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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®



 



3rd Circuit: Opt-In Plaintiffs Lack Standing To Appeal Collective Action Ruling
PHILADELPHIA - Three hospital employees who opted in to the second round of wage litigation against their employer have no standing to appeal the trial court's denial of collective action certification after the lead named plaintiff settled his individual claims, a Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Nov. 18 (Steven Halle, et al. v. West Penn Allegheny Health System Inc., et al., No. 15-3089, 3rd Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 20655).



California Appellate Panel Reverses Decertification Of Security Officer Wage Class
LOS ANGELES - A California trial court erred when it granted an employer's motion to decertify a class of security officers suing for various wage violations, a Second District California Court of Appeal panel ruled Nov. 21, finding that the case was distinguishable from Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. v. Dukes (564 U.S. 338 [2011]) (Nivida Lubin, et al. v. The Wackenhut Corporation, No. B244383, Calif. App., 2nd Dist., Div. 4; 2016 Cal. App. LEXIS 1016).



Maryland Judge Certifies Defendant Class In Illegal Towing Suit
ROCKVILLE, Md. - A Maryland judge on Nov. 14 granted a plaintiff's motion to certify a class of defendants that own Maryland parking lots and are accused of violating state law by authorizing a towing company to patrol their parking lots and "trespass tow" vehicles at will, finding that the case "fits within the narrow confines of the juridical link doctrine, as approved by the Court of Appeals in Master Financial, Inc. v. Crowder [409 Md. 51, 972 A.2d 864 (2009)]" and that the case satisfied the standing requirements under Maryland common law and the class certification requisites of Maryland Rule 2-231 (Quan-En Yang, et al. v. G&C Gulf Inc., et al., No. 403885-V, Md. Cir., Montgomery Co.; 2016 Md. Cir. Ct. LEXIS 8).



Federal Judge Certifies Narrowed Prisoner Class Suing For Mental Health Care
MONTGOMERY, Ala. - An Alabama federal judge on Nov. 25 partially certified a class of Alabama prisoners who allege that their constitutional claims have been violated due to inadequate mental health treatment and involuntary medication without due process in Alabama prison facilities (Edward Braggs, et al. v. Jefferson S. Dunn, et al., No. 14-601, M.D. Ala.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 163822).



11th Circuit: Federal Jurisdiction Remains Under CAFA Even Without Class
ATLANTA - A federal trial court erred when it ruled that the Class Action Fairness Act (CAFA) does not vest a federal court with original jurisdiction over state law claims after the class claims are dismissed, an 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Nov. 22 (Wright Transportation, Inc. v. Pilot Corporation, et al., No. 15-15184, 11th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 20937).



Suit Over 'Natural' Products To Be Remanded After Class Scope Is Clarified
SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge on Nov. 28 agreed to send a class complaint alleging false promotion of cleaning and personal care products as "natural" back to state court after the lead plaintiff amends his complaint to clarify that the scope of the class is limited to California residents (Carlo Labrado v. Method Products, PBC, No. 16-5905, N.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 163718).



Split 6th Circuit: Local Controversy Exception Applies To Flint Water Class Suit
CINCINNATI - A state law professional negligence class action suit stemming from the Flint water crisis satisfies the Class Action Fairness Act's (CAFA) local controversy exception and belongs in state court, a divided Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Nov. 16 (Jennifer Mason, et al. v. Lockwood, Andrews & Newnam, P.C., et al., No. 16-2313, 6th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 20554).



Illinois Federal Judge Sends Class Hacking Suit Back To State Court
EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. - A class suit accusing an accounting firm of failing to safeguard individuals' personal information after an email account was hacked belongs in state court because the firm failed to provide evidence supporting its prediction that the unidentified amount in controversy exceeds the Class Action Fairness Act's (CAFA) threshold, an Illinois federal judge ruled Nov. 22 (Jennifer Bohnenstiehl, et al. v. McBride, Lock, and Associates, LLC, No. 16-306, S.D. Ill.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 161900).



Judge Refuses To Remand Construction Defects Suit, Trims Claims
LAS VEGAS - A proposed class of Nevada homeowners who are suing the builder and developer of allegedly defective homes must pursue their claims in federal court and cannot seek damages for strict liability and breach of implied warranty under Nevada Revised Statute (NRS) Chapter 116.4114, a federal judge ruled Nov. 27 (Brittany Lopez, et al. v. U.S. Homes Corporation, et al., No. 16-cv-01754-GMN-CWH, D. Nev.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 163571).



Judge Orders Volkswagen To Pay Class Members Despite Attorney Liens
SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge on Nov. 22 ordered Volkswagen Group of America Inc., Volkswagen AG, Audi of America LLC and Audi AG (collectively, Volkswagen) to pay class members in the clean diesel multidistrict litigation their settlement compensation directly, despite notification of liens placed by attorneys on their clients' recovery and invoked his authority under the All Writs Act to enjoin any state court proceedings regarding the attorneys' lien (In re: Volkswagen "Clean Diesel" Marketing, Sales Practices, and Products Liability Litigation, No. 15-2672, N.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 162339).



New York Attorney General: Trump University Will Pay $25M To Settle Fraud Claims
NEW YORK - New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman on Nov. 18 announced that a $25 million settlement had been reached ending claims that Trump University - which was owned by President-elect Donald Trump and marketed itself as a university to train, educate and mentor entrepreneurs involved in real estate investing - was actually a sham and defrauded its students out of millions of dollars.



Bank, Payment Processing Subsidiary Settle RICO Class Suit For $37.5M
PHILADELPHIA - A Pennsylvania federal magistrate judge on Nov. 21 granted final approval of a $37.5 million settlement to be paid by Zions National Bank and its former payment processing subsidiary to end a class complaint accusing the companies of knowingly processing payments for fraudulent telemarketers (Reynaldo Reyes, et al. v. Zions First National Bank, et al., No. 10-345, E.D. Pa.).



