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

LexisNexis® Mealey's™ Class Actions Legal News



Headline Class Actions Legal News from LexisNexis®



 



4th Circuit Rules On What Defendant Must Provide To Show Federal Jurisdiction
RICHMOND, Va. - A cellular service provider seeking to establish federal jurisdiction under the Class Action Fairness Act (CAFA) must provide a federal court with enough facts that it can find "that it is more likely than not that the class action belongs in federal court," a Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled July 28 (Michael A. Scott, et al. v. Cricket Communications, LLC, No. 16-2300, 4th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 13718).



Citizenship Claim Is Deemed Insufficient For CAFA Removal
ORLANDO, Fla. - A defendant's allegation regarding the plaintiff's citizenship based only "upon information and belief" is insufficient for removal under the Class Action Fairness Act, a Florida federal judge ruled July 25 (Frank Ayers v. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company, et al., No. 17-1265, M.D. Fla., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 115829).



8th Circuit Reverses Finding That Class Attorneys Abused Judicial Process
ST. LOUIS - An Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on July 25 reversed a ruling by an Arkansas trial court that found that attorneys for both sides of a class action insurance dispute violated Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 11 and abused the judicial process when they stipulated to the dismissal of a federal action to refile in state court (Kenneth Castleberry, et al. v. USAA, et al., No. 16-3382, Wystan Ackerman, et al. v. USAA, et al., No. 16-3482, 8th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 13369).



8th Circuit Finds Court Must Decide Whether Class Arbitration Is Permitted
ST. LOUIS - An Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on July 28 ruled, in a case presenting a question of first impression in the circuit, that a court, not an arbitrator, must decide whether an arbitration agreement allows for class arbitration (Catamaran Corporation v. Towncrest Pharmacy, et al., No. 16-3275, 8th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 13689).



New York Federal Judge Narrows Claims Against Ford Over Hybrid MPG
NEW YORK - A New York federal judge on July 24 trimmed the cases and claims in a multidistrict litigation accusing Ford Motor Co. of bilking consumers by misrepresenting the achievable gas mileage for two of its hybrid vehicles (In re: Ford Fusion and C-MAX Fuel Economy Litigation, No. 13-2450, S.D. N.Y., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 115066).



NRA And Third Party Trim 1 Claim From Class Suit Over Calls
SEATTLE - The National Rifle Association of America (NRA) and a third-party company responsible for placing membership calls on the NRA's behalf convinced a Washington federal judge on July 26 to dismiss a claim under the Washington Do Not Call Statute (WDNC) related to allegedly unwanted calls, but must face allegations that the calls violated other state laws (Katharyn Kalmbach, et al. v. National Rifle Association of America, et al., No. 17-399, W.D. Wash., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 117113).



Judge Finds UCL Class Claims Against Emergency Medical Entities Can Proceed
SAN DIEGO - After finding that wages provided for under California labor code are considered wages and constitute restitution, a California federal judge on July 31 refused to dismiss a claim for violation of California's unfair competition law (UCL) asserted by a group of ambulance and emergency medical technicians against their employers (Rueben Calleros, et al. v. Rural Metro of San Diego Inc., No. 17-cv-00686, S.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 120119).



9th Circuit Reinstates Baby Food Labeling Class Claims Against Gerber
SAN FRANCISCO - A consumer may proceed with claims, including one for unlawfulness under California's unfair competition law (UCL), that Gerber Products Co.'s labeling on certain baby food products are impermissible under the Food and Drug Administration regulations incorporated into California law, a Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled July 17 after granting Gerber's petition for rehearing in part (Natalia Bruton, et al. v. Gerber Products Company, No. 15-15174, 9th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 12833).



Unnecessary Surgeries Class Suit With Inappropriate Class Rep Is Dismissed
CINCINNATI - An Ohio federal judge on July 25 dismissed a class complaint against a medical facility where an orthopedic surgeon is alleged to have performed unnecessary procedures based on an inappropriate class representative and denied a motion to intervene, finding that there is little need for the suit because it would create duplicitous litigation (Jacob Durham v. Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, No. 15-438, S.D. Ohio, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 115941).



NFL Cheerleader's Wage Claims Amendment Denied; No Refiling Permitted
SAN FRANCISCO - On July 21, approximately two months after dismissing, with leave to amend, Sherman Act and Cartwright Act claims brought by a National Football League (NFL) cheerleader on behalf of a class of cheerleaders who, she alleged, have suffered from suppressed wages, a California federal judge denied a motion for leave to file a first amended complaint and ruled that the plaintiff may not seek further leave to amend (Kelsey K., et al. v. NFL Enterprises LLC, et al., No. 17-496, N.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 114199).



1st Circuit: Injury Must Be Shown In Class Suit Over Nordstrom Rack's Pricing
BOSTON - A First Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on July 26 upheld the dismissal of a consumer's class complaint alleging deceptive pricing, finding that the plaintiff needed to show that she suffered a legally cognizable injury (Judith Shaulis v. Nordstrom, Inc., No. 15-2354, 1st Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 13545).



Vizio Smart TV Owners' Wiretap Act Class Claim Survives Dismissal
SANTA ANA, Calif. - A previously dismissed Wiretap Act putative class claim against Vizio Inc. survived a second dismissal motion July 25, with a California federal judge finding that the plaintiffs sufficiently alleged interception of communications via Vizio's purported use of surreptitious software that tracked TV owners' viewing habits (In Re: Vizio, Inc., Consumer Privacy Litigation, No. 8:16-ml-02693, C.D. Calif.).



