PHILADELPHIA — A nonvoting board observer that is affiliated with an issuer’s placement agent is not a “person who, with his consent, is named in the registration statements as being or about to become a director [or] person performing similar functions” under Section 11 of the Securities Act of 1933, a Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeal panel ruled in a divided July 23 opinion (Obasi Investment Ltd., et al. v. Tibet Pharmaceuticals Inc., et al., No. 18-1849, 3rd Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 21902).
SAN JOSE, Calif. — In a complaint filed Aug. 13 in California federal court, a group of plaintiffs involved in creating LGBTQ-themed content that was posted on YouTube LLC’s online video-sharing platform claim that YouTube and its parent company Google LLC engage in discriminatory viewpoint-based censorship of their content, bringing claims including civil rights violations and unfair competition (Divino Group LLC, et al. v. Google LLC, et al., No. 5:19-cv-04749, N.D. Calif.).
NEW YORK — A New York federal judge on Aug. 2 dismissed without prejudice a class complaint accusing a clothing multilevel marketing company of improperly collecting sales tax in New York for lack of subject matter jurisdiction after determining that the amount in controversy is well below $5 million, despite that issue not being raised by the defendants (Lauren Porsch, et al. v. LLR, Inc., et al., No. 18-9312, S.D. N.Y., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 129601).
BOSTON — Two advocacy organizations that sought to bring a class complaint, along with a named student, on behalf of their constituents that are also students who were allegedly harmed by being placed in an allegedly inferior school due to mental health disabilities lack standing to pursue the claims in the complaint, a First Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Aug. 8 (The Parent/Professional Advocacy League, et al. v. Springfield, Massachusetts, et al., Nos. 18-1778, 18-1813, 18-1867 and 18-1976, 1st Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 23709).
Recent class action lawsuits filed in federal and state courts across the country include complaints alleging failure to safeguard personal information by a mobile entertainment company, fraudulent Botox billing, deceptive business practices via sales of Roundup, negligence that enabled a credit union CEO to embezzle more than $40 million and unwanted telemarketing calls.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation issued a transfer order on Aug. 1 centralizing 10 class complaints accusing Fisher-Price Inc. and Mattel Inc. of marketing and selling a sleeper that was dangerous for infants in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of New York, despite the defendants’ request to move the proceedings to California (In re: Fisher-Price Rock ‘n Play Sleeper Marketing, Sales Practices, and Products Liability Litigation, MDL No. 2903, JPMDL).
BALTIMORE — A federal judge in Maryland on July 15 granted final approval of a $3.25 million class settlement by the National Board of Examiners in Optometry Inc. (NBEO) to end three lawsuits alleging theft of personal information (Rhonda L. Hutton, O.D., et al. v. Nat’l Bd. of Exam’rs in Optometry, Inc., No. 16-3025, Nicole Mizrahi v. Nat’l Bd. of Exam’rs in Optometry, Inc., No. 16-3146, Brenda Liang, O.D., et al. v. Nat’l Bd. of Exam’rs in Optometry, Inc., No. 17-1964, D. Md., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 120558).
MIAMI — A Florida man who sued Rack Room Shoes Inc. for violating the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) by sending unwanted text messages to prospective customers filed a motion on Aug. 2 in a federal court in Florida seeking preliminary approval of a class settlement he says will require the retailer to make available nearly $26 million (Maxwell Goldschmidt, et al. v. Rack Room Shoes, Inc., No. 18-21220, S.D. Fla.).
MEDFORD, Ore. — A federal magistrate judge in Oregon on Aug. 7 certified a class of homeless people in an Oregon city who brought constitutional claims after the city issued bans on camping and sleeping on sidewalks (Debra Blake, et al. v. Grants Pass, No. 18-1823, D. Ore., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 132508).
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A delivery driver failed to show that FedEx Ground Package System Inc. violated New Mexico’s Minimum Wage Act (MWA) as the work she performed fell under the act’s “piecework” exemption, a federal judge in New Mexico ruled Aug. 6, granting FedEx’s motion for summary judgment and denying as moot the driver’s motion for class certification (Jaime Loree Armijo, et al. v. FedEx Ground Package System, Inc., No. 17-440, D. N.M., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 132546).
