NEW YORK — A federal district court erred in certifying a class of investors in securities class action lawsuit against Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and certain of its executive officers by making an “unprecedented and incorrect” decision to expand the price maintenance theory in holding that the defendants failed to rebut the Basic Inc. v. Levinson presumption of reliance, the defendants argue in a Feb. 15 appellant brief filed in the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals (Arkansas Teachers Retirement System, et al. v. Goldman Sachs Group Inc., et al., No. 18-3667, 2nd Cir.).
PHILADELPHIA — A mandatory increase to retirement contributions of employees with 30 or more years of service if they chose not to retire within a set time period did not constitute age discrimination because the increase was not based on the employees’ age, a Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Feb. 19, affirming a trial court ruling against a class of employees and in favor of the government of the Virgin Islands (Marie Bryan v. Government of the Virgin Islands, Naomi Clarke Thomas v. Government of the Virgin Islands, No. 18-1941, 3rd Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 4816).
NEW HAVEN, Conn. — A federal judge in Connecticut on Feb. 14 refused to certify a class for hotel franchisees who claim that AT&T Mobility LLC and AT&T Mobility National Accounts violated the Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991 (TCPA), as amended by the Junk Fax Prevention Act of 2005, when sending an allegedly unsolicited facsimile in January 2014, finding that the plaintiff was unable to show that each potential class member consented to receiving the email without conducting individual mini-trials (Gorss Motels Inc. v. AT&T Mobility LLC, et al., No. 17cv403, D. Conn., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 24726).
SAN JOSE, Calif. — Three months after a California federal judge preliminarily approved an $8.3 million settlement with Lenovo (United States) Inc. over its use of intrusive adware, a consumer class on Feb. 14 moved for final approval of the agreement that would settle their privacy and computer fraud claims against the computer manufacturer (In Re: Lenovo Adware Litigation, No. 3:15-md-02624, N.D. Calif.).
SAN FRANCISCO — A putative class of property owners who complained of incidents of nuisance and trespass carried out by players of Pokémon GO filed a motion in California federal court Feb. 14, seeking preliminary approval of a settlement with game creator Niantic Inc., that establishes methods for removing private property as possible gaming sites and for reminding gamers to be courteous (In re Pokémon GO Nuisance Litigation, No. 3:16-cv-04300, N.D. Calif.).
PITTSBURGH — A fast food chain has agreed to pay $50 million to settle financial institutions’ class claims against its franchisees in connection with a data breach first reported in 2016, according to a motion for preliminary settlement approval filed Feb. 13 in a Pennsylvania federal court (First Choice Federal Credit Union, et al. v. The Wendy’s Company, et al., No. 16-506, W.D. Pa.).
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A putative class on Feb. 13 sued Monsanto Co. in Missouri federal court seeking compensation for money spent on the herbicide Roundup, which the class contends Monsanto falsely advertised as safe for humans when the company knew that glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup, targets an enzyme used by beneficial gut bacteria that is “critical” to human health (Lisa Jones, et al. v. Monsanto Company, et al., No. 19-102, W.D. Mo).
PHILADELPHIA — A federal district court did not abuse its discretion in ruling that a pharmaceutical company and certain of its senior executives failed to rebut the presumption of reliance in attempting to show that their alleged misrepresentations pertaining to the likelihood of U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval of the company’s adult growth hormone deficiency (AGHD) drug had no price impact on the drug maker’s stock, lead plaintiffs argue in a Jan. 16 appellee brief filed in the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals (Aeterna Zentaris Inc., et al. v. Gregory Vizirgianakis, et al., No. 18-2474, 3rd Cir.).
Recent class action lawsuits filed in federal and state courts across the country include complaints alleging trespass by Apple Inc., fraudulent throat drop labeling, employee background checks without proper authorization and improperly withheld tips.
SAN DIEGO — Ruling on several disputes concerning class notice in a lawsuit accusing a juice maker of misleading consumers with its labels, a California federal judge on Feb. 5 ruled that class notice on the company’s website would be appropriate, but not on its social media pages (Crystal Hilsley, et al. v. Ocean Spray Cranberries, Inc., et al., No. 17-2335, S.D. Calif., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 18477).
