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LexisNexis® Mealey's™ Class Actions Legal News
Headline Class Actions Legal News from LexisNexis®
Ernst & Young Ask High Court To Rule On Barring Concerted Employee Actions
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Ernst & Young LLP and Ernst & Young U.S. LLP filed a petition for writ of certiorari in the U.S. Supreme Court on Sept. 8, asking for review of August 2016's Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals decision in which a divided panel held that an employer may not condition employment on the requirement that an employee sign an agreement barring employees from coming together to file legal action over work-related claims (Ernst & Young LLP, et al. v. Stephen Morris, et al., No. 16-300, U.S. Sup.).
Dignity Health Seeks High Court Review Of Church Plan Rulings
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Lower courts and religious employers "desperately need definitive resolution" of the recurring question of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act's "church plan" exemption, Dignity Health argues in a petition for a writ of certiorari filed Aug. 29 in the U.S. Supreme Court (Dignity Health, et al. v. Starla Rollins, No. 16-258, U.S. Sup.; 2016 U.S. S. Ct. Briefs LEXIS 3166).
High Court Grants Extension Of Time To File Petition In Best Buy Securities Suit
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court has granted shareholders a more than a month's extension to file a petition for writ of certiorari in a securities class action lawsuit in which the shareholders are challenging the Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals' reversal of a lower court's grant of class certification, according to a letter filed Sept. 1 in the Eighth Circuit (IBEW Local 98 Pension Fund, et al. v. Best Buy Co., Inc., et al., No. 14-3178, 8th Cir.).
5th Circuit Upholds Denial Of Class Certification In Super Bowl XLV Suit
NEW ORLEANS - A Texas federal judge did not err in denying certification of three classes of Super Bowl XLV ticketholders bringing various claims related to seating issues at the 2011 football game, a Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Sept. 9 (Bruce Ibe, et al. v. Jerral Wayne Jones, et al., Ken Laffin, et al. v. National Football League, et al., No. 15-10242, 5th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 16583).
Ohio Appeals Panel Reverses Class Certification In Sewage Flooding Suit
CLEVELAND - An Ohio city is not entitled to qualified immunity in a suit by residents whose basements were flooded with sewage; however, the trial court erred in granting the residents' motion for class certification, an Eighth District Ohio Court of Appeals panel ruled Sept. 1 (State ex rel. Andy Huttman, et al. v. City of Parma, et al., No. 103691, Ohio App., 8th Dist.; 2016 Ohio App. LEXIS 3493).
Office Depot Assistant Managers Granted Certification In Wage Suit
NEWARK, N.J. - A New Jersey federal judge on Sept. 13 granted final certification of a collective action filed by assistant store managers (ASMs) seeking unpaid overtime wages under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and certified three out of four proposed classes alleging violations of various state wage-and-hour laws (Kyle Rivet, et al. v. Office Depot, Inc., No. 12-2992, D. N.J.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 123655).
Class Suit Against Adidas Over Springblade Sneakers Denied Certification
NEW YORK - A New York federal judge on Sept. 2 denied a motion to certify a class of consumers accusing Adidas America Inc. of selling defectively designed and manufactured Springblade sneakers, finding that the proposed class and subclass are not reasonably ascertainable or manageable, that predominance was not satisfied and that there was no proof of harm (Edward A. Ruffo, et al. v. Adidas America Inc., No. 15-5989, S.D. N.Y.).
9th Circuit: Court Lacked Authority To Decide Uber's Arbitration Enforceability
SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal court had no authority to rule on the enforceability of arbitration agreements entered into between Uber Technologies Inc. and its drivers except as to a representative claim under California's Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA), a Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Sept. 7 (Abdul Kadir Mohamed, et al. v. Uber Technologies, Inc., et al., Nos. 15-16178 and 15-16250, Ronald Gillette v. Uber Technologies, Inc., No. 15-16181, 9th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 16413).
2nd Circuit: For Now, Waiver Of Collective Action Is Enforceable
NEW YORK - Circuit precedent, as established in Sutherland v. Ernst & Young LLP (726 F.3d 290 [2d Cir. 2013]), requires a finding that an employment agreement's waiver of collective action is enforceable until such time as that ruling is overturned by an en banc Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals or the U.S. Supreme Court, a Second Circuit panel ruled Sept. 7 (Connie Patterson, et al. v. Raymours Furniture Company, Inc., No. 15-2820, 2nd Cir.).
6th Circuit: Hacking Victims Have Standing To Bring FCRA Suit Against Nationwide
CINCINNATI - The lead plaintiffs in a putative class action over a 2012 data breach experienced by Nationwide Mutual Insurance Co. sufficiently alleged "a substantial risk of harm" and "incurred mitigation costs" from the theft of their personally identifiable information (PII) to establish standing to bring Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) claims against the insurer, a Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel majority held Sept. 12, reversing and remanding a trial court's dismissal ruling (Mohammad S. Galaria, et al. v. Nationwide Mutual Insurance Co., No. 15-3386 and 15-3387, 6th Cir.).
Warranty Breach Claims Proceed In Suit Alleging Squid In Octopus Products
SAN JOSE, Calif. - A consumer who has accused Goya Foods Inc. of using squid in its products labeled as octopus may proceed with his breach of warranty claims, a California federal judge ruled Sept. 8, granting in part and denying in part a dismissal motion (Luis Diego Zapata Fonseca v. Goya Foods Inc., No. 16-2559, N.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 121716).
