TAMPA, Fla. - A federal judge in Florida on July 27 dismissed a Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) 15 U.S.C.S. §§1692 et seq. suit, finding that a reasonable jury applying the "least sophisticated consumer" standard could not find that the letter the defendant collection agency sent to the plaintiff consumer was deceptive or that the inclusion of a telephone number for Spanish speakers overshadowed the FDCPA's notice requirement (Jaime Molina v. Healthcare Revenue Recovery Group LLC, No. 11-01642, M.D. Fla.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 104790).
PHOENIX - A shareholder has failed to satisfy the contemporaneous/continuous ownership requirement of Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23.1 and, therefore, lacks standing to bring a shareholder derivative suit based on alleged acts that occurred prior to her stock ownership, a federal judge in Arizona held July 25 (Darlene Smith, derivatively on behalf of Apollo Group Incorporated v. John G. Sperling, et al., No. 11-cv-00722, D. Ariz.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 104695).
WILMINGTON, Del. - Shareholders in a company said July 27 in a Delaware Chancery Court that they and directors and officers of the company have agreed to settle their dispute over the sale of the company (In re McCormick & Schmick's Shareholder Litigation, No. 7058-VCL, Del. Chanc.). Subscribers may view the brief in support available within the full article.
BOSTON - A federal judge in Massachusetts presiding over a multidistrict litigation for claims stemming from JPMorgan Chase Bank N.A.'s conduct during attempts to modify home mortgage loans ruled July 27 that the court has subject matter jurisdiction over the plaintiffs' claims, holding that a consent order the defendant entered into as part of the Financial Institution Supervisory Act (FISA) does not provide an exclusive remedy for the borrowers (In re: JPMorgan Chase Mortgage Modification Litigation, No. 11-md-02290-RGS, D. Mass.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 104486).
CHICAGO - Dismissal of an amended securities class action complaint is proper because the lead plaintiff used "inadequate 'puzzle pleading'" in compiling the complaint, a federal judge in Illinois ruled July 25 (Wayne C. Conlee v. WMS Industries Inc., et al., No. 11-3503, N.D. Ill.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 103402).
PHILADELPHIA - A federal district court judge did not err in dismissing two shareholder class action lawsuits, a Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel held July 26, ruling that the shareholders failed to plead loss causation (Paul Gallup v. Clarion Sintered Metals, Inc., et al., No. 11-4003, 3rd Cir.; 2012 U.S. App. LEXIS 15449).
NEW YORK - A federal judge in New York presiding over a patent dispute underlying the Chapter 11 bankruptcy case of Eastman Kodak Co. on July 27 issued a one-sentence order denying Apple Inc.'s motion to remove the patent case to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York (Eastman Kodak Company v. Apple Inc., et al. $(In Re: Eastman Kodak Company$), No. 12-04881, S.D. N.Y.).Subscribers may view the order available within the full article.
WILMINGTON, Del. - Bankrupt media organization Tribune Co. on July 27 moved in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware for approval of a $300 million financing agreement with Bank of America that would allow the company to exit bankruptcy (In Re: Tribune Company, No. 08-13141, Chapter 11, D. Del. Bkcy.). Subscribers may view the motion available within the full Mealey's article.
NEW YORK - Plans regulated by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, 29 U.S.C.S. § 1001 et seq., and participants in ERISA plans that invested with Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities (BLMIS) are not "customers" within the meaning of the Securities Investor Protection Act (SIPA) and, therefore, cannot recover benefits under SIPA related to Bernard L. Madoff's Ponzi scheme, a federal judge in New York ruled July 25 in affirming trustee Irving H. Picard's denial of the claims (In re Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities, LLC, Debtor $(Securities Investor Protection Corporation v. Jacqueline Green Rollover Account, et al., No. 12 Civ. 1039; Securities Investor Protection Corporation v. I.B.E.W. Local 241 Pension Fund, et al., No. 12 Civ. 1139, S.D. N.Y.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 104024).
ALEXANDRIA, Va. - Capital One Financial Corp. has agreed to pay $12 million to settle a suit brought by the U.S. Department of Justice alleging that it violated credit protections granted to U.S. military members by the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) via improper home foreclosures, vehicle repossessions and credit rate denials, according to a complaint the DOJ filed July 27 in a federal court in Virginia (United States of America v. Capital One NA, et al., No. 12-00828, E.D. Va.).
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LOS ANGELES - Munchkin Inc. on July 23 won $13.4 million in a false advertising dispute with Playtex Products LLC in a California federal court over whose diaper disposal pails better control odor (Munchkin, Inc. v. Playtex Products, LLC, No. 2:11-cv-00503-AHM -RZ, C.D. Calif.). View related prior history, 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 94531.
MINNEAPOLIS - A federal judge in Minnesota on July 25 partially granted motions for summary judgment by a consumer and a banking company in a putative class action alleging that the bank violated the Electronic Funds Transfer Act (EFTA) by failing to provide ATM fee notices (Anthony Brown v. Wells Fargo & Co., et al , No. 11-01362, D. Minn.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 103255).
CHICAGO - Directors and officers of a company in a July 25 brief in support of their motion to dismiss tell an Illinois federal court that a shareholder failed to offer particularized facts that would show that the directors could not make an impartial decision regarding the shareholder's allegations of wrongdoing (Marvin H. Maurras Revocable Trust, Derivatively on behalf of Accretive Health, Inc. v. Edgar M. Bronfman, Jr., No. 12-cv-03395, N.D. Ill.).
