HARRISBURG, Pa. - Two groups of plaintiffs in consolidated class complaints accusing a payroll service company of breach of contract and other violations following a breach of their computer system lack standing to sue because they present no evidence of actual injury, a Pennsylvania federal judge ruled March 13 (Daniel B. Storm, et al. v. Paytime, Inc., Barbara Holt, et al. v. Paytime Harrisburg, Inc., d/b/a Paytime, Inc., No. 14-1138, M.D. Pa.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 31286).
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - A Florida appellate panel on March 12 issued a writ of certiorari and quashed a trial court's order compelling the deposition of the state's insurance commissioner in a suit against the accounting firm of three insolvent insurers (Florida Office of Insurance Regulation v. Florida Department of Financial Services, as Receiver for Southern Family Insurance Company, et al., No. 1D14-4417, Fla. App., 1st Dist.).
HAMBURG, Germany - The International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) on March 12 announced that it will soon release its advisory opinion in relation to a request by the Sub-Regional Fisheries Commission (SRFC) on illegal and unreported fishing activities (In re Sub-Regional Fisheries Commission, No 21, ITLOS).
LOS ANGELES - A school bus driver bringing various wage claims against her former employer failed to establish that questions of law common to her proposed class predominate over individualized matters, a California federal judge ruled March 12, denying the plaintiffs' motion for class certification (Imelda Vasquez, et al. v. First Student, Inc., et al., No. 14-6760, C.D. Calif.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 30631).
ALAMEDA, Calif. - An Alameda County, Calif., Superior Court judge on March 16 heard opening arguments in a class suit brought by members accusing Kaiser Foundation Health Plan Inc. of violating California Health and Safety Code Section 1367.63 by denying all requests for surgery to remove excess skin following bariatric surgery without first having a physician review each request (Wendy Gallimore, et al. v. Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, Inc., et al., No. RG12616206, Calif. Super., Alameda Co.).
NEW YORK - After finding that a defendant was dismissed for lack of capacity to be sued, a New York federal judge on March 16 dismissed a petition filed by numerous claimants to confirm an arbitration award (CBF Industria de Gusa S/A, et al. v. Steel Base Trade AG, et al., No. 14-3034, S.D. N.Y.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 31988).
DENVER - A Colorado federal judge on March 13 certified a class of debtors suing a law firm that was hired by a collection agency for failing to properly identify itself and the reason for its phone call in messages left for the people it was hired to sue (Kellie Rhodes, et al. v. Olson Associates, P.C., d/b/a Olson Shaner, No. 14-919, D. Colo.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 31145).
PITTSBURGH - After finding that a resource company failed to submit evidence as to why a Chinese arbitral award should not be confirmed, a Pennsylvania federal judge on March 13 granted summary judgment enforcing the award in favor of a mineral company in a dispute over a shipment of alumina (Calbex Mineral Limited v. ACC Resources Co. L.P., No. 13-276, W.D. Pa.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 31105).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - In light of the recent revelation that former Secretary of State Hilary Clinton used her personal email account to conduct official government business, Gawker Media LLC on March 13 sued the U.S. Department of State under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, seeking an order compelling disclosure of requested communications between a Clinton staffer and certain media outlets (Gawker Media LLC, et al. v. Department of State, No. 1:15-cv-00363, D. D.C.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - In a March 13 amicus curiae brief, filed upon invitation of the U.S. Supreme Court, the U.S. solicitor general recommended that the high court deny an online data aggregation service's petition for certiorari in a dispute over the injury-in-fact requirement to establish standing to bring a suit under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) per Article III of the U.S. Constitution (Spokeo, Inc. v. Thomas Robins, et al., No. 13-1339, U.S. Sup.).
BOSTON - Fidelity did not violate the Employee Retirement Income Security Act by retaining float income earned from plan disbursements because redemption float income was not a plan asset and because Fidelity was not a fiduciary with respect to float, a federal judge in Massachusetts ruled March 11 (In re Fidelity ERISA Float Litigation, No. 13-10222, D. Mass.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 29825).
PASADENA, Calif. - A Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on March 13 reversed a decision dismissing a false advertising class action lawsuit that alleged that the manufacturer of a vegetable oil-based spread violated the unfair competition law (UCL) by declaring that the product contained "no trans fat" when it in fact did, saying that the plaintiff has standing to assert the claims and that the claims were not preempted by federal law (Robert Reid v. Johnson & Johnson, et al., No. 12-56727, 9th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 4025).