No Waiver Of Tribe's Protection In Fair Credit Act, 7th Circuit Holds
CHICAGO - A customer at stores owned by an Indian tribe cannot pursue class claims that the tribe violated the Fair and Accurate Credit Transaction Act (FACTA) by printing identifying information on his credit card receipts because Congress did not waive the tribe's sovereign immunity in the act, the Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals held Sept. 8 (Jeremy Meyers v. Oneida Tribe of Indians of Wisconsin, No. 15-3127, 7th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 16515).
CVS Supplement Labeling Claims Class Suit Reinstated By 1st Circuit Panel
BOSTON - A First Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Sept. 6 reversed dismissal of a consumer's class complaint accusing a pharmacy chain of misleading customers about the heart health benefits of its vitamin E supplement, finding that federal law does not preempt the plaintiff's claim under New York's consumer protection law (Ronda Kaufman, et al. v. CVS Caremark Corporation, et al., No. 16-1199, 1st Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 16350).
Partial Dismissal, Tolling Denied In Servers' Wage-And-Hour Class Suit
CHICAGO - A restaurant server may proceed with her class complaint seeking wages for time spent on nonserving duties, an Illinois federal judge ruled Sept. 8; however, the judge ruled that the server's request to toll the statute of limitations was overbroad (Katrina Soto, et al. v. Wings 'R Us Romeoville, Inc., et al., No. 15-10127, N.D. Ill.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 121223).
Judge Dismisses Class Action Suit Over Pulte's Use Of Allegedly Defective Stucco
ORLANDO, Fla. - A federal judge in Florida on Sept. 8 dismissed a class action suit against Pulte Home Corp. accusing the company of building homes with defective stucco siding, ruling that the negligence claim is barred by the economic loss doctrine and that the state does not recognize a cause of action for a builder's alleged intentional installation of defective stucco (Shaun Parker Gazzara, et al. v. Pulte Home Corporation, No. 16-cv-657-Orl-31TBS, M.D. Fla.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 121348).
California Federal Judge Dismisses Part Of Suit Over Hepatitis C Drug
SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge on Aug. 31 granted in part a defendants' motion to dismiss a putative class action seeking injunctive relief from Blue Shield of California's denial of coverage for a drug to treat hepatitis C because Blue Shield has since amended its Harvoni policy and given notice to insureds that they can resubmit claims for treatment (Aram Homampour, et al. v. Blue Shield of California Life and Health Insurance Co., et al., No. 3:15-cv-05003, N.D.. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 117632).
North Carolina Federal Judge Refuses To Dismiss ERISA Claims Against Aetna
ASHEVILLE, N.C. - A North Carolina federal judge on Aug. 31 denied defendants' motion to dismiss two claims for breach of fiduciary duty brought under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act because the plaintiff sufficiently alleged an injury in fact (Sandra M. Peters, et al. v. Aetna Inc., et al., No. 1:15-cv-00109, W.D. N.C.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 117326).
Antitrust Claims Over Patent Litigation Revived By 3rd Circuit
PHILADELPHIA - A Delaware federal judge erred in treating antitrust standing as an issue of subject matter jurisdiction in dismissing a putative class action against alleged supracompetitive pricing of medicated eye drops, the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Sept. 7 (Hartig Drug Company Inc. v. Senju Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd., et al., No. 15-3289, 3rd Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 16404).
Shareholders Failed To Correct Loss Causation Deficiencies, Judge Rules
SAN FRANCISCO - Shareholders have failed to show how an anonymous blogger report is adequate to serve as a corrective disclosure to support loss causation, a federal judge in California ruled Sept. 2 in dismissing the shareholders' amended complaint (Francis J. Bonanno v. Cellular Biomedicine Group Inc., et al., No. 15-1795, N.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 119194).
Panel: Court Properly Ruled That Securities Claims Were Barred By Precedent
ATLANTA - A federal district court did not err in dismissing a securities class action lawsuit against home security company The ADT Corp., its CEO and others because shareholder claims are barred pursuant to precedent and because the shareholders failed to plead any material misrepresentation or scienter, an 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled in a per curiam opinion filed Sept. 9 (IBEW Local 595 Pension and Money Purchase Pension Plans, et al. v. The ADT Corp., et al., No. 15-13595, 11th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 16454).
Judge Won't Reconsider Ruling In Securities Suit Against Medical Device Maker
PHILADELPHIA - Without providing any detail, a federal judge in Pennsylvania on Sept. 9 denied a shareholder's motion to reconsider an earlier ruling dismissing a securities class action complaint for failure to plead an actionable misrepresentation or scienter (Mark Silverstein v. Globus Medical Inc., et al., No. 15-5386, E.D. Pa.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 113740).
Medical Device Maker Seeks Dismissal Of Securities Fraud Class Action Claims
NEW YORK - A securities class action lawsuit against a medical device maker and its CEO should be dismissed because the lead plaintiff has failed to show that the defendants made any material misrepresentations or acted with scienter in statements they made regarding the company's heart pump, the defendants argue in an Aug. 30 motion to dismiss (In re HeartWare International Inc. Securities Litigation, No. 16-0520, S.D. N.Y.).