Wells Fargo To Settle TILA Class Suit For $880,000
OAKLAND, Calif. - A California federal judge on Nov. 18 granted preliminary approval of an $880,000 settlement to be paid by Wells Fargo Bank N.A. to end a class suit accusing it of violating the Truth in Lending Act (TILA) by failing to include all required information on its payoff statements for residential mortgages (Latasha McLaughlin, et al. v. Wells Fargo Bank N.A., d/b/a Wells Fargo Home Mortgage, No. 15-2904, N.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 160422).



Pharmaceutical Companies Will Pay $200,000 To Settle Junk Fax Class Suit
MOBILE, Ala. - An Alabama judge on Nov. 4 granted preliminary approval of a $200,000 settlement to be paid by two companies accused of sending out thousands of unsolicited faxed advertisements (Family Medicine Pharmacy, LLC v. Trxade Group, Inc., et al., No. 15-590, S.D. Ala.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 153272).



New York Federal Judge Recommends Settlement Of Flushable Wipes Suits
NEW YORK - A New York federal judge issued a memorandum on Nov. 18 recommending that the parties in six individual class action lawsuits addressing sewage issues caused by flushable wipes consider settlement (D. Joseph Kurtz, et al. v. Kimberly-Clark Corporation, et al., No. 14-1142, Anthony Belfiore, et al. v. The Procter & Gamble Company, No. 14-4090, Desmond R. Armstrong, et al. v. Costco Wholesale Corporation, et al., No. 15-2909, Gladys Honigman, et al. v. Kimberly-Clark Corporation, No. 15-2910, Steven and Ellen Palmer, et al. v. CVS Health, et al., No. 15-2928, Eugene and Victoria Richard, et al. v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., et al., No. 15-4579, E.D. N.Y.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 160363).



Texas Federal Judge Withholds Ruling On Proposed $8.8 Million ERISA Class Action Settlement
FORT WORTH, Texas - A Texas federal judge on Nov. 18 withheld ruling on a plaintiffs' motion for conditional certification and preliminary approval of an $8.8 million Employee Retirement Income Security Act class action settlement, saying that he did not have enough information to conclude that the proposed settlement should be approved as being fair, reasonable and adequate to the members of the proposed class (Salvador Ortiz, et al. v. American Airlines Inc., et al., No. 4:16-cv-151, N.D. Texas; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 160588).



Illinois Federal Judge Trims Claims In Protein Supplement Labeling Suit
CHICAGO - An Illinois federal judge on Nov. 28 partially granted a motion to dismiss filed by a nutritional supplement manufacturer in a class complaint in which the company is accused of falsely labeling its whey protein supplements (Ryan Porter, et al. v. NBTY, Inc., et al., No. 15-11459, N.D. Ill.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 163352).



Consumers Defend Standing To Sue GM, Toyota For Privacy Violations In 9th Circuit
SAN FRANCISCO - In their Nov. 9 appellant reply brief, the lead plaintiffs in a putative class action against Toyota Motor Corp. and General Motors LLC (GM) tell the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals that they sufficiently alleged economic injury and privacy violations from technology the automakers use to track drivers and that makes vehicles susceptible to third-party hacking (Helene Cahen, et al. v. Toyota Motor Corp., et al., No. 16-15496, 9th Cir.).



Ashley Madison Members Oppose Dismissal Of Data Breach Class Action
ST. LOUIS - In a Nov. 18 brief filed in Missouri federal court, the lead plaintiffs in a lawsuit against the operator of the Ashley Madison website oppose dismissal of their putative class action over a 2015 data breach that exposed their personal information, contending that they never assented to an arbitration clause within the site's terms and conditions (T&C) (In re Ashley Madison Customer Data Security Breach Litigation, No. 4:15-cv-02669, E.D. Mo.).



California Federal Judge Dismisses Class Action Over Walt Disney Co. Plan's Fund Investment Option
LOS ANGELES - A California federal judge on Nov. 14 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 the plaintiffs have alleged no facts that plausibly show that the plan breached its duty to prudently monitor and review its inclusion of the Sequoia Fund as an investment option (In re Disney ERISA Litigation, No. 2:16-cv-02251, C.D. Calif.).



Investors' Securities Act Claims Time-Barred, Federal Judge Rules
NEW YORK - Dismissal of federal claims in a securities class action lawsuit against a commercial helicopter operator, certain of its current and former officers and directors and underwriters of the company's initial public offering (IPO) is proper because the shareholders' claims were time-barred and because the shareholders failed to state a claim for relief, a federal judge in New York ruled Nov. 7 (Errol Rudman, et al. v. CHC Group Ltd, et al., No. 15-3773, S.D. N.Y.).



Kimberly-Clark Wants Surgical Gown Class Stayed Pending 9th Circuit Petition
LOS ANGELES - Kimberly-Clark Corp. on Nov. 18 asked a California federal court to stay a certified class action involving the company's surgical gowns while it waits for a circuit court to rule on a petition for interlocutory appeal (Hrayr Shahinian, M.D., et al. v. Kimberly-Clark Corporation, et al., No. 14-83390, C.D. Calif.).



Viacom Seeks Judgment On Remanded Intrusion Claim Over Nickelodeon Websites
NEWARK, N.J. - In a Nov. 22 reply brief in New Jersey federal court, Viacom Inc. argues that it is entitled to summary judgment on the sole remaining intrusion upon seclusion claim in a remanded putative class action over purported collection of personally identifiable information (PII) from minors because the evidence clearly shows that it did not collect any "real-world identifying details" about users of its Nickelodeon websites (In Re: Nickelodeon Consumer Privacy Litigation, No. 2:12-cv-07829, D. N.J.).



Summary Judgment For Purina Is Granted In Alleged Toxic Pet Food Case
SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge on Nov. 17 granted a summary judgment motion filed by Nestle Purina Petcare Co. and ordered the file closed in a proposed class complaint accusing the pet food maker of using toxic substances in its Beneful brand dog food (Frank Lucido v. Nestle Purina Petcare Co., et al., No. 15-569, N.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 159569).



