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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®



 



Iowa Supreme Court Upholds Class Certification In Suit Over Corn Mill Hazards
DES MOINES, Iowa - The Iowa Supreme Court on May 12 upheld a trial court's certification of two subclasses of homeowners suing a nearby corn processing company for allegedly emitting hazardous chemicals and damaging their use and enjoyment of their properties (Laurie Freeman, et al. v. Grain Processing Corporation, No. 15-1942, Iowa Sup., 2017 Iowa Sup. LEXIS 48).



Ark. High Court Partially Upholds Class Certification In Nursing Home Staffing Suit
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. - Residents and estates of residents of an Arkansas nursing and rehabilitation center between June 2010 and the present may proceed as a class bringing all but their negligence claim related to alleged understaffing at the center, a divided Arkansas Supreme Court ruled May 4 (Robinson Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, LLC, et al. v. Andrew Phillips, as personal representative of the Estate of Dorothy Phillips, et al., No. CV-16-584, Ark. Sup., 2017 Ark. 162).



Costco FCRA Disclosure Class Suit Is Sent Back To State Court
SEATTLE - A Washington federal judge on May 16 remanded a class suit accusing Costco Wholesale Corp. 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, finding that a lack of subject matter jurisdiction warranted sending it back to state court and not dismissing it (Julius Terrell v. Costco Wholesale Corp., No. 16-1415, W.D. Wash., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 74567).



Judge Keeps Oscar De La Renta Interns' Wage Suit In New York Federal Court
NEW YORK - A former fashion house intern suing for unpaid wages has failed to show that judicial interests weigh in favor of sending her class complaint back to federal court, a New York federal judge ruled May 12, leaving open the option for the plaintiff file a new application to remand in the future (Monica Ramirez, et al. v. Oscar de la Renta, LLC, No. 16-7855, S.D. N.Y., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 72781).



No Jurisdiction Under CAFA's 'Mass Action' Provision, Judge Rules In Remanding
RIVERSIDE, Calif. - A California federal judge on May 3 granted insurers' motion to remand a lawsuit arising from claims over defective water supply lines, finding that the 26 insurers, acting as subrogees of 145 insureds, are the only plaintiffs and therefore fail to satisfy the "mass action" provision under the Class Action Fairness Act (CAFA) to retain jurisdiction (Liberty Mutual Fire Insurance Co. v. EZ-Flo International Inc., No. 17-228, C.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 67761).



4th Circuit Vacates $11.7 Million FCRA Class Judgment Due To No Injury
RICHMOND, Va. - The named plaintiff in a Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) class complaint must allege a concrete injury stemming from allegedly incomplete or incorrect information on a credit report to satisfy the threshold requirements of constitutional standing, a Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled May 11, vacating an $11,747,510 judgment in an approximately 69,000-member class action after finding that the lead plaintiff failed to allege such an injury (Michael T. Dreher v. Experian Information Solutions, Inc., et al., No. 15-2119, 4th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 8358).



9th Circuit Reinstates Class Action Suit Seeking Refunds For Late Luggage
SAN FRANCISCO - An airline passenger's breach of contract claim against an airline for failing to deliver her luggage as promised is not preempted by the Airline Deregulation Act (ADA) because it was a claim for breach of a voluntarily assumed contractual undertaking, a Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled May 3, reversing the trial court's dismissal of the suit (Hayley Hickcox-Huffman, et al. v. US Airways, Inc., et al., No. 11-16305, 9th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 7847).



Class Suit Accusing Hershey Of Under-Filling Candy Boxes Survives Dismissal Motion
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. - A Missouri federal judge on May 16 denied The Hersey Co.'s motion to dismiss a proposed class complaint accusing it of deceiving customers by selling certain candies in slack-filled opaque cardboard boxes (Robert Bratton, et al. v. The Hershey Company, No. 16-432, W.D. Mo., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 74508).



Restaurant Managers' Wage Suit Survives Dismissal Motion, Is Transferred To Missouri
PEORIA, Ill. - An Illinois federal judge on May 12 ruled that a class complaint accusing a fast food restaurant of failing to pay managers overtime survives dismissal because its claims are sufficiently different from another wage suit filed first in Missouri federal court against the same defendant; however, the Illinois judge ruled that the governing principles favor a motion to transfer the case to Missouri (Corinna Clendenen, et al. v. Steak N Shake Operations, Inc., No. 17-1045, C.D. Ill., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 72588).



7th Circuit Orders Judgment Vacated Due To Mootness In Police Tattoo Dispute
CHICAGO - A Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on May 10 instructed a trial court to vacate its judgment in favor of a police department in a class dispute over covering police officers' tattoos as moot after the matter was resolved in favor of the officers by an arbitrator (Daniel Medici, et al. v. City of Chicago, No. 15-3610, 7th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 8312).



Judge Dismisses Bad Faith Claim In Class Action Suit Against Automobile Insurer
SCRANTON, Pa. - A Pennsylvania federal judge on May 10 granted an automobile insurer's motion to dismiss bad faith and other claims in a class action brought by a woman claiming that she was wrongfully denied medical benefits coverage following an automobile accident, but allowed claims brought under the Pennsylvania Motor Vehicle Financial Responsibility Law (MVFRL) to proceed (Sayles v. Allstate Insurance Co., No. 16-1534, M.D. Pa., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 71760).



Smart TV Owners Defend Privacy, Wiretap Class Claims Against Vizio
SANTA ANA, Calif. - In a May 4 brief in California federal court, a putative class of Vizio Inc. smart TV owners oppose the manufacturer's motion to dismiss some claims and strike the proposed class, arguing that previously identified deficiencies in its federal and state wiretap claims have been cured (In Re: Vizio, Inc., Consumer Privacy Litigation, No. 8:16-ml-02693, C.D. Calif.).