Class Claims Over VTech's Data Breach Dismissed By Federal Judge
CHICAGO - A group of plaintiffs alleging putative class claims against digital smart toy maker VTech Electronics North America LLC saw their complaint dismissed by an Illinois federal judge July 5, who found that they failed to properly state their contractual claims based on a 2015 breach of the company's website that resulted in the theft of customers' personally identifiable information (PII) (In re VTech Data Breach Litigation, No. 1:15-cv-10889, N.D. Ill.; 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 103298).



Puerto Rico Federal Judge: Parties Haven't Proven If Plan Is Exempt Church Plan
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico - A Puerto Rico federal judge on July 19 denied a motion to dismiss a putative Employee Retirement Income Security Act class action alleging that the defendants have mismanaged an employee pension plan, saying that the parties at this point have failed to prove whether the plan is a church plan exempt from ERISA's requirements (Norma I. Cardoza-Estremera, et al. v. Colegio Padre Berrios, et al., No. 16-2318, D. Puerto Rico, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 114435).



Partial Dismissals Granted In Union's Average Wholesale Drug Price Class Action
PHILADELPHIA - A Pennsylvania federal judge on July 24 granted in part and denied in part motions by several generic drug companies to dismiss claims by a union health fund that they inflated their average wholesale prices (AWPs), costing the union money while providing a "spread" to pharmacies to dispense the companies' drugs (Plumbers' Local Union No. 690 Health Plan v. Apotex Corp., et al., No. 16-665, E.D. Pa., 017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 114733).



Lead Plaintiff Pleaded Elements Of Securities Law Claims, Judge Rules
SAN FRANCISCO - A federal judge in California on July 26 denied a motion to dismiss filed by defendants in a securities class action lawsuit against GoPro Inc. and certain of its executive officers, ruling that the lead plaintiff in the action properly pleaded a material misrepresentation or omission, scienter and loss causation in making his federal securities law claims (Anton Bielousov v. GoPro Inc., et al., No. 16-6654, N.D. Calif.; 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 117223).



Relocation, Investigation Costs Recoverable Under CERCLA, Judge Finds
FORT WAYNE, Ind. - A federal judge in Indiana on July 26 ruled that the costs of investigating the levels of lead and arsenic contamination emanating from a Superfund site near a housing complex as well as the costs the complex's residents incurred in relocating from the property are recoverable under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA), but dismissed a proposed class' claims for nuisance against E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Co. and the Chemours Co. (Lerithea Rolan, et al. v. Atlantic Richfield Company, et al., No. 16-CV-357-TLS, N.D. Ill., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 117437).



Misrepresentation Claims In Securities Suit Too Vague, 8th Circuit Panel Rules
ST. PAUL, Minn. - Lead plaintiffs in a securities class action lawsuit against a 3D printer manufacturer and certain of its executive officers have failed to plead any actionable misrepresentations in claiming that the defendants violated federal securities laws by misrepresenting the company's business prospects, an Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled July 25 in affirming a federal district court's ruling dismissing the suit (In re Stratasys Ltd. Shareholder Securities Litigation, No. 16-3264, 8th Cir.; 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 13370).



Class Complaint Over Facebook Cookie Tracking Again Dismissed
SAN JOSE, Calif. - For the second time in two years, a California federal judge on June 30 dismissed putative privacy class clams against Facebook Inc. based on the social network's purported use of tracking cookies, with the judge ruling that the claims all failed for lack of standing or failure to state a claim (In re: Facebook Internet Tracking Litigation, No. 5:12-md-02314, N.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 102464).



Loffredo Petitioners Bolster Case For High Court Review Of Age Discrimination Case
WASHINGTON, D.C. - In a June 15 reply brief in support of their petition for writ of certiorari with the U.S. Supreme Court, former Chrysler Corp. executives who lost benefits under the company's retirement plan say the respondents make several errors in their arguments in opposition, including that the petitioners failed to exhaust administrative remedies before filing suit (John Loffredo, et al. v. Daimler AG, et al., No. 16-1334, U.S. Sup., 2017 U.S. S. Ct. Briefs LEXIS 2155).



Trial Court Must Consider Substitute Class Rep In U.S. Marshal's Race-Bias Suit
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A District of Columbia Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on July 21 directed the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to consider motions to substitute absent class members as named plaintiffs in a racial discrimination suit brought on behalf of a class of black deputy U.S. marshals (In re: Herman Brewer, et al., No. 15-8009, D.C. Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 13111).



Federal Judge Substitutes Class Representative In Dispute Over Insurance Practices
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. - A Missouri federal judge on July 24 granted an insured's motion to intervene as the representative of a class action alleging that a homeowners insurer committed breach of contract when it unlawfully applied a policy's $1,000 deductible to an actual cash value (ACV) payment in a hailstorm coverage dispute (Eric Lafollette v. Liberty Mutual Fire Insurance Co., No. 14-04147, W.D. Mo.; 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 114779).



Bass Pro Will Pay $10.5M To End EEOC Bias Hiring, Retaliation Claims
HOUSTON - Bass Pro Outdoor World LLC will pay $10.5 million to settle a hiring discrimination and retaliation "pattern or practice" lawsuit filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission on behalf of 50,000 job applicants, according to a consent decree filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas on July 25 (U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. Bass Pro Outdoor World, LLC, et al., No. 11-3425, S.D. Texas).



Lockheed Martin's $22.8M Race Bias Settlement Is Rejected By D.C. Federal Judge
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A proposed settlement under which Lockheed Martin Corp. would pay $22.8 million to end a class complaint accusing the company of engaging in a performance appraisal system that discriminates against African-American employees was rejected July 28 by a District of Columbia federal judge, who found that the plaintiffs failed to prove commonality and that the agreement's release of legal claims is too broad (Vernon Ross, et al. v. Lockheed Martin Corp., No. 16-2508, D. D.C., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 118373).