California Federal Judge: Nurses' Wage Class Claims Must Remain In Federal Court
SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge on Sept. 2 denied a motion to send a wage class complaint brought by nurses who are temporarily employed in hospitals during labor disputes back to state court, finding that the amount in controversy exceeds $5 million (Karen Mackall v. Healthsource Global Staffing, Inc., No. 16-3810, N.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 119292).
Massachusetts Federal Judge Transfers Cleaning Franchisees' Claims To California Federal Court
BOSTON - A Massachusetts federal judge on Sept. 13 granted three California plaintiffs' motion to sever and transfer their class action claims against a cleaning franchisor to the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, saying that California has a greater interest in this case and that all claims brought by Massachusetts plaintiffs have been dismissed (Giovani Depianti, et al. v. Jan-Pro Franchising Inc., No. 08-10663, D. Mass.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 124106).
Proposed Settlement Filed In Alabama Federal Court In 'Church Plan' Class Action
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - A plaintiff on Aug. 26 submitted in Alabama federal court an unopposed motion and brief in support of a proposed settlement of a class action that alleges that the Baptist Health System Inc. Retirement Plan was improperly classified as a "church plan" under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act and significantly underfunded (Jeffrey Tucker, et al. v. Baptist Health System Inc., et al., No. 2:15-cv-00382, N.D. Ala.).
Hagens Berman Attorneys Announce Settlement Near In VW Diesel Emissions Case
SAN FRANCISCO - Attorneys at Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro in Seattle on Aug. 25 announced that they have reached a proposed settlement with Volkswagen Group of America Inc. that creates a settlement fund and provides additional benefits to all 652 VW franchise dealers in the United States who suffered as a result of the diesel emissions cheating scandal (David Fiol, et al. v. Volkswagen Group of America Inc., No. 3:15cv4278, N.D. Calif.).
University Awarded Attorney Fees For Discovery Disputes In Stolen Records Suit
ROME, Ga. - Having found that a defendant university established that it was entitled to attorney fees related to a motion to compel discovery responses from the putative class representatives in a negligence suit over stolen student records, a Georgia federal judge on Sept. 2 awarded the university more than $16,000 in costs and fees, ruling that the information and documents sought were relevant to the plaintiffs' claimed damages (Erin Bishop, et al. v. Shorter University Inc., No. 4:15-cv-00033, N.D. Ga.).
ITT Hit With 3 WARN Act Complaints After Closing Its Doors
Just a day after ITT Educational Services Inc. told its students and employees on Sept. 6 that all of its campuses were being permanently shuttered, three class complaints had been filed by employees in two federal courts accusing the for-profit chain of failing to provide them with proper notice (Dennis Artis, et al v. ITT Educational Services, Inc., No. 16-790, D. Del., Allen Federman v. ITT Educational Services, Inc., No. 16-780, D. Del., Christin M. Long, et al. v. ITT Educational Services, Inc., No. 16-2399, S.D. Ind.).
Sex Toy Maker Accused Of Collecting Private Info About Consumers' Use
CHICAGO - An Illinois resident filed a class complaint on Sept. 2, accusing a sex toy seller of collecting highly personal information about consumers and their use of the products and storing that information on servers in Canada (N.P., et al. v. Standard Innovation [US], Corp., d/b/a We-Vibe, No. 16-8655, N.D. Ill.).
IPhone User Sues Apple For Failure To Honor Phone Upgrade Program
SAN JOSE, Calif. - In a putative class complaint filed Sept. 12 in California federal court, a New York man alleges breach of contract and unfair competition against Apple Inc. for its purported failure to live up to its pledge to annually furnish the latest models of iPhones to members of its "iPhone Upgrade Program" (Emil Frank v. Apple Inc., No. 5:16-cv-05217, N.D. Calif.).
Michigan Federal Judge Denies Plaintiff's Placeholder Motion In TCPA Class Suit
DETROIT - A Michigan federal judge on Aug. 29 denied a "placeholder" motion filed by the named plaintiff in a proposed Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) class suit, finding that the motion is unnecessary in light of the decision in Campbell-Ewald Co. v. Gomez (136 S. Ct. 663, 666, 193 L. Ed. 2d 571 ) (Compressor Engineering Corporation, et al. v. Comfort Control Supply Company, Inc., et al., No. 16-11726, E.D. Mich.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 115389).
California Federal Judge: Bus Driver's Class Counsel Is Inadequate
LOS ANGELES - A California federal judge on Aug. 26 denied a motion for certification of a class of bus drivers bringing wage-and-hour claims, finding that class counsel does not meet Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23's adequacy requirement (James Motty, et al. v. First Student, Inc., et al., No. 15-7463, C.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 114948).
California Federal Judge Certifies Nike Employee Waiting Time Class
SAN JOSE, Calif. - A California federal judge on Aug. 19 certified a class of Nike Retail Services Inc. workers suing for wages for time spent waiting for and during inspections following their shifts (Isaac Rodriguez v. Nike Retail Services, Inc., No. 14-1508, N.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 110961).
Class Certification Denied By California Federal Judge In Unsolicited Fax Suit
SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge on Aug. 22 denied a motion for class certification filed by the plaintiff in a complaint over alleged unsolicited faxes and, in the same order, denied a motion for stay filed by the defendants as moot (True Health Chiropractic Inc., et al. v. McKesson Corporation, et al., No. 13-2219, N.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 111657).
