Action Ruling In Flint Water Case 'Wrong'
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A group of engineering firms that were sued by residents who contended that they shared liability for the lead-contaminated water crisis in Flint, Mich., on March 9 filed a petition for writ of certiorari in the U.S. Supreme Court arguing that the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals' decision that a plaintiff may obtain remand under the Class Action Fairness Act (CAFA) without evidence of class members' citizenship "creates a circuit split and is wrong" (Lockwood Andrews & Newnam P.C. v. Jennifer Mason, No. 16-1092, U.S. Sup.).
Verizon Asks High Court To Deny Cert Petition In Defined-Benefit Plan Case
WASHINGTON, D.C. - In a Feb. 16 opposition brief, Verizon Communications Inc. says the U.S. Supreme Court should deny a petition for writ of certiorari asserting that a defined-benefit pension plan participant has standing to file a breach of fiduciary duty suit under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act because the lead plaintiff has not alleged a concrete injury (Edward Pundt, et al. v. Verizon Communications, Inc. et al., No. 16-762, U.S. Sup., 2017 U.S. S. Ct. Briefs LEXIS 537).
Motion To Strike Class Allegations In Flammable Hoverboards Suit Is Denied
HAMMOND, Ind. - A New York man may proceed with his class complaint against a hoverboard manufacturer alleging that his hoverboard self-combusted after an Indiana federal judge on March 7 denied motions by the defendant to strike class allegations, dismiss an unjust enrichment claim and dismiss a claim for injunctive relief (Michael Brown v. Swagway, LLC, No. 15-588, N.D. Ind., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 31997).
Amendment Permitted, Class Certification Considered In Honda Window Defect Suit
LOS ANGELES - A California federal judge on March 10 denied a motion for summary judgment filed by American Honda Motor Co. Inc. in a proposed class complaint accusing the car maker of selling certain models with defective windows and granted the plaintiffs' motion to amend their complaint to substitute the named plaintiff to represent a narrowed proposed class (Phyllis Grodzitsky, et al. v. American Honda Motor Co., Inc., No. 12-1142, C.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 185019).
Judgment Denied, Partial Class Certification Granted In Natural Labeling Suit
NEW HAVEN, Conn. - A Connecticut federal judge on March 13 denied cross-motions for summary judgment in two putative class actions alleging deceptive marketing of Aveeno products and granted class certification in one case and denied it in the other in a single omnibus ruling (Heidi Langan, et al. v. Johnson & Johnson Consumer Companies, Inc., Nos. 13-1470 and 13-1471, D. Conn., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 35703).
Connecticut Federal Judge Rules For, Against Honeywell In Medical Coverage Dispute
HARTFORD, Conn. - A Connecticut federal judge on Feb. 28 granted summary judgment in favor of Honeywell International Inc., finding that union employees who retired after the expiration of collective bargaining and related agreements that offered them lifetime medical coverage benefits are not contractually vested (David Kelly, et al. v. Honeywell International Inc., No. 3:16-cv-00543, D. Conn., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 28203).
Defendants In Securities Suit Not Entitled To Sanctions Under PSLRA, Judge Rules
SAN JOSE, Calif. - Defendants in a securities class action lawsuit are not entitled to sanctions pursuant to the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act (PSLRA) because they have not shown that an investor's amended complaint was "legally or factually baseless from an objective perspective" or that the investigation performed by the investor's counsel was reasonable and competent before filing the amended complaint, a federal judge in California ruled March 6 in denying the defendants' motion to amend by imposing sanctions (Tai Jan Bao, et al. v. SolarCity Corp., et al., No. 14-1435, N.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 105179).
8th Circuit Panel Remands ABB Retirement Plan Case For Recalculation Of Losses
ST. LOUIS - An Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on March 9 remanded to Missouri federal court a case in which ABB Inc. fiduciaries were found to have abused their discretion and breached their fiduciary duties in choosing investment options for their 401(k) retirement plans, saying that the lower court seems to have mistook a recommendation on how to measure plan losses (Ronald C. Tussey, et al. v. ABB Inc., et al., No. 15-2792, 8th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 4225).