Medical App Maker Seeks Dismissal Of Privacy Suit For Lack Of Standing
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - A telehealth provider on May 2 moved to dismiss a putative privacy class action against it in Florida federal court, asserting that a user of its mobile application failed to plead an injury that established standing or to identify any contractual violations in the sharing of certain user medical information with a third-party vendor (Joan Richards v. MDLive Inc., No. 0:17-cv-60760, S.D. Fla.).



Golden State Warriors Fan Opposes Motions To Dismiss App Privacy Class Action
OAKLAND, Calif. - In a May 9 brief in California federal court, a fan of National Basketball Association team the Golden State Warriors defends her suit alleging interception of her private conversations via the team's smartphone application, opposing the defendants' dismissal motions and asserting that she sufficiently pleaded interception under the Electronic Communications Privacy App (ECPA) (LaTisha Satchell v. Sonic Notify Inc. d/b/a Signal360, et al., No.3:16-cv-04961, N.D. Calif.).



8th Circuit Affirms Dismissal Of Class Action Challenging Insurance Practices
ST. LOUIS - The Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on May 11 affirmed a lower federal court's dismissal of a class action alleging that an insurer sold policies with benefits below the statutory minimum required by Minnesota law (Andrea L. Dammann, et al. v. Progressive Direct Insurance Co., No. 16-3591, 8th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 8340).



California Judge Again Tosses Class Action Over Disney Fund Investment Option
LOS ANGELES - A California federal judge on April 21 again dismissed a putative Employee Retirement Income Security Act class action lawsuit filed by participants in the Walt Disney Co. retirement plan over a plan investment option, saying that the plaintiffs' second amended complaint is time-barred by the three-year statute of limitations of 29 U.S.C. § 1132(2) (In re Disney ERISA Litigation, No. 2:16-cv-02251, C.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 61202).



2 ERISA Class Actions Filed Against Universities Survive Dismissal Motions
Two putative class action lawsuits accusing universities of mismanaging their employee retirement plans by charging excessive fees, using multiple record keepers to operate their plans and handle administrative services and offering too many high-cost and poorly performing investment options survived motions to dismiss in May (David Clark, et al. v. Duke University, et al., No. 1:16-cv-01044, M.D. N.C.; Geneva Henderson, et al. v. Emory University, et al., No. 1:16-cv-2920, N.D. Ga.).



Panel: Judge Did Not Engage In Prohibited Fact Finding In Securities Suit
SAN FRANCISCO - A federal judge did not err in dismissing a lead plaintiff's second amended complaint in a securities class action lawsuit against LifeLock Inc. and certain of its executive officers because the lead plaintiff failed to plead any material misrepresentations or omissions in pleading their federal securities law claims, a Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled May 11 in affirming (In re LifeLock Inc. Securities Litigation, No. 15-16885, 9th Cir., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 8386).



7th Circuit: Lead Plaintiff In TCPA Suit Consented To Receiving Text Messages
CHICAGO - A Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on May 4 upheld a summary judgment ruling for a retailer accused of sending unsolicited text messages by a class of recipients; however, unlike the trial court, which ruled that the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) was not violated because an autodialer was not used, the Seventh Circuit determined that there was no violation because the lead named plaintiff had consented to receiving the messages (Nicole Blow, et al. v. Bijora, Inc., doing business as Akira, Nos. 16-1484, 16-1608, 7th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 7926).



Summary Judgment Denied In Medical Record Charges Class Suit
ROCHESTER, N.Y. - A New York federal judge on May 15 denied a motion for partial summary judgment and response in opposition to a class certification motion filed by one of four defendants in a proposed class complaint alleging overcharging of patients 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 73666).



Judge Certifies Class Seeking Reprocessing Of Depression Treatment Denials
BRIDGEPORT, Conn. - A federal judge on May 4 certified a class action brought by individuals seeking magnetic stimulation therapy as a treatment for depression, saying that the proposed class is satisfactory and that an injunction requiring the insurer to reprocess the claims would constitute monetary relief (Christopher Meidl v. Aetna Inc., et al., No. 15-1319, D. Conn., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 70223).



Class Of Prisoners With Hepatitis C Certified, Ordered To Participate In ADR
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - A Tennessee federal judge on May 4 certified a class of inmates in the custody of Tennessee Department of Corrections (DOC) who are infected with the hepatitis C virus and claim that they have been denied treatment (Charles Graham a/k/a Charles Stevenson, et al. v. Tony C. Parker, et al., No. 16-1954, M.D. Tenn., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 68265).



Judge Rules On Experts Before Certifying 3 Classes In Telemarketing Practices Suit
OAKLAND, Calif. - A California federal judge on May 5 struck one expert report for lack of any actual analysis, declined to strike another expert report and a paralegal's declaration and certified three classes of consumers in a class action alleging that a burglar alarm company illegally used telemarketing calls to drum up business (Abante Rooter and Plumbing, Inc., et al. v. Alarm.com, Inc., et al., No. 4:15-cv-6314, N.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 69307).



Class Certification Denied In Dillard's Employee's Data Breach Suit Against Insurer
CHICAGO - An employee of the Dillard's department store chain saw her motion to certify a class action over a 2013 data breach denied May 3, when an Illinois federal judge found that individual issues dominated breach of contract claims against the retailer's insurer, which the plaintiff faulted for permitting employees' personally identifiable information (PII) to be exposed to identity thieves (Anne Dolmage v. Combined Insurance Company of America, No. 1:14-cv-03809, N.D. Ill., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 67555).



5th Circuit Reverses Order That Certified Fraud Class In Insurance Practices Dispute
NEW ORLEANS - The Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on May 9 remanded a lower federal court's certification order as to contract and statutory claims and reversed the certification order as to the fraud claim in a class action lawsuit challenging an insurer's practices in determining the value of totaled vehicles (Cheryl Slade v. Progressive Security Insurance Co., No. 15-30010, 5th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 8229).



