DAYTON, Ohio — An Ohio federal judge on April 18 certified a class of tree service employees who were allegedly not paid when they had to travel long distances overnight to jobs (Joseph Neville, et al. v. Nelson Tree Service, LLC, No. 18-368, S.D. Ohio, Western Div., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 66446).
HARRISBURG, Pa. — A trucking trade organization, several companies and others who use the Pennsylvania Turnpike filed a notice of appeal on April 4, the same day a Pennsylvania federal court dismissed class claims over toll increases and how that money is being used (Owner Operator Independent Drivers Association, Inc., et al. v. Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission, et al., No. 18-608, M.D. Pa., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 58255).
Recent class action lawsuits filed in federal and state courts across the country include complaints alleging faulty windshields, defective refrigerator compressors, products being sold infested with bedbugs and failure to pay wages.
BOSTON — The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court on April 12 reversed a trial court’s denial of class certification in a restaurant worker’s reporting pay lawsuit and ruled that two unaccepted settlement offers did not moot the worker’s individual claims (Felice Gammella, et al. v. P.F. Chang’s China Bistro, Inc., No. SJC-12604, Mass. Sup., 2019 Mass. LEXIS 229).
LOS ANGELES — A California appellate panel in an April 2 unpublished opinion declined to review an order granting a satellite service provider’s renewed motion to compel arbitration or an order denying a motion for new trial, finding that neither was appealable under the “death knell doctrine” because the class was not decertified and the class claims were not dismissed (Amy Imburgia, et al. v. DirecTV, Inc., No. B28447, Calif. App., 2nd Dist., Div. 1, 2019 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 2302).
SAN JOSE, Calif. — A California federal judge on April 5 remanded a class complaint accusing an employer of multiple state wage violations based on the amount in controversy and, because the court lacked jurisdiction, declined to address a motion to compel arbitration (Juan Chavez v. Pratt [Robert Mann Packaging], LLC, No. 19-719, N.D. Calif., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 59399).
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A California federal judge on April 17 denied leave to file a renewed motion for class certification in consolidated cases over a reinsurance participation agreement (RPA) entered into by businesses when buying a workers’ compensation program because there was no reason for why the class definition could not have been initially sought (Shasta Linen Supply Inc. v. Applied Underwriters Inc., et al., No. 16-158, Pet Food Express Ltd., et al. v. Applied Underwriters Inc., et al., No. 16-1211, E.D. Calif., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 65807).
SANTA ANA, Calif. — A California federal judge on April 5 denied a motion to send a putative class complaint alleging the misclassification of magazine publishers as independent contractors back to state court, finding that the magazine distribution company met its burden to show that the amount in controversy was more than $75,000 (Christopher Lowe v. Lifestyle Publications, LLC, et al., No. 19-198, C.D. Calif., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 59381).
LAKELAND, Fla. — A Florida appellate panel on April 12 granted a petition to quash an order transferring a putative class complaint from a circuit court to a county court until the class was certified or the jurisdictional amount could be established, ruling that the trial court erred in its ruling (Sherri Diamond v. Elvis Towing, Inc., No. 2D18-2953, Fla. App., 2nd Dist., 2019 Fla. App. LEXIS 5742).
PROVIDENCE, R.I. — A Rhode Island federal magistrate judge on April 12 partially granted a motion for a protective order governing communications between a pet food maker and putative class members in a suit over recalled dog food, ordering only that a limited clarification be issued addressing the meaning of a deadline in one letter (Jennifer Jubinville, et al. v. Hill’s Pet Nutrition, Inc., et al., No. 18-74, D. R.I., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 63120).