Injured Pipeline Protestors Sue County, City Police Over Clash At Bridge
BISMARCK, N.D. - County and city police officers who "unleashed a violent, unjustified, and unprovoked physical attack" on Dakota Access Pipeline (DAP) protestors should be stopped from using excessively violent means of crowd control and should pay for injuries they inflicted on the protestors, a group of protestors, including several Native Americans, assert in a Nov. 28 class complaint and motion for a temporary restraining order (TRO) filed in North Dakota federal court (Vanessa Dundon, et al. v. Kyle Kirchmeier, et al., No. 16-406, D. N.D.).



Edward D. Jones Plan Participants File ERISA Class Action Complaint
ST. LOUIS - Participants in the Edward D. Jones & Co. retirement plan on Nov. 11 filed a putative class action complaint alleging that the company violated the Employee Retirement Income Security Act by including and maintaining a higher-fee share class of identical investment options in lieu of the lower-cost share class and including and maintaining an unreasonable number of high-risk investment options to the detriment of plan participants (Valeska Schultz, et al. v. Edward D. Jones & Co. LP, et al., No. 4:16-cv-01762, E.D. Mo.).



Class Complaint Alleges Phone Maker, Software Firm Shared Personal Information
MIAMI - In a putative class complaint filed Nov. 22 in Florida federal court, a smartphone owner alleges that his phone's manufacturer and a firmware provider violated privacy and warranty laws by intercepting and transmitting his personal information without authorization to a Chinese server (Aaron Bonds v. Blu Products Inc., et al., No. 1:16-cv-24892, S.D. Fla.).



Wells Fargo And Co. 401(k) Class Action Filed Over Proprietary Target Date Funds
MINNEAPOLIS - A putative class action lawsuit under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act was filed Nov. 22 in Minnesota federal court against the sponsor and fiduciaries of the Wells Fargo and Co. 401(k) Plan, alleging that they violated their duties of loyalty and prudence in investing plan assets by selecting as investments proprietary Wells Fargo target date funds (TDFs) and designing a system to maximize the amount of plan assets invested into those mutual funds (John Meiners, et al. v. Wells Fargo & Co., et al., No. 0:16-cv-03981, D. Minn.).



Fraud, EFTA Violations, Unfair Competition, Other Complaints Hit Courts
Recent class action lawsuits filed in federal and state courts across the country include complaints alleging fraud and deception, Electronic Fund Transfer Act violations and unfair competition.



Class Representative In Jos. A. Bank False Advertising Suit Sanctioned For Lying
SAN DIEGO - A California federal judge on Nov. 15 ordered the class representative in a class action suit that accused Jos. A. Bank Clothiers Inc. of holding perpetual sales and misrepresenting its sale prices to pay $40,000 to the men's clothing company for lying about his purchases (David M. Lucas, et al. v. Jos. A. Bank Clothiers, Inc., No. 14-1631, S.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 158044).



California Federal Judge: Birth Control Injury Cases Are Not A Mass Action
LOS ANGELES - A California federal judge on Nov. 14 granted a motion to remand a case alleging injuries caused by birth control, which had originally been filed as seven cases that were consolidated by a California trial court, finding that the sua sponte consolidation was a judicial mandate, not a proposal to have the cases tried jointly (Jacqueline Alexander, et al. v. Bayer Corp., et al., No. 16-6822, C.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 157295).



California Federal Judge Sends Truck Workers' Wage Suit Back To State Court
RIVERSIDE, Calif. - A trucking company failed to show that a wage-and-hour complaint filed by a class of its truck workers and drivers belongs in federal court, a California federal judge ruled Nov. 14 remanding the suit (Brock Hobson v. Linde, LLC, et al., No. 16-1984, C.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 157416).



5th Circuit Reinstates Wage Suit By Worker Who Used Fake Identification
NEW ORLEANS - A Louisiana federal court erred when it, citing the plaintiff's use of fake identification, granted summary judgment to employers in a wage suit, the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Oct. 31 (Javier Portillo, et al. v. Permanent Workers, L.L.C., et al., No. 15-30789, 5th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 19755).



Hawaii Federal Judge Says Health Insurer Plan Acted In Participants' Interest
HONOLULU - A Hawaii federal judge on Oct. 31 granted a motion for partial summary judgment on several claims filed against Kaiser Permanente Insurance Co. (KPIC) and Kaiser Foundation Health Plan Inc. (KFHP) in a class action alleging that they underpaid for emergency air transport, saying that KFHP, the plan fiduciary, discharged its duties solely in the interest of the participants and beneficiaries (Toby Sidlo, et al. v. Kaiser Permanente Insurance Co., et al., No. 1:15-cv-00269, D. Hawaii; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 150768).



Recently Certified Class Moves For Summary Judgment In Hailstorm Coverage Dispute
KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Plaintiffs on Oct. 31 moved for summary judgment in a class action alleging that their 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.).



3rd Circuit: Employer Can't Offset Paid Breaks Against Required Overtime
PHILADELPHIA - An employer that chooses to pay employees for meal breaks when it is not required to do so under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) may not use that compensation to offset that compensation against unpaid donning and doffing and information exchange between the shifts, a Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Oct. 7 (Bobbi-Jo Smiley, et al. v. E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Company, et al., No. 14-4583, 3rd Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 18242).



Virginia Federal Judge Grants Partial Summary Judgment To ESOP Participant
ALEXANDRIA, Va. - A Virginia federal judge on Nov. 3 granted partial summary judgment to an employee stock ownership plan (ESOP) participant on his claim that a trustee violated the Employee Retirement Income Security Act by conducting a transaction with a "party in interest" but said that the holding does not mean defendant Wilmington Trust N.A. is liable because it has properly raised a Section 1108 affirmative defense (Tim P. Brundle, et al. v. Wilmington Trust N.A., No. 1:15-cv-1494, E.D. Va.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 152908).