$2 Million Costco Truck Drivers' Wage Settlement Is Granted Preliminary Approval
SAN DIEGO - A California federal judge on May 11 granted preliminary approval of a $2 million settlement proposed by Costco Wholesale Corp. to end truck drivers' wage claims, less than a month after the same judge rejected the proposed settlement for the second time; however, the judge noted that the class counsel has undermined its credibility (Douglas Thompson, et al. v. Costco Wholesale Corporation, et al., No. 14-2778, S.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 72389).



D.C. Circuit Upholds Legality Of Deal Settling Indian Farmers' Bias Claims
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The District of Columbia Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on May 16 affirmed in a divided decision that an amendment to a class settlement of discrimination claims by Native American farmers against the U.S. Department of Agriculture, under which money left over after a second round of payments to claimants will go to cy pres nonprofits, is fair and reasonable, despite objections by two claimants (Marilyn Keepseagle, et al. v. Sonny Perdue, et al., Nos. 16-5189 and 16-5190, D.C. Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 8559).



Credit Suisse Agrees To Pay $400M To Settle NCUA MBS Claims
KANSAS CITY, Kan. - Credit Suisse Securities (USA) LLC will pay $400 million to settle claims with the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) that is mispresented the investment quality of residential mortgage-backed securities (MBS) it underwrote and sold to three failed credit unions, according to an NCUA press release issued May 3 (National Credit Union Administration Board v. Credit Suisse Securities [USA] LLC, et al., No. 12-2648, D. Kan.).



Judge Grants Preliminary Approval Of $165M Settlement In MBS Suit
NEW YORK - A federal judge in New York on May 9 granted preliminary approval of a $165 million securities class action settlement between shareholders and certain underwriters of mortgage-backed securities (MBS) alleged to have taken part in a fraudulent scheme to misrepresent the underwriting standards they used in the offering documents for a series of MBS (New Jersey Health Fund v. Royal Bank of Scotland Group PLC, et al., No. 08-5310, S.D. N.Y.).



Papa John's Franchise Owners' Class Action Waiver Is Declared Invalid
SAN DIEGO - A class action waiver that was part of the arbitration agreement between the owner of Papa John's Pizza franchises and an employee who filed a class complaint is invalid because it precludes the employee from engaging in at least one of the three types of concerted actions the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) protects, a California federal judge ruled May 11 (Peter Ross v. P.J. Pizza San Diego, LLC, et al., No. 16-2330, S.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 72411).



8th Circuit Panel Again Reverses, Sends Ex-Workers' Bias Claims To Arbitration
ST. LOUIS - After a rehearing, an Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on May 11 reversed and remanded a Minnesota federal judge's ruling denying General Mills Inc.'s motion to compel individual arbitration, again finding that 33 laid-off General Mills workers must have their age discrimination claims decided in arbitration individually, and not as a class, and that they are not entitled to declaratory judgment regarding their rights under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) because the judgment would not resolve their claims (Elizabeth McLeod, et al. v. General Mills, Inc., et al., No. 15-3540, 8th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 8341).



Split 1st Circuit Rules On 2 Arbitration Issues Of First Impression
BOSTON - Deciding two questions of first impression in its circuit, a divided First Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on May 12 ruled that the applicability of the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA) is a threshold question for a court to determine in a case where the parties have delegated questions of arbitrability to an arbitrator and that the FAA's exemption of employment contracts of transportation workers applies to independent contractor transportation worker agreements (Dominic Oliveira, et al. v. New Prime, Inc., No. 15-2364, 1st Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 8474).



Talc Company Accused Of Fraud Doesn't Need Discovery, Asbestos Plaintiffs Argue
NEWARK, N.J. - Discovery into underlying asbestos claims is not warranted in a class action alleging that a talc company destroyed evidence relevant to asbestos claims because the case involves the scheme to protect the company from liability, not the tort actions, plaintiffs told a federal judge in New Jersey on May 12 (Kimberlee Williams, et al. v. BASF Catalysts LLC, et al., No. 11-1754, D. N.J.).



Exclusion Of Expert In Whirlpool Oven Action Sinks Class Certification
CHICAGO - An Illinois federal judge on May 9 denied class certification in a product liability case involving overheating Whirlpool Corp. kitchen ovens after finding that the plaintiffs' engineering expert failed to offer an opinion on whether there was a common defect in the ovens (Beth Kljajic, et al. v. Whirlpool Corp., No. 15-5980, N.D. Ill., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 70784).



Unfair Competition Claims OK'd, But Judge Says No Relief Due In Surgical Gown Case
LOS ANGELES - A California federal judge on May 15 said a class representative proved that two defendants violated California's unfair competition law (UCL) by selling defective surgical gowns, but denied the plaintiff's request for restitution and injunctive relief given a jury's $454 million compensatory and punitive damages verdict (Bahamas Surgery Center v. Kimberly-Clarke Corp., et al., No. 14-8390, C.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 73778).



Cell Phone Owners Allege Privacy Violations Over Firmware's PII Forwarding
MIAMI - In a May 12 amended complaint in Florida federal court, two cell phone owners bring privacy class claims against the phones' manufacturer and a Chinese firmware designer that they claim is responsible for surreptitiously intercepting and forwarding their personally identifiable information (PII) (In Re BLU Products Inc. Privacy Breach, No. 1:16-cv-24892, S.D. Fla.).



Homeowners Allege Captive Scheme By Banks, Reinsurer In First Amended Complaint
PHILADELPHIA - Homeowners filed a first amended class action complaint on April 26 in a Pennsylvania federal court, alleging a captive reinsurance scheme between banks and an affiliated reinsurer in violation of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) (Christopher Blake and James Orkis v. JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A., et al., No. 13-6433, E.D. Pa.).



