WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court received 13 amicus curiae briefs on July 16 offering opinions on the fairness of an $8.5 million cy pres settlement of a privacy class action against Google LLC, with the U.S. government voicing its concerns over jurisdiction, possible collusion and unfair attorney fee awards in such settlements (Theodore H. Frank, et al. v. Paloma Gaos, et al., No. 17-961, U.S. Sup.).
CINCINNATI - In light of a stipulation of dismissal filed by Nationwide Mutual Insurance Co. and two of its policyholders that had sued the insurer over a 2012 data breach, the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on July 12 issued an order dismissing the insureds' appeal of a trial court's ruling that had disposed of their lone remaining claim for bailment (Mohammad S. Galaria, et al. v. Nationwide Mutual Insurance Co., No. 18-3063 and 18-3064, 6th Cir.).
SAN FRANCISCO - A proposed $600,000 settlement of a putative class action over a hotel chain's 2016 data breach was denied preliminary approval July 12 by a California federal judge, who enumerated "glaring issues" related to explanations of class member payments and class notice procedures (Andrew Parsons v. Kimpton Hotel & Restaurant Group LLC, No. 3:16-cv-05387, N.D. Calif.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Two objectors to the $8.5 million settlement of a privacy class action against Google LLC, tell the U.S. Supreme Court in a July 9 merits brief that the distribution of settlement funds to cy pres recipients, rather than class members, does not constitute a "fair, reasonable, and adequate" settlement of the class claims per Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23 (Theodore H. Frank, et al. v. Paloma Gaos, et al., No. 17-961, U.S. Sup.).
BALTIMORE - In supplemental briefs filed July 6 in Maryland federal court, Wikimedia Foundation and the U.S. government debate whether an in camera review provision in the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) displaces the state secrets privilege regarding documents withheld from discovery by the government in a lawsuit over communications intercepted by the National Security Agency (NSA) as part of its upstream surveillance program (Wikimedia Foundation v. National Security Agency, et al., No. 1:15-cv-00662, D. Md.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals defied the U.S. Supreme Court's clear holding when it ruled that the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA) doesn't preempt state law and the lack of reference to class arbitration in an employment agreement is not "silence" as defined by Stolt-Nielsen S.A. v. AnimalFeeds Int'l Corp., 559 U.S. 662, 684 (2010), an employer argues in a petitioner brief filed in the U.S. Supreme Court on July 9 (Lamps Plus, Inc., et al. v. Frank Varela, No. 17-988, U.S. Sup.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - In a June 29 motion, an Illinois state's attorney asks the U.S. Judicial Panel for Multidistrict Litigation (JPMDL) to vacate its recently issued conditional order, as it relates to the state of Illinois, which consolidated lawsuits over Facebook Inc.'s recent data-sharing incident in a California federal multi-district litigation (MDL) (In re Facebook Inc., Consumer Privacy User Profile Litigation, No. 2843, JPMDL).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - In its June 28 order list, the U.S. Supreme Court denied a convicted felon's petition for certiorari over whether law enforcement's tracking of his location via a cell-site simulator violated his rights under the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution (Damian Patrick v. United States, No. 17-6256, U.S. Sup., 2018 U.S. LEXIS 4030).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Less than a week after issuing a decision in Timothy Ivory Carpenter v. United States, No. 16-402, U.S. Sup., the U.S. Supreme Court on June 28 applied that ruling, which required a warrant issued with probable cause for the search of a suspect's cell site location information (CSLI) records, to five similar cases, granting certiorari in each, also vacating the underlying judgments based on warrantless searches and remanding to their respective courts of appeal (Tobias O. Reed v. Virginia, No. 17-5402, U.S. Sup., 2018 U.S. LEXIS 4042; Antoine Chambers v. United States, No. 17-5692, U.S. Sup., 2018 U.S. LEXIS 4063; Anthony C. Thompson v. United States, No. 17-5964, U.S. Sup., 2018 U.S. LEXIS 4056; Gareic J. Hankston v. Texas, No. 17-6213, U.S. Sup., 2018 U.S. LEXIS 4057; Albert D. Banks v. United States, No. 17-6704, U.S. Sup., 2018 U.S. LEXIS 4050).