Class Certification Denied In FDCPA Suit; Plaintiff Awarded $1 For Damages
TAMPA, Fla. - A Florida federal judge on Nov. 14 declined to certify a class of individuals who received debt collection notices that violated the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), finding that a class action was not the superior method for adjudicating the matter; the judge granted the named plaintiff's summary judgment motion and awarded the plaintiff $1 in statutory damages (Ronnie E. Dickens v. GC Services Limited Partnership, No. 16-803, M.D. Fla.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 156916).



Virgin America Flight Attendants Granted Class Status In Wage Dispute
SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge on Nov. 7 certified one class and two subclasses of flight attendants who claim that they have been denied wages for all hours worked, including when preparing for a flight, wrapping up after a flight, waiting in between flights and performing other duties including training (Julia Bernstein, et al. v. Virgin America, Inc., No. 15-2277, N.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 154326).



Federal Judge Certifies Borrowers Class In Suit Alleging Mortgage Kickbacks
BALTIMORE - A Maryland federal judge on Nov. 8 certified a class of borrowers who allege that a title company violated the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) by providing cash and other benefits to mortgage lenders in exchange for referrals (Edward J. and Vicki Fangman, et al. v. Genuine Title, LLC, et al., No. 14-81, D. Md.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 154582).



Former Call Center Workers Granted Class Certification In WARN Act Suit
TAMPA, Fla. - A Florida federal judge on Nov. 10 granted a motion for class certification filed by former call center employees who allege that their termination without warning violated the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act (Mario Pierluca, et al. v. Quality Resources, Inc., No. 16-1580, M.D. Fla.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 155962).



Surgical Gown California Class Certified; Nationwide Class Denied
LOS ANGELES - A California federal judge on Nov. 14 certified a refund and injunction class of Californians who purchased allegedly defective surgical gowns from Kimberly-Clark Corp. but denied certifying a nationwide class of purchasers because of differences in state fraud laws (Hrayr Shahinian, et al. v. Kimberly-Clark Corp., et al., No. 14-8390, C.D. Calif., Western Div.).



Federal Judge Declines Regulation Of Communications In Wage-And-Hour Class Suit
ASHEBORO, N.C. - A North Carolina federal judge on Nov. 14 denied a motion by satellite television technicians to regulate communications between their employer and the putative collective members who allege that they were misclassified as independent contractors, finding that the plaintiffs have not shown evidence of abusive communication (Adolpho Beasley, et al. v. Custom Communications, Inc., No. 15-583, E.D. N.C.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 157118).



Honey Importers Will Pay Nearly $800,000 To Settle Conspiracy Claims
CHICAGO - An Illinois federal judge on Nov. 10 granted final approval of several settlements totaling $796,312 to be paid by U.S. honey importers to end a class complaint in which they have been accused of being involved in a global conspiracy to transship Chinese honey and evade millions of dollars of anti-dumping duties (In Re Honey Transhipping Litigation, No. 13-2905, N.D. Ill.).



Judge Grants Preliminary Approval Of $175M Settlement In BP Oil Spill MDL
HOUSTON - A federal judge in Texas on Nov. 4 granted preliminary approval of a $175 million settlement in a securities class action lawsuit against BP PLC. and certain of its executive officers arising out of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill and denied a motion filed by institutional investors to modify the settlement's opt-out requirements (In re BP p.l.c. Securities Litigation, No. 10-md-2185, S.D. Texas).



California Federal Judge Gives Final Approval To $700,000 Wage-And-Hour Settlement
SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge on Nov. 14 granted final approval of a $700,000 settlement between current and former McDonald's franchise employees and a Bay Area franchisee in a wage-and-hour class action and approved the requested $150,000 award of attorney fees to class counsel (Stephanie Ochoa, et al. v. McDonald's Corp., et al., No. 14-2098, N.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 157302).



Iron Hill Brewery Settles Bartenders, Servers Wage Claims For $1.29M
PHILADELPHIA - A company with restaurants in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware will pay $1.29 million to settle claims that it wrongfully used a tip credit when paying its servers and bartenders as it required those tipped employees to share those tips with other workers; a federal judge in Pennsylvania approved the final settlement on Nov. 14 (Matthew Schaub, et al. v. Chesapeake & Delaware Brewing Holdings and Iron Hill Brewery, LLC, No. 16-756, E.D. Pa.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 157203).



Dollar General Will Pay $300,000 To Settle Wage Class Claims
SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge on Nov. 14 granted preliminary approval of a $300,000 settlement to be paid by Dolgen California LLC to a class of employees who worked at its Dollar General Market stores in California and allege numerous wage violations, including failure to pay overtime and provide meal periods (Julie Sullivan v. Dolgen California, LLC, a Tennessee Limited Liability Company, No. 15-1617, N.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 157269).



Providence Health & Services Plan Members File Motion For $351.9 Million Settlement
SEATTLE - Named plaintiffs in a class action against Providence Health & Services for denying Employee Retirement Income Security Act protections for its retirement plan participants by incorrectly claiming that it was an ERISA exempt "church plan" on Oct. 20 filed an unopposed motion for preliminary approval of a $351.9 million settlement in Washington federal court (Linda Griffith, et al. v. Providence Health & Services, et al., No. 2:14-cv-01720, W.D. Wash.).



Plaintiffs Seek Preliminary Approval Of $14 Million Class Action Settlement
SAN FRANCISCO - Plaintiff attorneys on Oct. 26 filed a motion for preliminary approval of a proposed $14 million settlement in a class action over an amendment that eliminated the ability of pension plan participants to "age into" a subsidized early retirement benefit (Juan R. Reyes v. Bakery and Confectionary Union and Industry International Pension Fund, No. 14-5596, N.D. Calif.).



Final Approval Sought In Settlement Of Angie's List Paid Reviews Lawsuit
PHILADELPHIA - The lead plaintiffs in a putative fraud and breach of contract class action against Angie's List Inc. filed a motion in Pennsylvania federal court Nov. 14, seeking final approval of a settlement in their lawsuit over the consumer review site operator's practice of obtaining revenue from service providers that are the subject of such reviews (Janell Moore, et al. v. Angie's List Inc., No. 2:15-cv-01243, E.D. Pa.).