Non-Gmail Users Again Seek Approval Of Privacy Settlement With Google
SAN JOSE, Calif. - Four months after a prior proposed settlement with Google Inc. was rejected by a California federal judge, the lead plaintiffs in a putative class action alleging privacy violations in the scanning and processing of emails of non-Gmail users on July 21 submitted a revised proposed settlement that they say "requires Google to make significant business practice changes that will benefit" class members while retaining their ability to pursue monetary claims under the asserted statutes (Daniel Matera, et al. v. Google Inc., No. 5:15-cv-04062, N.D. Calif.).



Preliminary Approval Sought For Settlement In Seagate Phishing Class Action
SAN FRANCISCO - A group of Seagate Technology LLC employees on July 27 moved for preliminary approval of a putative class action over a 2016 phishing incident at the company that exposed their personally identifiable information (PII), asking a California federal court to greenlight relief in the form of restitution and identity theft protection, potentially valued at $42 million (Everett Castillo, et al. v. Seagate Technology LLC, No. 3:16-cv-01958, N.D. Calif.).



Ohio City Residents Certified In Class Suit Over Inspection Fees
CLEVELAND - An Ohio federal judge on July 28 certified a class of Bedford, Ohio, residents suing the city and various city officials for imposing point-of-sale inspection fees but denied the plaintiffs' oral motion for a temporary restraining order as moot since the city has since amended its ordinance (Kenneth Pund, et al. v. City of Bedford, Ohio, et al., No. 16-1076, N.D. Ohio, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 118809).



Class Certification Granted In Medical Record Charges Lawsuit
ROCHESTER, N.Y. - A New York federal judge on July 28 granted a motion for class certification filed by patients accusing their medical providers of overcharging them for copies of their medical records (Ann McCracken et al. v. Verisma Systems, Inc., et al., No. 14-6248, W.D. N.Y., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 118941).



Pennsylvania Federal Judge Decertifies Class, Dismisses Health Aides' Wage Claims
PHILADELPHIA - A Pennsylvania federal judge on July 21 decertified a conditionally certified collective action class and granted an employer's motion for summary judgment in a suit filed by a health aide who alleged that she and other similarly situated workers were denied timely wage payments (Markisha Gordon v. Maxim Healthcare Services, Inc., No. 13-7175, E.D. Pa., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 113736).



Pella MDL Judge Refuses To Deny Certification In Remaining Class Actions
CHARLESTON, S.C. - The federal judge in South Carolina overseeing litigation stemming from two models of Pella Corp. windows that are allegedly defective denied the manufacturer's request to deny certification in all remaining class action suits in the multidistrict litigation on July 21, holding that there are issues in the suits that would need to be briefed (In re: Pella Corporation Architect and Designer Series Windows Marketing, Sales Practices and Products Liability Litigation, 14-mn-00001-DCN, D. S.C., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 114223).



Class Certification Denied For False Advertising Claims In Apple App Privacy Suit
SAN FRANCISCO - The plaintiffs in a putative class action over the sharing of contact information on devices made by Apple Inc. saw their class certification motion denied July 25, with a California federal judge finding that the plaintiffs failed to establish the necessary predominance factors in their false advertising and unfair competition claims against Apple (Marc Opperman, et al. v. Kong Technologies Inc., et al., No. 3:13-CV-00453, N.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 116333).



Arizona Federal Judge Denies Equitable Tolling Motion In Jimmy John's FLSA Case
PHOENIX - An Arizona federal judge on July 27 denied without prejudice a motion for equitable tolling of the statute of limitations in a putative Fair Labor Standard Act (FLSA) class action brought on behalf of current and former Jimmy John's assistant store managers in Arizona and Michigan, saying that it would constitute an impermissible advisory opinion (Jared Ruder v. CWL Investments LLC, No. 16-04460, D. Ariz., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 117584).



Securities Suit Remanded To District Court For Consideration Of New Evidence
NEW YORK - Ruling that a federal district court should first consider new evidence from a pair of enforcement actions against a company, a Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on July 27 vacated a shareholder's appeal and remanded the action to the district court for further review of the new evidence (Retirement Board of the Policemen's Annuity and Benefit Fund of Chicago v. FXCM Inc., et al., No. 16-3775, 2nd Cir.).



Federal Judge Grants PricewaterhouseCoopers Judgment On Plaintiffs' Whipsaw Claims
NEW YORK - A New York federal judge on July 24 granted PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP's (PwC) motion for judgment on the pleadings in an Employee Retirement Income Security Act class action, saying that the plaintiffs failed to establish that they are entitled to relief under ERISA for their whipsaw claims (Timothy Laurent, et al. v. Pricewaterhouse Coopers LLP, et al., No. 06-cv-2280, S.D. N.Y., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 115067).



Judge Certifies 2 Questions On Insurance Practices To Washington Supreme Court
SEATTLE - A Washington federal judge on July 10 granted an insured's motion to certify two questions to the Washington Supreme Court in a class action lawsuit challenging an insurer's practices (Brett Durant v. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co., No. 15-1710, W.D. Wash., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 106194).



Federal Judge Rules On Summary Judgment Motions In Hailstorm Coverage Dispute
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. - A Missouri federal judge on July 24 granted in part and denied in part summary judgment motions and amended class definitions in a dispute over whether a homeowners insurer should have applied a deductible to the actual cash value (ACV) payment it issued the insureds for their hail damage loss (David Bond, et al. v. Liberty Insurance Corp., No. 15-04236, W.D. Mo., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 114778).