Stucco Remediation Expert's Methodology Not Reliable, Relevant, Judge Rules
ORLANDO, Fla. - A stucco remediation expert's methodology for calculating the cost to repair homes made by Pulte Home Corp. that have improperly installed stucco is not reliable or relevant, a federal judge in Florida ruled March 10 in granting the builder's motion to exclude the testimony (Shaun Gazzara, et al. v. Pulte Home Corporation, No. 16-cv-657-Orl-31TBS, M.D. Fla.).
Former Florida Felons Sue To Restore Voting Rights
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - Seven former felons filed a class complaint on March 13 in Florida federal court against the Florida governor and members of the Executive Clemency Board, alleging that the state's disenfranchisement and re-enfranchisement laws "have made the process of voting rights restoration unconstitutionally arbitrary" (James Michael Hand, et al. v. Rick Scott, et al., No. 17-128, N.D. Fla.).
Craft Brew Alliance Accused Of Making Kona Beer On The Mainland
SAN JOSE, Calif. - Craft Brew Alliance Inc. has deceived and overcharged consumers by falsely advertising its Kona Brewing Co. brand as a local beer made in Hawaii, but it's actually made in the continental United States, two California women allege in a class complaint filed Feb. 28 in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California (Sara Cilloni, et al. v. Craft Brew Alliance, Inc., et al., No. 17-1027, N.D. Calif.).
Donor, Nonprofit Sue PayPal For Redirecting Charitable Donations
CHICAGO - In a Feb. 27 putative class complaint filed in Illinois federal court, a frequent charitable giver and one of her intended nonprofit recipients sued PayPal Inc. for allegedly redirecting funds donated for organizations that are not registered with PayPal to unrelated organizations that are (Friends for Health: Supporting the North Shore Health Center, et al. v. PayPal Inc., et al., No. 1:17-cv-01542, N.D. Ill.).
Investor Sues Companies In Attempt To Halt Proposed Merger Deal
SAN FRANCISCO - A shareholder filed a securities class action lawsuit on Feb. 24 in California federal court, alleging that an international sensor chip developer and manufacturer, its board of directors and others breached their fiduciary duty and violated federal securities law by agreeing to the terms of a merger deal that does not take into consideration whether the deal would be of maximum benefit to stockholders (David Dunham v. InvenSense Inc., et al., No. 17-0957, N.D. Calif.).
Costco Wage Settlement For Truck Drivers Is Rejected By Federal Judge
SAN DIEGO - A California federal judge on Feb. 22 denied preliminary approval of a $2 million settlement proposed by Costco Wholesale Corp. to end truck drivers' wage claims and ordered plaintiffs' counsel to show why sanctions should not be imposed after counsel agreed to file an amended complaint that added a Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), 29 U.S.C. 201, et seq., claim that was subsequently released in the settlement agreement without any additional compensation to the class (Douglas Thompson, et al. v. Costco Wholesale Corporation, et al., No. 14-2778, S.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 24964).
Objection Deemed Frivolous, Sanctions Denied Following MLB Antitrust Settlement
NEW YORK - A New York federal judge on Feb. 27 called an attorney's behavior during an antirust class proceeding "unprofessional" but declined to impose Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 11 sanctions against the attorney and a class member for whom he drafted a class settlement objection, opining that it is unclear whether the court has jurisdiction to sanction the attorney (Fernanda Garber, et al. v. Office of the Commissioner of Baseball, et al., No. 12-3704, S.D. N.Y., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 27394).
Uber Customers' Gratuity Class Settlement Is Granted Final Approval
SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge on Feb. 16 granted final approval of a nearly $344,000 settlement to be paid to a class of Uber Technologies Inc. customers who allege that Uber wrongfully retained a portion of gratuity charges paid by passengers (Caren Ehret, et al. v. Uber Technologies, Inc., No. 14-113, N.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 22586).
Pa. Tilted Kilt Pub Will Pay $300,000 To Settle Tipped Employees' Wage Claims
PHILADELPHIA - A Pennsylvania federal judge on Feb. 24 granted final approval of a $300,000 settlement to be paid by a suburban Philadelphia restaurant to end class claims by its tipped employees who alleged that the pub failed to pay them for all compensable time and required them to purchase employer-mandated uniforms in violation of federal and state wage laws (Victoria Graudins v. KOP Kilt, LLC, d/b/a The Tilted Kilt Pub, et al., No. 14-2589, E.D. Pa., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 25926).
