SAN FRANCISCO — In an April 24 answer filed in California federal court, Niantic Inc. argues that it cannot be found liable for incidents of nuisance and trespass carried out by players of its Pokémon GO game, raising defenses of consent, lack of standing and absence of proximate cause (In re Pokémon GO Nuisance Litigation, No. 3:16-cv-04300, N.D. Calif.).
CHICAGO — The plaintiffs in two putative class actions alleging violation of Illinois’ Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA) lack standing under Article III of the U.S. Constitution, Google LLC says in an April 23 summary judgment motion in Illinois federal court, arguing that the plaintiffs have not established a concrete injury under the act (Lindabeth Rivera v. Google LLC, No. 1:16-cv-02714, and Joseph Weiss v. Google LLC, No. 1:16-cv-02870, N.D. Ill.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — In an April 10 ruling, a District of Columbia federal judge rejected efforts by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and other defendants to transfer a dispute over the new Kentucky Medicaid program to the Eastern District of Kentucky, deeming the case a matter of “national significance” (Ronnie Maurice Stewart, et al., v. Alex M. Azar II, et al., No. 18-152, D. D.C., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 60477).
BATON ROUGE, La. — A Louisiana federal judge on April 20 granted a motion for judgment on the pleadings filed by a Louisiana town and its officials in a class complaint by residents alleging improper responses to a 2016 flood but ruled that the plaintiffs may have one chance to amend their complaint to state a claim against the Clinton, La., defendants (People’s Workshop, et al. v. Federal Emergency Management Agency, et al., No. 17-107, M.D. La., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 66912).
CHICAGO — The plaintiffs in a putative class action against VTech Electronics North America LLC saw their claims related to a 2015 data breach get dismissed a second time April 18, when an Illinois federal judge held that they failed to establish any implied contractual breaches or unfair conduct by the digital toy maker (In re VTech Data Breach Litigation, No. 1:15-cv-10889, N.D. Ill., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 65060).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — A federal claims judge on April 17 certified a class action involving insurers’ claims that the federal government failed to make timely payments under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) cost-reduction program (Common Ground Healthcare Cooperative v. The United States, No. 17-877C, Fed. Clms., 2018 U.S. Claims LEXIS 317).
FORT WORTH, Texas — A trial court judge in Texas did not err when refusing to subject a home warranty company to classwide arbitration for claims brought by a couple, a Texas appeals panel ruled April 19, holding that the matter was a gateway issue properly addressed by the judge and that the couple’s limited warranty with the company did not allow for classwide arbitration (Nathan Robinson, et al. v. Home Owners Management Enterprise Inc., et al., No. 02-16-00380-CV, Texas App., 2nd Dist., 2018 Tex. App. LEXIS 2787).
SAN FRANCISCO — The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on April 20 denied a motion by Zappos.com Inc. to reconsider a March panel ruling that found that a putative class of Zappos customers had standing under Article III of the U.S. Constitution to sue the online retailer over a 2012 data breach that exposed their personally identifiable information (PII) (In re Zappos.com Inc. Customer Data Security Breach Litigation, No. 16-16860, 9th Cir.).
SAN DIEGO — A $24 million securities class action settlement between investors and a drug company and certain of its current and former senior executives meets all statutory requirements for approval, but the amount requested in attorney fees and costs is too significant, a federal judge in California ruled April 12 in granting final approval of the settlement and reducing the amount of attorney fees and costs (Todd Schueneman, et al. v. Arena Pharmaceuticals Inc., et al., No. 10-1959, S.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 65275).
BOSTON — Massachusetts residents on April 18 filed a putative class action against The 3M Co. and others in federal court, seeking more than $5 million for personal injuries they allege were caused by aqueous film forming foam (AFFF) the defendants manufactured and used at a training facility for firefighters, which has leaked into the local drinking water (Christine Civitarese, et al. v. The 3M Co., et al., No. 18-10747, D. Mass.).