Pennsylvania Restaurant Files Counterclaims Against Drivers In Tip-Pooling Suit
WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. - A State College, Pa., restaurant facing a class complaint by five delivery drivers over the restaurant's tip-pooling policy denied the claims in its July 21 answer filed in a Pennsylvania federal court and brought counterclaims accusing the lead named plaintiff of fraud, negligent and intentional misrepresentation and breach of the duty of loyalty (Jacob Wilson, et al. v. Wings Over Happy Valley MDF, LLC, et al., No. 17-915, M.D. Pa.).



Tortious Interference, FDCPA, Other Complaints Hit Courts
Recent class action lawsuits filed in federal and state courts across the country include complaints alleging nuisance and tortious interference, improper debt collecting, Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act violations and wage-and-hour violations.



Class UCL Suit Sent Back To California For Reconsideration Of Forum
TULSA, Okla. - An Oklahoma federal judge on July 14 sent a class complaint alleging unfair business practices back to California for reconsideration of a business contract's forum-selection clause, noting that the case presents an "extraordinary situation where a transfer order is clearly erroneous and to let it stand would work manifest injustice" (S & J Rentals, d/b/a Twin Cities Equipment Rentals v. Hilti, Inc., No. 17-159, N.D. Okla., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 109247).



Judge Transfers Related Securities Suits To Illinois Federal Court
BATON ROUGE, La. - A transfer of venue to Illinois federal court is necessary because all public and private interests weigh heavily in favor of such action, a federal judge in Louisiana ruled July 5 in granting an expedited motion for transfer of venue in a securities class action lawsuit (Robert Berg v. Akorn Inc., et al., No. 17-0359, M.D. La., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 103917).



5th Circuit: No Jurisdiction Over Untimely Objection To Class Settlement
NEW ORLEANS - A Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on July 17 ruled that it lacked appellate jurisdiction over a class member's untimely objection to a settlement resolving a merger dispute where class members receive only additional disclosures, confirmatory discovery and attorney fees (Lawrence G. Farber v. Crestwood Midstream Partners L.P., et al. v. David G. Duggan, Isaac Aron, et al. v. Crestwood Midstream Partners L.P., et al. v. David G. Duggan, No. 16-20742, 5th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 12765).



$142 Million Wells Fargo Unauthorized Account Settlement Is Preliminarily Approved
SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge on July 8 granted preliminary approval of a $142 million settlement to be paid by Wells Fargo & Co. and Wells Fargo Bank N.A. to end claims by a class of individuals who allege that the banking company opened accounts, enrolled them in products and services and submitted applications for products and services without consent (Shahriar Jabbari, et al. v. Wells Fargo & Company, et al., No. 15-2159, N.D. Calif.; 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 106294).



Ashley Madison Users Reach $11.2 Million Settlement With Site Operator
ST. LOUIS - The plaintiffs in a putative class action centered on a 2015 breach of the adult dating website AshleyMadison.com, moved for preliminary approval July 14 of what they call a "hard fought" $11.2 million settlement with the site's operator (In re Ashley Madison Customer Data Security Breach Litigation, No. 4:15-cv-02669, E.D. Mo.).



Behavioral Health Services Employer Settles Class Wage Claims For $865,000
PHILADELPHIA - A Pennsylvania federal magistrate judge on July 13 granted approval of a $865,000 settlement to be paid by a behavioral health services company to end claims that it misclassified and underpaid its clinicians, consultants and therapists (Sarina Brown, et al. v. Progressions Behavioral Health Services, Inc., No. 16-6054, E.D. Pa., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 108487).



Vita-Mix, Kelly Services $1.6M Wages Settlement Is Preliminarily Approved
LOS ANGELES - A California federal judge on July 14 granted preliminary approval of a $1.6 million settlement to be paid by Vita-Mix Corp. and Kelly Services Inc. to end a class complaint by workers alleging that they were misclassified and denied overtime wages and benefits (Rainoldo Gooding, et al. v. Vita-Mix Corporation, et al., No. 16-3898, C.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 109863).



Attorneys General Oppose $5.5M Cy Pres Settlement In Google Cookie Class Action
PHILADELPHIA - In a July 5 amicus curiae brief in the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, a group of 11 state attorneys general (AGs) support reversal of a trial court's approval of a $5.5 million cy pres settlement of a privacy class action over cookie placement on users' computers by Google Inc., echoing a lone objector's position that controlling case law favors settlements benefiting class members over cy pres recipients (In Re: Google Inc. Cookie Placement Consumer Privacy Litigation, No. 17-1480, 3rd Cir.).



$5.3 Million Class Settlement Preliminarily Approved In IPhone Apps Privacy Suit
SAN FRANCISCO - After five years of litigation, a California federal judge on July 6 granted preliminary approval to a $5.3 million settlement between a class of Apple Inc. device users and the developers of apps that allegedly accessed users' private address books without permission (Marc Opperman, et al. v. Kong Technologies Inc., et al., No. 3:13-CV-00453, N.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 104507).



Semiconductor Developer To Pay $7.25M To Settle Securities Law Claims
SAN FRANCISCO - A semiconductor developer and certain of its executive officers will pay more than $7 million to settle claims that they violated federal securities laws by failing to disclose certain related party transactions in the company's financial statements, lead plaintiffs say in a motion for preliminary approval of settlement filed July 10 in California federal court (In re Montage Technology Group Limited Securities Litigation, No. 14-0722, N.D. Calif.).



Partial Reversal Of Judgment For Paper Carrier Class Means Revisiting Attorney Fees
SAN DIEGO - A California appellate panel on July 7 partially reversed a trial court's award of nearly $3.2 million and prejudgment interest for a class of newspaper carriers suing for various wage violations and unfair business practices and ordered reconsideration of the more than $6.1 million award for attorney fees given the possible award reduction (Liliana Espejo, et al. v. The Copley Press, Inc., No. D065397, Calif. App., 4th Dist., Div. 1, 2017 Cal. App. LEXIS 609).