Avon Will Pay $1.8 Million To Settle District Sales Managers' Class Wage Claims
SAN JOSE, Calif. - Under a settlement agreement that was granted final approval by a California federal judge on Feb. 24, Avon Products Inc. will pay $1.8 million to end a class complaint filed by California district sales managers (DSMs) who alleged that they were improperly denied overtime wages (Jacqueline Cavalier Nelson v. Avon Products, Inc., et al., No. 13-2276, N.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 26451).
Approval Sought For $22.5 Million Settlement Of Google AdWords Class Action
SAN JOSE, Calif. - In a Feb. 23 motion in California federal court, the plaintiffs in a putative class action over Google Inc.'s AdWords program seek preliminary approval of a $22.5 million settlement of their claims against the internet giant under California's unfair competition law (UCL) and false advertising law (FAL) (In Re Google AdWords Litigation, No. 5:08-cv-03369, N.D. Calif.).
9th Circuit: No Jurisdiction To Review Denial Of Class Certification
PORTLAND, Ore. - A Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Feb. 24 dismissed the appeal of an order striking class allegations in a lawsuit by purchasers of long-term health insurance who are bringing claims under Oregon's financial abuse statute, finding that the appellate panel lacked jurisdiction (Lorraine Bates, et al. v. Bankers Life and Casualty Company, et al., No. 14-35397, 9th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 3370).
Colorado Federal Judge Certifies Detainees Class In Forced Labor Suit
DENVER - A Colorado federal judge on Feb. 27 certified a class of current and former detainees of the Aurora Detention Facility in Aurora, Colo., who allege that they were forced to work for little to no pay (Alejando Menocal, et al. v. The GEO Group, Inc., No. 14-2887, D. Colo.).
Federal Claims Court Asked To Sign Class Certification In Water Takings Case
WASHINGTON, D.C. - California farmers in the Klamath River basin and the United States on Feb. 16 filed a proposed order certifying a class of farmers who allege that their water rights were impaired by the federal government in 2001 and their water rights taken in violation of the Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution (Lonney E. Baley, et al. v. United States, et al., No. 01-591L, John Anderson Farms, Inc., et al., No. 07-194C, Fed. Clms.).
7th Circuit: No Jurisdiction Over Where Individual Offer Of Judgment Was Accepted
CHICAGO - A Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Feb. 17 dismissed the appeal of a trial court's denial of class certification in a lawsuit alleging unlawful detention by an Illinois city, finding that it lacked jurisdiction after the named plaintiff accepted an individual offer of judgment (Marquise Wright v. Calumet City, Illinois, No. 16-2219, 7th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 2823).
Class Suit Over Insurance Payments For Diminished Values Is Kept In Federal Court
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A District of Columbia federal judge on Feb. 22 denied a motion to remand a class complaint accusing an insurer of breach of contract for failing to pay its insureds for the diminished value of their vehicles, finding that the amount in controversy exceeds $5 million (Evna T. LaVelle, et al. v. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company, No. 16-1082, D. D.C., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 24198).
Judge Sends Class Suit Over Diminished Value Loss Back To State Court
TACOMA, Wash. - A class suit accusing an insurer of failing to pay policyholders for diminished value loss belongs in state court because the insurer failed to show that the amount in controversy exceeds the jurisdictional limit, a Washington federal judge ruled Feb. 27 (Yolanda McGraw, et al. v. GEICO General Insurance Company, No. 15-5876, W.D. Wash., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 27337).
Calif. Federal Judge: No Pseudonym For Former NFL Cheerleader In Wage Class Suit
SAN FRANCISCO - The rights of the public, the press and the class she is seeking to represent outweigh the privacy interests of the lead plaintiff in a lawsuit accusing NFL Enterprises LLC and individual teams of conspiring to suppress the wages of cheerleaders, a California federal judge ruled Feb. 22, denying the plaintiff's motion to proceed using a pseudonym (Jane Doe, et al. v. NFL Enterprises LLC, et al., No. 17-496, N.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 24991).
