CONCORD, N.H. — Defendants who have been sued for allegedly contaminating the drinking water in a New Hampshire community on Dec. 10 moved in federal court for leave to file a supplemental memorandum opposing class certification for the plaintiffs on grounds the lead plaintiffs are actually no longer members of the proposed class (Kevin Brown, et al. v. Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics Corporation, et al., No. 16-242, D. N.H.).
LOS ANGELES — A California judge on Dec. 11 declined to strike class allegations and partially overruled a demurrer by Walt Disney Co. and related companies in female workers’ pay discrimination complaint, granting it only as to some of the plaintiffs’ California’s Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA) claims (LaRonda Rasmussen, et al. v. The Walt Disney Company, et al., No. 19STCV10974, Calif. Super., Los Angeles Co.).
SAN FRANCISCO — A Georgia couple and a company that own homes in Florida filed a class action in federal court in California on Dec. 2 against the maker of hurricane straps that were attached to their homes, alleging that the straps are defective because they prematurely corrode and do not protect homes against damages caused by hurricane-force winds (Cary W. Cooper, et al. v. Simpson Strong-Tie Co. Inc., et al., No. 19-cv-7901, N.D. Calif.).
SAN FRANCISCO — The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Dec. 11 denied a petition for rehearing or rehearing en banc following an Oct. 1 decision in which a split panel held that McDonald’s Inc. and its subsidiaries aren’t a joint employer of franchised locations’ workers and can’t be held liable for overtime claims (Guadalupe Salazar, et al. v. McDonald’s Corp., et al., No. 17-15673, 9th Cir.; 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 36683).
WILMINGTON, Del. — A federal judge in Delaware on Dec. 10 referred to a magistrate judge motions pending in a securities class action against the Chemours Co. related to allegations that it concealed the true nature of its liabilities related to litigation it faces for injuries caused by exposure to perfluorooctanoic acid, also called C8, among other per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). The specific motions pertain to which party should be the lead plaintiff in the case (In re: The Chemours Company Securities Litigation, No. 19-1911, D. Del.).
NEW ORLEANS — A manufacturer of allegedly defective drywall made in China filed a motion in Louisiana federal court Dec. 9 to deny class certification for a proposed nationwide class of individuals claiming they suffered physical and economic injuries as a result of having the product being in their homes, arguing that the allegations are untimely and lack commonality (In re: Chinese-Manufactured Drywall Products Liability Litigation, MDL 2047, Elizabeth Bennett, et al. v. Gebr. Knauf Verwaltungsgesellschaft KG, et al., No. 14-2722, E.D. La.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — On Dec. 2, Facebook Inc. filed a petition for certiorari with the U.S. Supreme Court, arguing that the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals erred in affirming certification of a class suing it for violation of an Illinois biometrics privacy law via its social network face-tagging feature, contending that proper consideration was not given to whether there are predominating issues or concrete, imminent injuries (Facebook Inc. v. Nimesh Patel, et al., No. 19-706, U.S. Sup.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Supreme Court on Dec. 9 denied a petition for a writ of certiorari in an Employee Retirement Income Security Act, case filed by a certified class of insurance agents who were seeking to challenge the standard of review applied by the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals to findings that the agents were misclassified as independent contractors by an insurer (Walid Jammal, et al. v. American Family Insurance Company, No. 19-248, U.S. Sup.).
BOSTON — A Massachusetts federal judge on Dec. 5 approved a $6.8 million class action settlement in a suit alleging that a retirement plan was mismanaged after finding that the settlement is fair, reasonable and adequate to the class members (Melissa Velazquez, et al. v. Massachusetts Financial Services Co., d/b/a MFS Investment Management, et al., No. 17-11249, D. Mass.).
TRENTON, N.J. — A federal judge in California on Dec. 5 granted motions for summary judgment by the manufacturer and retailers of Maytag washing machines in a putative class action alleging that the washers were not energy efficient despite their product labels, dismissing all claims, including ones under California’s unfair competition law, false advertising law and Consumer Legal Remedies Act (Charlene Dzielak, et al. v. Whirlpool Corp., et al., No. 12-0089, D. N.J., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 210429).
