PHILADELPHIA — A Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Oct. 12 affirmed a trial court’s decision to dismiss with prejudice a breach of contract class claim brought by a Pennsylvania resident who claimed that an energy company violated its service contract by raising the rates each month (John D. Orange, et al. v. Starion Energy PA, Inc., et al., No. 16-1949, 3rd Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 19939).
ST. LOUIS — The maker of Red Hot candy failed to show that the amount being sought by a class of consumers alleging “slack-filled” packages or the cost of complying with a potential injunction exceeds the Class Action Fairness Act’s (CAFA) $5 million threshold, an Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Oct. 13, affirming a trial court’s remand order (Jaclyn Waters, et al. v. Ferrara Candy Co., No. 17-2812, 8th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 19977).
LAS VEGAS — Individuals who witnessed the Las Vegas shooting at a music festival on Oct. 1 filed a class complaint in Nevada state court on Oct. 6, seeking damages for emotional distress from gun device maker Slide Fire Solutions L.P. and other unnamed manufacturers and retailers (Devon Prescott, et al. v. Slide Fire Solutions, LP, et al., No. A-17-762709, Nev. Dist., Clark Co.).
MIAMI — A Canadian woman filed a class complaint on Sept. 28 in a Florida federal court accusing Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. (RCCL) of subjecting its customers to “days of danger, terror, and trauma” as the result of allegedly being forced to travel into the path of Hurricane Harvey (Nikki McIntosh, et al. v. Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd., No. 17-23575, S.D. Fla.).
CHICAGO — A federal judge in Illinois on Sept. 29 dismissed with prejudice a class action claiming that the home improvement store Menard Inc. violated the Illinois Consumer Fraud Act (ICFA) when selling dimensional lumber that was not the size listed on the label, finding that while the plaintiffs had standing, the labels were not misleading because they do not have inch-mark symbols (Michael Fuchs, et al. v. Menard, Inc., No. 17-01752, N.D. Ill., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 160336).
CHICAGO — Too many individualized issues predominate in a suit over public employees who were forced to pay fees to a union, even if they were not members, a Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Oct. 11, upholding a trial court’s ruling in a case on remand from the U.S. Supreme Court (Theresa Riffey, et al. v. Bruce V. Rauner, et al., No. 16-3487, 7th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 19868).
CHICAGO — A Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Oct. 12 affirmed dismissal of a racketeering class action against Abbott Laboratories for its off-label promotion of the seizure drug Depakote, saying there are too many layers between the drug manufacturer’s actions and Depakote prescriptions paid for by two third-party payers to prove an injury (Sidney Hillman Health Center of Rochester, et al. v. Abbott Laboratories, et at., No. 17-1483, 7th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 19925).
SAN DIEGO — A California federal judge on Oct. 10 denied a children’s hospital’s motion to stay, strike class allegations or dismiss a class complaint filed by individuals who allege collection calls placed on the hospital’s behalf violated the Telephone Consumer Protection (TCPA) (Taneesha Crooks, et al. v. Rady Children’s Hospital, No. 17-246, S.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 168085).
NEW YORK — A pension fund failed to show that a credit card company and certain of its executive officers violated federal securities laws by failing to disclose known trends and uncertainties and other adverse facts concerning its co-brand agreement negotiations with an international retailer, a federal judge in New York ruled Sept. 30 in dismissing the pension fund’s amended class complaint for failure to plead any actionable misrepresentations or scienter (Plumbers and Steamfitters Local 137 Pension Fund v. American Express Co., et al., No. 15-5999, S.D. N.Y., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 162399).
BROOKLYN, N.Y. — A federal judge in New York on Oct. 6 ruled that an institutional investor has met all statutory requirements to serve as lead plaintiff in a securities class action against a Brazilian meat processor and seller and certain of its executive officers for alleged violations of federal securities laws in connection with an alleged bribery scheme with Brazilian government officials and others (Edmund Murphy III v. JBS S.A., et al., No. 17-3084, E.D. N.Y., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 166262).
