- Volume 18, Issue #8
- High Court Limits American Pipe Tolling For Class Actions
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Putative class members may not file a new class action outside the applicable statute of limitations in lieu of joining an existing class action lawsuit or filing an individual action, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled on June 11, overturning a federal circuit court's determination in a securities class action lawsuit that the American Pipe & Construction Co. v. Utah tolling doctrine tolls the statute of limitations to permit a previously absent class member to bring a subsequent class action outside the applicable limitations period (China Agritech Inc. v. Michael Resh, et al., No. 17-432, U.S. Sup.).
- High Court Orders Dismissal In Suit Over Unaccompanied Minors' Access To Abortions
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on June 4 vacated an en banc order by the District of Columbia Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in a proposed class action lawsuit over abortions for unaccompanied minors and ordered the appellate panel on remand to direct the district court to dismiss the individual claim for injunctive relief as moot (Alex M. Azar, II, et al. v. Rochelle Garza, No. 17-654, U.S. Sup.).
- 3 Amicus Briefs Support High Court Hearing Class Action Fairness Appeal
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Four organizations filed three amicus briefs from May 22 to May 25 supporting a petition for a writ of certiorari before the U.S. Supreme Court asking the justices to decide whether the original defendant in a class action can remove a lawsuit under the Class Action Fairness Act (CAFA) where the class action was originally asserted as a counterclaim against a co-defendant (Home Depot U.S.A., Inc. v. George W. Jackson, No. 17-1471, U.S. Sup.).
- Class Suing State Farm For Life Insurance Overcharges Awarded More Than $34M
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. - A Missouri federal jury on June 6 awarded a class of State Farm Life Insurance Co. policyholders more than $34 million on claims that they were systematically overcharged for more than two decades (Michael G. Vogt, et al. v. State Farm Life Insurance Company, No. 16-4170, W.D. Mo.).
- Reconsideration Of Wine Pricing Class Settlement Is Denied
CAMDEN, N.J. - A New Jersey federal judge on June 7 denied a motion for reconsideration of an April 17 opinion denying final approval of multi-million settlement in a class lawsuit accusing an online wine retailer of mispresenting pricing and the savings to consumers (Kyle Cannon, et al. v. Ashburn Corporation, et al., No. 16-1452, D. N.J., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 95590).
- Final Approval Of TCPA Class Settlement With Only 211 Validated Claims Denied
MIAMI - A Florida federal judge on June 7 declined to grant final approval to a proposed $1.2 million Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) settlement after only 211 claims were validated, totaling $27,430, ruling that class counsel failed to show that there was sufficient evidence made to reach other members of the class (Desiree Marengo, et al. v. Miami Research Associates, LLC, No. 17-20459, S.D. Fla., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 95908).
- Understaffed Nursing Homes Class Complaint Is Dismissed For Lack Of Injury
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. - An Arkansas federal judge on June 12 granted a motion for judgment on the pleadings by the defendants in a proposed class complaint accusing four nursing homes of failing to adequately staff their facilities, ruling in part that the plaintiffs failed to plead any injuries (James Green, et al. v. Skyline Highland Holdings LLC, et al., No. 17-534, E.D. Ark., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 98403).
- 4th Circuit Reinstates Optometrists' Class Complaints Over Theft Of Personal Info
RICHMOND, Va. - Optometrists may proceed with two related class complaints alleging their personal information was stolen and used to open credit cards after showing injury-in-fact that may be traced to an organization that administers exams, a Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled June 12 (Rhonda L. Hutton, O.D., et al. v. National Board of Examiners in Optometry, Inc., No. 17-1506, Nicole Mizrahi, et al. v. National Board of Examiners in Optometry, Inc., No. 17-1508, 4th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 15748).
- Class Complaint Over Data Theft Is Dismissed For Lack Of Claim
SAN DIEGO - A California federal judge on June 8 dismissed a class complaint by a California man suing a home loan company from which his personal data was stolen by hackers, ruling that while the man had standing to bring his lawsuit, he failed to state a claim (Salam Razuki, et al. v. Caliber Home Loans, Inc., et al., No. 17-1718, S.D. Calif., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 96973).
- Privacy Class Claims Against Employer, Fingerprint Scanner Company Survive Dismissal
CHICAGO - Class claims by an employee challenging the collection and storage of fingerprint scans may proceed against the company that employed her and the third-party scanner provider, an Illinois federal judge ruled May 31 (Cynthia Dixon v. The Washington and Jane Smith Community - Beverly, et al., No. 17-8033, N.D. Ill., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 90344).
- Judge Allows UCL, Warranty Claims Over Single-Serve Coffee Filters To Proceed
SAN DIEGO - A California federal judge on June 5 refused to dismiss claims for violation of California's unfair competition law (UCL) and breach of warranty asserted by a consumer who alleges that a coffee filter's label was misleading, finding that she pleaded sufficient allegations in support of her claims against the seller and maker of the filter (Gina Beckman v. Wal-Mart Stores Inc., et al., No. 17-cv-02249, S.D. Calif., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 95414).
- Mars Had No Duty To Disclose Child Labor; 9th Circuit Affirms Dismissal
PASADENA, Calif. - After finding that a chocolate products maker had no duty to disclose on its labels the existence of child and slave labor in its supply chain, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on June 4 affirmed dismissal of a purchaser's claims for violation of California's unfair competition law (UCL) and other California laws for failure to state a claim (Robert Hodson v. Mars Inc., et al., No. 16-15444, 9th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 15013).
- 4th Circuit Upholds Arbitration Denial In Cable Tech's Pay Class Suit
RICHMOND, Va. - A Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on June 12 affirmed denial of a motion to compel arbitration in a wage-and-hour class complaint by a cable technician, ruling that the technician's claims don't rely on the agreements he signed that reference arbitration and the district court did not abuse its discretion in declining to apply equitable estoppel (Patrick Weckesser, et al. v. Knight Enterprises S.E., LLC, No. 17-1247, 4th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 15751).
