Recent class action lawsuits filed in federal and state courts across the country include complaints alleging deceptively labeled vanilla ice cream, kombucha and meat; data breach; and improper classification of tool dealers.
NEW YORK — The man who was purported to be the chief marketing officer (CMO) of the 2017 Fyre Festival should be added back as a defendant in the putative class complaint by attendees who allege they were promised a posh music festival and instead found themselves on an island lacking adequate food, water, shelter and medical care now that new evidence shows that the former defendant knew or should have known of the fraud that was taking place, the attendees allege in an Oct. 10 motion for reconsideration filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York (In re Fyre Festival Litigation, No. 17-3296, S.D. N.Y.).
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, on behalf of one named worker and a class of similarly affected female workers, sued Pei Wei Asian Diner LLC, doing business as Pei Wei Fresh Kitchen, on Oct. 15 in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas alleging that female workers at the chain’s Little Rock, Ark., location were subjected to sexual harassment and a sexually hostile work environment (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. Pei Wei Asian Diner, LLC, No. 19-718, E.D. Ark.).
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A Missouri federal judge on Oct. 16 denied motions to dismiss filed in one of two class complaints pending in Missouri and Illinois accusing the National Association of Realtors (NAR) and certain real estate broker franchisors of conspiring to require home sellers to pay inflated broker commissions in violation of the Sherman Act (Joshua Sitzer, et al. v. The National Association of Realtors, et al., No. 19-332, W.D. Mo.).
LOS ANGELES — An unnamed class member who objected to a settlement valued at approximately $295 million that ended a lawsuit accusing the city of Los Angeles and the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (DWP) of overcharging ratepayers is not a party of record and thus lacks standing to appeal the trial court’s judgment approving the settlement, a California appellate panel ruled Oct. 15 (Patrick Eck, et al. v. Los Angeles, et al., No. B289717, Calif. App., 2nd Dist., Div. 7, 2019 Cal. App. LEXIS 1018).
SAN FRANCISCO — A class of consumers on Oct. 4 asked a federal judge in California to preliminarily approve a $30 million settlement with Lumber Liquidators Inc. to resolve claims that defective flooring made by the company allegedly scratched easily and splintered (Dana Gold, et al. v. Lumber Liquidators Inc., No. 14-cv-5373, N.D. Calif.).
BALTIMORE — Plaintiffs in consolidated cases concerning an alleged life insurance fraud scheme that shifted debt to reinsurers on Oct. 11 proposed a scheduling order to a Maryland federal court for preliminary approval of the proposed nationwide class action and preliminary certification of settlement class that is unopposed by life insurers (Richard Dickman, et al. v. Banner Life Insurance Co., et al., Nos. 16-192, 17-2026, D. Md.).
EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. — Former Wal-Mart Stores Inc. employees who sued for pregnancy discrimination based on the alleged denial of pregnant employees’ request for accommodations filed a motion on Oct. 15 in an Illinois federal court seeking preliminary approval of a $14 million class settlement (Talisa Borders, et al. v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., No. 17-506, S.D. Ill.).
CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The removal of a class wage complaint under the Class Action Fairness Act (CAFA) nearly a year after plaintiffs moved for class certification wasn’t untimely as the plaintiffs did not provide the defendant, AT&T Mobility Services LLC, with sufficient facts to properly ascertain the amount in controversy, a federal judge in West Virginia ruled Oct. 15 (Joseph Atkins, et al. v. AT&T Mobility Services, LLC, No. 18-599, S.D. W.Va., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 178208).
PORTLAND, Ore. — A professor filed a class complaint on Oct. 11 in an Oregon court accusing AT&T Mobility LLC of violating state law by charging customers a clean energy surcharge even though the company isn’t subjected to the surcharge and pocketing it as profit (Elliott Young, et al. v. AT&T Mobility LLC, No. 19CV44447, Ore. Cir., Multnomah Co.).