NEW YORK - A New York federal judge on March 12 declined to certify a class of workers under the New York Labor Law (NYLL) suing their former employer for various wage violations, finding that the plaintiffs failed to prove predominance and commonality (Christopher D. Griffith, et al. v. Fordham Financial Management, Inc., et al., No. 12-1117, S.D. N.Y.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 30869).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - After finding that the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela expropriated the rights of investors in a marine services company, a tribunal for the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) on March 13 issued an award, ordering it to pay the investors $46.4 million in compensation (Tidewater Inc., et al. v. The Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, No. ARB/10/5 ICSID).
PHILADELPHIA - A Pennsylvania federal judge on March 11 granted certification to a class of cleaning company franchisees who claim that they were misclassified and are actually employees (Pamela Myers, et al. v. Jani-King of Philadelphia, Inc., et al., No. 09-1738, E.D. Pa.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 29566).
FRESNO, Calif. - A California federal judge on March 12 dismissed a class complaint accusing an employer of various violations of California wage laws and gave the lead plaintiff 30 days to file an amended complaint; however, he noted that if an amended complaint is successfully filed, the employer may want to seek an interlocutory appeal because the law addressing whether meal premiums are subject to wage statement and waiting time regulations is not clear (Jerrod Finder, et al. v. Leprino Foods Company, et al., No. 13-2059, E.D. Calif.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 30652).
PHOENIX - A federal judge in Arizona who earlier dismissed a shareholder class action against a hydraulic fracturing company on March 12 granted the class permission to amend the complaint to include claims against two of the company's principals related to a specific contract the class contends was part of an illicit bill-padding scheme that artificially boosted the fracking company's earnings (In Re: Nuverra Environmental Solutions Inc. Securities Litigation, No. 13-01800, D. Ariz.).
DENVER - A Colorado federal judge on March 11 reconsidered her oral ruling limiting the testimony of plaintiff expert Dr. Cheryl Blume in a diet drug case but arrived at the same conclusion (Jennifer Heineman, et al. v. American Home Products Corporation, et al., No. 13-2070, D. Colo.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 30445).
CHICAGO - An Illinois federal judge on March 10 followed an approach adopted by the Second, Third and Ninth circuits and ruled "that a class may be certified as to particular issues concerning liability even if the claim as a whole does not meet the predominance requirement of [Federal] Rule [of Civil Procedure] 23(b)(3)" (Lashon Jacks, et al. v. DirectSat USA, LLC, et al., No. 10-1707, N.D. Ill.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 28881).
SAN JOSE, Calif. - A California federal judge on March 10 certified a class and subclass of minors suing a social networking site for allegedly violating California law by permitting minors to make purchases through its website that are final and otherwise nonrefundable (I.B., by and through his guardian ad litem Glynnis Bohannon, et al. v. Facebook, Inc., No. 12-1894, N.D. Calif.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 29357).
CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Lead plaintiffs and defendants in a securities class action lawsuit have agreed to a settlement of $146.25 million on claims that the defendants misrepresented the post-merger role of a CEO in violation of federal securities laws, according to a stipulation of settlement filed March 10 in North Carolina federal court (Maurine Nieman, et al. v. Duke Energy Corp., et al., No. 12-0456, W.D. N.C.).
PHILADELPHIA - A federal judge did not err in dismissing a securities class action lawsuit against pharmaceutical companies and certain of their officers and directors for alleged violations of federal securities law because shareholders failed to properly plead scienter, a Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled March 10 (In re Columbia Laboratories Inc. Securities Litigation, No. 13-4777, 3rd Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 3715).
PHILADELPHIA - An armored truck driver and the class she represents are owed overtime for hours worked in excess of 40 per week because they fall within an exception to a Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) exemption, the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled March 11 (Ashley McMaster v. Eastern Armored Services, Inc., No. 14-1010, 3rd Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 3826).
PERRYSBURG, Ohio - A glass container manufacturer on March 12 announced that an international arbitration tribunal has awarded its Dutch subsidiary more than $455 million in an investment dispute with Venezuela (OI European Group B.V. v. Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, No. ARB/11/25, ICSID).
BATON ROUGE, La. - A Louisiana federal judge on March 11 adopted a magistrate judge's report and recommendation to deny a motion to remand a petition for damages by the widow of a deceased vessel worker, finding that her claims relate to an underlying arbitration agreement and that removal was appropriate under the Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards (Aina Z. Layson v. Baffin Investments, Ltd., et al., No. 14-518, M.D. La.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 29829).