WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Supreme Court on May 17 denied a petition for a writ of certiorari filed by Uber Technologies Inc. and its subsidiary seeking review of a dispute with a class of UberBLACK drivers after the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals reversed a trial court’s summary judgment for the rideshare company and arguing that the question of whether a worker is an employee or an independent contractor under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) is one of law rather than fact.
SAN DIEGO — A federal magistrate judge in California on May 12 granted in part a motion to compel discovery brought by the plaintiffs in a putative class action accusing a hotel franchise of violating California’s unfair competition law (UCL) and other state statutes, writing that the bulk of the franchise’s objections to discovery were unfounded and ordering sanctions against it for raising objections to discovery that the court previously said were unmeritorious.
NEW YORK — A federal judge in New York on May 12 granted final approval of a $640,000 securities class action settlement between shareholders and a technology company and certain of its senior executives stemming from the defendants’ alleged concealment of a man’s status as beneficial owner of shares in the company’s affiliates in violation of federal securities laws.
AKRON, Ohio — A federal judge in Ohio on May 11 granted a manufacturer’s motion to dismiss a class action lawsuit alleging that a hand sanitizer product was falsely advertised as killing “99.99% of germs,” writing that the plaintiffs lacked standing because their claims were supported only by evidence regarding a product none of the plaintiffs purchased and scientific studies of sanitizers in general.
DAYTON, Ohio — A federal judge in Ohio on May 7 declined to follow an August U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) opinion letter adopting the “approximation” standard commonly used in the pizza industry for reimbursing delivery drivers for expenses and instead ruled that the employers must pay drivers for their actual expenses or reimburse pursuant to the Internal Revenue Service’s mileage rate.
PHILADELPHIA — Wawa Inc. will pay more than $26 million to settle class action breach of fiduciary duty claims stemming from decisions to remove ex-employees from an ERISA-governed employee stock ownership plan (ESOP), including an award of attorney fees of 20% of the recovery, under a settlement that was granted final approval on April 21 by a federal judge in Pennsylvania.
PASADENA, Calif. — A Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on May 5 granted a voluntary dismissal motion filed by Tri-Union Seafoods LLC, doing business as Chicken of the Sea International, and Thai Union Group PLC in a class certification appeal filed by tuna producers accused of engaging in an antitrust conspiracy.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — A local delivery driver who brought a misclassification class complaint against Amazon.com Inc. and Amazon Logistics Inc. (together, Amazon) filed a response in the U.S. Supreme Court on May 7 arguing that no circuit split exists regarding the scope of the Federal Arbitration Act’s (FAA) exemption for “workers engaged in foreign or interstate commerce” and the First Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals properly held that local drivers fall within the exemption.
SAN FRANCISCO — Characterizing the settlement between Facebook Inc. and the last remaining plaintiff in a privacy class action against the social network as merely “cosmetic” and having achieved “limited success” in the original claims over a data breach via Facebook’s “view as” feature, a California federal judge on May 6 nevertheless found the security improvements required by the agreement to be sufficient to merit final approval.
SANTA ANA, Calif. — A federal judge in California on May 6 granted a motion to remand filed by an employee who brought wage abuse class claims against his employers, opining that the employers failed to establish by a preponderance of the evidence that the estimated amounts it stated were in fact in controversy for each of the claims, calling “unreasonable” the employers’ assumption that a meal and rest break violation occurred every day for every member of the proposed class.
NEWARK, N.J. — In a May 4 reply brief supporting its motion to compel arbitration, Samsung Electronics America Inc. argues in New Jersey federal court that the plaintiffs bringing a putative class action over the alleged data collection carried out by its smart TVs are bound by an arbitration provision within the terms and conditions (T&C) to which they each agreed.
NEW YORK — A federal judge in New York on April 21 issued two decisions dismissing two separate putative class complaints seeking partial refunds from New York University (NYU) in connection with the school’s decision to take all classes online in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
BOSTON — A federal judge in Massachusetts on April 30 granted preliminary approval of a class settlement of at least $10 million reached between Walmart Inc. and an employee accusing the retailer of violating the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA).
BOSTON — A trial court erred when it dismissed discrimination and retaliation class claims brought under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 by Whole Foods workers who were disciplined when they wore Black Lives Matter (BLM) masks and other attire as the claims “fit squarely within the text and purpose of Title VII,” the workers argue in an April 28 appellant brief filed in the First Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals.
CLINTON, Ark. — A group of hydraulic fracturing royalty owners on April 23 filed a class action lawsuit in Arkansas state court against a fracking operator contending that it has been deducting “substantial, unauthorized costs” from their monthly royalty checks in violation of their lease contracts.
NEW YORK — A federal judge in New York on April 23 largely granted a motion seeking certification of three narrowed classes of consumers who purchased certain Tom’s of Maine products labeled as “natural” in three states after previously denying a larger, nationwide class sought in 2019.
DETROIT — A federal judge in Michigan on April 30 granted preliminary approval of a class settlement in an exhaust fumes defect lawsuit under which Ford Motor Co. will provide certain repairs for free and partial reimbursement of other repairs.
MIAMI — The parties in a putative class complaint accusing Celebrity Cruises Inc. of failing to protect passengers from a March 2020 outbreak of COVID-19 on a ship traveling in South America filed a notice of settlement in a federal court in Florida on May 3.
PHILADELPHIA — A putative consolidated class suit accusing Temple University of unjust enrichment and breaching its implied contractual duty to provide in-person education and access to campus services when it shut its doors in March 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic was dismissed with prejudice on April 22 by a federal judge in Pennsylvania.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — George Washington University (GW) students and parents of students whose putative class complaint seeking refunds after in-person classes and services were halted due to the coronavirus pandemic was dismissed in March for failure to state a claim filed a notice of appeal on April 28 in the District of Columbia Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals.