SANTA ANA, Calif. — A federal judge in California on Dec. 4 granted preliminary approval of a $19.75 million securities class action settlement against a financial institution and its former CEO stemming from alleged misrepresentations they made concealing their connection to a convicted fraudster and Ponzi scheme operator (In re Banc of California Securities Litigation, No. 17-0118, C.D. Calif., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 145361).
SAN DIEGO — A federal judge in California on Dec. 2 granted preliminary approval of a more than $8.2 settlement by Target Corp. in a class complaint over the retailer’s returned payment fees (RFPs) in connection with its store-branded “debit” cards (James Walters, et al. v. Target Corp., No. 16-1678, S.D. Calif., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 207489).
Recent class action lawsuits filed in federal and state courts across the country include complaints alleging mold contamination at a children’s hospital, failure to pay wages, a website that is inaccessible to visually impaired individuals, hidden fees by an outlet owner and retailer and unwanted text messages.
PHILADELPHIA — A federal judge in Pennsylvania on Nov. 25 denied a motion to dismiss filed by Jiffy Lube International Inc. in a putative class complaint by a former employee over the franchisor’s no-poach provision as it related to a Sherman Act claim but granted it to the extent that Jiffy Lube argued that the employee lacked standing to seek injunctive relief and as to the plaintiffs’ antitrust claims older than four years (Victor Fuentes v. Royal Dutch Shell PLC, et al., No. 18-5174, E.D. Pa.).
SAN JOSE, Calif. — In a putative class complaint filed Nov. 27 in California federal court, a college student claims that the popular TikTok video-sharing app and its predecessor Musical.ly have “clandestinely . . . vacuumed up” users’ personally identifiable information (PII) and transferred it to China, alleging computer fraud, invasion of privacy and unfair competition, among other things (Misty Hong v. ByteDance Inc., et al., No. 5:19-cv-07792, N.D. Calif.).
SAN FRANCISCO — A federal judge in California on Nov. 20 trimmed the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), California unfair competition law (UCL) and state tort law claims against the operator of a diversion program for individuals accused of intentionally passing bad checks related to letters sent by the company offering the program as an alternative to prosecution and left in place only claims related to fees the company charged (Karen Solberg, et al. v. Victim Services, Inc., et al., No. 14-5266, N.D. Calif., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 201622).
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A supermarket chain’s “inadequate and negligent security measures” allowed hackers to steal customers’ data for approximately seven months before the theft was halted, a Missouri man alleges in his Nov. 19 class complaint filed in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri (Gordon Grewing, et al. v. Hy-Vee, Inc., No. 19-928, W.D. Mo.).
SEATTLE — A Washington woman who brought class claims against a clothing retailer in state court for allegedly misleading sales emails failed to successfully argue that she purposely failed to plead an injury-in-fact to render her claims nonremoveable, a Washington federal judge ruled Nov. 27 (Jennifer Harbers v. Eddie Bauer, LLC, No. 19-968, W.D. Wash., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 206242).
COLUMBUS, Ohio — A federal judge in Ohio on Dec. 2 signed off on a class settlement agreement under which JPMorgan Chase Bank N.A. (Chase) will pay $5 million and change its parental leave policy to a “gender-neutral” one to end a complaint by a male employee accusing the employer of discriminating against fathers when it comes to paid parental leave (Derek Rotondo, et al. v. JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A., No. 19-2328, S.D. Ohio, 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 208191).
CINCINNATI — The Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Nov. 8 granted a defendants’ petition for interlocutory appeal of certification of a negotiation class in the opioid multidistrict litigation (In Re: McKesson Corporation, et al., No. 19-305, 6th Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 33631).
CLEVELAND — Negotiating class counsel in the opioid multidistrict litigation tells the court in a Dec. 2 report that as of Nov. 27, 98 percent of the 34,458 class members opted to remain in the class (In Re: National Prescription Opiate Litigation, MDL Docket No. 2804, No. 17-md-2804, N.D. Ohio, Eastern Div.).
SAN FRANCISCO — The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Dec. 3 reversed dismissal of an Actos diabetes drug consumer lawsuit, finding that the plaintiffs had shown standing to sue under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (Painters and Allied Trades, et al. v. Takeda Pharmaceuticals Company Limited, et al., No. 18-55588, 9th Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 35844).
ATLANTA — A class complaint accusing a life insurance provider of unlawful price increases over more than a decade includes an injunctive demand valued at more than $75 million as the face value of the policies being challenged are the amount in controversy, an 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Nov. 22 in an interlocutory appeal, reversing a trial court’s remand order (Vanessa Anderson, et al. v. Wilco Life Insurance Company, No. 19-14127, 11th Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 34952).
SEATTLE — A trial court did not abuse its discretion when it denied class certification to homeless individuals suing the city of Seattle, the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) and the transportation secretary over rules regarding the removal of encampments from public property as the suing individuals were unable to show commonality, a split Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Nov. 29 (Kayla Willis, et al. v. Seattle, et al., No. 18-35053, 9th Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 35707).
TYLER, Texas — A group of residents on Nov. 29 filed a putative class action in Texas federal court asserting claims for property damage and seeking medical monitoring for injuries related to toxic emissions from two explosions at a chemical plant (Christopher S. Harms, et al. v. TPC Group Inc., No. 19-606, E.D. Texas).
TAMPA, Fla. — A number of active military personnel and their spouses on Dec. 2 filed a class action in Florida federal court accusing the owners and developers of the MacDill Air Force Base of failing to provide them with sufficient housing due to mold infestations that they claim have caused economic losses and physical injuries (Joshua Lenz, et al. v. Michaels Organization LLC, et al., No. 19-cv-2970-T-30, M.D. Fla.).
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. — In a Nov. 27 motion to certify a settlement class and for preliminary approval of a settlement with Harvard University, the National Association of the Deaf (NAD) tells a Massachusetts federal court that the university has agreed to provide prospective and on-demand captioning for online content that had prompted the present lawsuit alleging that Harvard’s website was not equally accessible to hearing-impaired people (National Association of the Deaf, et al. v. Harvard University, et al., No. 3:15-cv-30023, National Association of the Deaf, et al. v. Massachusetts Institute of Technology, No. 3:15-cv-30024, D. Mass.).
MIAMI — A federal judge in Florida on Nov. 13 granted preliminary approval of a settlement to resolve claims that Brookdale Senior Living Inc. misrepresented the way it determines staffing needs at its assisted living facilities in the state and preliminarily certified a settlement class, finding that resolution by class action is “superior to other available methods for the fair and efficient adjudication” of the controversy (Julie Goddard, et al. v. Brookdale Senior Living Inc., No. 17-cv-60664, S.D. Fla.).
GREENVILLE, Miss. — A class complaint filed Nov. 18 in a federal court in Mississippi on behalf of black people accuses a Mississippi district attorney of striking black prospective jurors due to their race (Attala County, Mississippi, Branch of the NAACP, et al. v. Doug Evans, et al., No. 19-167, N.D. Miss.).
NEW YORK — A new branch of the Queens Borough Public Library that opened in September was “built with total disregard for adults and children with mobility disabilities” and in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act, a class alleges in a complaint filed Nov. 26 in a New York federal court (Tanya Jackson, et al. v. Queens Borough Public Library, et al., No. 19-6656, E.D. N.Y.).