Citing A Lack Of Damages, Lenovo Opposes Certification In Laptop Spyware Suit
SAN JOSE, Calif. - In an Aug. 19 brief opposing class certification in a suit over purported spyware that was preinstalled on computers, Lenovo (United States) Inc. told a California federal court that the case is "about a theoretical software security vulnerability that never materialized," arguing that certifications is inappropriate because the plaintiffs have not demonstrated any injury from the disputed software (In Re: Lenovo Adware Litigation, No. 5:15-cv-02624, N.D. Calif.).
Georgia Federal Judge Certifies Class Of SunTrust 401(k) Plan Participants
ATLANTA - a Georgia federal judge on Aug. 17 certified a class of participants in or beneficiaries of the SunTrust Banks Inc. 401(k) Savings Plan who allege that they sustained a loss to their account as a result of investment in SunTrust stock, saying it would "help bring an efficient resolution to this case" (In re SunTrust Banks Inc. ERISA Litigation, No. 1:08-CV-03384, N.D. Ga.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 108916).
8th Circuit Upholds Class Attorney Fee Award Well Below Uncontested Amount
KANSAS CITY, Mo. - The Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Aug. 19 affirmed an attorney fee award of $23,137.46 in a Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACTA) class settlement despite the defendants agreeing not to challenge an award of $175,000 (John H. Galloway, et al. v. The Kansas City Landsmen, LLC, et al., No. 15-1629, 8th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 15234).
$100 Million Uber Settlement Denied Preliminary Approval Again, Despite More Info
SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge on Aug. 18 denied preliminary approval for a second time of a $100 million settlement between Uber Technologies Inc. and its drivers, who allege in two lawsuits that they have been misclassified as independent contractors, finding that, despite supplemental briefing, "the Settlement as a whole is not fair, adequate, and reasonable" (Douglas O'Connor, et al. v. Uber Technologies, Inc., et al., No. 13-3826, Hakan Yucesoy, et al. v. Uber Technologies, Inc., et al., No. 15-262, N.D. Calif.).
Motion To Enjoin State WEN Hair Loss Suits Is Denied By Federal Judge
LOS ANGELES - A California federal judge on Aug. 26 denied a motion to temporarily enjoin three state court cases filed against the maker of a line of hair products that allegedly cause hair loss, finding that the state courts do not threaten settlement of a federal class action that makes similar hair loss claims (Amy Friedman, et al. v. Guthy-Renker LLC, et al., No. 14-6009, C.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 114934).
Final Approval Of $12.1M TCPA Class Settlement Granted; Attorney Fees Reduced
CHICAGO - An Illinois federal judge on Aug. 29 granted final approval of a $12.1 million settlement, ending a consolidated class complaint accusing a mortgage lender of placing unauthorized debt collection calls, but reduced the fees for class counsel from 36 percent to 30 percent of the net settlement fund (Heather Wright, et al. v. Nationstar Mortgage LLC, No. 14-10457, N.D. Ill.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 115729).
$13 Million Settlement, Service Award Approved In Home Depot Data Breach Suit
ATLANTA - Following a Georgia federal judge's final approval of a $13 million settlement between The Home Depot Inc. and a class of consumers suing over a 2014 data breach, judgment was issued on Aug. 24 memorializing an accompanying award of almost $7.8 million in service awards for the class (In re: The Home Depot Inc., Customer Data Security Breach Litigation, No. 1:14-md-02583, N.D. Ga.).
Motorcycle Gear Retailer Settles Wage Class Claims For $1.9 Million
SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge on Aug. 23 granted final approval of a $1.9 million settlement to be paid by a retailer to end wage-and-hour class claims brought by employees, finding that the evidence, potential length of the case and overwhelming support from class members weighed in favor of approval (Lannden Bower v. Cycle Gear, Inc., No. 14-2712, N.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 112455).
Final Approval Granted To Settlement In Yahoo Email-Scanning Class Action
SAN JOSE, Calif. - Following an Aug. 25 hearing, a California federal judge granted approval that same day of a settlement agreement disposing of a class action over Yahoo Inc.'s scanning of emails, awarding the class $4 million in costs and fees and $20,000 in service awards (In Re Yahoo Mail Litigation, No. 5:13-cv-04980, N.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 115056).
9th Circuit: Class Suit Over Supplement's Effectiveness Belongs In State Court
PASADENA, Calif. - A California District Court erred when it dismissed a putative class action regarding a dietary supplement's effectiveness, a Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Aug. 18, finding that the District Court should have, after determining that it lacked jurisdiction, remanded the case to state court pursuant to 28 U.S. Code Section 1447(c) (Elsa Polo, et al. v. Innoventions International, LLC, No. 14-55916, 9th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 15180).
Judge Finds Local Controversy Exception Warrants Remand Of Defects Suit
HONOLULU - A federal judge in Hawaii on Aug. 9 remanded sua sponte a class action lawsuit accusing D.R. Horton of building homes with defectively installed hurricane straps, finding that the local controversy exception to the Class Action Fairness Act (CAFA) stripped the court of jurisdiction (Charles Vitale, et al. v. D.R. Horton Inc., et al., No. 15-00312, D. Hawaii; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 105151).