PHILADELPHIA — A district court properly granted a motion for class certification in a breach of fiduciary suit against Wawa Inc. because the plaintiffs, who allege that Wawa breached its fiduciary duty by amending its employee stock ownership plan, satisfied the commonality and typicality requirements necessary for class certification, the plaintiffs say in a Dec. 4 appellee brief filed in the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals (John J. Cunningham, et al. v. Wawa Inc., No. 19-2930, 3rd Cir.).
RICHMOND, Va. — A borrower seeking reversal of a decision dismissing his class action lawsuit against a loan servicer accused of violating the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) when failing to make a property tax payment tells the Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in an Oct. 31 reply brief that the statute does not support the idea of bifurcated servicing of a loan (Rodney Harrell, et al. v. Freedom Mortgage Corp., No. 19-1379, 4th Cir.).
SANTA ANA, Calif. — A federal judge in California on Dec. 4 granted preliminary approval of a $19.75 million securities class action settlement against a financial institution stemming from alleged misrepresentations it made concealing its connection to a convicted fraudster and Ponzi scheme operator (In re Banc of California Securities Litigation, No. 17-0118, C.D. Calif., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 145361).
SAN DIEGO — A federal judge in California on Dec. 2 granted preliminary approval of a more than $8.2 settlement by Target Corp. in a class complaint over the retailer’s returned payment fees (RFPs) in connection with its store-branded “debit” cards (James Walters, et al. v. Target Corp., No. 16-1678, S.D. Calif., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 207489).
Recent class action lawsuits filed in federal and state courts across the country include complaints alleging mold contamination at a children’s hospital, failure to pay wages, a website that is inaccessible to visually impaired individuals, hidden fees by an outlet owner and retailer and unwanted text messages.
PHILADELPHIA — A federal judge in Pennsylvania on Nov. 25 denied a motion to dismiss filed by Jiffy Lube International Inc. in a putative class complaint by a former employee over the franchisor’s no-poach provision as it related to a Sherman Act claim but granted it to the extent that Jiffy Lube argued that the employee lacked standing to seek injunctive relief and as to the plaintiffs’ antitrust claims older than four years (Victor Fuentes v. Royal Dutch Shell PLC, et al., No. 18-5174, E.D. Pa.).
SAN JOSE, Calif. — In a putative class complaint filed Nov. 27 in California federal court, a college student claims that the popular TikTok video-sharing app and its predecessor Musical.ly have “clandestinely . . . vacuumed up” users’ personally identifiable information (PII) and transferred it to China, alleging computer fraud, invasion of privacy and unfair competition, among other things (Misty Hong v. ByteDance Inc., et al., No. 5:19-cv-07792, N.D. Calif.).
SAN FRANCISCO — A federal judge in California on Nov. 20 trimmed the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), California unfair competition law (UCL) and state tort law claims against the operator of a diversion program for individuals accused of intentionally passing bad checks related to letters sent by the company offering the program as an alternative to prosecution and left in place only claims related to fees the company charged (Karen Solberg, et al. v. Victim Services, Inc., et al., No. 14-5266, N.D. Calif., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 201622).
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A supermarket chain’s “inadequate and negligent security measures” allowed hackers to steal customers’ data for approximately seven months before the theft was halted, a Missouri man alleges in his Nov. 19 class complaint filed in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri (Gordon Grewing, et al. v. Hy-Vee, Inc., No. 19-928, W.D. Mo.).
SEATTLE — A Washington woman who brought class claims against a clothing retailer in state court for allegedly misleading sales emails failed to successfully argue that she purposely failed to plead an injury-in-fact to render her claims nonremoveable, a Washington federal judge ruled Nov. 27 (Jennifer Harbers v. Eddie Bauer, LLC, No. 19-968, W.D. Wash., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 206242).