Chinese Coal Company Failed To Disclose Asset Impairment, Investor Says
NEWARK, N.J. - A Chinese vertically integrated coal and coke producer and two of its executive officers issued a series of misstatements and omissions in Securities and Exchange Commission filings concealing the company's true business and financial condition in violation of federal securities laws, a shareholder argues in a May 8 securities class action complaint filed in New Jersey federal court (Jarrod Nasin v. Hongli Clean Energy Technologies Corp., et al., No. 17-3244, D. N.J.).



Pregnancy Bias, Wage, Due Process, Other Complaints Hit Courts
Recent class action lawsuits filed in federal and state courts across the country include complaints alleging pregnancy discrimination, failure to pay overtime, violation of due process and disability discrimination.



Wells Fargo Increases Settlement For Unauthorized Accounts To $142 Million
SAN FRANCISCO - Wells Fargo & Co. and Wells Fargo Bank N.A. have agreed to increase their settlement payment to $142 million, $32 million more than the settlement proposed in March, 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, according to a motion for preliminary approval filed by the plaintiffs on April 20 in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California (Shahriar Jabbari, et al. v. Wells Fargo & Company, et al., No. 15-2159, N.D. Calif.).



Faxed Ad Senders To Pay $25M To End Long-Term Care Facilities' TCPA Suit
FRESNO, Calif. - A California federal judge on April 19 granted preliminary approval of a $25 million settlement to be paid by two companies that are accused of sending more than 2.4 million unsolicited faxed advertisements in violation of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) (Dakota Medical, Inc. v. RehabCare Group, Inc., et al., No. 14-2081, E.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 59812).



WEN Hair Loss Class Seeks Final Approval Of $26M Settlement
LOS ANGELES - The class of consumers that sued Guthy-Renker LLC and Wen By Chaz Dean Inc. in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California claiming that the defendants' line of WEN hair care products caused hair loss moved May 1 for final approval of a $26.25 million settlement (Amy Friedman, et al. v. Guthy-Renker, LLC, et al., No. 14-6009, C.D. Calif.).



8th Circuit Affirms $80M Settlement In Symantec Download Insurance Suit
ST. LOUIS - An Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on April 28 affirmed a settlement with Symantec Corp. totaling more than $80 million in consumer payments, awards, costs and fees and settling a consumer fraud class action over the firm's download insurance product (Erin C. Caligiuri and Devi Khoday, et al. v. Symantec Corp., et al., No. 16-2015 and 16-2113, 8th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 7538).



Costco Truck Drivers' Wage Settlement Is Rejected For The 2nd Time
SAN DIEGO - A California federal judge on April 26 rejected a $2 million amended settlement proposed by Costco Wholesale Corp. to end truck drivers' wage claims, finding that the amended settlement motion corrected certain shortcomings identified by the judge in her Feb. 22 denial of the original proposed settlement, but still contained inadequate release language (Douglas Thompson, et al. v. Costco Wholesale Corporation, et al., No. 14-2778, S.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 63504).



United States To Pay $13.99M To Settle Property Owners' Rails-To-Trails Lawsuit
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A federal judge on April 18 granted preliminary approval of a $13,988,929.28 plus interest settlement to be paid by the United States to end a class lawsuit brought by New York property owners who claim that easements on their land for railroad purposes were improperly converted into recreation trails (John P. Furlong, et al. v. The United States, No. 09-367L, Fed. Clms., 2017 U.S. Claims LEXIS 351).



Settlement Of Facebook Message-Scanning Class Action Preliminarily Approved
OAKLAND, Calif. - A California federal judge on April 26 granted a motion to preliminarily approve settlement of a class action that accused Facebook Inc. of privacy violations related to the social network's scanning of users' private messages (PMs) for advertisement purposes (Matthew Campbell, et al. v. Facebook Inc., No. 4:13-cv-05996, N.D. Calif.).



Parties Ask Court To Approve $151M Settlement In Water Contamination Lawsuit
CHARLESTON, W.Va. - Residents of West Virginia and a group of defendants filed a joint brief in West Virginia federal court on April 27, arguing that the court should approve a $151 million settlement deal reached among the parties in a groundwater contamination lawsuit related to the chemical spill of 4-methylcyclohexane methanol (MCHM) (Crystal Good, et al. v. American Water Works Co. Inc., No. 14-1374, S.D. W.Va.).



Divided 5th Circuit Denies En Banc Rehearing Bass Pro Race Bias Suit
NEW ORLEANS - A divided Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in a 7-7 vote on April 28 denied a petition for rehearing en banc in an appeal by Bass Pro Outdoor World LLC and Tracker Marine Retail LLC (collectively, Bass Pro) that the court notes is one of "first impression" in that circuit, concerning whether the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission can bring a "pattern or practice" case under Sections 706 and 707 of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 asserting the violation of the rights of 50,000 job applicants (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. Bass Pro Outdoor World, L.L.C., et al., No. 15-20078, 5th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 7628).



First-Filed Rule Bars 2 Out Of 3 Class Complaints Against Online University
MINNEAPOLIS - A federal judge on April 21 dismissed two class complaints filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota accusing an online university of knowingly misrepresenting how long it took to complete its doctoral program, finding that they are barred under the first-filed rule and that only a class complaint in an Ohio federal court alleging substantially similar claims may proceed (Jennifer Wright, et al. v. Walden University, LLC, et al., No. 16-4037, Aaron Bleess v. Walden University, LLC, et al., No. 16-4402, D. Minn., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 61331).



Judge Finds Alcohol Monitoring Device Companies Did Not Misrepresent Products
LOS ANGELES - A California federal judge on April 28 granted a motion filed by the maker and distributor of alcohol monitoring devices to dismiss claims for violation of California's unfair competition law (UCL) and fraud claims against them, finding that they failed to plead sufficient facts to support the causes of action (Hansen, et al. v. Scram of California Inc., et al., No. 2:17-cv-01474, C.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 65341).