2 Of 4 Wyndham Divisions Dismissed From Hotel Pricing Fraud Class Suit
PITTSBURGH - A Pennsylvania federal judge on Feb. 15 dismissed two of four Wyndham divisions in a class complaint alleging fraud via hidden hotel charges, finding that those two divisions were not provided fair notice (Thomas Luca, Jr. v. Wyndham Worldwide Corp., et al., No. 16-746, W.D. Pa., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 21433).
Judge Partially Dismisses Claims On Retailer's Advertisements On Thread Count
SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge on Feb. 28 refused to grant a retailer's motion to dismiss claims for violation of California's unfair competition law (UCL) and for false advertising, but granted dismissal with leave to amend in relation to claims for products that he did not purchase (William Rushing v. Williams-Sonoma Inc., et al., No. 16-cv-01421, N.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 28227).
Judge Dismisses Proposed Class Action Suit Over Faulty Air Conditioning Coils
AUGUSTA, Ga. - A federal judge in Georgia on Feb. 22 dismissed without prejudice a proposed class action suit accusing Daikin Industries Ltd. (DIL), Daikin Applied Americas Inc. (DAA) and Daikin North Americas LLC (DNA) of making and selling air conditioning units with faulty evaporator coils, ruling that a building owner lacks personal jurisdiction to assert claims against DIL and failed to state claims against DAA and DNA (Paws Holdings, LLC v. Daikin Industries, Ltd., et al., No. 16-58, S.D. Ga., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 24684).
Wiretapping Claims Over Golden State Warriors App Partly Dismissed
SAN FRANCISCO - A fan of the Golden State Warriors did not sufficiently allege her wiretap claim based on the team's smartphone app, a California federal judge ruled Feb. 13, holding that she did not establish the necessary "interception" elements under the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA) (LaTisha Satchell v. Sonic Notify Inc. d/b/a Signal360, et al., No.3:16-cv-04961, N.D. Calif.).
Suits Over 'Google Photos' Feature Under Illinois Biometric Law Survive Dismissal
CHICAGO - An Illinois federal judge on Feb. 27 denied a motion by Google Inc. to dismiss two putative class complaints alleging that it violated Illinois' Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA) via facial recognition capability in its "Google Photos" feature, with the judge finding that the plaintiffs sufficiently alleged that Google collected their "biometric identifiers" (Lindabeth Rivera v. Google Inc., No. 1:16-cv-02714, and Joseph Weiss v. Google Inc., No. 1:16-cv-02870, N.D. Ill., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 27276).
Judge: Investors State No Actionable Misrepresentations In Securities Class Action
HOUSTON - Dismissal of a securities class action lawsuit is proper, a federal judge in Texas ruled Feb. 14, because lead plaintiffs failed to plead any actionable misrepresentations or scienter in arguing that an offshore energy services company and certain of its current and former executive officers misrepresented repair issues with one of the company's well intervention vessels in violation of federal securities laws (Parvis Izadjoo v. Helix Energy Solutions Group Inc., et al., No. 15-2213, S.D. Texas, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 20444).
Investor Failed To Show Lack Of Disclosures Violated Securities Act, Judge Rules
NEW YORK - A lead plaintiff in a securities class action lawsuit against a business intelligence and marketing automation software service provider, certain of its executive officers and underwriters of the company's initial public offering (IPO) failed to show that the defendants violated federal securities law by failing to disclose certain trends in its customer concentration and sales growth, a federal judge in New York ruled Feb. 13 in granting the defendants' motions to dismiss (Andrew D. Nguyen v. MaxPoint Interactive Inc., et al., No. 15-6880, S.D. N.Y., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 20069).
Federal Judge Trims Claims In LeapFrog Securities Class Action
SAN FRANCISCO - A lead plaintiff in a securities class action has failed to show that a developer of educational entertainment for children and two of its executive officers acted with scienter in failing to report goodwill impairment for the second quarter of 2015, but the lead plaintiff has pleaded scienter regarding the defendants' failure to take certain write-offs in the third quarter of the fiscal year, a federal judge in California ruled Feb. 24 in granting in part and denying in part the defendants' motion to dismiss (In re LeapFrog Enterprises Inc. Securities Litigation, No. 15-0347, N.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 26398).