Minnesota High Court: Lending Firm's Email Solicitations Conferred Jurisdiction
ST. PAUL, Minn. - A loan referral firm's sending of more than 1,000 solicitation emails to recipients it knew were in Minnesota constituted sufficient contacts to establish jurisdiction over it in the state, the en banc Minnesota Supreme Court ruled Aug. 24, affirming two lower court rulings in a consumer protection class action (Scott Rilley, et al. v. MoneyMutual LLC, No. A14-1307, Minn. Sup.; 2016 Minn. LEXIS 526).
Split 9th Circuit: Employer May Not Bar Concerted Employee Legal Actions
SAN FRANCISCO - An employer may not condition employment on the requirement that an employee sign an agreement barring employees from coming together to file legal action over work-related claims, a divided Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Aug. 22, finding that the clause violates National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) Section 7 (Stephen Morris, et al. v. Ernst & Young, LLP, et al., No. 13-16599, 9th Cir.).
New York Federal Judge: Baby Formula Organic Labeling Class Claims Are Preempted
NEW YORK - A New York federal judge on Aug. 23 granted a motion to dismiss a class complaint filed by consumers accusing a baby formula maker of improperly labeling its product as organic, finding that the claims are preempted by the Organic Foods Production Act of 1990 (OFPA) (Sara Marentette, et al. v. Abbott Laboratories, Inc., No. 15-2837, E.D. N.Y.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 112241).
3rd Circuit: Data Theft Negligence Claim Is Barred By Pa. Economic-Loss Doctrine
PHILADELPHIA - The Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Aug. 25 in a not precedential opinion upheld the dismissal of a data theft class complaint, finding that the affected parties' negligence claim was barred by Pennsylvania's economic-loss doctrine and that there was insufficient evidence to support a breach of implied contract claim (Joan Longenecker-Wells, et al. v. Benecard Services Inc., et al., No. 15-3538, 3rd Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 15696).
Judge Denies Google's Motion To Dismiss Email- Scanning Class Complaint
SAN JOSE, Calif. - The lead plaintiff in a putative class action against Google Inc. has sufficiently alleged privacy violations related to Google's intercepting and scanning of emails sent and received via its Gmail Web-based email service, a California federal judge ruled Aug. 12, denying Google's motion to dismiss (Daniel Matera v. Google Inc., No. 5:15-cv-04062, N.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 107918).
New York Federal Judge Dismisses 5 Defendants From ERISA Class Action
NEW YORK - A New York federal judge on Aug. 23 granted five defendants' motion to dismiss claims against them in a second amended class action complaint against 12 banks and their affiliates under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act because the plaintiffs failed to adequately plead that the defendants were ERISA fiduciaries or "parties in interest" (Doris Sue Allen, et al. v. Bank of America Corp., et al., No. 1:15cv4285, S.D. N.Y.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 112407).
Defendants Misrepresented Roles In Medicare Revenue Fraud Scheme, Judge Rules
BATON ROUGE, La. - Lead plaintiffs in a securities class action lawsuit have shown that a home health services provider and certain of its current and former executive officers issued material misrepresentations concealing certain information regarding their participation in fraudulent Medicare practices in violation of federal securities law, a federal judge in Louisiana ruled Aug. 19 in granting in part and denying in part the defendants' motion to dismiss (Robert F. Bach, et al. v. Amedisys Inc., et al., No. 10-0395, M.D. La.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 111077).
2nd Circuit Remands Securities Class Action For Consideration Of New Evidence
NEW YORK - Although a federal district court did not err in dismissing a federal securities class action complaint against BlackBerry Limited and certain of its former executive officers for failure to plead scienter, it is unclear whether newly discovered evidence submitted by lead plaintiffs was insufficient to determine whether the court properly denied their motion for reconsideration, a Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Aug. 24 (Todd Cox, et al. v. BlackBerry Limited, et al., No. 15-3991, 2nd Cir.).
Magistrate Judge: Pulte Home Need Not Produce Names, Addresses Of Buyers
ORLANDO, Fla. - A federal magistrate judge in Florida on Aug. 30 denied plaintiffs' motion to compel Pulte Home Corp. to produce the names and addresses of individuals who purchased homes built with allegedly defective stucco, explaining that the requested information is not typically discoverable in the precertification stage (Shaun Parker Gazzara, et al. v. Pulte Home Corporation, No. 16-cv-657-Orl-31TBS, M.D. Fla.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 116064).
Ashley Madison Operator Calls Data Breach Plaintiffs' Discovery Requests Too Broad
ST. LOUIS - Opposing a motion to compel discovery by the plaintiffs in a putative class action over the 2015 hacking of the Ashley Madison website, the site's operator on Aug. 16 told a Missouri federal court that it already produced everything that falls "within the scope of the 'limited discovery' necessary to decide" a pending motion to compel arbitration (In re Ashley Madison Customer Data Security Breach Litigation, No. 4:15-cv-02669, E.D. Mo.).
Motions To Compel Arbitration, Remand Filed In Snapchat Biometrics Suit
Nickelodeon Privacy Plaintiffs Oppose Viacom's Summary Judgment Plan On Remand
NEWARK, N.J. - The plaintiffs in a privacy class action against Viacom Inc. and Google Inc. filed a letter in New Jersey federal court Aug. 19, taking issue with Viacom's efforts to file a prediscovery summary judgment motion to dispose of the remaining intrusion upon seclusion claim that was recently revived and remanded by the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals (In Re: Nickelodeon Consumer Privacy Litigation, No. 2:12-cv-07829, D. N.J.).