ATLANTA - The 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on July 25 vacated a district court's order remanding to state court a suit in which consumers brought breach of contract claims against a failed bank, finding that the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. was properly substituted as a defendant and, therefore, the District Court had subject matter jurisdiction (Jay Gregory Branch Sr., et al. v. Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, No. 11-13805, 11th Cir.; 2012 U.S. App. LEXIS 15344).
NEW YORK - The Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on July 25 vacated a district court's granting of a bank's motion to compel arbitration in a suit in which a consumer says the bank invested his money in risky securities without his approval, finding that there is an issue of fact as to whether the consumer agreed to an arbitration provision under terms of his account (Delio Aloisio Mattos Filho v. Safra National Bank of New York, No. 11-2651, 2nd Cir.; 2012 U.S. App. LEXIS 15309).
MIAMI - A federal judge in Florida on July 25 refused to reconsider his ruling certifying a class for people who complain that they were overcharged for force-placed insurance policies obtained by Wells Fargo Bank N.A. but amended the class definition to exclude people who have any judgment against them as opposed to just foreclosure judgments (Ray Williams v. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., et al., No. 11-21233-CIV, S.D. Fla.).
PHOENIX - A federal judge in Arizona on July 23 appointed two pension schemes as lead plaintiffs in a securities class action lawsuit against a solar modules manufacturer and certain of its current and former officers and directors, ruling that the pension schemes have met all statutory requirements for serving in the role (Mark Smilovits v. First Solar Inc., et al., No. 12-0555, D. Ariz.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 102032).
PITTSBURGH - A federal judge in Pennsylvania on July 23 denied a law firm's motion to reconsider an earlier ruling allowing plaintiffs in a class action suit to pursue a claim that it violated the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA)15 U.S.C.S. §§1692 et seq. and Loan Interest and Protection Act (LIPA) 41 P.S. § 101 , after finding that the arguments raised by the firm were already made in its motion to dismiss (Alexandra R. Trunzo, et al. v. Citi Mortgage Inc., et. al., No. 11-cv-01124, W.D. Pa.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 101877).
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. - A federal judge in Massachusetts granted dismissal of a shareholder derivative lawsuit on July 25, finding that a decision in a state derivative lawsuit precluded the shareholders from arguing that presuit demand upon the company's board would have been futile (Frank Holt, et al. v. Michael F. Golden, et al., No. 11-cv-30200, D. Mass.). Subscribers may view the opinion available within the full article.
ATLANTA - Although a federal judge erred in relying on the findings of a jury in granting a bank's motion for judgment as a matter of law, granting the motion was still proper because shareholders failed to properly plead loss causation, an 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled July 23 (State-Boston Retirement System v. BankAtlantic Bancorp Inc., et al., No. 11-12410, 11th Cir.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 15134).
BOSTON - The number of securities class action lawsuits filed in the first six months of 2012 was down 6 percent from both the first and second halves of 2011, largely due to a significant drop in Chinese reverse merger (CRM) and merger and acquisition (M&A) filings, according to a semiannual report issued July 25 by the Stanford Law School Securities Class Action Clearinghouse in cooperation with Cornerstone Research.
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NEW YORK - The National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS), a named plaintiff and class representative in the payment card interchange fee and merchant discount antitrust litigation, on July 24 opposed class counsel's motion to withdraw as counsel for NACS, disputing class counsel's characterization that NACS "refuses" to consent to their withdrawal related to NACS's opposition to the $6.05 billion settlement agreement between merchants and Visa, MasterCard and a large number of banks in the price-fixing class action (In re Payment Card Interchange Fee and Merchant Discount Antitrust Litigation (All Cases), No. 05-MD-1720, E.D. N.Y.). View related prior history, 2010 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 89275.
ANCHORAGE, Alaska - Saying a 2007 amendment to state law governing tobacco sales to minors addresses due process concerns by creating a rebuttable presumption of negligence when an employee is found guilty of such sales, the Alaska Supreme Court on July 20 affirmed a lower court's decision to fine a tobacco seller and temporarily suspend its state licenses (Holiday Alaska, Inc. v. State of Alaska, No. S-14155, Alaska Sup.; 2012 Alas. LEXIS 100).
KANSAS CITY, Mo. - A federal judge in Missouri on July 24 decertified a class of plaintiffs alleging that a restaurant chain violated the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACTA) 117 Stat. 1952 by printing more than the last five digits on credit and debit card receipts, ruling that a case that was decided since he initially certified the class now warrants decertification and agreeing with the finding in that case that a class is not properly ascertainable (Steven E. Hammer v. JP's Southwestern Foods LLC, No. 08-00339, W.D. Mo.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 102713).
PHILADELPHIA - Biovail Corp., the manufacturer of the prescription antidepressant drug Wellbutrin XL, reached a $37.5 million settlement on July 23 with direct purchasers who claimed that Biovail illegally conspired to prevent generic versions of the drug from entering the American market by filing sham patent infringement lawsuits and a citizen petition (In re: Wellbutrin XL Antitrust Litigation, No. 08-2431 (direct), E.D. Pa.). View related prior history, 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 66312.