CHICAGO — A former pizza delivery driver who worked for two different Domino’s Pizza franchisees before bringing a collective and class action wage lawsuit on Oct. 9 moved for preliminary approval of a $807,500 settlement agreement with the franchisees (Samantha Young, et al. v. Rolling in the Dough, Inc., No. 17-7825, N.D. Ill.).
SAN JOSE, Calif. — A California federal judge on Oct. 11 granted a motion by Adobe Systems Inc. to compel arbitration in a class complaint by a professional photographer and videographer who alleges that the software company’s editing program malfunctioned and permanently deleted his files and data, but denied Adobe’s request to dismiss the class claims (David Keith Cooper v. Adobe Systems Incorporated, No. 18-6742, N.D. Calif., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 177413).
NEW YORK — Whether assignment of Employee Retirement Income Security Act rights requires reversing class certification of a group of surgery providers claiming that the insurer denied payment for facility fees without regard for whether coverage existed under specific plan language came before a New York federal judge on Oct. 14 as the parties briefed a motion for reconsideration (The Medical Society of the State of New York, et al. v. UnitedHealth Group Inc., et al., No. 16-5265, S.D. N.Y.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Supreme Court on Oct. 15 decided against review of a Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruling affirming an award of attorney fees in a securities class action settlement where the petitioner had argued that the award was unreasonable under the “general ‘American Rule’” that a party bears its own attorney fees and the Supreme Court’s definition of “a reasonable attorney’s fee” in fee-shifting cases (Fresno County Employees’ Retirement Association v. Isaacson/Weaver Family Trust, No. 19-244, U.S. Sup).
SAN JOSE, Calif. — A former Comcast employee who brought putative class claims over alleged improper background check disclosures and various wage violations must arbitrate his claims on an individual basis, a California federal judge ruled Oct. 11, finding that the employer’s class action waiver in its arbitration provision was enforceable (Mario Azeveda v. Comcast Cable Communications LLC, et al., No. 19-1225, N.D. Calif., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 177765).
NEW YORK — New York City has violated the civil rights of female arrestees by failing to provide them with feminine hygiene products while they are in custody, a New York woman alleges in an Oct. 11 class complaint filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York (Jennifer Flores, et al. v. New York, No. 19-5763, E.D. N.Y.).
HARRISBURG, Pa. — Heart surgery patients who were possibly exposed to a latent bacterial infection allegedly caused by the Sorin 3T heater-cooler device will receive five years of free medical monitoring by the hospitals, according to a settlement agreement filed Oct. 11 in a Pennsylvania federal court (Edward Baker, et al. v. Sorin Group USA, Inc., No. 16-260, M.D. Pa.).
OMAHA, Neb. — A divided Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Oct. 10 vacated a district court’s judgment for student truck drivers on some of their collective and class action claims, finding an error when the deadline for the disclosure of expert reports was extended, and remanded for further proceedings, ruling that the error was not harmless (Philip Petrone, et al. v. Werner Enterprises, Inc., et al., Nos. 18-1574 and 18-1647, 8th Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 30344).
SAN JOSE, Calif. — A federal judge in California on Oct. 11 granted Apple Inc.’s motion to dismiss 10 claims in a putative class action alleging that it falsely advertised that its computer screens were of the “highest quality” even though they contained a “critical defect” that it knew about, rejecting the plaintiffs’ contention that Apple’s fraudulent omissions makes it liable under the California’s unfair competition law (UCL) (Kim Ahern, et al. v. Apple Inc., No. 18-07196, N.D. Calif., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 177425).
CHICAGO — A $3 million settlement agreement between a compliance services firm and a class of its clients’ employees whose personally identifiable information (PII) was exposed in a 2018 data breach received final approval from an Illinois federal judge on Oct. 7, the same day a fairness hearing on the agreement was held (Marshall Smith, et al. v. ComplyRight Inc., No. 1:18-cv-04990, N.D. Ill., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 174217).