BOSTON — The First Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals denied a petition for rehearing and rehearing en banc in a securities class action filed by a pharmaceutical company’s shareholders who alleged that the company and certain of its executive officers misrepresented the likelihood of U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval for its Duchenne muscular dystrophy treatment drug in violation of federal securities law (Mark A. Corban v. Sarepta Therapeutics Inc., et al., No. 14-10201, D. Mass.).
HARTFORD, Conn. — Investors have properly pleaded each of their state and federal securities laws claims against the co-founder of a virtual currency mining company, a federal judge in Connecticut ruled Oct. 11 in denying the defendant’s motion to dismiss all claims against him (Denis M. Audet, et al. v. Stuart A. Fraser, et al., No. 16-0940, D. Conn., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 167830).
NEW YORK — A federal judge in New York on Oct. 11 granted preliminary approval of a $28.5 million securities class action settlement between shareholders and a global eCommerce company and others, ruling that the proposed settlement offer is fair, reasonable and adequate (In re Cnova N.V. Securities Litigation, No. 16-444, S.D. N.Y.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Supreme Court on Oct. 10 granted Acting Solicitor General Noel Francisco’s motion for leave to participate in oral arguments as amicus curiae and for divided argument in a securities class action lawsuit challenging a federal appellate court’s ruling that Item 303 of Securities and Exchange Commission Regulation S-K creates a duty to disclose that is actionable under federal securities law (Leidos Inc., v. Indiana Public Retirement System, et al., No. 16-581, U.S. Sup.).
NEW YORK — A plaintiff’s allegations that a number of 401(k) retirement plans offered by Verizon Communications Inc. were “overly complex, overly risky, and inappropriate for the average Verizon employee” are not sufficient to maintain a claim for breach of fiduciary duty, a New York federal judge said Sept. 28 in partially granting the defendants’ motion to dismiss (Melina N. Jacobs v. Verizon Communications Inc., et al., No. 16-1082, S.D. N.Y., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 162703).
By Charlotte E. Thomas
TRENTON, N.J. — A divided New Jersey Supreme Court on Oct. 4 ruled in the first of two consolidated cases that class certification is inappropriate in a lawsuit against TGI Fridays Inc. over hidden drink prices and, in the second suit over hidden drink prices at Carrabba’s New Jersey locations, ruled that class certification was appropriate for one of two claims as long as the class was narrowed (Debra Dugan, et al. v. TGI Fridays, Inc., et al., Ernest Bozzi, et al. v. OSI Restaurant Partners, LLC, et al., Nos. 077567 and 077556, N.J. Sup., 2017 N.J. LEXIS 975).
SAN JOSE, Calif. — Following an Oct. 3 disclosure by Yahoo Inc. that a 2013 data breach affected 3 billion, rather than 1 billion users, a California federal judge on Oct. 5 directed Yahoo and the plaintiffs in a consolidated class action over that and other breaches to provide input on how this latest announcement will impact the proceedings (In re: Yahoo! Inc. Customer Data Security Breach Litigation, No. 5:16-md-02752, N.D. Calif.).
NEW YORK — Lead plaintiffs in a securities class action lawsuit against an asset management firm and certain of its executive officers and others have failed to cure any of the pleading deficiencies identified in a prior ruling on motions to dismiss federal securities law claims, a federal judge in New York ruled Sept. 29 in dismissing a second amended complaint with prejudice (Arthur Menaldi v. Och-Ziff Capital Management Group LLC, et al., No. 14-3251, S.D. N.Y.; 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 163063).
PHILADELPHIA — In an Oct. 2 brief appealing dismissal of a class complaint under the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACTA) to the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, a plaintiff says that J. Crew Group Inc.’s inclusion of credit card digits on receipts created a threat of identity theft, thus constituting a concrete injury under the act and establishing Article III standing (Ahmed Kamal v. J. Crew Group Inc., et al., No. 17-2345 and 17-2453, 3rd Cir.).