OMAHA, Neb. — An Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on March 24 reversed a trial court’s class certification order in a suit by workers alleging that their employer’s use of a fitness-for-duty policy constitutes disability discrimination, finding that the policy involves individual assessments and is not appropriate for class treatment (Quinton Harris, et al. v. Union Pacific Railroad Company, No. 19-1514, 8th Cir., 2020 U.S. App. LEXIS 9118).
LAS VEGAS — Small businesses in Nevada and Illinois on March 23 filed a class action lawsuit against the People’s Republic of China and its various government entities, alleging that they engaged in a cover-up of the novel coronavirus pandemic that caused and will continue to cause class members to suffer reduced revenues and profits and/or the closure of many small businesses throughout the United States (Bella Vista LLC, et al v. The People’s Republic of China, et al., No. 20-00574, D. Nev.).
RIVERSIDE, Calif. — Individuals suing U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and government officials in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California over their detention filed an emergency motion for preliminary injunction on March 24 seeking the release of high-risk individuals due to the novel coronavirus pandemic if safeguards can’t be put in place immediately and a motion on March 25 seeking certification of two subclasses of those people with risk factors (Faour Abdallah Fraihat, et al. v. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, et al., No. 19-1546, C.D. Calif.).
HARTFORD, Conn. — The portion of a class of Medicare beneficiaries placed on observation status after being admitted the hospital as inpatients and now suing the federal government for depriving them of their property interest in Part A coverage have shown that the U.S. secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) violated the due process clause of the Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, a federal judge in Connecticut ruled March 24, ordering that those members should be permitted to appeal the denial of their coverage (Christina Alexander, et al. v. Alex M. Azar II, No. 11-1703, D. Conn., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 50636).
PASADENA, Calif. — The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on March 23 left undisturbed a lower federal court’s “legally sound, if imperfect” order certifying a narrower class in a lawsuit alleging that a life insurer’s informational documents of potential investment earnings violated California’s unfair competition law (UCL) (Joyce Walker, et al. v. Life Insurance Company of the Southwest, No. 19-55241, 9th Cir., 2020 U.S. App. LEXIS 8983).
YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio — Gojo Industries Inc., doing business as Purell, has deceived consumers by advertising that its products will stop the spread of infections such as the flu and common cold without having the scientific evidence to support those claims, four consumers claim in a March 13 class complaint filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio (Edward Miller, et al. v. Gojo Industries, Inc., No. 20-562, N.D. Ohio).
SAN FRANCISCO — A Virginia couple filed a putative class complaint in California federal court on March 3 against Hanna Andersson LLC, alleging negligence related to a data breach the children’s clothing retailer experienced in 2019 (Krista Gill, et al. v. Hanna Andersson LLC, et al., No. 8:20-cv-01572, N.D. Calif.).
SAN JOSE, Calif. — A federal judge in California on March 19 denied an online photo company’s motion to strike or deny class certification in a consumer’s lawsuit over a promotion through a third-party company that she claims did not include the appropriate disclosures, ruling that it is not the appropriate stage for either motion (Megan Taylor v. Shutterfly, Inc., No. 18-266, N.D. Calif., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 47931).
PASADENA, Calif. — A divided Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on March 20 affirmed a summary judgment ruling in a putative class action for an employer accused of violating the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) by inadequately disclosing its intent to obtain job applicant’s consumer reports and failing to obtain proper authorization, ruling that the job applicants failed to show a concrete injury and so they lack standing under Article III of the U.S. Constitution (Mario Ruiz, et al. v. Shamrock Foods Company, No. 18-56209, 9th Cir., 2020 U.S. App. LEXIS 8824).
NEW YORK — Mike Bloomberg 2020 Inc., the presidential campaign for Michael Bloomberg, promised campaign field organizers (FOs) and campaign employees pay and health care benefits through November 2020 but breached those promises when the employees were terminated after Bloomberg dropped out of the race on March 4, an FO alleges in collective and class action complaint filed March 23 in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York (Donna Wood, et al. v. Mike Bloomberg 2020, Inc., No. 20-2489, S.D. N.Y.).
DALLAS — A proposed class action filed in a Texas federal court on March 17 on behalf of individuals and businesses damaged by the COVID-19 outbreak accuses China, its military and virus experts of creating and releasing the virus as a biological weapon in violation of China’s agreements under international treaties (Buzz Photos, et al. v. People’s Republic of China, et al., No. 20-00656, N.D. Texas).
SAN FRANCISCO — Finding that a New York-based investor communications solutions provider did not avail itself of jurisdiction in California and did not purposefully direct any actions toward the state, a California federal judge on March 18 dismissed a putative class action against the company over a 2019 data breach for lack of personal jurisdiction (Phillip Toretto, et al. v. Mediant Communications Inc., No. 3:19-cv-05208, N.D. Calif., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 47123).
RIVERSIDE, Calif. — A federal judge in California on March 13 denied a class certification motion in a wage suit against Converse Inc. brought under California law, finding that individual issues predominate, and remanded because the basis for removal had been classwide claims (Bryan Madeira, et al. v. Converse, Inc., et al., No. 19-154, C.D. Calif., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 47712).
CLEVELAND — One day after Sonic Corp. filed a brief in Ohio federal court opposing certification for a class of financial institutions (FIs) in a lawsuit over its 2017 data breach, the fast food chain on March 18 filed three motions to exclude the plaintiffs’ class certification experts, citing issues of qualification, relevance and reliability (In re: Sonic Corp. Customer Data Security Breach, No. 1:17-md-02807, N.D. Ohio).
SAN FRANCISCO — Four months after a California federal judge granted initial approval of a $13 million settlement between Google LLC and a putative class suing for privacy violations related to data collection connected to the Google Street View feature, he granted the plaintiffs’ motion for final approval on March 18, overruling objections to the cy pres-only nature of the settlement (In re Google LLC Street View Electronic Communications Litigation, No. 3:10-md-02184, N.D. Calif.).
BOSTON — Four law firms were appointed by a Massachusetts federal judge on March 17, a day after certifying class, to head a class action lawsuit brought by participants in a retirement savings plan against General Electric Co. concerning an alleged breached of fiduciary duty and violation of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (In re: G.E. ERISA Litigation, No. 17-12123, D. Mass.).
SAN FRANCISCO — More than a month after announcing their settlement with Uber Technologies Inc. of claims arising from a 2014 database hacking incident, two of the ride share company’s former drivers on March 18 filed a motion in the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, seeking to voluntarily dismiss their appeal of a trial court’s third dismissal of their putative class action (Sasha Antman, et al. v. Uber Technologies Inc. No. 18-16100, 9th Cir.).
Recent class action lawsuits filed in federal courts across the country include complaints alleging unauthorized text messages and unwanted calls, defective facial masks, data breach and wage violations.
ATLANTA — An 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on March 17 vacated a district court’s remand order in a case by foundry workers alleging hazardous exposure, ruling that the complaint doesn’t fall within the Class Action Fairness Act’s (CAFA) local event exception as it doesn’t concern “a continuous, related course of conduct culminating in one-harm causing event or occurrence” (Kelvin Spencer, et al. v. Specialty Foundry Products Inc., et al., No. 19-14427, 11th Cir., 2020 U.S. App. LEXIS 8341).
CHICAGO — A putative class complaint by condo owners accusing a property management company of charging fees in violation of two Illinois laws belongs in state court, a federal judge in Illinois ruled March 13, finding that the court lacks subject matter jurisdiction (Harry Channon, et al. v. Westward Management, Inc., No. 19-5522, N.D. Ill., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 43697).