NEW YORK — A Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Sept. 9 ruled that it lacked appellate jurisdiction over the consolidated appeals of five cases, three of which were putative class actions, by former World Wrestling Entertainment Inc. (WWE) wrestlers for head injuries; four appeals were deemed untimely in light of Hall v. Hall, the fifth was found to contain time-barred claims and the appeals of sanctions orders in two of the cases were found to be not appealable as the amount of sanctions were not yet set (William Albert Haynes, III, et al. v. World Wrestling Entertainment, Incorporated, Nos. 18-3278, 18-3322, 18-3325, 18-3326, 18-3327, 18-3328 and 18-3330, 2nd Cir., 2020 U.S. App. LEXIS 28606).
LOS ANGELES — A federal judge in California on Sept. 14 certified a class of nonfeatured song artists suing two unions and trustees over the creation of a service fee in 2013 to be paid to the unions from digital royalties for services the unions were allegedly already providing (Kevin Risto v. Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, et al., No. 18-7241, C.D. Calif., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 168372).
SAN DIEGO — A putative class complaint accusing a protein bar maker of falsely stating nutritional facts in violation of California's unfair competition law (UCL) and other state laws may proceed because the lead plaintiff alleged economic loss, a federal judge in California ruled Sept. 10, also rejecting the bar maker's allegation of preemption (Brittany Sebastian, et al. v. ONE Brands LLC, No. 20-9, S.D. Calif., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 166518).
NEW YORK — Gift cards don't qualify as goods that must be modified pursuant to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), a federal judge in New York ruled Sept. 14, granting a motion to dismiss a putative class complaint filed by a New York City resident accusing Bath & Body Works LLC of discrimination by not offering Braille gift cards (Himelda Mendez v. Bath & Body Works, LLC, No. 19-9856, S.D. N.Y., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 167660).
SAN JOSE, Calif. — In a case on remand from the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals after an earlier denial of class certification was reversed, a federal judge in California on Sept. 13 again denied certification of a class and subclass of consumers who allegedly purchased vehicles with faulty transmissions from Nissan North America Inc. for failure to establish typicality due to untimely claims and, in the same order, denied as moot Daubert motions to exclude expert evidence (Huu Nguyen v. Nissan North America, Inc., No. 16-5591, N.D. Calif., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 167789).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Two consumers who brought a putative class complaint over prescription pet food may disagree with the Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruling that federal jurisdiction exists in their putative class lawsuit, but settled law was applied and there is no circuit split, two pet food companies argue in their Sept. 14 brief opposing a petition for a writ of certiorari (Anastasia Wullschleger, et al. v. Royal Canin U.S.A., Inc., et al., No. 20-152, U.S. Sup.).
LINCOLN, Neb. — The city of Lincoln, Neb., and city officials have damaged local businesses and individuals with their unlawful directive health measures (DHMs) created in response to the novel coronavirus, one business owner alleges in his complaint filed Sept. 10 class in state court challenging the mandate requiring business owners to enforce mask wearing and the threatened shutdown of those that did not (Benjamin Madsen, et al. v. Lincoln, et al., No. N/A, Neb. Dist, Lancaster Co.).
SAN FRANCISCO — A federal judge in California on Sept. 14 dismissed without prejudice all claims in a retailer insured's class complaint against its insurer, finding that the insured is not entitled to business income, extra expense or civil authority coverage as a matter of law for its claimed losses following the state's "Stay at Home" order in response to the novel coronavirus pandemic, granting the insured leave to amend because the law regarding "business interruption coverage linked to the COVID-19 pandemic is very much in development" (Mudpie, Inc. v. Travelers Casualty Insurance Company of America, No. 20-03213, N.D. Calif.).
PHILADELPHIA — A trial court erred in an employee misclassification suit by holding a renewed motion for class certification to a higher standard applied to motions for reconsideration and by misapplying ascertainability case law, a split Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Sept. 9, extending Tyson Foods, Inc. v. Bouaphakeo and Anderson v. Mt. Clemens Pottery Co. to the determination of a class's ascertainabiltiy and holding that it may be proven by workers where an employer failed to keep records as required by law (Sam Hargrove, et al. v. Sleepy's LLC, No. 19-2809, 3rd Cir., 2020 U.S. App. LEXIS 28501).
DENVER — USA Taekwondo Inc. (USAT) on Sept. 11 in a Colorado federal court moved for partial summary judgment in a putative class complaint by certain Team USA's Olympic taekwondo athletes who have alleged more than two decades of sexual abuse, exploitation and trafficking by Olympic officials, coaches and mentors, arguing that the operative third amended complaint "heavily" draws on allegations of actions by dismissed defendants, that two of the challenged counts are untimely and that the other two lack sufficient evidence (Heidi Gilbert, et al. v. USA Taekwondo, Inc., et al., No. 18-981, D. Colo.).