SAN FRANCISCO - A long-running constitutional challenge to a California law permitting the collection of DNA samples from certain arrestees came to an end June 22, when a California federal judge followed recent state and federal rulings finding such laws not in violation of the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution when conducted with probable cause (Elizabeth Aida Haskell, et al. v. Edmund G. Brown, et al., No. 3:09-cv-04779, N.D. Calif., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 105051).
PHILADELPHIA - Because an ex-employee of The Coca-Cola Co. (Coke) failed to establish a causal connection between credit card fraud and the theft of company-owned laptops containing employees' personally identifiable information (PII), a Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on June 20 affirmed the dismissal of his putative breach of contract and negligence class claims against the soft drink manufacturer (Shane K. Enslin v. The Coca-Cola Co., et al., Nos. 17-3153 and 17-3256, 3rd Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 16613).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A divided U.S. Supreme Court on June 22 found that the government's search of a suspect's cell site location information (CSLI) records qualified as a search under the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, thus requiring a showing of probable cause before search of such records in which it found that a user has a reasonable expectation of privacy (Timothy Ivory Carpenter v. United States, No. 16-402, U.S. Sup., 2018 U.S. LEXIS 3844).
SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge on June 19 agreed to stay a long-running putative privacy class action over Google LLC's Street View feature in light of a pending U.S. Supreme Court case that the parties believe "is likely to bear directly" on a tentative settlement in the case (In re Google LLC Street View Electronic Communications Litigation, No. 3:10-md-02184, N.D. Calif.).
WASHINGTON D.C. - Because the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) does not provide for a private cause of action, a District of Columbia federal judge on June 15 granted a diagnostic laboratory's motion to dismiss a complaint alleging that the lab violated the act by not furnishing patients with ample privacy while obtaining their personal health information (PHI) (Hope Lee-Thomas v. Laboratory Corporation of America, No. 1:18-cv-00591, D. D.C., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 100428).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Because the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) does not provide for a private cause of action, a District of Columbia federal judge on June 15 granted a diagnostic laboratory's motion to dismiss a complaint alleging that the lab violated the act by not furnishing patients with ample privacy while obtaining their personal health information (PHI) (Hope Lee-Thomas v. Laboratory Corporation of America, No. 1:18-cv-00591, D. D.C., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 100428).
INDIANAOLIS - In light of a defendant's showing of relevance and the plaintiffs' failure to establish privilege, an Indiana federal magistrate judge on June 14 concluded that a Facebook instant message string between two named plaintiffs was not covered by a protective order in a putative class action over pension plan administrative fees, leading him to mostly grant a motion to compel (Mary Bell, et al. v. Pension Committee of ATH Holding Company LLC, et al., No. 1:15-cv-02062, S.D. Ind.).
OAKLAND, Calif. - A marketing firm that deployed "zombie" cookies on the mobile devices of Verizon Wireless users violated New York consumer law, two wireless users argue in a June 13 brief in California federal court, claiming trespass and opposing the defendant's motion to dismiss (Anthony Henson, et al. v. Turn Inc., No. 4:15-cv-01497, N.D. Calif.).
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).
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).
SAN FRANCISCO - The same day that a California federal judge denied Facebook Inc.'s motion to stay proceedings in a suit over its alleged violations of the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA), a Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on May 29 granted the social network's emergency motion to stay trial court proceedings pending its appeal of a class certification ruling (Namesh Patel, et al. v. Facebook Inc., No. 18-80053, 9th Cir.).
OAKLAND, Calif. - After engaging in arbitration, a New York woman filed a stipulation in California federal court May 17, voluntarily dismissing a putative class action under the Electronic Communications Privacy App (ECPA) against National Basketball Association team the Golden State Warriors and a technology firm, disposing of her allegations of eavesdropping via the team's smartphone app (LaTisha Satchell v. Signal360 Inc., et al., No.3:16-cv-04961, N.D. Calif.).