NEW YORK — A federal judge in New York on Nov. 2 dismissed a putative class complaint by employees of Amazon.com Inc. and Amazon.com Services LLC’s (together, Amazon) Staten Island JFK8 fulfillment center and those close to them who accuse Amazon of failing to follow New York law and state and federal guidance during the novel coronavirus pandemic, referring two claims to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and finding that the workers lacked standing to bring the third claim over pay (Derrick Palmer, et al. v. Amazon.com, Inc., et al., No. 20-2468, E.D. N.Y., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 203683).
SEATTLE — Businesses, property owners and residents of a Seattle neighborhood where protests occurred over the summer and that became known as the “Capitol Hill Occupying Protest” (CHOP) filed a second amended class complaint on Oct. 30 in a federal court in Washington seeking damages from Seattle for allegedly abandoning the precinct and assisting the protesters in their occupation that they claim led to vandalism and destruction of private property (Hunters Capital, LLC, et al. v. City of Seattle, No. 20-983, W.D. Wash.).
CINCINNATI — A Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Oct. 28 denied a company’s petition to appeal a trial court’s sua sponte order decertifying a settlement class in a lawsuit over faxed advertisements in light of a U.S. Supreme Court ruling, opining that the company failed to show a likelihood of success on the merits as the settlement agreement was reached but not approved (In re: Compressor Engineering Corporation, No. 20-102, 6th Cir., 2020 U.S. App. LEXIS 34052).
CLEVELAND — An Ohio federal judge on Nov. 2 granted a motion to certify a class of financial institutions (FIs) in a consolidated lawsuit alleging negligence against Sonic Corp. for a 2017 data breach, with the judge altering the class definition proposed by the plaintiffs to specify that class member FIs need to have responded or taken action to alerts received over payment cards compromised in the breach (In re: Sonic Corp. Customer Data Security Breach, No. 17-md-2807, N.D. Ohio, 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 204169).
BALTIMORE — A federal judge in Maryland on Oct. 21 denied remand of a woman’s class action lawsuit accusing a mortgage lender of violating state debt collection laws when charging convenience fees for making payments online or over the phone, finding that evidence submitted by the lender in opposition to the motion could act as an amended notice of removal in support of showing that the court has jurisdiction under the Class Action Fairness Act (CAFA).
ATLANTA — Both the original plaintiff in a settled Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) class dispute and an objecting class member filed petitions on Oct. 22 seeking a rehearing after a split 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel partially reversed and vacated a settlement approval and held in part that a $6,000 incentive award as part of a settlement agreement for the class representative’s “‘role in prosecuting th[e] case on behalf of the [c]lass [m]embers’” violated century-old Supreme Court precedent as it is “part salary and part bounty” (Jenna Dickenson v. NPAS Solutions, LLC, No. 18-12344, 11th Cir.).
DALLAS — A hotel franchisor accused by a proposed class of franchisees of using the novel coronavirus pandemic as a cover for fraudulently revoking its promise of minimum revenues removed the complaint to a federal court in Texas on Oct. 28 and then filed counterclaims against the two named franchisees for failing to pay fees for terminating their contracts early (Shree Veer Corporation, et al. v. OYO Hotels, Inc., No. 20-3268, N.D. Texas).
SAN FRANCISCO — A month after a California federal judge dismissed her lawsuit alleging age and sex discrimination in Facebook Inc.’s dissemination of financial services advertisements, a Washington, D.C., woman on Nov. 2 voluntarily dismissed her suit, opting against amending her putative class complaint against the social network (Neuhtah Opiotennione v. Facebook Inc., No. 19-7185, N.D. Calif.,).
CHICAGO — Two Illinois residents filed a putative class action in Illinois federal court on Oct. 30 contending that they have been poisoned by lead in their drinking water and that the city in which they live is liable for violations of due process, negligence, fraud and other claims for its failure to implement proper corrosion controls to protect citizens (Jennifer Campbell, et al. v. Sycamore, No. 20-6476, N.D. Ill.).
BAY CITY, Mich. — The former owner of a Wayne County, Mich., property filed a class action in a federal court in Michigan on Oct. 22 accusing the county’s board of commissioners and treasurer of abusing the foreclosure process authorized by state law by selling properties at prices below fair market value and keeping all proceeds of sales, even where they exceeded the amount of outstanding taxes plus reasonable fees (Tonya Bowles, et al. v. Wayne, et al., No. 20-12838, E.D. Mich.).
