SHREVEPORT, La. — A Louisiana trial court erred in certifying a class of Winnfield, La., residents suing over allegedly biased treatment of drainage facilities based on the predominant race of various neighborhoods as the lead plaintiff failed to show that he satisfied the commonality or numerosity requirements, a Louisiana appellate court ruled May 26.
OAKLAND, Calif. — A federal judge in California granted final approval on May 24 of a settlement of up to $5.5 million to be paid by an online bank and the providers of its services to end a class lawsuit alleging negligence, breach of fiduciary duty and other violations due to a 72-hour systemwide service outage during which customers could not access their accounts; however, the judge slashed the requested attorney fees and denied the named plaintiffs’ request for incentive awards, citing in part the difference between the requested awards and the amount of recovery for the average class member.
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A $411,000 class settlement ending a complaint by former employees of Dart Container Corp. and Dart Container Corporation of California (together, Dart) alleging a failure to pay all wages due on separation and unfair business practices was granted final approval by a federal judge in California on May 18.
SAN JOSE, Calif. — A federal judge in California on May 19 dismissed, largely with leave to amend, a class complaint accusing a school photo company of violating California laws, including the unfair competition law (UCL), by taking unsolicited school photos and sending them home with instructions that families pay to keep them or return them even though the plaintiffs alleged that such items should be considered a “free gift.”
By James P. Muehlberger, Timothy E. Congrove and Daniel E. Cummings
PASADENA, Calif. — Wal-Mart Associates Inc. and Walmart Inc. (together, Walmart) did not violate California law when it issued wage statements that did not list overtime rates adjusted to include bonuses as the bonuses were paid retroactively or when it issued final pay statements that did not include pay period dates as the dates were listed on final wage statements, a Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled May 28, reversing a trial court’s judgment and award in excess of $100 million.
DAYTON, Ohio — Pizza delivery drivers employed by Papa John’s franchisees who brought class and collective claims seeking reimbursement for actual expenses moved in a federal court in Ohio on May 27 for preliminary approval of a $3.25 million settlement.
TACOMA, Wash. — A condominium owners’ association says in a lawsuit filed May 20 in federal court in Washington that its insurer wrongfully denied its claim for hidden damage to sheathing and framework because it had a duty to investigate whether it was the result of weather and construction defects.
LOS ANGELES — Former patients of an University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) gynecologist who sued the regents of the school and the doctor in a federal court in California on behalf of a class of patients for alleged years of sexual exploitation filed a motion on May 27 seeking final approval of a $73 million settlement.
NEW YORK — A federal judge in New York on May 19 dismissed a putative class complaint for fraudulent and negligent misrepresentation brought by individuals who released their claims of childhood sexual abuse against the Archdiocese of New York or the Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn through the Independent Reconciliation and Compensation Programs (IRCPs).
BOSTON — The fiduciaries of a defined contribution plan violated the Employee Retirement Income Security Act through self-dealing related to proprietary funds and other actions that cost the company’s workers millions in retirement savings, participants allege in a putative class action filed May 25 in a Massachusetts federal court against State Street Corp.
LAS VEGAS — A Wendy’s franchise in Nevada has agreed pay more than $858,000 to settle class claims that it failed to pay workers who declined health benefits upper-tier minimum wages pursuant to state law, according to an order granting preliminary class settlement approval issued May 27 by a federal judge in Nevada.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — A district court does not have the discretion to reduce or deny appellate costs governed by Federal Rule of Appellate Procedure 39, a unanimous U.S. Supreme Court ruled May 27 in an appeal concerning the payment of costs largely made up of supersedeas bond premiums in a class suit regarding the calculation of hotel occupancy taxes paid by online travel companies.
DES MOINES — A farmer who contends that he is at increased risk for developing Parkinson’s disease due to his exposure to the herbicide paraquat on May 3 filed a putative class action against the companies that make the chemical, contending that they knew, or should have known, that paraquat is toxic and “kills humans and animals.”
SAN JOSE, Calif. — An Android phone user on May 24 saw his invasion of privacy and intrusion upon seclusion class claims over Google LLC’s purported tracking of Android owners’ use of apps dismissed for a second time, with a California federal judge finding that they were essentially unchanged from a prior dismissal ruling.
SAN FRANCISCO — Privacy claims against Google LLC over data collection purportedly carried out by its Google Analytics (GA) service and certain apps were whittled down on May 21, when a California federal judge partly granted the company’s motion to dismiss, disposing of claims under the Wiretap Act and California’s unfair competition law (UCL) for failure to state a claim and for lack of jurisdiction.
STATESVILLE, N.C. — A federal judge in North Carolina on May 24 granted final approval to a class settlement under which LexisNexis Risk Solutions Inc. and PoliceReports.US LLC will limit the disclosure of crash reports nationwide.
PORTLAND, Ore. — Sweeps of homeless camping sites by Portland, via its contractors, have failed to comply with state law and previous promises by failing to label and safeguard seized property or failing to make it “reasonably available” for 30 days, four affected individuals allege in a putative class complaint filed in an Oregon court on May 24.
NEW YORK — Columbia University trustees have agreed to a $13 million settlement of the remaining claims in retirement plan participants’ Employee Retirement Income Security Act fiduciary duty class action but deny the allegations, the participants said in May 21 filings in a New York federal court, including an unopposed motion for preliminary settlement approval.
CHARLESTON, S.C. — The federal judge in South Carolina overseeing litigation stemming from fiber cement siding that allegedly prematurely cracks and splits entered final approval on May 21 of a $12.5 million settlement to resolve the litigation, finding that the terms of the agreement are fair and reasonable.