Tootsie Roll Industries Seeks Dismissal Of 'Slack-Filled' Class Suit
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. - A consumer accusing Tootsie Roll Industries Inc. of under-filling its packages of Junior Mints candy has no standing to bring his complaint as he received actually the amount of product advertised on the packaging, Tootsie Roll argues in its April 10 reply in support of its motion to dismiss the class complaint in Missouri state court (Robert Bratton, et al. v. Tootsie Roll Industries, Inc., No. 16AC-CC00454, Mo. Cir., Cole Co.).



Plaintiffs Appealing Dismissal Of Suit Over Faulty Air-Conditioning Coils
LOS ANGELES - Plaintiffs leading a proposed class action suit over air-conditioning units manufactured by Daikin Industries Ltd. that have evaporator coils that are allegedly defective filed a notice of appeal in California federal court on April 24 stating that they will ask the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals to review a ruling dismissing their lawsuit (Joanna Park-Kim, et al. v. Daikin Industries, Ltd., et al., No. 15-cv-9523-CAS, C.D. Calif.).



Horizon Again Seeks Dismissal Of FCRA Suit Over Stolen Laptops
NEWARK, N.J. - After an appeals court revived a putative class action under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) related to the theft of laptops containing policyholders' personally identifiable information (PII), an insurer on April 21 filed a renewed dismissal motion in New Jersey federal court, arguing that statute governs actions of credit-reporting agencies, not health insurance providers (In Re Horizon Healthcare Services Inc. Data Breach Litigation, No. 2:13-CV-07418, D. N.J.).



Zappos Customers Tell 9th Circuit PII Theft Was An Article III Injury
SAN FRANCISCO - In a May 1 reply brief in the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, the lead plaintiffs in a putative class action against Zappos.com Inc. argue that the theft of their personally identifiable information (PII) in a 2012 data breach constituted a concrete injury that established their standing to pursue negligence and deceptive trade practices claims against the online retailer (Theresa Stevens, et al. v Zappos.com Inc., No. 16-16860, 9th Cir.).



Lack Of Damages Dooms Michaels Stores Data Breach Suit, 2nd Circuit Rules
NEW YORK - A Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on May 2 affirmed dismissal of a putative class action against Michaels Stores Inc., finding that the lead plaintiff failed to allege any damages from the retail chain's data breach and, thus, did not establish standing (Mary Jane Whalen, et al. v. Michaels Stores Inc., No. 16-260 and 16-352, 2nd Cir.).



Pennsylvania Federal Judge Rules Allstate Didn't Violate ERISA Anti-Cutback Rules
PHILADELPHIA - On April 27, a Pennsylvania federal judge presiding over a suit brought by a nationwide class of former sales agents accusing Allstate Insurance Co. and its president of age discrimination and violating the Employee Retirement Income Security Act ruled that Allstate did not violate ERISA's anti-cutback rules when it eliminated an early retirement subsidy known as the "beef-up" because it had offered plan participants the greater of two alternatives with a baseline of their beef-up subsidy as of the time of the amendment (Gene R. Romero, et al. v. Allstate Insurance Company, et al., No. 01-3894, consolidated with No. 01-6764, 03-6872, 15-1017, 15-1049. 15-1190, 15-2602, 15-2961, 15-3047, E.D. Pa., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 64150).



Rhode Island Federal Judge Tosses ERISA Lawsuit Against CVS Health With Prejudice
PROVIDENCE, R.I. - A Rhode Island federal judge on April 18 adopted a report by a magistrate judge who recommended dismissal of an amended complaint arising under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act alleging that CVS Health Corp., its employee benefits plan committee and the manager of one of the plan's investment options breached their fiduciary duties because new material in the complaint is insufficient to permit an inference of imprudence and dismissed the complaint with prejudice (Mary Barchock, et al. v. CVS Health Corp., et al., No. 1:16-cv-00061, D. R.I., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 59083).



Investor Failed To Plead Securities Claims In GoPro Class Action, Judge Rules
SAN FRANCISCO - The lead plaintiff in a securities class action lawsuit against GoPro Inc. and certain of its current and former executive officers failed to plead any material misrepresentations or omissions or scienter in making his federal securities laws claims, a federal judge in California ruled May 1 in granting the defendants' motion to dismiss (Joseph Bodri v. GoPro Inc., et al., No. 16-0232, N.D. Calif.).



9th Circuit Panel Says Plaintiffs In Case Against Aetna Failed To State Claim
SAN FRANCISCO - A Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on April 24 ruled that plaintiffs in a putative class action against Aetna Life Insurance Co. under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act failed to state a claim that Aetna improperly denied them coverage for mental health treatment (Elizabeth L., et al. v. Aetna Life Insurance Co., No. 15-15893, 9th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 7145).



2nd Circuit Panel Affirms Dismissal Of Suit Against Hartford Financial, Retailer
NEW YORK - In an unpublished decision, a Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel held April 25 that a Connecticut federal judge properly dismissed a putative class action filed by Family Dollar Stores Inc. employees under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act for failure to state a claim upon which relief may be granted, saying that the plaintiffs failed to show that the insurance company that issued group life insurance to them was a fiduciary under ERISA (Patrick Hannan, et al. v. Hartford Financial Services Inc., et al., No. 16-1316, 2nd Cir.).



4th Circuit Panel Affirms Tatum Decision As Being In Line With Dudenhoeffer
RICHMOND, Va. - A split Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on April 28 affirmed a North Carolina federal judge's ruling that R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. (RJR) is not liable for losses suffered by its 401(k) retirement employee benefit plan after its 1999 decision to divest Nabisco stock from the plan because a prudent fiduciary would have made the same divestment decision at the same time and in the same manner (Richard G. Tatum, et al. v. RJR Pension Investment Committee, et al., No. 16-1293, 4th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 7561).