SAN FRANCISCO — A proposed class representative has failed to show that its damages model can be applied classwide and has proposed a class that is “too broad,” defendants in a securities class action lawsuit against social networking giant Twitter Inc. and certain of its current and former senior officers argued in an April 16 opposition to the lead plaintiff’s motion for class certification filed in California federal court (In re Twitter Inc. Securities Litigation, No. 16-5314, N.D. Calif.).
SYRACUSE, N.Y. — In spite of the plaintiffs’ claims that the depiction of vegetables on the front of Garden Veggie Straws snacks when those vegetables are not actually in the snacks is “a modern example of food fraud,” a New York federal judge on April 17 granted a motion to dismiss by the snack maker, opining that the plaintiffs’ allegations are insufficient to show that a reasonable consumer would believe that the processed snack would provide the same health benefits as the whole vegetables (John Solak, et al. v. The Hain Celestial Group, Inc., No. 17-704, N.D. N.Y., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 64270).
PHILADELPHIA — The Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on April 10 denied an interlocutory appeal by Prudential Insurance Company of America filed pursuant to the Class Action Fairness Act seeking a ruling on Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23(b)(3)’s predominance requirement and the trial court’s interpretation of the term “one sum” in a lawsuit over life insurance policies (Clark R. Huffman, et al. v. Prudential Insurance Company of America, No. 18-8012, 3rd Cir.).
Recent class action lawsuits filed in federal and state courts across the country include complaints alleging falsely advertised doughnuts, contamination from firefighting training exercises, improper collection of post-payment interest and injury from an eye serum.
CHICAGO — An Illinois federal judge on April 17 declined to dismiss a class complaint accusing an insurance company of violating the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) by placing automated, unsolicited phone calls to cell phones, ruling in part that the injuries are personal and distinct because each call is “a violation” of the recipients’ privacy that is “personally felt by that victim” and that tangible, economic harm is not required (Reid Postle, et al. v. Allstate Insurance Company, No. 17-7179, N.D. Ill., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 64599).
LOS ANGELES — A California appeals panel on April 16 ruled that a class of workers who sued a staffing agency for wage violations and settled those claims may not now succeed on identical claims against the company where they had been placed to work (Andrew Castillo, et al. v. Glenair, Inc., No. B278239, Calif. App., 2nd Dist., Div. 2, 2018 Cal. App. LEXIS 338).
BALTIMORE — In a dispute over an alleged life insurance fraud scheme that shifted debt to reinsurers, the parties on April 17 sought an extension from a Maryland federal court of deadlines for supplementation of expert disclosures and current discovery (Richard Dickman, et al. v. Banner Life Insurance Co., No. 16-192, D. Md.).
OKLAHOMA CITY — A trial court judge in Oklahoma erred when certifying a subclass for residents who received in-patient nursing home care and whose homesteads were subject to liens imposed by the Oklahoma Health Care Authority (OHCA) because the subclass lacked adequate representation and a sufficient number of class members, a state appeals panel ruled April 11 in vacating a ruling granting class certification (Joan Ellen Morehead, et al. v. Oklahoma, ex rel. Oklahoma Health Care Authority, No. 115711, Okla. App., 3rd Div., 2017 Okla. Civ. App. LEXIS 67).
NEW YORK — A New York federal magistrate judge on April 13 granted final approval of a $3.6 million settlement to be paid to “tipped workers” who have been employed by Rosa Mexicano restaurants around the county (Edwin Suarez, et al. v. Rosa Mexicano Brands Inc., et al., No. 16-5464, S.D. N.Y., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 63562).
DENVER — A Colorado federal judge on April 13 signed off on a settlement reached between a class of hearing-impaired patrons and Kroenke Arena Co. LLC (KAC) in a class complaint seeking open captioning at sporting events held at the Pepsi Center in Denver (Kirstin Kurlander, et al. v. Kroenke Arena Company, LLC, No. 16-2754, D. Colo., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 62863).