OAKLAND, Calif. — A California federal judge on April 26 granted a motion to preliminarily approve settlement of a class action that accused Facebook Inc. of privacy violations related to the social network’s scanning of users’ private messages (PMs) for advertisement purposes (Matthew Campbell, et al. v. Facebook Inc., No. 4:13-cv-05996, N.D. Calif.).
LOS ANGELES — Parties in the $454 million MicroCool surgical gown California class action on April 26 told the court that as of that date, they calculate that defendant Kimberly-Clark Corp. owes $1.04 million in prejudgment interest and spinoff Halyard Health Inc. owes $42,836 (Bahamas Surgery Center, LLC, et al. v. Kimberly-Clark Corporation, et al., No. 14-8390, C.D. Calif.).
MINNEAPOLIS — A Minnesota federal judge on April 25 certified a class of more than 3,200 people who received an unsolicited fax advertisement for lead-testing services and denied a motion by the sender to dismiss the lawsuit (Sandusky Wellness Center, LLC, et al. v. MedTox Scientific, Inc., et al., No. 12-2066, D. Minn., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 62838).
FRESNO, Calif. — A California federal judge on April 19 granted preliminary approval of a $25 million settlement to be paid by two companies that are accused of sending more than 2.4 million unsolicited faxed advertisements in violation of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) (Dakota Medical, Inc. v. RehabCare Group, Inc., et al., No. 14-2081, E.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 59812).
NEW YORK — In an unpublished decision, a Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel held April 25 that a Connecticut federal judge properly dismissed a putative class action filed by Family Dollar Stores Inc. employees under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act for failure to state a claim upon which relief may be granted, saying that the plaintiffs failed to show that the insurance company that issued group life insurance to them was a fiduciary under ERISA (Patrick Hannan, et al. v. Hartford Financial Services Inc., et al., No. 16-1316, 2nd Cir.).
CHICAGO — An Illinois federal judge on April 21 certified a class of more than 68,000 Illinois residents who were mailed collection letters that allegedly failed to include disclosures as required by the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) (Renetrice R. Pierre, et al. v. Midland Credit Management, Inc., No. 16-2895, N.D. Ill., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 61107).
LOS ANGELES — Plaintiffs leading a proposed class action suit over air-conditioning units manufactured by Daikin Industries Ltd. that have evaporator coils that are allegedly defective filed a notice of appeal in California federal court on April 24 stating that they will ask the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals to review a ruling dismissing their lawsuit (Joanna Park-Kim, et al. v. Daikin Industries, Ltd., et al., No. 15-cv-9523-CAS, C.D. Calif.).
NEWARK, N.J. — After an appeals court revived a putative class action under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) related to the theft of laptops containing policyholders’ personally identifiable information (PII), an insurer on April 21 filed a renewed dismissal motion in New Jersey federal court, arguing that statute governs actions of credit-reporting agencies, not health insurance providers (In Re Horizon Healthcare Services Inc. Data Breach Litigation, No. 2:13-CV-07418, D. N.J.).
MINNEAPOLIS — A federal judge on April 21 dismissed two class complaints filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota accusing an online university of knowingly misrepresenting how long it took to complete its doctoral program, finding that they are barred under the first-filed rule and that only a class complaint in an Ohio federal court alleging substantially similar claims may proceed (Jennifer Wright, et al. v. Walden University, LLC, et al., No. 16-4037, Aaron Bleess v. Walden University, LLC, et al., No. 16-4402, D. Minn., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 61331).
SANTA ANA, Calif. — In an April 21 brief in California federal court, Experian Information Solutions Inc. opposes a motion to compel by the plaintiffs in a putative data breach class action, contending that a forensic consultant’s report on the breach constitutes legal advice that is exempt from discovery under attorney-client privilege and the work product doctrine (In Re Experian Data Breach Litigation, No. 8:15-cv-01592, C.D. Calif.).