Iowa Supreme Court Vacates Stay Of Chiropractors' Price-Fixing Class Suit
DES MOINES, Iowa - An Iowa trial court erred when it stayed a price-fixing class complaint filed by chiropractors against the state's largest health insurer pending resolution of a federal multidistrict litigation in Alabama, the Iowa Supreme Court ruled April 21, vacating the order staying the action and remanding for further proceedings (Bradley A. Chicoine, et al. v. Wellmark, Inc., et al., No. 16-0364, Iowa Sup., 2017 Iowa Sup. LEXIS 38).



Federal Circuit: Veterans Court May Certify Classes, Resolve On An Aggregate Basis
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claim has the authority to certify a class for class action or for similar aggregate resolution procedures, the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled April 26, reversing the judgment of the Veterans Court (Conley F. Monk Jr. v. David J. Shulkin, Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Nos. 2015-7092, 2015-7106, Fed. Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 7329).



Disabled Class Suing Kohl's Over Accessibility Is Denied Certification
CHICAGO - An Illinois federal judge on May 2 refused to certify a class of disabled persons suing a retailer with stores in numerous states for failing to make the stores fully accessible to individuals who required mobility devices, finding that the plaintiffs have not demonstrated that the class meets all the requirements of Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23 (Equal Rights Center, et al. v. Kohl's Corporation, et al., No. 14-8259, N.D. Ill., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 66390).



Employee Class Certified In Suit Alleging Docking Of Vacation Time For Leave
FORT WAYNE, Ind. - An Indiana federal judge on April 26 certified a class of insurance company employees who claim that their paid time off (PTO) was accrued at the beginning of each calendar year, but was improperly docked if they took short-term leave during the year (Gretchen B. Carrel, et al. v. MedPro Group, Inc., No. 16-130, N.D. Ind., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 62969).



Retiree Class Certified In Suit Over Union's Authority To Agree To Medical Changes
NEW HAVEN, Conn. - A Connecticut federal judge on April 19 certified a class of retirees in a suit filed by an employer seeking a court declaration that a union has the authority to agree to changes in retiree medical benefits for those persons who retired after a 1996 class action settlement that provided the retirees with medical benefits without violating federal law (Barnes Group, Inc. v. International Union United Automobile Aerospace & Agricultural Implement Workers of America, et al., No. 16-559, D. Conn., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 59761).



Judge Certifies Class In Dispute Over Application Of Deductible In Hailstorm Loss
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. - A Missouri federal judge on May 1 granted insureds' motion for class certification 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 65701).



Illinois Federal Judge Certifies Debtor Class In FDCPA Suit
CHICAGO - An Illinois federal judge on April 21 certified a class of more than 68,000 Illinois residents who were mailed collection letters that allegedly failed to include disclosures as required by the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) (Renetrice R. Pierre, et al. v. Midland Credit Management, Inc., No. 16-2895, N.D. Ill., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 61107).



Class Of Unsolicited Fax Recipients Certified; Senders' Dismissal Motion Is Denied
MINNEAPOLIS - A Minnesota federal judge on April 25 certified a class of more than 3,200 people who received an unsolicited fax advertisement for lead-testing services and denied a motion by the sender to dismiss the lawsuit (Sandusky Wellness Center, LLC, et al. v. MedTox Scientific, Inc., et al., No. 12-2066, D. Minn., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 62838).



6th Circuit: Local Controversy Exception Not Applicable In Flint Water Crisis Case
CINCINNATI - A panel of the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on April 25 ruled that the local controversy exception to the Class Action Fairness Act (CAFA) did not apply in a putative class action related to the Flint water crisis, and it reversed a district court's decision sending the case back to state court (Tiffany Davenport, et al. v. Lockwood, Andrews & Newnam Inc., et al., No. 17-1200, 6th Cir.; 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 7273).



Judge Remands Groundwater Class Action, Says Local Controversy Exception Applies
CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas - A federal judge in Texas on April 19 remanded a class action lawsuit alleging groundwater contamination by a group of defendant chemical companies, ruling that the local exception to federal class action law applied (MD Haynes Inc. d/b/a Cici's Pizza, et al. v. Valero Marketing and Supply Co., et al., No. 17-6, S.D. Texas; 2017 U.S. Dist., LEXIS 59495).



Chinese Drywall MDL Judge Adopts Formula To Calculate Remediation Damages
NEW ORLEANS - The federal judge in Louisiana overseeing litigation stemming from defective drywall manufactured in China on April 21 adopted an expert's formula that states that class members should receive $86 per square foot to remediate damage to their homes' electrical and plumbing systems that resulted from the use of the building material that was made by Taishan Gypsum Co. Ltd. and other China-based companies (In re: Chinese-Manufactured Drywall Products Liability Litigation, MDL No. 2407, E.D. La., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 60911).



New York Federal Judge Reduces Attorney Fees After Wage Settlement
NEW YORK - A New York federal judge on April 28 awarded more than $705,000 in attorney fees for class counsel who settled a wage-and-hour class dispute, nearly $389,000 less than counsel was seeking, but conditioned the award on paying to class members approximately $131,000 that would have, under the reversionary nature of the settlement, been returned to the defendant (Margaret McGreevy, et al. v. Life Alert Emergency Response, Inc., No. 14-7457, S.D. N.Y., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 65085).



Judge: Captive Reinsurance Scheme Is A Continuing Violation Of Real Estate Act
PHILADELPHIA - An alleged captive reinsurance scheme between banks and an insurer constitutes a continuing violation of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA), each time an "illegal kickback, fee, or referral was given or received," a Pennsylvania federal judge ruled April 26, finding that the statute of limitations ran from the date of the last violation rather than the first based upon the continuing violations doctrine (Christopher Blake and James Orkis v. JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A., et al., No. 13-6433, E.D. Pa., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 64392).