CENTRAL ISLIP, N.Y. — A New York federal judge on April 9 declined to dismiss a class complaint accusing Whole Foods Market Group Inc. of failing to comply with New York law by paying manual workers twice a month rather than once a week without prior approval by the labor commissioner, finding that there is an implied private right of action in the law (Dwayne J. Scott, et al. v. Whole Foods Market Group, Inc., No. 18-86, E.D. N.Y., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 61726).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The parties in a class action over damages from a service station’s alleged failure to disclose debit card fees filed a joint motion in the U.S. Supreme Court on April 2 to defer consideration of a petition for a writ of certiorari in light of a settlement motion filed in an Oregon trial court (BP West Coast Products, LLC v. Steven Scharfstein, et al., No. 18-1256, U.S. Sup.).
PHILADELPHIA — A Pennsylvania federal judge on April 5 denied Choice Hotels International’s motion to dismiss a collective and class action lawsuit brought by a former housekeeper who sued Choice and one of its franchisees as joint employers for denying her and other workers overtime wages (Gina DiFlavis v. Choice Hotels International, Inc. et al., No. 18-3914, E.D. Pa., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 58924).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Supreme Court on April 15 denied a petition for a writ of certiorari filed by JPay Inc. that asked the high court to decide whether courts may “presume parties intended to let an arbitrator decide if class arbitration is available when they ‘simply agree[d] to submit’ disputes over arbitrability ‘to an arbitrator?’” (JPay, Inc. v. Cynthia Kobel, et al., No. 18-811, U.S. Sup.).
OAKLAND, Calif. — A California federal judge on April 12 allowed a consumer suing over the opaque packing of sweet potato fries to proceed with claims under California’s unfair competition law (UCL) and Consumer Legal Remedies Act (CLRA) based on her nonfunctional slack fill theory of liability but granted the defendant’s motion to dismiss with prejudice as to the plaintiff’s claims based on her consumer deception theory of liability (Angela Kennard v. Lamb Weston Holdings, Inc., No. 18-4665, N.D. Calif., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 63637).
FRANKFORT, Ky. — A Kentucky appellate panel on April 12 ruled that while it disagreed with much of a trial court’s analysis in a decision denying class certification to residents suing over damage caused by a tire fire, there was no abuse of discretion by the court because the plaintiffs failed to show that common questions predominated (Betty Manning, et al. v. Liberty Tire Services of Ohio, LLC, et al., No. 2016-CA-001719-ME, Ky. App., 2019 Ky. App. LEXIS 60).
BRUNSWICK, Ga. — A Georgia federal judge on April 10 granted final approval of an $11.75 million settlement in a class complaint by subdivision lot owners after infrastructure improvements were not completed (Stephen Agnone, et al. v. Camden County, Georgia, et al., No 14-24, S.D. Ga., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 61861).
SAN JOSE, Calif. — A California federal magistrate judge on April 11 issued an order granting final approval of a $9.85 million settlement to be paid by US Airways Inc. and US Airways Group Inc. (collectively, US Airways) to end an airline passenger’s breach of contract class suit over delayed luggage and an order approving attorney fees, expenses and an incentive award (Hayley Hickcox-Huffman v. US Airways, Inc., et al., No. 10-5193, N.D. Calif., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 62836).
CHICAGO — Hotel employees’ putative class claims over the collection, storage and disclosure of their fingerprints for timekeeping purposes is not a “wage or hour violation” subject to arbitration under the hotel’s employment agreement, an Illinois appeals panel ruled April 9 (Tony Liu, et al. v. Four Seasons Hotel, Ltd., et al., No. 17 CH 14949, Ill. App., 1st Dist., 2019 Ill. App. LEXIS 233).
INDIANAPOLIS — An Indiana federal judge on April 8 granted joint motions for preliminary approval of a $23.65 million class action settlement and to certify a class in a lawsuit filed by 401(k) plan participants who allege that the retirement plan breached its fiduciary duties under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act by providing plan participants with an imprudent investment fund and by charging plan participants excessive administrative fees (Mary Bell, et al. v. Pension Committee of ATH Holding Company LLC, et al., No. 15-02062, S.D. Ind.).