California Federal Judge Says McDonald's Corp. Isn't Joint Employer Of Bay Area Workers
SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge on Aug. 16 granted partial summary judgment to McDonald's Corp. in a wage-and-hour putative class action brought by a franchisee's workers, finding that McDonald's does not jointly employ the named plaintiffs because it does not retain or exert direct or indirect control over their hiring, firing, wages or working conditions (Guadalupe Salazar, et al. v. McDonald's Corp., et al., No. 3:14-cv-02096, N.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 108764).
Maryland Federal Judge Consolidates ERISA Cases, Appoints Lead Counsel
BALTIMORE - A Maryland federal judge on Aug. 24 consolidated two Employee Retirement Income Security Act class actions against Bon Secours Health System Inc. and appointed interim lead class counsel (Arlene Hodges, et al. v. Bon Secours Health System Inc., et al., No. RDB-16-1079, Carolyn Miller, et al. v. Bon Secours Health System Inc., et al., No. RDB-16-1150, D. Md.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 113414).
Proposed Class Action Suit Filed Against Smoothie Chain
RICHMOND, Va. - A woman on Aug. 26 filed a proposed class action lawsuit against a smoothie chain in Virginia state court, claiming that berries used in the restaurants' smoothies were infected with hepatitis A (HAV) (Laura L. Pyka v. TLC Tropical Smoothie LLC, No. CL16003893-00, Va. Cir., Richmond City).
Wahlburgers' Employees File A Class Complaint, Allege Wage Theft
NEW YORK - Five employees of a celebrity-owned hamburger chain filed a class complaint on Aug. 18 in a New York federal court, accusing Wahlburgers Franchising LLC and several franchisees of failing to pay them minimum wages and overtime and withholding tips (Shakeiya Burnett, et al. v. Wahlburgers Franchising LLC, et al., No. 16-4602, E.D. N.Y.).
Smart TV Owners File Consolidated Privacy Complaint Over Vizio's Data Collection
SANTA ANA, Calif. - Four months after lawsuits against Vizio Inc. were consolidated in California federal court, a group of lead plaintiffs filed a consolidated putative class complaint against the television manufacturer on Aug. 15, alleging federal and state privacy violations from the firm's collection and sharing of their viewing habits via software installed on Vizio Smart TVs (In Re: Vizio, Inc., Consumer Privacy Litigation, No. 8:16-ml-02693, C.D. Calif.).
California High Court Upholds Attorney Fee Calculated As Percentage Of Settlement
SAN FRANCISCO - An award of an attorney fee out of a common fund calculated as a percentage of a settlement amount in not per se unreasonable, the California Supreme Court ruled Aug. 11 in the appeal of a nearly $6.34 million attorney fee approved as part of a $19 million class action employment settlement (Mark Laffitte, et al. v. Robert Half International Inc., et al., No. S222996, Calif. Sup.; 2016 Cal. LEXIS 6387).
Federal Judge: No Remand In Suit Without Defined Class, Amount In Controversy
ST. LOUIS - A Missouri federal judge on Aug. 16 denied a motion to remand a class complaint accusing a telecommunications provider of selling its customers' private information, finding that the defendant was able to show federal jurisdiction pursuant to the Class Action Fairness Act (CAFA) despite the plaintiffs' lack of clear class definition and amount in controversy (Reno Cova, et al. v. Charter Communications, Inc., No. 16-675, E.D. Mo.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 108028).
Medicare Claims Denial Suit Granted Class Certification
NEW HAVEN, Conn. - A class of Medicare recipients suing the secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) alleging the existence of a secret policy for administering and denying claims was certified on Aug. 8 by a Connecticut federal judge who, in the same ruling, largely denied a dismissal motion filed by the secretary (Ruth Sherman, et al. v. Sylvia Mathews Burwell, Secretary of Health and Human Services, No. 15-1468, D. Conn.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 103897).
Class Certification Denied In Suit Alleging Thermostat Didn't Perform As Promised
SAN JOSE, Calif. - A Maryland man who claims that the Nest Learning Thermostat (NLT) didn't live up to claims that it would help him save on energy costs failed to satisfy the commonality, typicality, adequacy or predominance requirements, a California federal judge ruled Aug. 15, denying the consumer's motion for class certification (Justin Darisse v. Nest Labs, Inc., No. 14-1363, N.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 107938).
Denial Of Class Certification Upheld By 3rd Circuit In Widener Law Students' Suit
PHILADELPHIA - A Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Aug. 16 upheld a trial court's denial of class certification in a lawsuit filed by law school graduates who claim that their alma mater induced students to enroll or stay enrolled by misreporting job placement and salary statistics of alumni, despite finding that the court below "labored under a few misconceptions about the plaintiffs' theory of the case" (John Harnish, et al. v. Widener University School of Law, No. 15-3888, 3rd Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 15007).
Judge Certifies Class In Securities Suit Against Payday Lender, Others
PHILADELPHIA - A federal judge in Pennsylvania on Aug. 4 granted a motion for class certification in a securities class action lawsuit against a British payday lender and certain of its current and former executive officers and directors, ruling that lead plaintiffs have met all statutory requirements necessary to certify the class (West Palm Beach Police Pension Fund v. DFC Global Corp., et al., No. 13-6731, E.D. Pa.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 102304).