2nd Circuit Declines Motion For Rehearing En Banc In Vivendi Securities Suit
NEW YORK - Without providing any detail, the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Nov. 10 declined to grant a French company's motion for rehearing or rehearing en banc of the court's previous ruling affirming a jury's verdict against the company for violations of federal securities laws (In re Vivendi S.A. Securities Litigation, No. 15-180, 2nd Cir.).



Life Insurance Company Must Face Class Claims Over Deduction Rate Increase
LOS ANGELES - A life insurance company's motion to dismiss a consolidated class complaint filed by its policy holders after it increased its monthly deduction rate (MDR) failed except as to a small portion of the plaintiffs' breach of contract claims, a California federal judge ruled Nov. 8, finding that an earlier settlement between the company and its policy holders did not bar the present suit (Gordon Feller, et al. v. Transamerica Life Insurance Company, No. 16-1378, C.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 155759).



Antitrust Claim Dismissed In McCormick Pepper Quantity And Quality Suit
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A District of Columbia federal judge on Nov. 11 dismissed an antitrust claim with prejudice in a multidistrict litigation accusing a spice company and its retailers of deceiving consumers about the quantity and quality of its black pepper (In Re: McCormick & Company, Inc., Pepper Products Marketing and Sales Practices Litigation, No. 15-1825, D. D.C.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 156583).



Michigan Federal Judge Dismisses Case Against Blue Cross With Prejudice
DETROIT - A Michigan federal judge on Oct. 28 granted Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan's (BCBSM) motion to dismiss the fourth amended complaint of a putative class action alleging that BCBSM violated the Employee Retirement Income Security Act by charging plaintiffs' ERISA health care plans "hidden" fees because of "defects" in the plaintiffs' pleading and failure to allege sufficient constitutional standing to pursue their claims for injunctive relief (Kimberly Cox, et al. v. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, No. 14-cv-13556, E.D. Mich., Southern Div.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 149582).



Judge: Investors Failed To Show Post-Acquisition Deal Issues Led To Stock Drop
SAN JOSE, Calif. - Lead plaintiffs in a securities class action lawsuit against a cyber-attack detection and protection software developer and certain of its executive offices have failed to plead a material misrepresentation, scienter or scheme liability in making their claims that the defendants misrepresented the impact of an acquisition deal's impact on product integration, a federal judge in California ruled Nov. 14 (Vijay Fadia v. FireEye Inc., et al., No. 14-5204, N.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 157391).



Judge: Investors Failed To Plead Falsity In Stock- Drop Case Against Drug Maker
SAN FRANCISCO - Shareholders in a securities class action lawsuit against a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company and others failed to plead falsity in making their federal securities law claims, a federal judge in California ruled Nov. 4 in granting the defendants' motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim for relief (In re Avalanche Biotechnologies Inc. Securities Litigation, No. 15-3185, N.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 152891).



Deaf Organization's Website Accessibility Suits Against Harvard, MIT May Proceed
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. - In a pair of Nov. 2 rulings, a Massachusetts federal judge denied motions by Harvard University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) to stay or dismiss class claims brought by a deaf advocacy organization over the schools' purported failure to provide websites that are equally accessible to deaf and hearing-impaired individuals (National Association of the Deaf, et al. v. Harvard University, et al., No. 3:15-cv-30023, D. Mass; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 152667; and National Association of the Deaf, et al. v. Massachusetts Institute of Technology, No. 3:15-cv-30024, D. Mass; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 153388).



California Appeals Panel Says Franchisee's Job Applicant Didn't Consent To Arbitration
LOS ANGELES - A California appeals panel on Nov. 9 affirmed denial of a Taco Bell Corp. franchisee's motion to compel arbitration in a case alleging that it violated various wage and work condition requirements in the state Labor Code, saying that a job applicant who filled out a Taco Bell application form was not consenting to arbitrate with the franchisee because the franchisee's name was nowhere on the application (Jesus Mendoza v. Century Fast Foods Inc., No. B267158, Calif. App., 2nd Dist., Div. 8; 2016 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 8090).



5th Circuit Finds Arbitrator Must Rule On Arbitration First In Wage Collective Dispute
NEW ORLEANS - A Texas federal court erred when it denied a motion to compel arbitration in a collective wage-and-hour suit, ruling that it could not consider the applicability of the arbitration agreement until later in the certification process, a Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Oct. 4, opining that the issue of arbitration must be decided first (Carlos Reyna, et al. v. International Bank of Commerce, No. 16-40057, 5th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 18016).



Illinois Federal Judge Denies Wheaton Plan Cases Transfer To Eastern Missouri District
CHICAGO - An Illinois federal judge on Oct. 31 denied defense motions to transfer two putative class actions alleging violations of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act to the Eastern District of Missouri because the alleged ERISA breaches occurred in Illinois, and Missouri is not among the states where Wheaton Franciscan Services Inc. has employees or retirees who will be affected (Diann M. Curtis, et al. v. Wheaton Franciscan Services Inc., et al., No. 16-cv-4232, and Bruce Bowen, et al. v. Wheaton Franciscan Services Inc., et al., No. 16-cv-6782, N.D. Ill.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 150227).



Facebook Says Illinois Biometric Law Violates U.S. Constitution
SAN FRANCISCO - Facebook Inc. on Nov. 11 filed an amended answer in a putative class action brought against it under Illinois' Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA), with the social network operator raising a new affirmative defense that the Illinois statute violates the dormant commerce clause of the U.S. Constitution as applied by the plaintiffs (In re Facebook Biometric Information Privacy Litigation, No. 3:15-cv-03747, N.D. Calif.).