Iowa Appellate Panel Upholds Class Certification Of Residents Suing Over Bed Bugs
DES MOINES, Iowa - An Iowa appellate panel on July 6 upheld the certification of a class of hundreds of current and former apartment residents who sued the owner and operator for failing to control a bed bug infestation first discovered in fall 2014 (Residents of Royal View Manor by and through Jeanette McDowell, et al. v. The Des Moines Municipal Housing Agency, No. 16-1230, Iowa App., 2017 Iowa App. LEXIS 684).



Limo Drivers' Tip Class Certified; Misclassification Class Is Rejected
BOSTON - A Massachusetts federal judge on July 6 certified one of two classes proposed by a group of limousine drivers who claim that the company with which they contracted failed to turn over all gratuities and misclassified them as independent contractors (Vladimir Chebotnikov, et al. v. LimoLink, Inc., No. 14-13475, D. Mass., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 104262).



Class Certification Granted In Suit Accusing DIRECTV Of Making Unwanted Calls
ATLANTA - A Georgia federal judge on July 12 certified two classes of individuals who claim that they received unwanted sales calls from DIRECTV in violation of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) (Sebastian Cordoba, et al. v. DIRECTV, LLC, individually and as successor through merger to DIRECTV, Inc., No. 15-3755, N.D. Ga.).



Class Suing Over Cash For Overtime Is Certified By New York Federal Judge
NEW YORK - A New York federal judge on July 14 certified an employee class suing over improper payroll records and for being paid by check for up to 40 hours per week and by cash, but at their regular hourly wage, for any time worked above 40 and granted a motion to amend the complaint and dismiss named plaintiff Vinicio Samaniego (Samaniego, et al. v. Titanium Construction Services, Inc., et al., No. 16-1113, S.D. N.Y., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 109727).



7th Circuit Affirms Certification Limited To Wisconsin Workers In Wage Suit
CHICAGO - A Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on June 22 upheld class certification of Wisconsin workers in a compensable time suit, and the majority noted that the district court acted within its authority when it severed and transferred claims of workers in two other states (Ryan DeKeyser, et al. v. ThyssenKrupp Waupaca, Inc., doing business as Waupaca Foundry, Inc., No. 16-2159, 7th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 11049).



State Taxotere Class Denied By MDL Court Due To Individual Issues
NEW ORLEANS - A Louisiana federal judge on July 17 denied certification of a class of Louisiana women who permanently lost their hair after undergoing chemotherapy with Taxotere or docetaxel, agreeing with defendant Sanofi-Aventis U.S. LLC that individual issues predominate over common ones (In Re: Taxotere [Docetaxel] Products Liability Litigation, MDL Docket No. 2740, No. 16-md-2740, Sheila Matthews, et al. v. Sanofi S.D., et al., No. 16-17731, E.D. La.).



Panel Partially Overturns Class Certification Order In Securities Lawsuit
NEW YORK - A Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on July 7 partially overturned a federal judge's class certification order, ruling that the judge failed to properly consider the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling in Morrison v. National Australia Bank, Ltd. in certifying two classes of investors in a securities class action lawsuit (In re Petrobras Securities Litigation, No. 16-1914, 2nd Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 12219).



Federal Agency Issues Rule Banning Use Of Mandatory Arbitration Clauses
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) issued a new rule on July 10 banning providers of certain consumer financial products and services from using mandatory arbitration clauses in their agreements with consumers to prevent consumers from filing or participating in a class action concerning the covered product or service.



Michigan Federal Judge Will Rule On Injunction Against Removing Iraqi Nationals
DETROIT - A Michigan federal judge on July 11 ruled that extraordinary circumstances exist to grant the federal court jurisdiction over a case brought by a group of Iraqi nationals who are suing on behalf of a national class, seeking an injunction against enforcement of removal orders so their habeas rights can be asserted and addressed before other courts (Usama J. Hamama, et al. v. Rebecca Adducci, No. 17-11910, E.D. Mich., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 107109).



Judge Refuses To Remand UCL, Labor Code Claims Against Health Care Center
LOS ANGELES - A California federal judge on July 5 refused to remand class action claims for violation of California's Labor Code and unfair competition law (UCL) asserted by an employee against a health care center and payroll company, finding that the employer and payroll company showed that the amount in controversy will exceed $5 million (Maricela Reyes v. Carehouse Healthcare Center LLC, et al., No. 16-01159, C.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 103764).



Managers' Wage-And-Hour Suit Against Starbucks, Teavana Is Sent Back To State Court
LOS ANGELES - A California federal judge on July 12 sent a wage-and-hour class suit filed by managers against Starbucks Corp. and Teavana Corp. to state court, finding that the defendants failed to show that the amount in controversy exceeds $5 million (Marie Hernandez v. Starbucks Corporation, et al., No. 17-3150, C.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 108081).



New York Federal Judge Transfers Sushi Chef's Wage Class Suit To New Jersey
NEW YORK - A collective and class complaint accusing a sushi restaurant of federal and state wage violations belongs in New Jersey, not New York, federal court, a New York federal judge ruled July 10, finding that the main parties and key witnesses are in New Jersey (Dae Sub Choi, et al. v. Sushi Maru Express Corp., et al., No. 17-191, S.D. N.Y., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 105951).