ST. LOUIS — A Missouri Court of Appeals panel on Oct. 13 reversed a trial court’s denial of class certification in a wage-and-hour suit and remanded for “the trial court to make relevant findings and conclusions or otherwise explain sufficiently” its decision (Jennifer Townsend, et al. v. Regis Corporation, et al., No. SD36671, Mo. App., 2020 Mo. App. LEXIS 1233).
NEW YORK — A federal judge in Connecticut incorrectly granted relief to Medicare beneficiaries placed on observation status after being admitted to the hospital as inpatients because they lack standing, improperly allowed the case to proceed as a class action and erred in concluding that the changed status constitutes a governmental deprivation of property, the secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) tells the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in an Oct. 27 appellant brief (Lee Barrows, et al. v. Alex Azar, No. 20-1642, 2nd Cir.).
LOS ANGELES — A federal judge in California on Sept. 16 granted preliminary approval of a $16 million settlement to be paid by ACT Inc. to end a class complaint alleging disclosure of information regarding certain ACT examinees’ disability status to colleges and scholarship organizations and denying certain examinees with disabilities an equal opportunity to participate in its Educational Opportunity Service (EOS) program (Halie Bloom, et al. v. ACT, Inc., No. 18-6749, C.D. Calif.).
SAN FRANCISCO — A retailer insured on Sept. 23 filed a notice indicating that it is appealing to the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals a federal judge’s dismissal of its class complaint seeking coverage under a comprehensive business insurance policy for its claimed losses following the state’s “Stay at Home” order in response to the novel coronavirus pandemic (Mudpie, Inc. v. Travelers Casualty Insurance Company of America, No. 20-03213, N.D. Calif.).
RIVERSIDE, Calif. — A federal judge in California on Oct. 30 declined to stay discovery pending an appellate court’s ruling on appeal in a class complaint by individuals being held in federal immigration detention centers who are seeking release of high-risk individuals due to the novel coronavirus pandemic, opining that none of the four factors in Nken v. Holder were satisfied (Faour Abdallah Fraihat, et al. v. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, et al., No. 19-1546, C.D. Calif.).
OAKLAND, Calif. — A federal judge in California on Oct. 29 declined a motion, filed after a recent Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruling, to alter or amend the judgment dismissing a putative class suit brought by consumers accusing Ghirardelli Chocolate Co. of violating California’s unfair competition law (UCL), false advertising law (FAL) and Consumer Legal Remedies Act (CLRA) with the labeling for its white baking chips that contain no chocolate (Linda Cheslow, et al. v. Ghirardelli Chocolate Company, No. 19-7467, N.D. Calif., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 201963).
STATESVILLE, N.C. — Parties involved a dispute over the alleged mismanagement of a 401(k) plan on Oct. 28 filed a stipulation for class certification, contending that the North Carolina federal court should approve the stipulation because class certification is appropriate and has been granted in similar suits brought under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (Benjamin Reetz v. Lowe’s Companies Inc., et al., No. 18-75, W.D. N.C.).
SAN FRANCISCO — A California appellate panel on Oct. 29 upheld an order denying arbitration in a complaint by a rideshare driver bringing class claims alleging violations of the California labor code and the unfair competition law (UCL) and Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA) claims and ruled that the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Epic Systems Corp. v. Lewis did not disturb Iskanian v. CLS Transportation Los Angeles, LLC’s decision precluding enforcement of PAGA waivers (Brandon Olson v. Lyft, Inc., No. A156322, Calif. App., 1st Dist., Div. 2, 2020 Cal. App. LEXIS 1025).
SAN FRANCISCO — The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Oct. 29 partially granted a petition for rehearing filed by Apple Inc. after the panel ruled that time a class of workers spent waiting for and undergoing exit searches was compensable under California law and made an amendment concerning whether Apple argued that the time in question is de minimis (Amanda Frlekin, et al. v. Apple, Inc., No. 15-17382, 9th Cir., 2020 U.S. App. LEXIS 34207).
PASADENA, Calif. — A 2-1 Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Oct. 21 overturned a federal judge in California’s denial of a franchisee’s motion to reopen his class action suit against a franchisor over his alleged misclassification as an independent contractor rather than an employee, holding that the judge should reconsider the decision and apply the ruling in Henson v. Fidelity National Financial Inc. (Sergio Gonzalez, et al. v. Coverall North America Inc., No. 19-55511, 9th Cir., 2020 U.S. App. LEXIS 33216).