UnitedHealth, OptumRx Accused Of Prescription Medication Billing Scheme
ST. PAUL, Minn. - UnitedHealth Group Inc., United Healthcare Services Inc., UnitedHealthcare Inc., Optum Inc. and OptumRx Inc. are engaging in a "clawback" billing scheme that results in their customers overpaying for their prescription medications, one customer alleges in a class complaint filed Nov. 15 in the U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota (Kathy L. Fellgren, et al. v. UnitedHealth Group Incorporated, et al., No. 16-3914, D. Minn.).



Kroger Hit With Pregnancy Discrimination Class Complaint
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Kroger Co. and Kroger Limited Partnership I provide reasonable accommodations to employees injured at work but won't provide similar accommodation to pregnant workers, a Tennessee employee alleges in her class complaint filed Nov. 15 in Tennessee federal court (Jessica Craddock, et al. v. The Kroger Company, et al., No. 16-2881, M.D. Tenn.).



3 Class Actions Filed Seeking Coverage For Maternity Expenses
Three class action complaints were filed in recent weeks alleging that health benefit providers who are fiduciaries as defined in the Employee Retirement Income Security Act are obligated to administer plan benefits in accordance with the terms of plan documents and applicable law and cover maternity-related expenses such as breastfeeding (Laura Briscoe, et al. v. Health Care Service Corp., et al., No. 1:16-cv-10294, N.D. Ill.; Jance Hoy, et al. v. United Healthcare Services Inc., No. 2:16-cv-05579, E.D. Pa.; Lindsay Ferrer, et al. v. Carefirst Inc., et al., No. 1:16-cv-02162, D. D.C.).



Class Action Alleges Breach Of Fiduciary Duty For Fees Charged Ford Plan Accounts
DETROIT - Participants in three Ford Motor Co. retirement plans filed a putative class action complaint Nov. 9 in Michigan federal court that alleges that Xerox HR Solutions LLC allowed excessive fees to be charged on participant accounts in violations of its fiduciary duty under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (Patrick Chendes, et al. v. Xerox HR Solutions LLC, No. 2:16-cv-13980, E.D. Mich., Southern Div.).



Class Complaint Alleges Discrimination In Facebook's Advertising Platform
SAN JOSE, Calif. - Three users of Facebook Inc. filed a putative class action against the social networking giant in California federal court Nov. 3, alleging that its online advertising platform violates the Fair Housing Act (FHA) and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 by permitting advertisers to prevent members of certain demographics from seeing ads related to housing or employment opportunities (Suzanne-Juliette Mobley, et al. v. Facebook Inc., et al., No. 5:16-cv-06440, N.D. Calif.).



Drug Maker Concealed Collusive Activity From Investors, Shareholder Argues
NEW YORK - A pharmaceutical company and certain of its current and former executive officers misrepresented the company's business and financial condition to investors and engaged in violations of federal antitrust law by colluding with other generic drug makers to artificially inflate the price of generic drugs in violation of federal securities laws, a shareholder argues in an Oct. 25 complaint filed in New York federal court (Christopher Speakes v. Taro Pharmaceuticals Industries Ltd., et al., No. 16-8318, S.D. N.Y.).



Bait-And-Switch, Donning And Doffing, Other Complaints Hit Courts
Recent class action lawsuits filed in federal courts across the country include complaints alleging bait-and-switch, wage-and-hour violations and fraud.



Split 8th Circuit Finds CAFA Removal Of Chemical Release Claims Was Timely
ST. LOUIS - A letter from plaintiffs' counsel seeking a settlement in excess of $5 million was not sufficient notice to the defendant that the case was removable to federal court pursuant to the Class Action Fairness Act (CAFA), a divided Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Oct. 24 (Carla Gibson, et al. v. Clean Harbors Environmental Services, Inc., No. 16-8012, 8th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 19073).



California Federal Judge Transfers Contract Breach Class Suit To Virginia
SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge on Oct. 25 agreed to transfer a breach of contract class complaint to Virginia, finding that the contract's forum-selection clause "does not contravene any anti-waiver provision of California's UCL [unfair competition law] or the strong public policy of California" (Run Them Sweet, LLC v. CPA Global Limited, et al., No. 16-3662, N.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 147803).



$26 Million Settlement Reached In WEN Hair Loss Class Complaint
LOS ANGELES - A California federal judge on Oct. 28 granted preliminary approval of a $26.25 million settlement to be paid by Guthy-Renker LLC and Wen By Chaz Dean Inc. to settle class claims that the defendants' line of WEN hair care products caused hair loss (Amy Friedman, et al. v. Guthy-Renker, LLC, et al., No. 14-6009, C.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 149900).



2nd Circuit: Negotiations Of Individual Settlement Moot Class Claims
NEW YORK - A pro se plaintiff's negotiation of a settlement for himself moots his class claims, a Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Oct. 20 (Todd C. Bank, et al. v. Alliance Health Networks, LLC, FKA Alliance Health Networks, Inc., et al., No. 15-4037, 2nd Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 18849).



Approval Of Wage-And-Hour Settlement Rejected, Further Information Requested
FLINT, Mich. - A Michigan federal judge on Oct. 31 denied approval of a confidential wage-and-hour settlement between an employer and its alarm response security officers (AROs), opining that she was unable to determine, based on the information provided, that the settlement is fair and reasonable (Marcus Williams, et al. v. Alimar Security, Inc., No. 13-12732, E.D. Mich.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 150119).



In-Store Promotion Services Monopoly Class Suit Settled For $244 Million
NEW YORK - A New York federal judge on Oct. 31 granted approval of a $244 million settlement to be paid by in-store promotion (ISP) services providers accused of creating a monopoly; however, the judge rejected the plaintiffs' counsel's request for an award of $73.2 million and instead awarded $48,825,000 (Dial Corp, et al. v. News Corporation, et al., No. 13-6802, S.D. N.Y.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 150528).



McDonald's To Pay $3.75M To Settle Franchise Workers' Class Action Lawsuit
SAN FRANCISCO - Lawyers representing about 800 current and former employees at five restaurants owned by a single McDonald's franchisee in California on Oct. 28 filed a motion seeking preliminary approval of a wage-and-hour class action settlement in which McDonald's would pay the workers $1.75 million in back pay and damages and $2 million in legal fees (Stephanie Ochoa, et al. v. McDonald's Corp., et al., No. 14-2098, N.D. Calif.).