Judge: Tainted Groundwater Case Valid; Damages Allowed Against Some Defendants
NEW ORLEANS - A federal judge in Louisiana on Feb. 21 partially granted and partially denied motions to dismiss claims brought by a class of residents who contend that Chevron USA Inc. and related companies are liable for contaminating their groundwater with naturally occurring radioactive material (NORM), ruling that the plaintiffs have a valid strict liability claim but do not have a claim for punitive damages against all defendants (Joseph Robertson, et al. v. Chevron USA Inc., et al., No. 15-00874, E.D. La.).
1st Circuit Asked To Decide Whether Court Properly Dismissed Securities Claims
BOSTON - Parties in a securities class action lawsuit against a drug maker and certain of its executive officers recently asked the First Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals to determine whether a federal district court erred in dismissing the lead plaintiff's amended complaint for failure to plead scienter and abused its discretion in denying the lead plaintiff's motion to vacate the dismissal order (In re Biogen Inc. Securities Litigation, No. 16-1976, 1st Cir.).
8th Circuit Rejects Class Objectors' Claim That Attorney Fees Were Too High
ST. LOUIS - A trial court did not abuse its discretion when it approved attorney fees as part of a class settlement that equated to one-third of the total settlement amount because the award was not unreasonable, an Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Feb. 16 (Edward Huyer, et al. v. Steven Buckley, No. 16-1681, Edward Huyer, et al. v. Jennifer Deachin, No. 16-1740, Edward Huyer, et al. v. Julius Dunmore, Jr., No. 16-1743, 8th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 2772).
New York Federal Judge Enforces Arbitration In Laptop Battery Dispute
ROCHESTER, N.Y. - A New York man who alleges that he and other consumers were duped about the expected battery life for their laptops is bound by an arbitration clause and may not proceed with his class complaint, a New York federal judge ruled Feb. 17 (Charles Andersen v. Walmart Stores, Inc., et al., No. 16-6488, W.D. N.Y., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 22862).
8th Circuit Panel Affirms Ruling On Enhanced Benefits For Anheuser Busch Pensioners
ST. LOUIS - An Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Feb. 22 affirmed in part a Missouri federal judge's ruling that participants in the Anheuser-Busch Cos. Pension Plan are entitled to enhanced pension benefits, saying that a plan administrator cannot contradict the plain language of an Employee Retirement Income Security Act plan to deny benefits, but reversed and remanded for a calculation of benefits owed to individual class members (Brian Knowlton, et al. v. Anheuser-Busch Cos. Pension Plan, et al., No. 15-3538, 8th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 3115).
Montana Credit Union Files Class Suit Against Arby's Over Data Breach
ATLANTA - Arby's Restaurant Group Inc., a fast food chain, failed to take reasonable measures to protect customer data, a Montana federal credit union claims in its Feb. 27 class complaint filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia (Valley Federal Credit Union of Montana, et al. v. Arby's Restaurant Group, Inc., No. 17-715, N.D. Ga.).
Illinois Appellate Panel Holds Foam Company Liable For Faxes Sent On Its Behalf
CHICAGO - A foam company whose independent contractor ordered a third party to send unsolicited faxed advertisements on the foam company's behalf is liable under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), an Illinois appeals panel ruled Feb. 7 (Loncarevic and Associates, Inc., et al. v. Stanley Foam Corporation, No. 09 CH 15403, Ill. App., 1st Dist., 2nd Div., 2017 Ill. App. LEXIS 53).
9th Circuit Upholds Class Certification In Credit Card Processing Dispute
SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal court did not abuse its discretion in certifying two classes in a lawsuit accusing the lessors of "point of sale" credit and debit processing equipment of scheming to defraud small businesses, a Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Feb. 7 (Just Film, Inc., et al. v. Sam Buono, et al., No. 14-16132, Rainbow Business Services, DBA Prevision Tune Auto Care, et al. v. Sam Buono, et al., No. 14-16133, 9th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 2164).
Request To Reopen Discovery Denied In Pom Wonderful MDL
LOS ANGELES - A California federal judge on Feb. 14 denied a request to reopen discovery, in an effort by plaintiffs to support a renewed motion for class certification, in a multidistrict litigation challenging the marketing of pomegranate juice, finding that the plaintiffs failed to demonstrate diligence (In re: Pom Wonderful LLC Marketing and Sales Practices Litigation, No. 10-2199, C.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 20854).