Bristol-Myers Squibb, Pfizer Cleared In Class Suit Over Unwanted Faxed Ads
ANN ARBOR, Mich. - A Michigan federal judge on July 17 cleared two drug companies of liability in a Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) suit for unwanted faxed advertisements sent by a third-party, finding that one company had no knowledge of the faxes and that the court lacked jurisdiction over the other drug company (Health One Medical Center, Eastpointe, P.L.L.C. v. Bristol-Myers Squibb Company, et al., No. 16-13815, E.D. Mich., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 110285).



California Magistrate Tosses Putative Class Action Against Nursing Home Operator
SAN JOSE, Calif. - A California federal magistrate judge on July 12 granted a motion to dismiss an elder abuse lawsuit, agreeing with a skilled nursing home operator that the plaintiff failed to plead facts sufficient to support fraud and violation of California health code claims (Daniel Hernandez v. TLC of the Bay Area Inc., No. 5:16-cv-05524, N.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 108177).



Panel: Court Properly Dismissed Securities Claims Against Solar Company
NEW YORK - A federal district court did not err in dismissing a shareholder's second amended complaint in a securities class action lawsuit against a solar energy company and others because it was not required to disclose certain information in its offering documents for an initial public offering (IPO) based on circuit precedent, a Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled June 21 (Robby S. Stadnick, et al. v. Vivint Solar Inc., et al., No. 16-65, 2nd Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 11042).



7th Circuit: Plaintiffs Forfeited Challenges To Ruling Barring Expert Testimony
CHICAGO - A proposed class of consumers who claimed that windows made by Kolbe & Kolbe Millwork Co. were defective because they allowed for water intrusion that caused property damage forfeited their ability to challenge a ruling by a federal judge barring the testimony of two experts, a Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled July 11, explaining that the plaintiffs should have raised their arguments in response to the manufacturer's motion under Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Mary Haley, et al. v. Kolbe & Kolbe Millwork Co., No. 16-3192, 7th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 12381).



2nd Circuit Panel Affirms Foot Locker Pension Plan Must Be Reformed
NEW YORK - A Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on July 6 affirmed a New York federal judge's ruling in favor of a class of about 16,000 former and current employees of Foot Locker Inc. seeking additional pension benefits, holding that classwide relief in the form of reformation does not require a showing of individualized detrimental reliance (Geoffrey Osberg, et al. v. Foot Locker Inc., et al., No. 15-3602, 2nd Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 12041).



Thrivent Financial Letter Invokes DOL Brief To Seek Summary Judgment
ST. PAUL, Minn. - In a three-page letter, Thrivent Financial for Lutherans on July 5 asked the U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota to grant it summary judgment and a permanent injunction in its case against the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) after the DOL in a July 3 brief in another case said it would no longer defend the part of its fiduciary rule that bans class action waivers (Thrivent Financial for Lutherans v. Acosta, et al., No. 0:16-cv-03289, D. Minn.).



9th Circuit Panel Remands ERISA Class Action Over Hourly Contributions
SEATTLE - A Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on July 14 affirmed in part and reversed in part a Washington federal judge's judgment in favor of the plaintiffs in an Employee Retirement Income Security Act class action, saying that an issue regarding hourly contributions to a pension plan had not been fully litigated (Richard Lehman, et al., v. Warner Nelson, et al., Nos. 15-35414, 15-35457, 15-35696, 9th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 12619).



Judge Finds Standing In ACA Out-Of-Network Lactation Coverage Suit
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A trio of women successfully allege standing in their class action claiming that an insurer improperly charged them for out-of-network lactation services in violation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), a federal judge in the District of Columbia held July 17 (Lindsay Ferrer, et al. v. CareFirst Inc., et al., No. 16-2162, D. D.C., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 110304.)



Judge Refuses To Strike Class Claims Against Macy's, Dismisses UCL, FAL Claims
OAKLAND, Calif. - After finding that consumers failed to assert claims related to pricing against retailers for violation of California's unfair competition law (UCL) and for false advertising with the required specificity, a California judge dismissed the majority of their claims but granted them leave to file an amended pleading (Kristin Haley, et al. v. Macy's Inc., et al., No. 15-cv-06033, N.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 105469).



Medical Transportation Drivers Claim They Were Paid As Little As $3.61 Per Hour
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Three nonemergency medical transportation (NMET) drivers filed a class complaint on July 13 seeking unpaid wages and alleging that they were paid flat rates that resulted in pay as little as $3.61 per hour for their work (Isaac Harris, et al. v. Medical Transportation Management, Inc., No. 17-1371, D. D.C.).



ERISA Class Action Targets 'Excessive' Asset-Based Fees Charged To Plan
COLUMBUS, Ohio - An Employee Retirement Income Security Act putative class action was filed June 27 in Ohio federal court alleging that participants and beneficiaries of the Andrus Wagstaff PC 401(k) Profit Sharing Plan (AW plan) were charged excessive fees for record keeping and administrative services (Alana Schmitt, et al. v. Nationwide Life Insurance Co., et al., No. 2:17-cv-00558, S.D. Ohio, Eastern Div.).



Bakery Chain Hit With ADA Class Complaint Over Website Accessibility
NEW YORK - A visually impaired man on July 5 filed a putative class complaint against a chain of bakeries in New York federal court, alleging violation of the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) based on the purported inaccessibility of the chain's website for blind individuals (Steven Matzura v. Milk Bar Inc., No. 1:17-cv-05030, S.D. N.Y.).



Investor: Drug Maker Concealed Dry Eye Drug Manufacturing Issues
NEWARK, N.J. - A shareholder sued a pharmaceutical company and certain of its executive officers on July 12 in New Jersey federal court, alleging that the defendants concealed manufacturing issues with the drug company's inflammatory dry eye disease medication in violation of federal securities laws (Dylan Caraker v. Ocular Therapeutix Inc., et al., No. 17-5095, D. N.J.).