California Federal Judge OKs Proposed Settlement Of VW Franchisees' Class Action
SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge on Oct. 18 granted preliminary approval of a settlement of a class action against Volkswagen Group of America Inc. that would create a $1.21 billion settlement fund and provide additional benefits to all 652 VW franchise dealers in the United States that suffered as a result of the diesel emissions cheating scandal (In re: Volkswagen "Clean Diesel" Marketing, Sales Practices and Products Liability Litigation, MDL No. 2672; Napleton Orlando Imports LLC, et al. v. Volkswagen Group of America Inc., et al., No. 3:16cv2086, N.D. Calif.).



California Federal Judge: FLSA Collective Claims Are Not Precluded By Earlier Suit
FRESNO, Calif. - A truck operator who had opted in to a wage-and-hour collective action that was ultimately denied certification before filing his own wage-and-hour collective action is not estopped from bringing his suit, a California federal judge ruled Oct. 26 (Williams Phillips, et al. v. Randy's Trucking, Inc., et al., No. 16-753, E.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 148574).



9th Circuit Reverses Certification Of Class Related To Defect Claims
PASADENA, Calif. - The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Oct. 24 reversed a trial court's decision granting class certification of a class of purchasers and owners of a replacement regulator for vehicles made by Chrysler Group LLC, finding that the class representative failed to meet the federal requirements for class certification (Steve Doyle v. Chrysler Group LLC, No. 15-55107, 9th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 19159).



Mexican Restaurant Chain Workers Granted Conditional Certification In Wage Suit
RALEIGH, N.C. - A North Carolina federal judge on Oct. 24 conditionally certified two classes of restaurant workers in a wage-and-hour suit, finding that the defendants failed to provide sufficient evidence of their claim that the workers already waived their claims in a settlement between the defendants and the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) (Luis Antonia Arellano Galvan, et al. v. San Jose Mexican Restaurant of NC, Inc., et al., No. 16-39, E.D. N.C.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 146544).



Spyware Class Action Against Lenovo Partly Dismissed, Partly Certified
SAN JOSE, Calif. - In an Oct. 27 ruling, a California federal judge permitted computer fraud, invasion of privacy and consumer-related claims against Lenovo (United States) Inc. related to the installation of laptop spyware to proceed, while dismissing wiretap and negligence claims. The judge also granted certification of nationwide and statewide indirect purchaser classes, but denied certification for a direct purchaser class (In Re: Lenovo Adware Litigation, No. 5:15-cv-02624, N.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 149958).



Missouri Federal Judge Trims Class Claims In Suit Over Red Light Cameras
ST. LOUIS - A Missouri federal judge on Nov. 1 partially granted a motion and supplemental motion for partial judgment on the pleadings, leaving only a claim for declaratory judgment remaining against a red light camera system provider in a class complaint filed by two individuals who were ticketed through the system in St. Peters, Mo. (Gina Thompson, et al. v. Redflex Traffic Systems, Inc., et al., No. 15-404, E.D. Mo.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 151067).



3rd Circuit Finds No Error In Allowing Expert Testimony In Breach Of Agreement Suit
PHILADELPHIA - In a breach of a lease agreement lawsuit between a class of landowners and an exploration production company, the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Oct. 24 that a trial judge did not abuse his discretion in refusing to reconsider allowing an expert to testify that natural gas sold to third-party buyers was made before any interstate transportation (David F. Pollock, as executor of the estate of Margaret F. Pollock, et al. v. Energy Corporation of America, Nos. 15-2648 & 15-2649, 3rd Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 19167).



6th Circuit: No Signature Necessary To Enforce Arbitration Agreement Under Kentucky Law
CINCINNATI - The lack of employee signatures on an arbitration agreement does not prevent enforcement, the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Oct. 24, finding that under Kentucky law, the employees' decision to continue working "demonstrated assent" (Marlena Aldrich, et al. v. University of Phoenix, Inc., No. 16-5276, 6th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 19296).



Arbitration Ordered In Airbnb Racial Bias Class Complaint
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A District of Columbia federal judge on Nov. 1 found that the arbitration agreement between a well-known residential rental service and its users was valid and enforceable, stayed a racial bias class complaint and granted the rental service's motion to compel individual arbitration (Gregory Selden, et al. v. Airbnb, Inc., No. 16-933, D. D.C.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 150863).



Court Affirms Order Compelling Credit Card Late Fee Claims To Arbitration
SAN DIEGO - A California appeals court on Oct. 20 affirmed a trial court's decision to compel claims for violation of California's unfair competition law (UCL) and other causes of action asserted against a retailer and a bank to arbitration, finding that all of the claims related to a credit card agreement that contained a valid arbitration clause (James Miceli v. Staples Inc., et al., No. D070224, Calif. App., 4th Dist., Div. 1; 2016 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 7675).



New York Federal Judge Orders Disclosure Of Fees In Xerox Pension Benefit Dispute
ROCHESTER, N.Y. - A New York federal judge on Oct. 19 ordered Xerox to disclose the amount of fees it was charged and paid to its law firms in an action over Xerox's violation of the notice requirements of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act when it applied an offset to pension benefits of rehired workers (Paul J. Frommert, et al. v. Sally L. Conkright, et al., No. 00-CV-6311, W.D. N.Y.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 144746).



6th Circuit: Unaccepted Offer In Class Suit Does Not Moot FCPA Complaint
CINCINNATI - The Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Oct. 27, citing the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling in Campbell-Ewald Co. v. Gomez (136 S. Ct. 663 [2016]), vacated a trial court's judgment that dismissed a Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) class complaint for lack of jurisdiction after the defendant made an unaccepted offer to the named plaintiff and entered judgment in the plaintiff's favor despite his protests (Sean Conway v. Portfolio Recovery Associates, LLC, No. 15-5925, 6th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 19373).



