NEW YORK — Under the terms of a proposed class action settlement in an Employee Retirement Income Security Act suit filed against Deutsche Bank Americas Holding Corp. and others for alleged violations in overseeing a 401(k) plan, Deutsche Bank has agreed to pay a gross settlement amount of $21.9 million into a common fund for the benefit of settlement class members, according to the plaintiffs’ Aug. 14 motion for preliminary approval of the settlement (Ramon Moreno, et al. v. Deutsche Bank Americas Holding Corp., et al., No. 15-cv-09936-LGS, S.D. N.Y.).
SAN JOSE, Calif. — One year after preliminarily approving settlement of a class action over the 2015 Anthem Inc. data breach, which includes a $115 million settlement fund, a California federal judge on Aug. 15 granted final approval, deeming the settlement’s distribution plan “fair adequate, and reasonable” (In Re: Anthem Inc., Customer Data Security Breach Litigation, No. 5:15-md-02617, N.D. Calif.).
DENVER — Two class suits by consumers against two airlines for failure to fully refund the price of nonrefundable airline tickets fail, a 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Aug. 2, upholding a trial court’s decisions, but for a different reason (Lynn Robinson, et al. v. American Airlines, Inc., No. 17-6166, Paul Stewart, et al. v. Southwest Airlines Co., No. 17-6167, 10th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 21427).
Recent class action lawsuits filed in federal and state courts across the country include complaints alleging collection and disclosure of private data, violation of state usury laws, wage-and-hour violations and the operation of an illegal pyramid scheme.
PHILADELPHIA — A Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Aug. 7 upheld the dismissal of a class complaint and ruled that unpaid highway tolls do not constitute the type of “debt” that could support a claim under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), noting that the matter was one of first impression among the courts of appeals (Thomas E. St. Pierre v. Retrieval-Masters Creditors Bureau, Inc., Nos. 17-1731 and 17-1941, 3rd Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 21908).
SEATTLE — A couple says in a motion filed Aug. 13 in a Washington federal court that a proposed class of individuals who own homes with Certainteed’s Landmark 30 shingles should be certified because it is “straightforward” and because their claims “can be easily tried on a classwide basis” (Paula Wetzel, et al. v. Certainteed Corp., No. 16cv01160, W.D. Wash.).
NEW YORK — Celebrity chef Rachael Ray’s pet food, Rachael Ray Nutrish, features labels stating that the products are “natural” when they contain a chemical that can cause detrimental health effects, a New York man alleges in his Aug. 1 federal class complaint (Markeith Parks, et al. v. Ainsworth Pet Nutrition, LLC, No. 18-6936, S.D. N.Y.).
NEWARK, N.J. — A New Jersey federal judge on Aug. 6 denied summary judgment motions from both sides in a class suit over inmates’ phone charges and ruled that the case will proceed to trial and, in a separate opinion issued the same day, granted class certification (Bobby James, et al. v. Global Tel*Link Corp., et al., No. 13-4989, D. N.J., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 131892).
DETROIT — A class suit accusing FCA US LLC of using an evaluation process that discriminates against employees who are 55 and older may proceed, a Michigan federal judge ruled Aug. 6, granting a dismissal motion only as to the individual claims by one of four named plaintiffs and rejecting the employer’s argument that the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) does not permit a class definition that excludes employees aged 40 to 54 (Dan Cerjanec, et al. v. FCA US, LLC, No. 17-10619, E.D. Mich., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 131434).
SANTA ANA, Calif. — A California federal judge on Aug. 10 remanded a class lawsuit accusing a health insurer of wrongfully disclosing insureds HIV-positive status, ruling that the state law claims are not preempted by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (D.L. v. Aetna Inc., et al., No. 18-893, C.D. Calif., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 136682).
TRENTON, N.J. — A New Jersey federal judge on Aug. 14 dismissed a class complaint accusing a pharmacy chain of violating the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) by including a message about the availability of flu shots in the middle of text messages about prescriptions, ruling that the TCPA’s health care exemption applies (Jaclyn Bailey v. CVS Pharmacy, Inc., No. 17-11482, D. N.J., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 137049).
