SANTA ANA, Calif. — A California federal judge on June 19 granted final approval of a nonreversionary $750,000 class settlement that will be paid by Pier 1 Imports U.S. Inc. to end a complaint alleging that workers of the home furnishings and accessories chain were denied rest breaks (Jennifer Pedraza v. Pier 1 Imports U.S. Inc., et al., No. 16-1447, C.D. Calif., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 103490).
PHILADELPHIA — Because an ex-employee of The Coca-Cola Co. (Coke) failed to establish a causal connection between credit card fraud and the theft of company-owned laptops containing employees’ personally identifiable information (PII), a Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on June 20 affirmed the dismissal of his putative breach of contract and negligence class claims against the soft drink manufacturer (Shane K. Enslin v. The Coca-Cola Co., et al., Nos. 17-3153 and 17-3256, 3rd Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 16613).
PORTLAND, Maine — A Maine federal judge on June 19 granted final approval of a $5 million settlement to be paid by a Maine dairy company to end a wage-and-hour class lawsuit stemming from the lack of a serial comma in a list of activities exempted from Maine’s overtime law (Christopher O’Connor, et al. v. Oakhurst Dairy, et al., No. 14-192, D. Maine, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 102244).
ATLANTA — The Georgia Supreme Court on June 18 affirmed a decision by an appellate panel reinstating class claims by consumers of retail electrical service who claim that Georgia Power Co. has collected municipal franchise fees in excess of the amounts approved by the Public Service Commission (Georgia Power Company v. Cazier, et al., No. S17G0706, Ga. Sup., 2018 Ga. LEXIS 449).
SAN FRANCISCO — A California federal judge on June 19 agreed to stay a long-running putative privacy class action over Google LLC’s Street View feature in light of a pending U.S. Supreme Court case that the parties believe “is likely to bear directly” on a tentative settlement in the case (In re Google LLC Street View Electronic Communications Litigation, No. 3:10-md-02184, N.D. Calif.).
SAN FRANCISCO — A former Jones Day partner filed a Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA) representative action complaint on June 19 in a California state court on behalf of herself and other female attorneys employed by the firm in California, alleging that it operates as a “fraternity” where female attorneys are “marginalized” and paid less than male counterparts (Wendy Moore, et al. v. Jones Day, et al., No. CGC18567391, Calif. Super., San Francisco Co.).
ALEXANDRIA, Va. — A federal judge in Virginia overseeing lawsuits stemming from flooring sold by Lumber Liquidators Inc. that contained excessive levels of formaldehyde and suits contending that the company’s flooring prematurely scratched, chipped, warped and stained on June 15 preliminarily approved a $36 million settlement to resolve the litigations (In re: Lumber Liquidators Chinese-Manufactured Laminate Flooring Products Marketing, Sales Practices and Products Liability Litigation, MDL 2627, No. 15-md-2627, In re: Lumber Liquidators Chinese-Manufactured Laminate Flooring Durability Marketing and Sales Practices Litigation, MDL 2743, No. 16-md-2743, E.D. Va.).
SAN FRANCISCO — A California federal judge on June 14 granted final approval of a $142 million settlement that will be paid by Wells Fargo & Co. and Wells Fargo Bank N.A. to resolve class claims that the bank opened accounts for individuals, enrolled them in products and services and submitted applications for products and services without consent (Shahriar Jabbari, et al. v. Wells Fargo & Company, et al., No. 15-2159, N.D. Calif.).
DETROIT — Two Eastern Michigan University (EMU) students filed a class complaint on June 15 in Michigan federal court, alleging that the school violated Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 when it eliminated its women’s tennis and softball teams in the midst of their competitive seasons and left many foreign students in limbo (Marie Mayerova, et al. v. Eastern Michigan University, et al., No. 18-11909, E.D. Mich.).