8th Circuit Upholds $22M Document Fees Award, Reverses Attorney Fees Decision
ST. LOUIS - An Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Feb. 13 affirmed an award of nearly $22 million in treble damages in a class suit over document fees; however, the panel reversed a $2.4 million attorney fee award from the common fund and remanded for enforcement of a fee-shifting provision (Robert McKeage, et al. v. TMBC, LLC, et al., No. 15-3191, 8th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 2491).
Judge Halts Multiple Wage Suits By Exotic Dancers Pending $6.5M Settlement
DETROIT - A Michigan federal judge on Feb. 9 granted a joint motion seeking to enjoin numerous pending wage proceedings against nightclub owners in 12 different federal and state courts based on a $6.5 million settlement that was granted preliminary approval two days earlier (Jane Doe 1, et al. v. Deja Vu Services, Inc., et al., No. 16-10877, E.D. Mich., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 18369).
8th Circuit Finds Class Member Lacks Standing To Challenge $25.7M Settlement
ST. LOUIS - The Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Feb. 8 found that a member of a class action lacked standing to appeal a district court's final approval of a $25,750,000 settlement of claims asserted against a bank in relation to fees it automatically charged for property inspections (Edward Huyer, et al. v. Rhadiante Van de Voorde, No. 16-1694, 8th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 2290).
Final Approval Granted To United Healthcare's Settlement Of Harvoni Drug Coverage
MIAMI - A federal judge in Florida on Feb. 2 granted final approval to a class action settlement in which United Healthcare Inc. agreed to remove certain restrictions on coverage for treatment of hepatitis C with the prescription drug Harvoni (Ilissa M. Jones, et al. v. United Healthcare Services, Inc., et al., No. 15-cv-6114-RLR, S.D. Fla.).
J.C. Penney To Settle Plan Losses Class Suit For $4.5 Million
TYLER, Texas - A Texas federal judge on Jan. 3 granted preliminary approval of a $4.5 million settlement to be paid by J.C. Penney Corp. Inc. to end a class suit accusing the retailer of violating the Employee Retirement Income Security Act by allowing the J.C. Penney Corporation Inc. Savings, Profit Sharing and Stock Ownership Plan (the plan) to remain invested in the J.C. Penney Common Stock Fund when it should have known the stock was being traded at an artificially inflated price due to misrepresentations by J.C. Penney senior officers (Roberto Ramirez, et al. v. J.C. Penney Corporation, Inc., et al., No. 14-601, E.D. Texas; 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 389).
Judge Approves $5.5 Million Settlement Of Google Cookie Privacy Class Action
WILMINGTON, Del. - A proposed $5.5 million cy pres settlement of a class action over the tracking cookie practices of Google Inc. was approved by a Delaware federal judge Feb. 2, with requests for awards of attorney fees and incentive awards being granted and a lone objection to the settlement being overruled (In Re: Google Inc. Cookie Placement Consumer Privacy Litigation, No. 1:12-md-02358, D. Del.).
Class Settlement Approved In 2 McAfee Antivirus Auto-Renewal Suits
SAN JOSE, Calif. - A California federal judge on Feb. 3 granted final approval of a settlement that will end two class complaints over antivirus software designer McAfee Inc.'s auto-renewal program (Sam Williamson, et al. v. McAfee, Inc., No. 14-158, Samantha Kirby, et al. v. McAfee, Inc., No. 14-2475, N.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 15838).
Preliminary Settlement Approval Granted In Suit Over Fungi-Based Vegan Products
LOS ANGELES - A California federal judge on Feb. 6 granted preliminary approval of a settlement by Quorn Foods Inc., a manufacturer of vegetarian and vegan products, to end a class complaint that it misled consumers by advertising its products as mushroom-based when they are actually made from fermented mold (Kimberly Birbrower v. Quorn Foods, Inc., et al., No. 16-1346, C.D. Calif.).