2nd Circuit Panel: New York Drivers Of Black Cars Are Independent Contractors
NEW YORK - A Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on April 12 affirmed a New York federal judge's ruling that drivers of black cars in New York City who own or rent franchises are independent contractors, not employees, because the franchisors exert little control over the day-to-day operation of their businesses (Mazhar Saleem, et al. v. Corporate Transportation Group Ltd., No. 15-88, 2nd Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 6305).



Parties Calculate $1.04M In Prejudgment Interest Due In MicroCool Class Action
LOS ANGELES - Parties in the $454 million MicroCool surgical gown California class action on April 26 told the court that as of that date, they calculate that defendant Kimberly-Clark Corp. owes $1.04 million in prejudgment interest and spinoff Halyard Health Inc. owes $42,836 (Bahamas Surgery Center, LLC, et al. v. Kimberly-Clark Corporation, et al., No. 14-8390, C.D. Calif.).



Music Festival Attendees Claim They Were Stranded Without Basic Provisions
LOS ANGELES - The promoters of the Fyre Festival promised attendees a posh music festival featuring "first-class culinary experiences and a luxury atmosphere" and instead provided an event that lacked adequate food, water, shelter and medical care, one attendee claims in a class complaint filed April 30 in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California seeking damages in excess of $100 million (Daniel Jung, et al. v. Billy McFarland, et al., No. 17-3245, C.D. Calif.).



Privacy Class Action Filed Over Medical App's Health Information Sharing
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - A Utah woman filed a putative class complaint April 18 against the provider of a physician consultation smartphone app, telling a Florida federal court that the app shares users' sensitive medical information with a third-party firm, breaching the app maker's duty to keep this information confidential (Joan Richards v. MDLive Inc., No. 0:17-cv-60760, S.D. Fla.).



Investor Sues Emergency Room Operator Over Alleged Misrepresentations
TYLER, Texas - A shareholder filed a securities class action lawsuit on April 27 in Texas federal court, alleging that an operator of a network of free-standing emergency rooms and certain of its current and former executive officers and directors misrepresented the company's business condition in violation of federal securities laws (Sascha Troll v. Adeptus Health Inc., No. 17-0241, E.D. Texas).



False Advertising, Privacy, Other Complaints Hit Courts
Recent class action lawsuits filed in federal and state courts across the country include complaints alleging false advertising, privacy and racial discrimination.



Supreme Court Hears Oral Argument In American Pipe Tolling Challenge
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on April 17 heard oral arguments in an appeal of a Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruling affirming that shareholders that filed a securities class action lawsuit after opting out of settlement class against the same defendants were barred from doing so as their claims were outside the statute of repose (California Public Employees' Retirement System v. Moody Investors Service Inc., et al., No. 16-373, U.S. Sup.).



Inmate Collect-Call Service Provider Will Settle TCPA Class Suit For $8.8 Million
LOS ANGELES - A California federal judge on April 7 granted preliminary approval of an $8.8 million settlement to be paid by a collect-call service provider accused of placing automated calls to cell phones in violation of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) (Alice Lee, et al. v. Global Tel*Link Corporation, No. 15-2495, C.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 53899).



Washington Settles Class Suit Over Denial Of Hepatitis C Medication
SEATTLE - A Washington federal judge on April 10 issued an order granting final approval of a settlement under which the Washington State Health Care Authority (WHCA) has agreed to provide coverage for direct-acting antiviral medications for the treatment of hepatitis C (HCV) for Medicaid enrollees who claimed that they were previously denied the drugs due to the cost (B.E., et al. v. Dorothy F. Teeter, No. 16-227, W.D. Wash.).



$700,000 Similasan Homeopathic Products Settlement Granted Preliminary Approval
SAN DIEGO - A California federal judge on April 12 granted preliminary approval of a $700,000 settlement to be paid by Similasan Corp. to end a class complaint alleging false or deceptive labeling of the company's homeopathic products (Kim Allen, et al. v. Similasan Corporation, No. 12-376, S.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 56333).



Judge Grants Preliminary Approval Of $10.5M Settlement In Stock Drop Suit
HOUSTON - A federal judge in Texas on April 10 granted preliminary approval of a $10.5 million settlement between investors and one of the country's largest industrial, engineering and construction companies in a securities class action lawsuit alleging that the company and certain of its current and former senior officers misrepresented the company's business and financial condition in violation of federal securities laws (In re KBR Inc. Securities Litigation, No. 14-1287, S.D. Texas).



8th Circuit Reverses, Sends Ex-Workers' Age Bias Claims To Arbitration
ST. PAUL, Minn. - Thirty-three laid-off General Mills Inc. workers must have their age discrimination claims decided in arbitration individually, and not as a class, and they are not entitled to declaratory judgment regarding their rights under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) because the judgment would not resolve their claims, the Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals held April 14 (Elizabeth McLeod, et al. v. General Mills, Inc., et al., No. 15-3540, 8th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 6422).



Arbitration Denied In Class Suit Over Uber's Cancellation Fees
SAN FRANCISCO - An Uber Technologies Inc. customer's class complaint alleging that the ride-sharing app's cancellation fees are arbitrary may proceed, a California federal judge ruled April 17, denying the company's motion to compel arbitration (Julian Metter v. Uber Technologies, Inc., No. 16-6652, N.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 58481).



California Federal Judge Keeps CVS Pharmacist's Wage Class Suit In Federal Court
LOS ANGELES - A wage class complaint filed by a California pharmacist against his employer belongs in federal court, not state court, a California federal judge ruled April 11, holding that even though removal occurred more than 30 days after the complaint was filed, it was still timely (Sevag Chalian v. CVS Pharmacy, Inc., et al., No. 16-8979, C.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 55485).