Judge Certifies Class In Hailstorm Coverage Suit Challenging Insurance Practices
KANSAS CITY, Mo. - A Missouri federal judge on Aug. 1 granted insureds' motion to certify a class in a lawsuit alleging that their homeowners insurer 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.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 99980).
Class Claims Against NCAA Alleging Sham Classes At UNC Are Dismissed
GREENSBORO, N.C. - A North Carolina federal judge on Aug. 12 granted a motion by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) to dismiss it as a defendant in a class complaint accusing the NCAA and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC-Chapel Hill) of steering college athletes into sham classes where they received little to no education (Rashanda McCants, et al. v. The National Collegiate Athletic Association, et al., No. 15-176, M.D. N.C.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 106873).
8th Circuit Affirms Dismissal Of Suit Over GameStop's Disclosure Of Information
ST. LOUIS - Although it found that a plaintiff had standing to bring putative class claims against a gaming website operator for purported disclosure of users' personally identifiable information (PII), an Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel majority on Aug. 16 concluded that the plaintiff failed to state a claim upon which relief can be granted, affirming a trial court's dismissal of his complaint (Matthew Carlsen v. GameStop Inc., et al., No. 15-2453, 8th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 14999).
Pennsylvania Federal Judge: Workers' Comp Act Is Exclusive Remedy For Injuries
PHILADELPHIA - A Pennsylvania federal judge on Aug. 12 dismissed a class claim for medical monitoring brought by airline workers stationed at the Philadelphia International Airport who allege that they were exposed to toxins, finding that the Pennsylvania Workers' Compensation Act (PWCA) is the exclusive remedy available to the workers (David Smith, et al. v. American Airlines, Inc., et al., No. 16-156, E.D. Pa.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 107402).
Pennsylvania Federal Judge Says Motor Vehicle Statute Saves Claim From Preemption
SCRANTON, Pa. - A Pennsylvania federal judge on Aug. 2 partially denied a life insurance company's motion to dismiss a putative class action for benefits under an Employee Retirement Income Security Act plan, finding that a section of a state motor vehicle statute "regulates insurance" and is therefore saved from ERISA preemption (Eric Yost, et al. v. Anthem Life Insurance Co., No. 3:16-cv-00079, M.D. Pa.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 101202).
California Federal Judge Lets Class Action Against Asset Management Firm Proceed
SANTA ANA, Calif. - A California federal judge on Aug. 5 denied in part defendants' motion to dismiss a first amended class action complaint alleging that mismanagement of their asset management company's 401(k) plan led to "outrageously high" expenses for plan participants, rejecting their arguments that the claims are time-barred and that the plaintiffs do not have standing to challenge plan investment options (Aleksandr Urakhchin, et al. v. Allianz Asset Management of America LP, et al., No. 8:15cv1614, C.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 104244).
Florida Federal Judge Allows TCPA Claims To Proceed In Florida
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - A Florida federal judge on Aug. 11 denied a motion to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction a putative class action alleging that an out-of-state defendant sent unwanted text message advertisements to a Florida resident, saying the plaintiff adequately states a claim of violations of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) for the messages sent to the state (Brian Keim, et al. v. ADF Midatlantic LLC, et al., No. 12-80577, S.D. Fla.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 106300).
9th Circuit Affirms Dismissal Of NuBone California Class Action
SAN FRANCISCO - The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Aug. 16 affirmed dismissal of a NuBone bone putty class action complaint, saying the plaintiff failed to prove there was a contract between him and manufacturer Globus Medical Inc. and negligence per se is not a recognized independent claim under California law (Eugene A. DeBons, et al. v. Globus Medical, Inc., No. 14-56455, 9th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 15057).
Failure To Cure Pleading Deficiencies Leads To Dismissal Of Securities Suit
SAN JOSE, Calif. - The lead plaintiff in a securities class action lawsuit against a company that sells renewable energy and certain of its executive officers has failed to cure each of the scienter pleading deficiencies in making his claims under federal securities law that resulted in three previous dismissal rulings, a federal judge in California ruled Aug. 9 in dismissing the third amended complaint with prejudice (Tai Jan Bao, et al. v. SolarCity Corp., et al., No. 14-1435, N.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 105179).
5th Circuit: Coca-Cola Machines Need Not Be ADA Accessible
NEW ORLEANS - Soft drink vending machines are themselves not "places of public accommodation" under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and are not required to be handicapped accessible, the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Aug. 15, affirming a trial court's dismissal of a class complaint challenging the accessibility (Emmett Magee, et al. v. Coca-Cola Refreshments USA, Incorporated, No. 15-31018, 5th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 14978).
Class Suit Over Nestle's Dog Treat Claims Mostly Survives Dismissal Motion
NEW YORK - A New York federal judge on Aug. 12 denied a motion by Nestle Purina Petcare Co. to dismiss a class complaint accusing it of falsely portraying the amount of bacon in its Beggin' Strips bacon flavor dog treats except as to the company's claims on its website (Paul Kacocha, et al. v. Nestle Purina Petcare Company, No. 15-5489, S.D. N.Y.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 107097).
Judge Finds Purchasers Failed To Show Teething Tablets Do Not Work
LOS ANGELES - A California federal judge on Aug. 16 found that claims for violation of California's unfair competition law (UCL) and for false advertising asserted by purchasers of homeopathic teething tablets and other products failed because the purchasers did not show by a preponderance of the evidence that the products do not do what they say they will do on the product packaging (Kim Allen, et al. v. Hyland's Inc., et al., No. 12-1150, C.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 108683).