INDIANAPOLIS — In light of a defendant’s showing of relevance and the plaintiffs’ failure to establish privilege, an Indiana federal magistrate judge on June 14 concluded that a Facebook instant message string between two named plaintiffs was not covered by a protective order in a putative class action over pension plan administrative fees, leading him to mostly grant a motion to compel (Mary Bell, et al. v. Pension Committee of ATH Holding Company LLC, et al., No. 1:15-cv-02062, S.D. Ind.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — At the federal government’s suggestion, the U.S. Supreme Court in its June 18 orders list granted certiorari to Apple Inc. to decide a question of when consumers are direct or indirect purchasers related to their standing to sue a manufacturer for monopolization under the Sherman Act in the context of prices for iPhone apps set by app developers (Apple Inc. v. Robert Pepper, et al., No. 17-204, U.S. Sup.).
FORT MYERS, Fla. — A group of Florida residents on June 6 filed a brief in Florida federal court contending that the district court should deny the city of Fort Myers’ motion to dismiss the group’s putative class action for the contamination of local groundwater with arsenic because they have stated a claim for relief, among other things, for violation of federal laws that prohibit open dumps (Deretha Miller, et al. v. Fort Myers, et al., No. 18-195, M.D. Fla.).
ST. PAUL, Minn. — Rejecting objections by two class members, an Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on June 13 affirmed a trial court’s approval of a $10 million settlement between Target Corp. and a class of consumers affected by a 2013 data breach, finding that on remand after a previous ruling in the objectors’ favor, the presiding judge conducted the necessary “rigorous analysis” of the settlement (In re: Target Corporation Customer Data Security Breach Litigation, No. 15-3909, 15-3912, 16-1203, 16-1245 and 16-1408 8th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 15839).
ORLANDO, Fla. — Centex Real Estate Co. LLC on June 11 removed a class action suit accusing the builder and contractors of improperly installing the stucco on 137 homes in an Apopka, Fla., development, arguing that the federal court has jurisdiction over the case under the Class Action Fairness Act (CAFA) because the proposed class seeks more than $5 million in damages (Emerson Park Homeowners Association Inc., et al. v. Brett Lundequam, et al., No. 18-CV-913-ORL-37-DCI, M.D. Fla.).
By Mark W. Lerner and Jonathan L. Shapiro
Recent class lawsuits filed in federal and state courts across the country include complaints alleging wage violations by the Dallas Cowboys, defective Apple watches, usury, polluted water and air by a chicken processing facility and abusive debt collection practices.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Four organizations filed three amicus briefs from May 22 to May 25 supporting a petition for a writ of certiorari before the U.S. Supreme Court asking the justices to decide whether the original defendant in a class action can remove a lawsuit under the Class Action Fairness Act (CAFA) where the class action was originally asserted as a counterclaim against a co-defendant (Home Depot U.S.A., Inc. v. George W. Jackson, No. 17-1471, U.S. Sup.).
NEW YORK — A New York federal judge on June 7 granted a motion for judgment on the pleadings filed by a company hit with a class action for attempting to collect on unpaid telephone bills, finding that Section 415 of the Federal Communications Act (FCA) does not preempt New York’s six-year statute of limitations (Yannsi Espinal v. AFNI, Inc., No. 17-3439, S.D. N.Y., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 95996).
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — A Florida trial court did not err when it held that the voluntary payment defense was applicable in a class complaint seeking refunds for red-light camera fines, which were issued under an ordinance that has since been found to be preempted by state law, and in denying a motion for class certification, a Florida appellate panel ruled June 8 (Richard Easter, et al. v. Orlando, No. 5D17-276, Fla. App., 5th Dist., 2018 Fla. App. LEXIS 8185).
CAMDEN, N.J. — A New Jersey federal judge on June 7 denied a motion for reconsideration of an April 17 opinion denying final approval of multi-million settlement in a class lawsuit accusing an online wine retailer of mispresenting pricing and the savings to consumers (Kyle Cannon, et al. v. Ashburn Corporation, et al., No. 16-1452, D. N.J., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 95590).