Ohio Federal Judge Rules On Remand In 5 MedMal Class Suits
CINCINNATI - An Ohio federal judge on Feb. 8 issued two remand orders and three orders denying remand in five separate class action complaints against various medical facilities where an orthopedic surgeon is alleged to have performed unnecessary procedures (Nicole Baker, et al. v. UC Health, et al., No. 16-853, S.D. Ohio, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 17899; Jacob Durham, et al. v. Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, No. 15-438, S.D. Ohio, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 17897; Heather McCann, et al. v. West Chester Hospital, LLC, et al., No. 15-440, S.D. Ohio, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 17902; Lyndsey Middendorf, et al. v. West Chester Hospital, LLC, et al., No. 15-439, S.D. Ohio, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 17901; Dana Setters, et al. v. Journey Lite of Cincinnati, LLC, et al., No. 15-487, S.D. Ohio, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 17900).
Judge Remands Class Claims Against Courier For Lack Of Jurisdiction
SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge on Feb. 3 granted an employee's motion to remand her class action claims for violation of California's unfair competition law (UCL) and various labor codes, finding that her employer failed to show that the amount in controversy would exceed $5 million under the Class Action Fairness Act (CAFA) (Jasmine Miller v. A-1 Express Delivery Services Inc., No. 16-cv-06251, N.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 15795).
California Federal Judge: Suit Over Supplement Sales Belongs In Federal Court
SAN FRANCISCO - A class complaint accusing a supplements company of deceiving and misleading consumers by advertising free gifts with purchases belongs in federal court because the defendant has showed that the collective amount of the sales in question exceeds $5 million, a California federal judge ruled Feb. 6 (Darcey L. Sharpe, et al. v. Puritan's Pride, Inc., et al., No. 16-6717, N.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 16531).
2nd Circuit Reinstates TCPA Suit Over Faxed Dinner Invitation
NEW YORK - A Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Feb. 3 reinstated a Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) class complaint, finding that a dinner invitation fax sent by a pharmaceutical company may qualify as an unsolicited fax advertisement (Physicians Healthsource, Inc. v. Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc., et al., No. 15-288, 2nd Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 1937).
Class Suit Over Supplement Labels Is Dismissed; 30 Days Granted For Amendment
CHICAGO - An Illinois federal judge on Feb. 13 dismissed a class complaint over supplement labeling, in part for lack of personal jurisdiction based on alleged violations of non-Illinois consumer fraud statutes, and granted the named plaintiff 30 days to amend his complaint (David DeMedicis v. CVS Health Corp., et al., No. 16-5973, N.D. Ill., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 19589).
7th Circuit Reinstates Suit Claiming Electric Company Falsely Advertised Prices
CHICAGO - A federal trial court erred when it dismissed, for lack of subject matter jurisdiction, a class suit accusing an alternative retail electric supplier of attracting new customers by advertising one price and charging them another, a Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Feb. 8 (Peggy Zahn v. North American Power & Gas, LLC, No. 15-2332, 7th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 2256).
Data Breach Class Claims Against Premera Mostly Survive Dismissal Motion
PORTLAND, Ore. - Although an Oregon federal judge on Feb. 9 found that some fraud and contract-based claims related to a 2014 data breach experienced by Premera Blue Cross merited dismissal, he held that the plaintiffs cured some previous deficiencies and concluded that their claims are not preempted by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) (In Re: Premera Blue Cross Customer Data Security Breach Litigation, No. 3:15-md-02633, D. Ore., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 18322).
Excessive Taxes Class Suit Dismissed For Failure To State A Claim
NEW YORK - A New York federal judge on Feb. 14 dismissed a class suit accusing a retailer of charging excessive taxes on purchases where coupons are used, holding that the New York Tax Commission has the exclusive responsibility for examining those types of claims (Susan Kupferstein, et al. v. The TJX Companies, Inc., No. 15-5881, E.D. N.Y., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 20720).
California Federal Judge Partially Dismisses NFL Injury Class Complaint
SAN FRANCISCO - A federal judge in California on Feb. 3 granted in part a motion to dismiss a class complaint against all 32 National Football League teams, dismissing claims of violation of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act and conspiracy brought by a class of retired players and the estates of deceased players who claim that the teams they played for caused them injury by giving them medication rather than allowing them to rest and fully heal from their injuries (Etopia Evans, et al. v. Arizona Cardinals Football Club LLC, et al., No. 16-01030, N.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 15803).
Judge: Investors' Commodities Exchange Act Claims Don't Meet Morrison Standard
NEW YORK - A federal judge in New York on Feb. 8 dismissed an amended complaint filed by investors who alleged that a financial services firm and its CEO engaged in a scheme to manipulate prices at which certain futures contracts traded on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange Global Platform (CME Globex), ruling that the investors failed to show that the alleged transactions took place on an American exchange as required pursuant to U.S. Supreme Court precedent in Morrison v. National Australia Bank, Ltd. (Myun-Uk Choi, et al. v. Tower Research Capital LLC, et al., No. 14-9912, S.D. N.Y., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 18174).
Judge: Pension Funds Failed To Show That Company Misstated Financial Condition
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - Two pension funds failed to plead any material misrepresentations or omissions or scienter in arguing that a company and certain of its executive officers issued misstatements regarding the company's financial condition in the wake of an industry downturn, a federal judge in Florida ruled Feb. 8 in granting the defendants' motion to dismiss (In re KLX Inc. Securities Litigation, No. 16-80023, S.D. Fla., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 17764).
Judge Substantially Denies Dismissal Of Claims In Securities Class Action
DENVER - Shareholders have pleaded a majority of their claims against defendants in a securities class action lawsuit against a drug maker, certain of its current and former executive officers and others, a federal judge in Colorado found Feb. 9 in ruling on three different dismissal motions (Sonny P. Medina, et al. v. Clovis Oncology Inc., et al., No. 15-2546, D. Colo., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 18795).
JPMDL Refuses To Centralize 4 Air Ambulance Fee Suits
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPMDL) on Feb. 2, despite support from both sides, denied a motion to centralize four cases, one of which is a class action, accusing a provider of air ambulance services of overcharging patients, finding that the defendants failed to show that centralization is appropriate (In Re: Emergency Helicopter Air Ambulance Rate Litigation, MDL No. 2760, JPMDL, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 15932).
2nd Circuit Panel Says Pension Plan Participant Has Standing To File Suit
NEW YORK - A Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Feb. 10 issued a summary order vacating a New York federal judge's ruling that a pension plan participant does not have standing to sue on behalf of himself, his pension plan and other similarly situated Employee Retirement Income Security Act plans over alleged improper fiduciary conduct (Landol Fletcher v. Convergex Group LLC, et al., No. 16-734, 2nd Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 2459).
Fracking Company: Royalty Owner Seeks 'Two Bites At The Apple' In Payment Dispute
OKLAHOMA CITY - A hydraulic fracturing company filed a brief in Oklahoma federal court on Jan. 25, arguing that a company that purchases royalties and mineral rights is attempting to get "two bites at the apple" on its claim that the fracking company has underpaid royalties to a group of mineral rights owners (Chieftain Royalty Company v. SM Energy Company, et al., No. 11-177, W.D. Okla.).
Court Finds Nurse Did Not Waive Right To Pursue Claims Judicially
LOS ANGELES - A California appeals court on Feb. 7 affirmed a district court's decision to deny a hospital's motion to compel arbitration of numerous class action claims asserted against it by a former nurse, finding that the nurse did not waive her right to assert her claims in a judicial forum under her collective bargaining agreement (CBA) (Tanya Vasserman v. Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital, No. B267975, Calif. App., 2nd Dist., Div. 4, 2017 Cal. App. LEXIS 90).
Damages, Monitoring Sought By Class Exposed To Bacteria During Surgery
COLUMBIA, S.C. - A South Carolina man filed a class complaint on Jan. 24 seeking an unidentified amount of damages and medical monitoring from the makers of a blood temperature regulation system after he was allegedly exposed to a potentially fatal bacteria during surgery (Steven Foster, et al. v. LivaNova PLC, et al., No. 17-218, D. S.C.).
Data Breach Class Action Filed On Behalf Of Yahoo Small Business Clients
SAN JOSE, Calif. - A customer of Yahoo! Inc.'s small business services filed a putative class action complaint against the firm Feb. 8 in California federal court, accusing the internet firm of negligence, breach of contract and unfair competition related to two recently announced data breaches that exposed customers' personally identifiable information (PII) (Brian Neff v. Yahoo! Inc. et al., No. 5:17-cv-00641, N.D. Calif.).