Unlawful Use Of Images, Wage-And-Hour, Other Complaints Hit Courts
Recent class action lawsuits filed in federal and state courts across the country include complaints alleging commercial exploitation of athletes' images, wage violations, discrimination against disabled individuals, criminalization of homelessness and improper debt collection.



Wage Suppression Class Suit Is Settled With No Recovery Due To Employer's Finances
FRESNO, Calif. - A class complaint accusing an employer of suppressing wages by hiring undocumented immigrants was settled June 29 with no recovery for the class due to the defendant's negative net worth due to a multimillion-dollar judgment already entered against him and his lack of future job prospects (Robin Brewer v. Scott Salyer, No. 06-1324, E.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 101374).



MetLife Settles Race Bias Class Claims For $32.5 Million
NEW YORK - A New York federal judge on June 27 granted final approval of a $32.5 million settlement to be paid by Metropolitan Life Insurance Co. to end claims by financial services representatives (FSRs) that it maintained a racially biased culture and maintained policies and practices that resulted in a segregated workforce and steered accounts and business opportunities away from black FSRs (Marcus Creighton, et al. v. Metropolitan Life Insurance Company, No. 15-8321, S.D. N.Y.).



Frito-Lay Wage Settlement Rejected For 3rd Time By California Federal Judge
FRESNO, Calif. - A California federal judge on June 27 rejected for the third time a proposed $600,000 settlement agreement reached by Frito-Lay Inc. and a class of plaintiffs bringing wage violations, finding that the plaintiffs' counsel's methodology for arriving at an assumed violation rate continues to be faulty (Eliazar Sanchez, et al. v. Frito-Lay, Inc., No. 14-797, E.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 99468).



Anthem Data Breach Class Seeks Preliminary Approval Of $115 Million Settlement
SAN JOSE, Calif. - After more than two years of litigation, including two partial dismissal rulings, the plaintiffs suing Anthem Inc. over a 2015 data breach filed a motion in California federal court June 23, seeking preliminary approval of a settlement with the insurer that would establish a $115 million settlement fund and maintain credit-monitoring services (In Re: Anthem Inc., Customer Data Security Breach Litigation, No. 5:15-md-02617, N.D. Calif.).



Split High Court: American Pipe Doesn't Extend Shareholders' Filing Limits
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A securities class action lawsuit filed by shareholders after opting out of a settlement class against the same defendants was untimely and properly dismissed, a split U.S. Supreme Court ruled June 26, finding that American Pipe & Construction Co. v. Utah, 414 U.S. 538 (1974), did not expand the three-year period allowed for in the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, which was found to be a statute of repose (California Public Employees' Retirement System v. Moody Investors Service Inc., et al., No. 16-373, U.S. Sup.).



U.S. Supreme Court To Hear SLUSA Jurisdictional Provisions Appeal
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on June 27 agreed to hear an appeal of a California Superior Court ruling that shareholders in a securities class action are not preempted from bringing their claims under the Securities Act of 1933 by the Securities Litigation Uniform Standards Act (SLUSA) (Cyan Inc. v. Beaver County Employees Retirement Fund, et al., No. 15-1439, U.S. Sup.).



High Court Won't Hear Appeal In Deepwater Horizon Securities Suit
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on June 27 denied an investor's petition for writ of certiorari that sought to overturn a federal district court's dismissal of a securities class action lawsuit as time-barred against Transocean Ltd. and certain of its former executive officers stemming from the Deepwater Horizon explosion and oil spill (DeKalb County Pension Fund v. Transocean Ltd., et al., No. 16-206, U.S. Sup.).



Supreme Court Declines Review Of American Pipe Tolling Clarification Suit
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on June 27 decided not to grant review of a New York federal court's dismissal of a securities class action lawsuit to determine whether the district court erred in ruling that investors' claims were not timely in contradiction of the high court's ruling in American Pipe & Construction Co. v. Utah (Russell Dusek, et al. v. JPMorgan Chase & Co., et al., No. 16-389, U.S. Sup.; 2016 U.S. S. Ct. Briefs LEXIS 3491).



High Court Won't Hear Appeal In American Pipe Tolling Securities Class Action
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on June 27 declined review of a securities class action lawsuit against The Bear Stearns Cos. LLC and others, which sought to determine whether American Pipe & Construction Co. v. Utah tolling applies to statutes of repose (SRM Global Master Fund Limited Partnership v. The Bear Stearns Companies LLC, et al., No. 16-372, U.S. Sup.).



Alabama Federal Judge Finds Prisoner Class Has Been Denied Mental Health Care
MONTGOMERY, Ala. - The mental health care provided to prisoners by the Alabama Department of Corrections (ADOC) is "horrendously inadequate" and violates the Eighth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution rights of a class of prisoners, an Alabama federal judge ruled June 27 (Edward Braggs, et al. v. Jefferson S. Dunn, et al., No. 14-601, M.D. Ala., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 98755).



Immigration Applicant Class Is Certified In Suit Over Vetting Process
SEATTLE - A Washington federal judge on June 21 dismissed one claim and certified an immigration applicant class suing President Donald Trump, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and other federal officials over the Controlled Application Review and Resolution Program (CARRP) (Abdiqafar Wagafe, et al. v. Donald Trump, et al., No. 17-94, W.D. Wash., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 95887).



Class Certification Of Sex Offenders Suing For Privacy Is Upheld By Appeals Court
TACOMA, Wash. - A Washington state appeals court on June 21 upheld the certification of a class of sex offenders suing to keep their evaluations private (John Doe P, et al. v. Thurston County, et al., No 48000-0-II, Wash. App., Div. II, 2017 Wash. App. LEXIS 1472).