Judge Allows Majority Of Class Claims Against General Mills To Proceed
SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge on Aug. 5 refused to completely dismiss a class action complaint filed by consumers who assert claims for violation of California's unfair competition law (UCL) in relation to cereal labeling, finding that a reasonable consumer could possibly be deceived by the advertisement (Nancy Coe, et al. v. General Mills Inc., No. 15-cv-05112, N.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 105769).
Final Settlement Approval Denied In Homeopathic Labeling Class Suit
SAN DIEGO - A California federal judge on Aug. 9 "reluctantly" denied final approval of a class settlement in a case accusing Similasan Corp. of deceptively labeling its homeopathic products, finding that the broadened class definition and release provisions appear to benefit only the defendant (Kim Allen, et al. v. Similasan Corporation, No. 12-376, S.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 105848).
Preliminary Approval Granted In Settlement Of Fox Unpaid Interns' Class Suit
NEW YORK - A New York federal judge on Aug. 12 granted preliminary approval of a settlement in a class complaint filed by unpaid interns working at divisions of Fox Searchlight Pictures Inc. and Fox Entertainment Group Inc. (collectively, Fox) that will provide a payment of $495 to all members of two settlement classes who submit a valid claim form (Eric Glatt, et al. v. Fox Searchlight Pictures, Inc., et al., No. 11-6784, S.D. N.Y.).
Pension Plans Participants Move For Approval Of $76 Million Settlement
GREENBELT, Md. - Participants in health pension plans on Aug. 1 filed a motion for preliminary certification of a proposed settlement class and preliminary approval of a class action settlement agreement that will provide them with Employee Retirement Income Security Act-like protections for the next 15 years, contribute $75 million to the plans and pay $1.3 million to former participants in the plans (Anita Lann, et al. v. Trinity Health Corporation, et al., No. PJM 14-2237, D. Md.).
2nd Circuit Reinstates New York City Park Rangers' Wage-And-Hour Suit
NEW YORK - New York City park rangers may proceed with their collection action alleging various wage violations, including that they should be compensated for the time they spend donning and doffing their uniforms, the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Aug. 2, vacating a district court's partial summary judgment in favor of the city and other defendants (Henry Perez, et al. v. The City of New York, et al., No. 15-315, 2nd Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 14104).
Google Seeks Summary Judgment, Expert Exclusion In Google Wallet Class Action
SAN JOSE, Calif. - In a pair of reply briefs filed Aug. 10 in California federal court, Google Inc. seeks to support its pending motions for summary judgment in a putative privacy class action over its Google Wallet feature and to exclude the lead plaintiff's expert's testimony on damages (Alice Svenson v. Google Inc., et al., No. 5:13-cv-04080, N.D. Calif.).
Sanctions Sought For Destruction Of University Officers' Recorded Conversations
SANTA ANA, Calif. - The president of a university police association filed a motion in California federal court on July 26, seeking evidentiary sanctions against the University of California (UC), asserting that the university willfully deleted recordings at the heart of a privacy class action related to the surreptitious recording of UC police officers' conversations (Federated University Police Officers' Association, et al. v. The Regents of the University of California, et al., No. 8:15-cv-00137, C.D. Calif.).
Separate Class Actions Filed Against Large Universities Alleging Plan Mishandling
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), New York University (NYU) and Yale University were sued Aug. 9 in separate putative class action lawsuits on behalf of more than 60,000 employees in their defined contribution retirement plans who claim that the universities, as plan sponsors, breached their duties of loyalty and prudence under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act by causing plan participants to pay millions of dollars in unreasonable and excessive administrative fees.
More ERISA Class Actions Filed Against Universities Alleging Plan Mishandling
A second wave of 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 were filed Aug. 10 and 11 (David Clark, et al. v. Duke University, et al., No. 1:16-cv-01044, M.D. N.C.; Loren L. Cassell, et al. v. Vanderbilt University, et al., No. 3:16-cv-02086, M.D. Tenn.; Jennifer Sweda, et al. v. University of Pennsylvania, et al., No. 2:16-cv-04329; Margaret E. Kelly, et al. v. The Johns Hopkins University, No. 1:16-cv-02835, D. Md.).
Pokemon Go Developer Hit With Canadian Invasion-Of- Privacy Class Proceeding
CALGARY, Alberta - A Canadian woman on Aug. 18 filed suit in the Court of Queen's Bench for Alberta against Niantic Inc., the developer of the mobile game Pokemon Go, asserting that her property has become a "Pokestop" in the game against her wishes, leading the game's players to invade her privacy (Barbra-Lyn Schaeffer v. Niantic Inc., No. 1601-01491, Queen's Bench, Alberta).
Group Says Halliburton's 'Reckless Disregard' Led To Tainted Groundwater
OKLAHOMA CITY - A group of Oklahoma residents who are already members of a putative class action against Halliburton Energy Services Inc. (HESI) alleging groundwater contamination on Aug. 9 filed a separate complaint against the company seeking compensation for "complete reckless disregard" that led to the presence of perchlorate in the aquifer that supplies their drinking water (Albin Family Revocable Living Trust, et al. v. Halliburton Energy Services Inc., No. 16-910, W.D. Okla.).