SEATTLE — A federal judge in Washington on Sept. 11 adopted a magistrate judge's report and recommendation granting a claim for individual relief by a woman seeking Social Security survivor benefits based on the work history of her partner who died before same-sex marriage was legalized and certifying a class of similarly situated individuals and ordered the parties to show cause regarding the appropriate relief for the class (Helen Josephine Thornton, et al. v. Commissioner of Social Security, No. 18-1409, W.D. Wash., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 166805).
PASADENA, Calif. — A divided Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Sept. 14 vacated a preliminary injunction barring implementation of the decision to terminate temporary protected status (TPS) designations of Sudan, Nicaragua, Haiti and El Salvador, finding that the immigrants' Administrative Procedure Act (APA) claim in their putative class complaint is foreclosed from judicial review and that they failed to show a likelihood of success or serious questions on the merits of their equal protection claim alleging that racial animus by the president influenced the decisions (Crista Ramos, et al. v. Chad F. Wolf, et al., No. 18-16981, 9th Cir., 2020 U.S. App. LEXIS 29050).
BOSTON — The First Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals lacks jurisdiction to hear an appeal by an Uber driver seeking reversal of a trial court's denial of preliminary injunctive relief in a putative class complaint accusing the ride share company of misclassifying its drivers, Uber Technologies Inc. and its CEO argue in a Sept. 11 answering brief (John Capriole, et al. v. Uber Technologies, Inc., et al., No. 20-1386, 1st Cir.).
BOSTON — A federal judge in Massachusetts on Sept. 10 awarded summary judgment to 7-Eleven Inc. on claims brought by four franchisees who sought class certification for being misclassified as contractors rather than employees, finding that the Federal Trade Commission's regulatory regime for franchises governs over the state's independent contractor law (Dhananjay Patel, et al. v. 7-Eleven Inc., et al., No. 17-11414, D. Mass., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 165057).
LOS ANGELES — A group of teachers who filed a putative class complaint accusing Reese Witherspoon and her company, Draper James LLC, of offering free dresses to teachers during the novel coronavirus pandemic in exchange for providing personal information without clearly disclosing that it was a sweepstakes or lottery filed a notice of voluntary dismissal with prejudice on Sept. 11 in a federal court in California (Laryssa Galvez, et al. v. Draper James, LLC, et al., No. 20-4976, C.D. Calif.).
PHILADELPHIA — A federal judge in Pennsylvania on Sept. 11 granted a motion for preliminary injunction filed by Pennsylvania supplemental nutrition assistance program (SNAP) recipients who allege that the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) interpretation of a portion of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), legislation created in response to the novel coronavirus pandemic, has wrongly denied temporary emergency allotments of food to the poorest households in their state (Latoya Gilliam, et al. v. United States Department of Agriculture, et al., No. 20-3504, E.D. Pa., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 166171).
NEW YORK — Two separate reply briefs filed Sept. 8 in the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, one by Donald J. Trump, the Trump Corp. and three of Trump's children and the other by a multilevel marketing company the Trump parties are accused of fraudulently endorsing, argue for reversal of a trial court's denial of arbitration in a putative class complaint containing federal racketeering and conspiracy to racketeer allegations, as well as state law claims (Jane Doe, et al. v. Trump Corporation, et al., Nos. 20-1228 and 20-1278, 2nd Cir.).
NEWTON, N.J. — The estate of a resident of a New Jersey long-term care facility on Sept. 8 filed a class action complaint in state court against the facility, its sister facility and their owners and operators, claiming that they violated state and federal nursing home laws and the state Consumer Fraud Act and failed to protect residents from the novel coronavirus, which has cost at least 94 residents their lives (Estate of Albert C. Roberts v. Andover Subacute Rehabilitation Center I, et al., No. SSX-L-358-20, N.J. Super., Sussex Co.).
ATLANTA — Seven months after a Georgia federal court granted final approval to a settlement between Equifax Inc. and a class of consumer plaintiffs who sued the credit-reporting firm over a massive 2017 data breach, the defendant on Sept. 8 filed an emergency motion to enforce the settlement, claiming that 83 lawsuits against it in Mississippi state court were filed in violation of the settlement's release of breach-related claims and a corresponding injunction against such litigation by class members who did not opt out of the consumer settlement (In Re: Equifax Inc., Customer Data Security Breach Litigation, No. 1:17-md-2800, N.D. Ga.).
PASADENA, Calif. — A district court erred in applying the standard for reviewing a factual attack to a facial attack by the lead plaintiff in a wage-and-hour putative class complaint in a dispute over jurisdiction, a Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Sept. 8, vacating the trial court's remand order and holding that under Dart Cherokee Basin Operating Sys. Co., LLC v. Owens, the employer needed only to make a "plausible allegation" that the Class Action Fairness Act's (CAFA) threshold was met where the complaint did not clearly state an amount in controversy (Clayton Salter, et al. v. Quality Carriers, Inc., et al., No. 20-55709, 9th Cir., 2020 U.S. App. LEXIS 28364).