NEW YORK — A New York federal judge on Feb. 12 declined to dismiss federal class claims against the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey alleging that it records medical exams of employees without their consent (Charlese Talarico, et al. v. The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, No. 18-909, S.D. N.Y., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 22766).
LOS ANGELES — Plaintiffs who allege in five consolidated cases that they were sexually abused by former University of Southern California (USC) gynecologist Dr. George Tyndall filed a motion on Feb. 12 seeking preliminary approval of a $215 million class action settlement (In re: USC Student Health Center Litigation, No. 18-4258, C.D. Calif.).
RICHMOND, Va. — Plaintiffs leading a proposed class action suit accusing a North Carolina nursing home of breaching the terms of resident contracts by failing to provide sufficient care tell the Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in a Jan. 30 response brief that a federal judge’s ruling remanding the suit should be affirmed because he did not err when finding that nonsignatory defendants are alter egos of one another that can be bound to a forum-selection clause in the contracts (Joseph J. Pfohl, et al. v. Saber Healthcare LLC, et al., No. 18-2335, 4th Cir.).
PHILADELPHIA — A Pennsylvania federal judge on Feb. 12 agreed to approve a supplemental distribution of leftover settlement funds to class members who filed claims in a lawsuit accusing Ascena Retail Group Inc. and Tween Brands Inc. (doing business collectively as “Justice Stores”) of deceptive marketing once a specific accounting of what remains is provided (Carol Rougvie, et al. v. Ascena Retail Group, Inc., et al., No. 15-724, E.D. Pa., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 22386).
NEW HAVEN, Conn. — Yale University and its fraternities turn a blind eye to an “ongoing epidemic of sexual harassment and assault” at all-male fraternities while at the same time denying female and nonbinary students the social and economic opportunities fraternities provide to male students, three students allege in a class complaint filed Feb. 12 in the U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut (Anna McNeil, et al. v. Yale University, et al., No. 19-209, D. Conn.).
OMAHA, Neb. — A Nebraska federal judge on Feb. 5 certified a class of railroad workers suing over changes to their employer’s fitness-for-duty (FFD) program and ruled that a hybrid trial plan would be the best way to proceed (Quinton Harris, et al. v. Union Pacific Railroad Company, No. 16-381, D. Neb., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 17917).
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — An Arkansas federal judge on Jan. 31 certified a class of residents in a drug rehabilitation program seeking wages for work they were required to perform in exchange for a spot in the program, room and board, clothing and other necessities (Mark Fochtman, et al. v. DARP, Inc., et al., No. 18-5047, W.D. Ark., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 16816).
PHILADELPHIA — A Pennsylvania federal judge on Feb.12 declined to remand a class complaint accusing a cable television provider of misrepresenting to customers that they must lease multiple set-top boxes to access the service on multiple televisions, ruling that the requirements for invoking the local controversy exception have not been met (Christopher Kelly, et al. v. Verizon Pennsylvania, LLC, et al., No. 16-5672, E.D. Pa., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 22382).
SEATTLE — A Washington hospital’s participation in litigation by a proposed class of nurses alleging that they were denied breaks was a waiver of its right to invoke arbitration, a Washington appellate panel ruled Feb. 11 (Jeoung Lee, et al. v. Evergreen Hospital Medical Center, No. 77894-1-I, Wash. App., Div. 1, 2019 Wash. App. LEXIS 341).
SAN FRANCISCO — The California Supreme Court on Jan. 30 denied a petition filed by two condominium owners claiming that their homes were damaged as a result of defective valves and caps made by Kohler Co. that sought review of an appeal’s court’s ruling that the Right to Repair Act does not allow the plaintiffs to pursue class action claims against the manufacturer because the product was made offsite before being installed in the homes (Kohler Co. v. Superior Court, No. S253173, Calif. Sup., 2019 Cal. LEXIS 711).