DETROIT — A federal judge in Michigan on Aug. 15 issued a second order consolidating all of the lawsuits pertaining to the lead-contaminated water crisis in Flint, Mich., into one action in response to a motion to reconsider filed by a group of state employee defendants. The one-page order did not elaborate on the ruling (In re Flint Water Cases [Luke Waid, et al. v. Richard D. Snyder, et al.], No. 16-10444, E.D. Mich.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — An insurer’s alternative interpretation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA)’s lactation services mandate did not require consideration of an affidavit stating that the company complied with the law, a federal judge in the District of Columbia held Aug. 14 in declining to reconsider a motion to dismiss (Lindsay Ferrer, et al. v. CareFirst Inc., et al., No. 16-2162, D. D.C., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 110304).
SAN FRANCISCO — To the extent an insurer covers lactation services required by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), allegations that it makes finding or using those providers impossible support a class action, a federal judge in California held Aug. 15 in largely denying a motion to dismiss (Rachel Condry, et al. v. UnitedHealth Group Inc., et al., No. 17-183, N.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 130089).
DENVER — A class of Colorado oil and gas royalty owners survived the 2008 dismissal of their suit alleging underpayment, and that same class may now proceed with classwide arbitration of claims that the underpayment of royalties continues, a Colorado appellate panel ruled Aug. 10 (EnCana Oil & Gas (USA), Inc. v. Sally Miller, et al., No. 16CA1979, Colo. App., Div. 2, 2017 Colo. App. LEXIS 1009).
Recent class action lawsuits filed in federal and state courts across the country include complaints alleging Telephone Consumer Protection Act violations, deceptive marketing of blueberry donuts and naan, invasion of privacy and wage violations.
SAN FRANCISCO — A California federal judge on Aug. 7 granted preliminary approval of an amended class settlement in a suit against Uber Technologies Inc. and Raiser LLC (collectively Uber) over the company’s alleged misrepresentations and omissions regarding its “Safe Rides Fee” and the safety measures it takes under which Uber will provide a $32.5 million nonreversionary settlement fund (Byron McKnight, et al. v. Uber Technologies, Inc., et al., No. 14-5615, N.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 124534).
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A California federal judge on Aug. 10 partially granted a motion to dismiss class claims brought by borrowers against Nationstar LLC and Solutionstar LLC, both subsidiaries of Nationstar Mortgage Holdings Inc., alleging that the defendants unfairly and excessively charged them for distressed mortgage fees and gave those plaintiffs for whom Nationstar had been shown to be the lenders’ assignee one chance to show that they complied with the uniform Deeds of Trust’s notice-and-cure provision (Eugenio and Rosa Contreras, et al. v. Nationstar LLC, et al., No. 16-302, E.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 127357).
TRENTON, N.J. — A driver for Lyft Inc., a transportation service ordered by customers via a mobile phone application, filed a class complaint on Aug. 15 in New Jersey federal court accusing Lyft of misrepresenting to drivers the fares being paid by riders and, as a result, paying drivers less than the amount to which they are contractually entitled (Keara Nieves, et al. v. Lyft, Inc., No. 17-6146, D. N.J.).
CHICAGO — Despite finding that the average multiplier in the Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals is 1.85, a panel on Aug. 14 rejected a 1.75 multiplier for attorney fees in a settled case over defective and moldy Sears, Roebuck and Co. and Whirlpool Corp. (collectively, Sears) washing machines and remanded with directions to award class counsel $2.7 million in fees (In re Sears, Roebuck and Co. Front-Loading Washer Products Liability Litigation, No. 16-3554, 7th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 15034).
BOSTON — A Massachusetts federal judge presiding over the Celexa/Lexapro multidistrict litigation on Aug. 15 denied certification of a class of adolescent users of the antidepressant, saying individual issues will predominate (In Re: Celexa and Lexapro, No. 09-2067, Delana S. Kiossovski, et al. v. Forest Laboratories, Inc., et al., No. 14-13848, D. Mass., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 129387).