Massachusetts Federal Judge: Full Offer Of Judgment Doesn't Moot Class Claims
WORCESTER, Mass. - A defendant's third offer of judgment in a Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) suit, which satisfied the full amount sought by the named plaintiff, renders the individual plaintiff's claims moot but does not moot the class suit, a Massachusetts federal judge ruled Oct. 26 (Bais Yaakov of Spring Valley v. ACT, Inc., No. 12-40088, D. Mass.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 148255).



Seafood Seller Fails To Prove Amount In Controversy Means No Federal Jurisdiction
SAN JOSE, Calif. - A seafood seller accused of using jumbo squid in products labeled as octopus failed to show that the amount in controversy is less than $5 million, a California federal judge ruled Oct. 26, denying the seller's motion to dismiss a customer's class complaint (Luis Diego Zapata Fonseca, et al. v. Vigo Importing Co., No. 16-2055, N.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 148457).



Facebook Biometrics Plaintiffs Cite Recent Rulings To Support Standing Per Spokeo
SAN FRANCISCO - In an Oct. 24 statement filed in California federal court, the plaintiffs in a putative class action alleging violation of an Illinois biometrics law by Facebook Inc. cite two recent federal court rulings that they say support their standing under Article III of the U.S. Constitution under the standard established in Spokeo Inc. v. Robins (136 S.Ct. 1540 [2016]) (In re Facebook Biometric Information Privacy Litigation, No. 3:15-cv-03747, N.D. Calif.).



Suit Over Credit Card Numbers On J. Crew Receipts Dismissed
NEWARK, N.J. - Citing Spokeo v. Robbins (136 S.Ct. 1540 [2016]), a New Jersey federal judge on Oct. 20 dismissed a putative class action against J. Crew Inc. under the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACTA), finding that the complaint failed to allege any concrete injuries from the retailer's printing too many credit card digits on customers' receipts (Ahmed Kamal v. J. Crew Group Inc., et al., No. 2:15-cv-00190, D. N.J.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 145392).



Alleged Misstatements Contained Required Cautionary Language, Judge Rules
HOUSTON - A federal judge in Texas on Oct. 21 ruled that dismissal of an amended complaint in a securities class action lawsuit against parties to a merger deal is proper because lead plaintiffs failed to show that alleged misrepresentations and omissions made by the parties regarding debt and future distributions issues were not publicly available and did not contain the required cautionary language (Irving Braun, et al. v. Eagle Rock Energy Partners, LP, et al., No. 15-1470, S.D. Texas; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 146035).



Judge: Lead Plaintiffs Failed To Plead Materiality In Securities Class Action
MINNEAPOLIS - Lead plaintiffs in a securities class action lawsuit against a technology company, certain of its officers and directors and others have failed to plead materiality or and false and misleading statements in making their federal securities law claims, a federal judge in Minnesota ruled Oct. 25 in dismissing their consolidated amended complaint (Matthew Ridler, et al. v. Hutchinson Technology Inc., et al., No. 15-4356, D. Minn.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 147906).



TD Ameritrade Did Not Aid, Participate In Ponzi Scheme, 11th Circuit Panel Rules
ATLANTA - A federal district court did not err in dismissing a securities class action lawsuit brought by investors who alleged that TD Ameritrade Inc. and certain of its affiliates aided and/or participated in a Ponzi scheme because the investors failed to show that the defendants actually participated in the sale of the securities at issue, an 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Oct. 21 in a per curiam opinion (William A. Curry, et al. v. TD Ameritrade Inc., et al., No. 16-12041, 11th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 18996).



Dentists, 3M Agree To Consolidate Lava Dental Crown Cases Into 1 Class Action
MINNEAPOLIS - 3M Co. and 20 dentists and dental practices on Oct. 25 stipulated to consolidating eight lawsuits into one class action complaint for business injuries caused by the Lava Ultimate Restorative dental crown (Vikram Bhatia, D.D.S., et al. v. 3M Company, No. 16-1304, D. Minn.).



Pennsylvania Superior Court: Wages May Not Be Paid Via Payroll Cards
HARRISBURG, Pa. - A class of current and former McDonald's employees may proceed with their state wage claims against a couple who own and operate 16 franchises in Pennsylvania and pay their hourly employees via JP Morgan Chase Payroll Cards, a Pennsylvania Superior Court panel ruled Oct. 21, determining in a question of first impression that that form of payment, which subjects the employees to fees, does not meet requirements of the Pennsylvania Wage Payment and Collection Law (WPCL) (Alisha Siciliano, et al. v. Albert/Carol Mueller, et al., No. 1321 MDA 2015, Pa. Super.; 2016 Pa. Super. LEXIS 596).



Rite Aid May Ask New York Plaintiffs Limited Questions About California Plaintiffs
NEW YORK - A New York federal magistrate judge issued an opinion on Oct. 31 granting Rite Aid Corp. permission to question three plaintiffs in an ongoing New York collective and class wage suit about their supervision of certain plaintiffs in current California wage suits without the plaintiffs' counsel present (Yatram Indergit, et al. v. Rite Aid Corporation, et al., No. 08-9361, S.D. N.Y.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 150565).



High Court Won't Review Reversal Of Benefits Ruling For Moen Inc. Retirees
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on Oct. 31 denied a petition for writ of certiorari asking it to review a divided Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel decision that reversed a district court's ruling in favor of a class of retirees from Moen Inc. who argued that their collective bargaining agreements guaranteed them health care benefits for life (John L. Gallo, et al. v. Moen Incorporated, No. 16-222, U.S. Sup.).



Whole Foods Faces Class Suit For Allegedly Denying Workplace Accommodations
CHICAGO - A former Whole Foods Market Group Inc. worker filed a class complaint Oct. 27 in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois seeking damages for Whole Foods' alleged refusal to allow employees with medical restrictions to return to work, in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) (Yolanda Toolie, et al. v. Whole Foods Market Group, Inc., No. 16-10113, N.D. Ill.).