California IVC Plaintiffs Were Not Proposing Joint Trial; CAFA Remand Affirmed
SAN FRANCISCO - The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on April 14 agreed with a federal district court that nine plaintiffs bringing claims against Cordis Corp. for injuries allegedly caused by the defendant's inferior vena cava (IVC) device are not seeking trials that would trigger federal jurisdiction under the Class Action Fairness Act (CAFA) (Jerry Dunson, et al. v. Cordis Corporation, No. 17-15257, 9th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 6446).



Florida Federal Judge Sends Class Suit Over GEICO's Coverage Back To State Court
TAMPA, Fla. - An insurance company that is defending itself against a class suit over its failure to provide coverage required under Florida law failed to show that the amount in controversy exceeds $5 million, a Florida federal judge ruled April 6, sending the case back to state court (Amber Rae McLawhorn, et al. v. GEICO Indemnity Company, No. 17-156, M.D. Fla., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 52905).



Federal Judge Remands Earthquake Case Against Fracking Companies
PAWNEE, Okla. - A federal judge in Oklahoma on April 12 remanded to state court a lawsuit alleging that hydraulic fracturing operations caused earthquakes, concluding that no federal issues were at stake in the litigation because the complaint "expressly excluded any lands subject to federal Indian law" (James Adams v. Eagle Road Oil LLC, et al., No. 16-757, N.D. Okla.; 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 55804).



Florida Federal Judge Rules For Class In Same-Sex Marriage Death Certificate Suit
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - A Florida federal judge on March 23 issued an order certifying a class of survivors of same-sex spouses who died in Florida before the state recognized same-sex marriages and an order granting summary judgment to that class and directing the state to amend Florida death certificates to reflect the decedent's marital status and spouse's identity as long as certain conditions are met (Hal B. Birchfield, et al. v. John H. Armstrong, et al., No. 15-615, N.D. Fla., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 56276).



Suit Over Legitimacy Of Online University Program Is Dismissed With Prejudice
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A District of Columbia federal judge on April 18 issued an opinion finding that a class complaint over the legitimacy of a university's online-only program belongs in federal, not state, court and then dismissed the complaint with prejudice, finding that it was time-barred (Brice Bradford, et al. v. The George Washington University, No. 16-858, D. D. C., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 58590).



Class Suit Alleging Defective Nissan Transmissions Is Tossed By Federal Judge
SAN JOSE, Calif. - A California federal judge on April 11 dismissed with leave to amend a class complaint accusing Nissan North America Inc. of knowingly selling vehicles with faulty manual transmissions and failing to properly fix them (Huu Nguyen v. Nissan North America, Inc., No. 16-5591, N.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 55501).



2nd Amended Ford Exhaust Leak Class Suit Is Dismissed For Not Curing Deficiencies
CHICAGO - A second amended class complaint accusing Ford Motor Co. of selling vehicles with a defect that allows harmful exhaust gases to enter the interior of the vehicles was dismissed with prejudice by an Illinois federal judge on April 6 after the lead plaintiff failed to correct deficiencies previously identified by the court (David Schiesser, et al. v. Ford Motor Company, No. 16-730, N.D. Ill., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 53180).



Judge Allows Some Claims In Suit Alleging Stem Cell Treatments Are Scam
SAN DIEGO - Customers of a stem cell therapy business sufficiently plead that the business advertised false and misleading information on its website about consumer satisfaction rates in a way that was deceptive to potential customers, though they must amend their class claims that the business misrepresented the efficacy of its treatments if those claims are to proceed, a California federal judge held April 6 (Selena Moorer, et al. v. StemGenex Medical Group, Inc., et al., No. 3:16-cv-02816, S.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 53294).



Missouri Federal Judge Follows Dudenhoeffer In Tossing Peabody Breach Claims
ST. LOUIS - A Missouri federal judge on March 30 granted a motion to dismiss a putative class action brought under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act alleging that the fiduciaries of three employee stock ownership plans (ESOPs) breached their fiduciary duties by keeping a company stock fund as an investment option after the company began having financial difficulties, saying the claims did not meet the high standard for stating a claim set by the U.S. Supreme Court in Fifth Third Bancorp. v. Dudenhoeffer (Lori J. Lynn, et al. v. Peabody Energy Corp., et al., No. 4:15-cv-00916, E.D. Mo., Eastern Div., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 48468).



6th Circuit Affirms Ruling Dismissing ERISA Suit Against Cliffs Natural Resources
CINCINNATI - A Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on April 7 affirmed an Ohio federal judge's decision to dismiss a class action filed by members of the Cliffs Natural Resources Inc. employee stock ownership plan (ESOP) alleging breach of fiduciary duty under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, saying that the decision is in line with the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Fifth Third Bancorp. v. Dudenhoeffer that allowed fiduciaries for ESOPs to rely solely on the market price of a security as a risk barometer (Paul Saumer, et al. v. Cliffs Natural Resources Inc., et al., No. 16-3449, 6th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 6015).



Panel Upholds Dismissal Of Securities Claims For Failure To Plead Scienter
BOSTON - Lead plaintiffs in a securities class action lawsuit against a pharmaceutical company and its CEO failed to plead allegations giving rise to a strong inference of scienter in making their federal securities law claims, a First Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled April 7 in affirming a lower court's dismissal ruling (Terry Brennan, et al. v. Zafgen Inc., et al., No. 16-2057, 1st Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 6052).



Judge Dismisses Coal Ash Case To Allow Plaintiffs To File It In State Court
LOUISVILLE, Ky. - A federal judge in Kentucky on April 12 dismissed a lawsuit brought by a class of residents who contended that they were exposed to hazardous chemicals from a coal-fired power plant so that the plaintiffs could file the claims in Kentucky state court. The judge declined to exercise supplemental jurisdiction over the state law claims (Kathy Little, et al. v. Louisville Gas & Electric Company, No. 13-1214, W.D. Ky.; 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 56467).