SAN FRANCISCO — A California federal judge on Aug. 14 denied a motion to substitute the lead plaintiff in a class lawsuit over the labeling on certain Frito-Lay North America Inc. products, finding that the plaintiffs failed to show that there was good cause for allowing the substitution more than three years after the deadline for adding plaintiffs (Markus Wilson, et al. v. Frito-Lay North America, Inc., No. 12-1586, N.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 129053).
SAN FRANCISCO — Considering remand instructions from the U.S. Supreme Court, a Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Aug. 15 again ruled in favor of a man that charged a data aggregator with Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) violations for posting inaccurate information about him, deeming the alleged resulting harm to be sufficiently concrete to constitute an injury-in-fact to establish standing under Article III of the U.S. Constitution (Thomas Robins v. Spokeo Inc., No11-56843, 9th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 15211).
CHICAGO — Plaintiffs representing three classes of individuals who received unsolicited text messages from Uber Technologies Inc. moved Aug. 11 for preliminary approval of a $20 million settlement (Maria Vergara, et al. v. Uber Technologies, Inc., No. 15-6942, N.D. Ill.).
CLEVELAND — The parties in a class suit over the misclassification of door-to-door salespeople that ended with a jury finding for the plaintiffs on the issue of liability for unpaid wages must accept surveys regarding the hours the affected employees worked during the overtime pay period that were filed up to a month after the April 4 deadline, an Ohio federal judge ruled Aug. 10 (Davina Hurt, et al. v. Commerce Energy, Inc., et al., No. 12-758, N.D. Ohio, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 128850).
CHICAGO — The Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Aug. 14 upheld a trial court’s summary judgment ruling for a chain of cosmetology schools sued by a proposed class of students seeking wages for time spent in the schools’ salons (Venitia Hollins v. Regency Corporation, et al., No. 15-3607, 7th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 15076).
DETROIT — A consumer accusing FCA US LLC of selling certain Dodge Ram and Dodge Durango models with allegedly defective gearshift systems that cause rollaway incidents when the cars indicated they were in park failed to state a claim under California’s unfair competition law (UCL) for any affirmative misrepresentation and failed to show that FCA actively concealed a defect, a Michigan federal judge ruled Aug. 11, granting FCA’s motion to dismiss (Donald J. Beck v. FCA US LLC, No. 17-10267, E.D. Mich., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 127724).
LOS ANGELES — A consumer suing Apple Inc. for allegedly shortchanging him several days on the extended warranty he purchased has standing to bring suit, but must resolve some deficiencies in his complaint, a California federal judge ruled Aug. 10, granting in part and denying in part Apple’s motion to dismiss (Mitch Kalcheim, et al. v. Apple, Inc., et al., No. 16-9324, C.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 127332).
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A California federal judge on Aug. 9 ruled that a class lawsuit by retail “key carrier” employees who claim that they were denied rest and meal breaks because they were always on call belongs in state court because the defendant failed to meet its heightened burden of proving that the amount in controversy exceeds $5 million (Eric Farley, et al. v. Dolgen California LLC, et al., No. 16-2501, E.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 126540).
SAN FRANCISCO — A class of long-term renters suing Airbnb Inc. in part for injury in fact due to the company’s short-term renters causing damage to common resources failed to demonstrate standing under California’s unfair competition law (UCL), a California appellate panel ruled Aug. 10 in an unpublished opinion (Louis Gamache, et al. v. Airbnb, Inc., No. A146179, Calif. App., 1st Dist., Div. 5, 2017 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 5501).
SAN FRANCISCO — A Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Aug. 4 upheld a trial court’s $41,884,767 class action judgment against Safeway Inc. in a lawsuit over the grocer’s practice of pricing grocery items on its website an average of 10 percent higher than the same items in its stores without notifying consumers (Michael Rodman, et al. v. Safeway, Inc., No. 15-17390, 9th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 14397).