RALEIGH, N.C. — Citing a 2009 opinion, a North Carolina Court of Appeals panel on Aug. 7 affirmed the dismissal of class complaint alleging that the doctrine of necessaries, which makes an individual liable for his or her spouse’s medical expenses, violates the women’s property clause of the North Carolina Constitution, which holds that a woman’s property can’t be subject to debts incurred by her husband (Annah Awartani, et al. v. The Moses H. Cone Memorial Hospital Operating Corporation, No. COA17-1300, N.C. App., 2018 N.C. App. LEXIS 745).
SAN FRANCISCO — The California Supreme Court on Aug. 13 held that high interest rates on consumer loans issued by CashCall Inc. violated California finance law and that the borrowers stated a claim under California’s unfair competition law (UCL) based on their allegation that an interest rate on the loan of at least $2,500 was unconscionable (Eduardo De La Torre, et al. v. CashCall Inc., No. S241434, Calif. Sup., 2018 Cal. LEXIS 5749).
ST. LOUIS — A stipulation to limit attorney fees to bring the total amount sought under the Class Action Fairness Act’s (CAFA) $5 million threshold doesn’t defeat a federal court’s jurisdiction under CAFA, an Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Aug. 10, affirming the denial of a remand motion as well as a summary judgment ruling for a car maker in a class suit alleging deceptive representations about the safety of certain vehicles in violation of the Missouri Merchandising Practices Act (MMPA) (David Faltermeier, et al. v. FCA US LLC, No. 17-2093, 8th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 22227).
PORTLAND, Ore. — A class complaint filed Aug. 9 in the U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon by two former employees accuses Nike Inc. of “devalu[ing]” and “demean[ing]” female employees by paying them less than their male counterparts and passing them over for promotions (Kelly Cahill, et al. v. Nike, Inc., No. 18-1477, D. Ore.).
ST. LOUIS — A Missouri federal judge on Aug. 10 remanded a class complaint accusing a retailer of overcharging sales taxes after determining that the defendant, Wal-Mart Stores Inc., was unable to provide sufficient evidence showing that the $75,000 threshold for diversity removal was met (Nichole Holzum, et al. v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., et al., No. 17-2275, E.D. Mo., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 135174).
CINCINNATI — A group of chemical companies on July 30 filed a petition for rehearing en banc in the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals asking it to reconsider its decision that affirmed the certification of some issues for class treatment under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23(c)(4) for a lawsuit in which residents contend that they have been harmed by the presence of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in their groundwater. The companies insist that the panel chose “the wrong side” of a circuit split on the issues relevant to class certification (Terry Martin, et al. v. Behr Dayton Thermal Products LLC, et al., No. 17-3663, 6th Cir.).
CHICAGO — A company that provides certain services to a mortgage provider is not a debt collector or indirect debt collector under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), a Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Aug. 10, upholding a trial court’s summary judgment ruling for the company, a defendant in a class complaint (Andrew Schlaf, et al. v. Safeguard Property, LLC, No. 17-2811, 7th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 22281).
NEW YORK — Two weeks after announcing missed revenue targets and experiencing a resulting drop in stock prices, Nielsen Holdings PLC was named in a putative securities class action in New York federal court on Aug. 8 by a shareholder who claims that the analytics firm misled investors as to costs associated with the European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and misrepresented its ability to obtain necessary consumer social media data after the privacy-oriented statute’s recent enactment (Craig Gordon v. Nielsen Holdings PLC, et al., No. 1:18-cv-07143, S.D. N.Y.).
LOS ANGELES — International supply chain UTi Worldwide Inc. will pay $13 million to settle claims that it and certain of its senior executives misrepresented the success of the company’s implementation of its new freight forwarding and financial systems in violation of federal securities laws (Michael J. Angley, et al. v. UTi Worldwide Inc., et al., No. 14-2066, C.D. Calif.).