SAN FRANCISCO — The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on April 21 certified a question to the California Supreme Court on whether high interest rates on consumer loans violated California finance law (Eduardo De La Torre, et al. v. CashCall Inc., Nos. 14-17571, 15-15042, 9th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 6997).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Klamath Tribes on April 24 filed an amicus curiae brief in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims, arguing that its water rights in the Upper Klamath Basin in Oregon are senior to all others, including the United States of America and agricultural users in a class action suit (Lonny E. Baley, et al. v. United States, et al., No. 01-592L, John Anderson Farms, Inc., et al. v. United States, No. 07-194C, Fed. Clms.).
DES MOINES, Iowa — An Iowa trial court erred when it stayed a price-fixing class complaint filed by chiropractors against the state’s largest health insurer pending resolution of a federal multidistrict litigation in Alabama, the Iowa Supreme Court ruled April 21, vacating the order staying the action and remanding for further proceedings (Bradley A. Chicoine, et al. v. Wellmark, Inc., et al., No. 16-0364, Iowa Sup., 2017 Iowa Sup. LEXIS 38).
NEW ORLEANS — The federal judge in Louisiana overseeing litigation stemming from defective drywall manufactured in China on April 21 adopted an expert’s formula that states that class members should receive $86 per square foot to remediate damage to their homes’ electrical and plumbing systems that resulted from the use of the building material that was made by Taishan Gypsum Co. Ltd. and other China-based companies (In re: Chinese-Manufactured Drywall Products Liability Litigation, MDL No. 2407, E.D. La., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 60911).
CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — A federal judge in Texas on April 19 remanded a class action lawsuit alleging groundwater contamination by a group of defendant chemical companies, ruling that the local exception to federal class action law applied (MD Haynes Inc. d/b/a Cici’s Pizza, et al. v. Valero Marketing and Supply Co., et al., No. 17-6, S.D. Texas; 2017 U.S. Dist., LEXIS 59495).
NEW YORK — A Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on April 12 affirmed a New York federal judge’s ruling that drivers of black cars in New York City who own or rent franchises are independent contractors, not employees, because the franchisors exert little control over the day-to-day operation of their businesses (Mazhar Saleem, et al. v. Corporate Transportation Group Ltd., No. 15-88, 2nd Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 6305).
SAN FRANCISCO — Wells Fargo & Co. and Wells Fargo Bank N.A. have agreed to increase their settlement payment to $142 million, $32 million more than the settlement proposed in March, to end claims by a class of individuals who allege that the banking company opened accounts, enrolled them in products and services and submitted applications for products and services without consent, according to a motion for preliminary approval filed by the plaintiffs on April 20 in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California (Shahriar Jabbari, et al. v. Wells Fargo & Company, et al., No. 15-2159, N.D. Calif.).
PROVIDENCE, R.I. — A Rhode Island federal judge on April 18 adopted a report by a magistrate judge who recommended dismissal of an amended complaint arising under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act alleging that CVS Health Corp., its employee benefits plan committee and the manager of one of the plan’s investment options breached their fiduciary duties because new material in the complaint is insufficient to permit an inference of imprudence and dismissed the complaint with prejudice (Mary Barchock, et al. v. CVS Health Corp., et al., No. 1:16-cv-00061, D. R.I., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 59083).
NEW HAVEN, Conn. — A Connecticut federal judge on April 19 certified a class of retirees in a suit filed by an employer seeking a court declaration that a union has the authority to agree to changes in retiree medical benefits for those persons who retired after a 1996 class action settlement that provided the retirees with medical benefits without violating federal law (Barnes Group, Inc. v. International Union United Automobile Aerospace & Agricultural Implement Workers of America, et al., No. 16-559, D. Conn., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 59761).
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — A Utah woman filed a putative class complaint April 18 against the provider of a physician consultation smartphone app, telling a Florida federal court that the app shares users’ sensitive medical information with a third-party firm, breaching the app maker’s duty to keep this information confidential (Joan Richards v. MDLive Inc., No. 0:17-cv-60760, S.D. Fla.).