- Interlocutory Appeal Granted To Decide Personal Jurisdiction Class Dispute
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A District of Columbia federal judge on June 11 granted a motion to certify for interlocutory appeal a March order to allow the District of Columbia Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals to rule on whether the jurisdictional limits outlined in Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. v. Superior Court of California, 137 S. Ct. 1773 (2017), extend to unnamed, nonresident members of a putative nationwide class in federal court (Michael Molock, et al. v. Whole Foods Market Group, Inc., No. 16-2483, D. D.C., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 97428).
- IPhone Owners May Appeal Class Certification Denial In Antitrust Suit
SAN FRANCISCO - A Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on June 1 granted a petition by two iPhone users to appeal a trial court order denying class certification in a six-year-old suit alleging that Apple Inc. sought to monopolize the aftermarket for voice and data services via exclusive service contracts with AT&T Mobility (Zack Ward, et al. v. Apple Inc., No. 18-80027, 9th Cir.).
- Florida Panel Affirms Voluntary Payment Defense In Red-Light Camera Class Suit
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - A Florida trial court did not err when it held that the voluntary payment defense was applicable in a class complaint seeking refunds for red-light camera fines, which were issued under an ordinance that has since been found to be preempted by state law, and in denying a motion for class certification, a Florida appellate panel ruled June 8 (Richard Easter, et al. v. Orlando, No. 5D17-276, Fla. App., 5th Dist., 2018 Fla. App. LEXIS 8185).
- Equifax, Consumers Oppose Separate Government Track In Data Breach MDL
ATLANTA - In briefs filed June 12 in Georgia federal court, Equifax Inc. and the consumer plaintiffs in the multidistrict litigation (MDL) over the firm's 2017 data breach oppose the creation of a separate governmental entity track proposed by the city of Chicago, arguing that such a fourth track is unnecessary and would "likely lead to a more cumbersome structure" and "impose additional burden and expense" (In Re: Equifax Inc., Customer Data Security Breach Litigation, No. 1:17-md-2800, N.D. Ga.).
- JPMDL Centralizes Facebook Data-Sharing Suits In California Federal Court
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A growing list of class actions against Facebook Inc. over the sharing of millions of social network users' personal data by a third-party app developer will be centralized in California federal court, the U.S. Judicial Panel for Multidistrict Litigation (JPMDL) ruled June 6, granting a motion to transfer by two of the plaintiffs (In re Facebook Inc., Consumer Privacy User Profile Litigation, No. 2843, JPMDL).
- Shingle Maker Awarded Summary Judgment In Class Action Over Alleged Defect
ATLANTA - A federal judge in Georgia on June 8 awarded summary judgment to Atlas Corp. after finding that an Ohio man was unable to show that an alleged defect in the shingles installed on his home caused a leak that required the roof to be replaced (In re Atlas Roofing Corp. Chalet Shingle Products Liability Litigation, MDL 2495, Brian David Seltzer, et al. v. Atlas Corp., No. 13cv4217, N.D. Ga., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 96545).
- Transfer Granted In Class Suit Seeking Benefits For Pilots During Military Leave
PHOENIX - An Arizona federal judge on June 7 granted a motion by American Airlines Inc. (AA) to transfer a proposed class complaint by pilots seeking vacation time accrual and bonuses during military leaves to the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas (John E. Hoefert v. American Airlines Inc., No. 17-2996, D. Ariz., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 95742).
- N.Y. Federal Judge: Federal Communications Act Doesn't Preempt State Statute
NEW YORK - A New York federal judge on June 7 granted a motion for judgment on the pleadings filed by a company hit with a class action for attempting to collect on unpaid telephone bills, finding that Section 415 of the Federal Communications Act (FCA) does not preempt New York's six-year statute of limitations (Yannsi Espinal v. AFNI, Inc., No. 17-3439, S.D. N.Y., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 95996).
- Miramax, Disney, Others Sued By Class Of Women For Weinstein Assaults
NEW YORK - Miramax Film NY LLC, The Walt Disney Co., Disney Enterprises and others facilitated and concealed numerous sexual assaults and attempted sexual assaults by producer Harvey Weinstein, three woman who had or wanted to make deals in the entertainment industry allege in a class complaint filed June 1 in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York (Caitlin Dulany, et al. v. Miramax Film NY LLC, et al., No. 18-4857, S.D. N.Y.).
- Hawaiian Restaurant Chain Sued For Hack Of Payment Card System
HONOLULU - Two customers of the Hawaiian-based restaurant chain Zippy's filed a putative class action against the chain's operator June 1 in Hawaii federal court, alleging negligence related to a recently announced breach of the Zippy's payment system, which they say resulted in payment card fraud (Joshua Bokelman, et al. v. FCH Enterprises Inc., No. 1:18-cv-00209, D. Hawaii).
- Employee Asserts UCL, Labor Code Violations In California Court
SANTA ANA, Calif. - A former support staff employee on May 29 filed a class action complaint in a California state court against a rehabilitation center and its owner, alleging that they violated numerous California Labor Code sections and California's unfair competition law (UCL) (Alex Martinez v. Recovery Bay Rehabilitation Center, LLC, No. 2018-00995738, Calif. Super., Orange Co.).
- Unpaid Cheerleading, Defective Apple Watches, Other Complaints Hit Courts
Recent class lawsuits filed in federal and state courts across the country include complaints alleging wage violations by the Dallas Cowboys, defective Apple watches, usury, polluted water and air by a chicken processing facility and abusive debt collection practices.