CHICAGO - An Illinois federal judge on July 11 denied a motion by Santander Consumer USA Inc. to dismiss the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) claim in a class suit accusing it of hounding debtors by phone and then charging them excessive fees for payments made over the phone or online (Cheryl Johnson-Morris, et al. v. Santander Consumer USA, Inc., No. 16-1456, N.D. Ill.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 89081).
PASADENA, Calif. - In response to a directive from a Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel, as well as remand instructions from the U.S. Supreme Court, a Virginia man and an online data aggregator offered briefs July 11 arguing whether the plaintiff's allegations of the aggregator publishing false information under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) were sufficiently concrete to establish standing under Article III of the U.S. Constitution (Thomas Robins v. Spokeo Inc., No11-56843, 9th Cir.).
LOS ANGELES - A California federal judge on July 11 granted final approval of a $2.25 million settlement to be paid by Bath & Body Works LLC (BBW) to end wage claims filed by a class of nonexempt sales associates (Adam Jones v. Bath & Body Works, Inc., et al., No. 13-5206, C.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 89681).
DENVER - The 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on July 12 affirmed a jury verdict in favor of Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. in a class complaint accusing the company of manufacturing faulty radiant heat tubing (David Helmer, et al. v. Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co., No. 15-1214, 10th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 12779).
SOUTH BEND, Ind. - A federal judge in Indiana on July 11 denied a couple's motion to remand its groundwater contamination case to state court on grounds that the defendant's motion to remand was timely and that the local controversy to the Class Action Fairness Act (CAFA) did not apply (Amos Hostetler, et al. v. Johnson Controls Inc., No. 15-226, N.D. Ind.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 89278).
SYRACUSE, N.Y. - A nonparty reinsurer involved in a similar asbestos-related case as the instant action told a federal court in New York on July 10 that the method of an insurer's attempts to restrict the reinsurer's access to certain sealed documents is contrary to controlling case law (Utica Mutual Insurance Company v. Munich Reinsurance America, Inc., No. 12-cv-00196, N.D. N.Y.).
NEW ORLEANS - A Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on July 11 affirmed dismissal of claims against Acme Building Brands Inc. in an Employee Retirement Income Security Act suit over reductions in the company's pension and 401(k) plans (Judy Hunter, et al. v. Berkshire Hathaway Inc., et al., No. 15-10854, 5th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 12744).
CHICAGO - An Ohio resident who sued the Illinois State Toll Highway Authority for allegedly failing to properly inform drivers about how the highway tolls work failed to state a claim for relief, the Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled July 8 (Jeffrey D. Cochran v. Illinois State Toll Highway Authority, et al., No. 15-2689, 7th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 12567).
CHICAGO - A man who was once the defendant in a an online file-sharing copyright suit filed a citation of additional authority in the Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals July 11, asserting that admissions in a Minnesota Supreme Court attorney disciplinary proceeding supported a trial court's award for discovery sanctions against that same attorney in the current case (Lightspeed Media Corp., et al. v. Anthony Smith, et al., No. 15-2440, 7th Cir.).
ATLANTA - A unanimous Georgia Supreme Court on July 8 reversed an appellate panel's decision finding that a bank's arbitration clause, which only permits an individual depositor to reject arbitration on his or her own behalf, prevents a class representative from suing on behalf of class members (Bickerstaff v. SunTrust Bank, No. S15G1295, Ga. Sup.; 2016 Ga. LEXIS 469).
PHOENIX - An Arizona trial court erred when it decertified a class of truck drivers alleging systemic underpayment, an Arizona appellate panel ruled July 12 in an opinion in which it also determined that Arizona law applies to the drivers' claim for breach of the duty of good faith and fair dealing (Leonel Garza, et al. v. The Honorable J. Richard Gama, et al., No. 1 CA-SA 15-0315, Ariz. App., Div. 1).
CHICAGO - A class counsel's fees in a Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) suit may be one third of the recovery claimed by class members, not one third of the total value of the fund, the Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled July 8 (Ira Holtzman, et al. v. Gregory P. Turza, Nos. 15-2164 and 15-2256, 7th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 12594).
