Mealey's Class Actions

  • July 16, 2020

    California Appellate Panel Deems Class Certification Order Not Appealable

    FRESNO, Calif. — A California trial court’s order partially granting and partially denying a class certification motion in an employee’s wage-and-hour lawsuit is not appealable, the death knell doctrine does not apply due to the partial certification and there has been no showing of extraordinary circumstances that would warrant treating the appeal as a petition for writ of mandate, a California appellate panel ruled July 8 in an unpublished opinion dismissing the appeal (David Meza v. Pacific Bell Telephone Company, No. F077604, Calif. App., 5th Dist., 2020 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 4293).

  • July 15, 2020

    Wegmans Wins Dismissal Of Class Suit Over Amount Of Vanilla Bean In Ice Cream

    NEW YORK — Use of a mass spectrometry analysis of vanilla ice cream to support allegations by plaintiffs in a class complaint that the ice cream was being falsely advertised as vanilla while the flavoring was coming from non-vanilla bean sources was insufficient to support the claims, a federal judge in New York ruled July 14, granting a grocery store chain’s motion to dismiss (Quincy Steele, et al. v. Wegmans Food Markets, Inc., No. 19-9227, S.D. N.Y., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 123637).

  • July 15, 2020

    Judge:  Insured’s Summary Judgment Motion Is Premature In COVID-19 Coverage Suit

    JOHNSTOWN, Pa. — A federal judge in Pennsylvania on July 14 said the court will defer ruling on an insured’s motion for summary judgment in a novel coronavirus coverage dispute until after ruling on a motion to certify a class to “avoid the potential unfairness to” the insurer (Windber Hospital v. Travelers Property Casualty  Company of America, No. 20-00080, W.D. Pa.).

  • July 15, 2020

    Split 6th Circuit Vacates Preliminary Injunction In Inmates’ Coronavirus Suit

    CINCINNATI — A divided Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on July 9 vacated a trial court’s preliminary injunction in a class suit by Michigan inmates alleging that insufficient safety measures were taken in response to the novel coronavirus after the majority determined that the inmates were unlikely to succeed on the merits of their claims (Jamaal Cameron, et al. v. Michael Bouchard, et al., No. 20-1469, 6th Cir., 2020 U.S. App. LEXIS 21480).

  • July 15, 2020

    Federal Judge: 2 Texts Don’t Establish Standing In TCPA Class Suit

    MIAMI — A Florida man who alleges in his putative class complaint that he was sent two unsolicited text message advertisements in violation of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) lacks standing as two messages don’t establish an injury in fact, a federal judge in Florida ruled July 6 (Manuel Perez, et al. v. Golden Trust Insurance, Inc., No. 19-24157, S.D. Fla., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 120819).

  • July 15, 2020

    Class Sues Detroit To Stop Water Shutoffs During Coronavirus Pandemic

    DETROIT — Frequent handwashing and cleaning is essential during the novel coronavirus pandemic yet the city of Detroit has in the past turned off residents’ water without first determining whether they are facing financial hardship and is expected to do so again in the future, residents and a nonprofit organization allege in a class complaint filed July 9 in a federal court (Jacqueline Taylor, et al. v. Detroit, et al., No. 20-11860, E.D. Mich.).

  • July 15, 2020

    Draper James, Reese Witherspoon Seek Dismissal Of Class Suit Over Free Dress Offer

    LOS ANGELES — A breach of contract class complaint filed over a social media-promoted free dress offer for teachers during the novel coronavirus pandemic clearly ignores the plain language that stated “valid while supplies last” and “is an unjust attempt to exploit . . . good intentions,” Reese Witherspoon and her company Draper James LLC argue in a motion to dismiss filed July 10 in a federal court in California (Laryssa Galvez, et al. v. Draper James, LLC, et al., No. 20-4976, C.D. Calif.).

  • July 15, 2020

    Mississippi Max Facility Inmates’ Class Suit Alleges Inhumane Conditions

    GREENVILLE, Miss. — Inmates housed in Mississippi’s only maximum security facility for men allege in a July 9 amended class complaint that they are forced to live in “abhorrent conditions” with constant violence and inadequate care “not suitable for animals” in violation of federal laws and the Constitution (Darran Lang, et al. v. Nathan “Burl” Cain, et al., No. 20-30, N.D. Miss.).

  • July 15, 2020

    Nearly $18.9M Weinstein Class Settlement Denied Approval Following Objections

    NEW YORK — A federal judge in New York on July 14 issued a one-page order denying preliminary approval of a more than $18.8 million settlement in a class lawsuit accusing imprisoned former Hollywood executive Harvey Weinstein of sexually abusing numerous females while other defendants did nothing to stop him; the order came after three objections to the terms were filed, including one by a named class representative who claimed she was shut out of negotiations (Louisette Geiss, et al. v. The Weinstein Company Holdings LLC, et al., No. 17-9554, S.D. N.Y.).

  • July 14, 2020

    Insured Refutes Motion To Certify Direct Physical Loss Questions To Ohio High Court

    CINCINNATI — An insured on July 6 responded to an insurer’s motion to certify to the Ohio Supreme Court three questions as to whether the presence of the novel coronavirus constitutes direct physical loss, arguing that the questions “do not involve novel or intricate questions of state law nor do they affect vital state interests” and “are not unique to Ohio policyholders and, in reality, are not even questions of Ohio law in any meaningful sense” (Troy Stacy Enterprises Inc. v.The Cincinnati Insurance Company, No. 20-00312, S.D. Ohio).