Florida Federal Judge: No Potential Opt-Ins Means No Uber Driver Collective
MIAMI - A lead plaintiff's failure to show that there are any potential opt-in plaintiffs is fatal to his motion for certification of a misclassification collective action, a Florida federal judge ruled June 27 (Sebastian A. Rojas v. Uber Technologies, Inc., et al., No. 16-23670, S.D. Fla., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 98716).



Individual Issues Predominate, No Class Certification For Baked Goods Distributors
SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal magistrate judge on June 28 denied a motion for class certification filed by distributors of baked goods who claim that they were improperly classified as independent contractors, finding that individualized issues predominate (Mark Soares, et al. v. Flowers Foods, Inc., et al., No. 15-4918, N.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 100418).



2nd Circuit Panel Denies Appeal Of Ruling Certifying J.P. Morgan ERISA Class
NEW YORK - A Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on June 27 denied a petition to appeal a New York federal judge's order certifying a class of J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. (JPMC) employees who invested in any of its stable value funds during 2009 and 2010, saying "an immediate appeal is unwarranted" (In re J.P. Morgan Stable Value Fund ERISA Litigation, No. 17-1091, 2nd Cir.).



Nationwide Class Sought For Purchasers Of INRatio Testing Device
SAN DIEGO - Seven plaintiffs on June 21 moved for certification of a national class of people who paid for the recalled INRatio blood-clot-testing devices made by Alere Inc. (Dina Andren, et al. v. Alere, Inc., et al., No. 16-1255, S.D. Calif.).



Colgate-Palmolive Whitening Claims Class Suit Stayed Pending FTC Investigation
NEW YORK - A New York federal judge on June 23 denied a motion to dismiss a class suit accusing Colgate-Palmolive Co. of false labeling claims on its whitening toothpaste but agreed to stay the case until an investigation by the Federal Trade Commission is concluded (Lori Canale, et al. v. Colgate-Palmolive Co., No. 16-3308, S.D. N.Y., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 97506).



Uber WARN Act Class Suit Stayed Again Pending Arbitration Ruling
SAN FRANCISCO - A class suit accusing Uber Technologies Inc. of stopping its operations in a Texas city without first properly notifying its drivers was stayed a second time on June 22 by a California federal judge who determined a Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruling on the enforceability of an arbitration agreement is needed first (Todd Johnston v. Uber Technologies, Inc., No. 16-3134, N.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 96734).



California Federal Judge Finds Wage Claims Exceed $12M, Denies Remand
RIVERSIDE, Calif. - A California federal judge on June 22 denied a motion to remand a wage-and-hour class complaint seeking, in part, unpaid compensation for missed meal and rest breaks, finding that the amount in controversy exceeds $12 million (Belen Torrez, et al. v. Freedom Mortgage, Corp., et al., No. 17-867, C.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 97704).



Federal Judge Reverses Denial Of Class Claims In Prisoner's Kosher Food Suit
FLINT, Mich. - A Michigan federal judge on June 29 ruled that a magistrate judge erred when she denied a prisoner's right to amend his complaint to assert his claims over the availability of kosher food as a class action (Michael Arnold v. Daniel H. Heyns, et al., No. 13-14137, E.D. Mich., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 100921).



Oregon Federal Magistrate Recommends Allowing Class Claims In Title IX Suit
PORTLAND, Ore. - An Oregon federal magistrate judge on June 29 recommended allowing a group of Lake Oswego School District female student athletes to amend their complaint alleging inequities between female and male players to add class claims on behalf of all present and future female students at Lake Oswego High School (LOHS) (Lauren Working, et al. v. Lake Oswego School District, No. 16-581, D. Ore.).



Class Claims That Nicaragua Seized Natives' Land Are Dismissed With Leave To Amend
SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge on June 26 dismissed class claims accusing the Republic of Nicaragua of seizing natives' territory without compensation, finding the lead plaintiff, a member of a native tribe, can't maintain a class action without a lawyer; her lawsuit involves a political question that is not justiciable in the district court; and she has failed to allege the particularized injury that is necessary to confer standing (Josephenie Robertson, et al. v. The Republic of Nicaragua, et al., No. 17-852, N.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 98599).



New York Federal Judge Dismisses ERISA Lawsuit Over Excessive Advice Fees
NEW YORK - A New York federal judge on June 21 dismissed an Employee Retirement Income Security Act putative class action that alleged that a record keeper's advice arrangement constituted a breach of fiduciary duty resulting in excessive fees, saying that the plaintiff failed to allege facts showing that the defendants were ERISA fiduciaries with respect to their fees (Lisa Patrico v. Voya Financial Inc., et al., No. 16-cv-7070, S.D. N.Y., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 95735).



Illinois Federal Judge Tosses Putative Class Action Over Hands-On Massage Time
EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. - An Illinois federal judge on June 12 dismissed with prejudice an amended putative class action complaint alleging that a massage parlor franchisor committed unfair and deceptive business practices by offering one-hour massages that provided no more than 50 minutes of massage time, saying that the plaintiffs failed to state plausible claims under both Illinois and Missouri laws (Kathy Haywood, et al. v. Massage Envy Franchising, LLC, No. 3:16-cv-01087, S.D. Ill., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 90148).



9th Circuit: Japanese Nuclear Reactor Radiation Case May Proceed In U.S. Court
SAN FRANCISCO - A panel of the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on June 22 ruled that a radiation exposure lawsuit brought by U.S. Navy sailors who assisted in relief efforts when the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant (FNPP) melted down in Japan could proceed in a U.S. court, despite the company's argument to the contrary (Lindsay R. Cooper, et al. v. Tokyo Electric Power Company, et al., No. 15-56424, 9th Cir.; 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 11075).