LONDON - A Malaysian development firm named as a respondent in a case filed by a petroleum firm with the London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA) on July 11 said it has filed its formal response, agreeing to the request for arbitration.
SAN JOSE, Calif. - In a brief filed July 6 in California federal court, a group of more than 700 university student plaintiffs oppose a motion by Google Inc. to sever and dismiss their claims alleging violation of the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA) by the interception and scanning of their emails, arguing that joinder is "fundamentally fair and judicially efficient" (Ryan Corley, et al. v. Google Inc., No. 5:16-cv-00473, N.D. Calif.).
SAN FRANCISCO - Various wage claims brought by employees of a fast food franchisee may proceed with some of their wage claims against the franchisor as a class, a California federal judge ruled July 7, denying the franchisor's claim that allegations of ostensible agency may not be resolved on a classwide basis (Stephanie Ochoa, et al. v. McDonald's Corp., et al., No. 14-2098, N.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 88323).
AUGUSTA, Ga. - An expert for plaintiffs in a negligence lawsuit is qualified as an expert to testify on most of his opinions concerning commercial premises safety and security, a Georgia federal judge ruled July 8, granting and denying in part a motion to exclude (Tammy Padgett and Joey Padgett v. Kmart Corp. and Colony Mill Enterprises, LLC, No. 15-048, S.D. Ga.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 88734).
MADISON, Wis. - In a copyright infringement lawsuit, an expert may testify that a software company did not suffer any damages at all, a Wisconsin federal judge ruled July 8 (Epic Systems Corp. v. Attachmate Corp., No. 15-179, W.D. Wis.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 88572).
THE HAGUE, Netherlands - The Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) on July 12 issued a unanimous award in favor of the Philippines and against the People's Republic of China in a dispute over maritime entitlements in the South China sea, finding that China violated the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and aggravated the dispute with certain actions (The Republic of the Philippines v. The People's Republic of China, No. 2013-19, PCA).
WILMINGTON, Del. - Ford Motor Co. on July 6 joined in a motion by Honeywell International Inc. seeking access to asbestos claimants' data in the Chapter 11 case of W.R. Grace & Co. to review the information for evidence of fraud in the tort system by asbestos plaintiffs and their attorneys (In re: W.R. Grace & Co., et al., No. 01-01139, D. Del. Bkcy.).
NEWARK, N.J. - A class complaint accusing a cellular phone company of breach of warranty for selling phones with a known flaw in one of its apps was dismissed with prejudice on July 6 by a New Jersey federal judge, who ruled that the complaint failed to plead facts to support a cause of action (Russ Semeran, et al. v. BlackBerry Corporation, No. 15-750, D. N.J.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 87379).
SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal magistrate judge on July 6 granted a motion to remove two minor league baseball players who no longer wish to be class representatives in a lawsuit seeking unpaid wages from the Office of the Commissioner of Baseball, its member franchises and former Commissioner Allan H. "Bud" Selig (Aaron Senne, et al. v. Kansas City Royals Baseball Corp., et al., No. 14-608, N.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 88014).
WAUSAU, Wis. - A trial judge erred in excluding defense experts from testifying that maternal forces of labor caused a child's permanent brachial plexus injury in a lawsuit alleging that a doctor's negligence caused the injury, a Wisconsin appeals panel ruled July 6 (Unity Bayer by her guardian ad litem, Vincent R. Petrucelli, et al. v. Brian D. Dobbins, M.D., et al., No. 2015AP1470, Wis. App., Dist. 3; 2016 Wisc. App. LEXIS 412).
SYRACUSE, N.Y. - An insurer told a federal court in New York on July 5 that a non-party reinsurer involved in a similar asbestos reinsurance dispute does not have the right to see documents sealed in the instant action (Utica Mutual Insurance Company v. Munich Reinsurance America, Inc., No. 12-cv-00196, N.D. N.Y.).
LOS ANGELES - In a putative class action filed July 7 in California federal court, a minor user of Snapchat Inc.'s photo messaging application alleges that editorial content on Snapchat's app exposes minors to sexually offensive content in violation of the Communications Decency Act (CDA) and California's unfair competition law (UCL) (John Doe v. Snapchat Inc., et al., No. 2:16-cv-04955, C.D. Calif.).