  • July 14, 2020

    Judge Spots ‘Overly Broad Release,’ Denies Settlement In Northrop Grumman Suit

    LOS ANGELES — Aerospace company Northrop Grumman Corp. and class action plaintiffs that sued over alleged breaches of fiduciary duties in the management of the company’s 401(k) retirement savings plan cannot go forward with an almost $12.4 million settlement, a California federal court ruled June 30, saying the agreement releases claims beyond the class action allegations (Clifton Marshall, et al. v. Northrop Grumman Corp., et al., No. 16-6794, C.D. Calif., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 118496).

  • July 14, 2020

    Hand Sanitizer Maker Hit With Class Suit Over Germ Killing Claims

    BOSTON — The companies that make and sell an alcohol-free hand sanitizer sold under the brand name “germbloc” preyed upon consumers looking to stop the spread of the novel coronavirus by claiming that their product “KILLS 99.99% of GERMS” without having reliable studies to support that claim, a Massachusetts man alleges in a June 5 class complaint filed in a federal court (Peter A. Lagorio, et al. v. GermBloc, Inc., et al., No. 20-11074, D. Mass.).

  • July 14, 2020

    Magistrate Judge Denies Arbitration Request In Plumbing Loan Rates Class Complaint

    SAN FRANCISCO — A company providing loans for plumbing work has not shown that a borrower entered into an arbitration agreement when only the lender and not the borrower signed the agreement, a federal magistrate judge in California ruled July 2, denying a motion to compel arbitration of the borrower’s class complaint over the rates and rejecting the argument that an arbitrator must decide the dispute (Elizabeth Belyea v. GreenSky, Inc., et al., No. 20-1693, N.D. Calif., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 116809).

  • July 14, 2020

    3rd Circuit Reverses Dismissal Of Landfill Noxious Odors Class Suit

    PHILADELPHIA — A Pennsylvania couple may proceed with nuisance and negligence class claims against a landfill owner and operator over noxious odors and contaminants allegedly seeping from the facility, a Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled July 13, in part rejecting a trial court’s holding that the proposed class was too expansive to permit a private claim for public nuisance or that the class members lived too far away to create a private nuisance (Robin Baptiste, et al. v. Bethlehem Landfill Company, No. 19-1692, 3rd Cir., 2020 U.S. App. LEXIS 21559).

  • July 13, 2020

    Class Representative Opposes $18.8 Million Weinstein Settlement Proposal

    NEW YORK — A woman who had been named as a class representative in the complaint accusing imprisoned former Hollywood executive Harvey Weinstein of sexually abusing numerous females while other defendants did nothing to stop him filed a memorandum on July 10 opposing an $18.8 million settlement, arguing that the terms are deficient and that she was shut out of the negotiations after objecting to the terms (Louisette Geiss, et al. v. The Weinstein Company Holdings, LLC, et al., No. 17-9554, S.D. N.Y.).

  • July 13, 2020

    Postmates Successfully Argues For Dismissal Of Class Suit Over Unsolicited Texts

    SAN FRANCISCO — A putative class complaint accusing a delivery company of violating the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) by sending unsolicited text message advertisements via a marketing company fails as the plaintiff was unable to show that the marketing company was acting with actual or apparent authority, a federal magistrate judge in Florida ruled July 9, dismissing the complaint with prejudice (Richard Rogers v. Postmates Inc., No. 19-5619, N.D. Calif., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 121831).

  • July 13, 2020

    Parties In Wawa Breach Of Fiduciary Suit Seek Nod For $21.6 Million Settlement

    PHILADELPHIA — A group of former Wawa Inc. employees on July 9 moved in a federal court in Pennsylvania for preliminary approval of an approximately $21.6 million class action settlement that would release the company from breach fiduciary duty claims stemming from decisions to remove ex-employees from an ERISA-governed, employee stock ownership plan  (ESOP) (John J. Cunningham, et al. v. Wawa, Inc., et al., No. 18-3355, E.D. Pa.).

  • July 13, 2020

    YouTube Sued For Not Letting Small Copyright Owners Use Anti-Infringement Tool

    SAN JOSE, Calif. — Two copyright holders raised infringement class claims against YouTube LLC in California federal court on July 2, asserting that the video-sharing platform operator does not provide smaller copyright holders with access to its Content ID tool, thus requiring them to engage in time-consuming and less effective manual policing of their copyrighted content on the website (Maria Schneider, et al. v. YouTube LLC, et al., No. 3:20-cv-04423, N.D. Calif.)

  • July 10, 2020

    Disabled Class Certified In Lawsuit Over Philadelphia’s Inaccessible Curb Ramps

    PHILADELPHIA — A federal judge in Pennsylvania on July 7 certified a class of disabled individuals suing the city of Philadelphia over missing or inaccessible curb ramps and seeking to have tens of thousands of ramps replaced (Liberty Resources, Inc., et al. v. City of Philadelphia, et al., No. 19-3846, E.D. Pa., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 118396).

  • July 10, 2020

    Federal Judge: Lack Of Standing Dooms Class Suit Seeking Braille On Gift Cards

    NEW YORK — A blind man who brought a discrimination class complaint against a restaurant chain failed to establish standing under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) when he was unable to sufficiently show intent to return to one of the restaurants or that he was prevented from doing so due to the lack of gift cards that were accessible to the blind, a New York federal judge ruled July 6, noting that the plaintiff’s complaint was one of dozens of nearly identical ones he filed against retail and dining establishments (Steven Matzura, et al. v. Red Lobster Hospitality LLC, No. 19-9929, S.D. N.Y., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 118485).