SAN FRANCISCO — A federal judge in California on Aug. 9 granted in part and denied in part the only remaining plaintiff’s motion to amend a consolidated complaint against Facebook Inc. arising from a 2018 data theft via the social network's "view as" feature, finding that he still has not alleged standing under California Business and Professions Code Section 17200, et seq., because the value of his personal information has not diminished since the data breach (Stephen Adkins v. Facebook, Inc., No. 18-05982 consolidated with No. 19-00117, N.D. Calif., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 134781).
SYRACUSE, N.Y. — Minors who sued a New York county and officials alleging that they and others were denied private meetings with their attorneys after being charged with crimes were granted class certification and a preliminary injunction by a federal judge in New York on Aug. 12 (J.B., et al. v. Onondaga County, et al., No. 19-137, N.D. N.Y., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 135232).
SAN DIEGO — A settlement agreement under which New Balance Athletics Inc. will pay $750,000 into a nonreversionary escrow fund and an additional $650,000 for attorney fees to end a class complaint that the shoe maker overcharged consumers and violated California’s unfair competition law (UCL) and other California laws by advertising certain shoes as “made in USA” when a significant portion of the shoes comprised materials and labor from abroad was granted final approval on July 29 by a federal judge in California (Sheila Dashnaw, et al. v. New Balance Athletics, Inc., No. 17-159, S.D. Calif., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 126183).
SAN FRANCISCO — A federal judge in California on Aug. 12 granted final approval of a $32.5 million settlement to be paid by Uber Technologies and Rasier LLC (collectively, Uber) to end a class complaint by riders over the ride share company’s “Safe Rides Fee” but declined to award the requested attorney fees, finding that an amended motion must be filed because the Class Action Fairness Act (CAFA) principles for coupon settlements apply (Byron McKnight, et al. v. Uber Technologies, Inc., et al., No. 14-5615, N.D. Calif.).
RICHMOND, Va. — A district court erred when it failed to follow an appellate panel’s instructions to treat the enforceability of a forum-selection clause at issue in a class suit accusing a nursing home of mistreatment as an affirmative defense to removal, a Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Aug. 12 in an unpublished opinion (Joseph J. Pfohl, et al. v. Saber Healthcare Group, LLC, et al., No. 18-2335, 4th Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 23952).
CHICAGO — A federal judge in Illinois on Aug. 12 signed off on a class settlement that will provide a $70 million medical minoring fund to pay medical monitoring program expenses for the next 50 years and $5 million for concussion-related research, ending a multidistrict litigation by former collegiate athletes who accused the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) of mishandling student-athlete concussions and concussion-related risks (In re National Collegiate Athletic Association Student-Athlete Concussion Injury Litigation, MDL No. 2492, No. 13-9116, N.D. Ill., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 135682).
PASADENA, Calif. — A car buyer failed to show that a satellite radio provider’s access to his contact information from the dealership where he purchased the car via his driver’s license and a form he filled out that resulted in letters and calls about continuing the service beyond a free trial period fell within the scope of the Driver’s Privacy Protection Act (DPPA) or constituted a violation of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA), a Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Aug. 8 (James E. Andrews, et al. v. Sirius XM Radio Inc., et al., No. 18-55169, 9th Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 23670).
NEW YORK — A federal magistrate judge in New York on Aug. 8 declined to reconsider a June order giving Goldman, Sachs & Co. and The Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (collectively, Goldman Sachs) control over which compensation policies and practices beyond the three identified by class plaintiffs in a gender bias suit may be addressed in Phase I of the trial (H. Christina Chen-Oster, et al. v. Goldman, Sachs & Co., et al., No. 10-6950, S.D. N.Y., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 134727).
PASADENA, Calif. — A defendant, when removing a case from state to federal court under the Class Action Fairness Act (CAFA), only needed to make jurisdictional allegations to meet its minimal diversity burden and did not need to provide evidence where the plaintiff brought a facial challenge to the legal adequacy of the removal, a Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Aug. 8, reversing a trial court’s remand of a class complaint over internet service advertising and sales practices (David Ehrman, et al. v. Cox Communications, Inc., et al., No. 19-55658, 9th Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 23671).
WILMINGTON, Del. — A shareholder in a company that builds and maintains hydraulic fracturing wells on July 29 filed a class action in Delaware federal court contending that the company violated federal securities laws when it filed a misleading registration statement in its attempt to sell the company to another entity through a wholly owned subsidiary (Chad Wuollet v. C&J Energy Services Inc., et al., No. 19-1411, D. Del.).