PASADENA, Calif. — The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on April 26 affirmed a lower federal court’s dismissal of complaints alleging that insurers violated the Stored Communications Act (SCA) when they gained unauthorized access to the plaintiff’s personal information from a website, finding that the plaintiffs failed to state a claim that the website, database or server functioned as an electronic communication service (ECS) provider under the SCA (Hector Casillas v. Cypress Insurance Company, et al., Nos. 17-56065 and 17-56071, 9th Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 12583).
LOS ANGELES — Two months after a California federal judge struck her amended complaint against Delta Air Lines Inc. and a customer service business partner over a 2017 data breach as untimely, a Florida woman on April 29 refiled her complaint alleging breach of contract and computer fraud two weeks after being granted leave to amend (Teresa J. McGarry v. Delta Air Lines Inc., et al., No. 2:18-cv-09827, C.D. Calif.).
OAKLAND, Calif. — In a brief filed May 1 in California federal court, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) requests review and vacatur of a magistrate’s order declining to compel suspects to unlock seized electronic devices by biometric means, arguing that even though a new warrant was issued in the underlying case, the matter is not moot because it will certainly arise in future investigations (In re Search of a Residence in Oakland, Calif., No. 4:19-mj-70053, N.D. Calif.).
SAN FRANCISCO — A class of plaintiffs who sued Google LLC for privacy violations and two class members who objected to a cy pres-only settlement of the class claims filed briefs with the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on May 2, opposing the tech giant’s motion to remand the case to the original trial court for a finding of whether the class has standing following the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to not rule on whether the settlement was fair due to uncertainty over the class’ standing under Article III of the U.S. Constitution (In re: Google Referrer Header Privacy Litigation, No. 15-15858, 9th Cir.).
ATLANTA — In an April 30 reply brief, three Native American tribes defend their motion to establish a separate track for tribal governments in the multidistrict litigation against Equifax Inc. over its 2017 data breach, arguing to a Georgia federal court that a history of financial discrimination has caused heightened harm to them that necessitates separate class representation and unique discovery (In Re: Equifax Inc., Customer Data Security Breach Litigation, No. 1:17-md-2800, N.D. Ga.).
PHILADELPHIA — A Pennsylvania federal judge on April 29 allowed most expert testimony for a man who filed a class action against a county and its prison for publishing his mugshot and disorderly conduct arrest information in an online prisoner lookup tool more than a decade after the charges had been expunged (Daryoush Taha v. Bucks County, et al., No. 12-6867, E.D. Pa., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 71553).
TACOMA, Wash. — A Washington federal judge on April 29 scheduled a hearing for May 2 on a motion for a temporary restraining order (TRO) filed in a lawsuit by two Washington residents, referred to only as John Does, seeking to prevent the release of the names and addresses of individuals who participated in the state’s bump stock buy-back program (John Doe 1, et al. v. John R. Batiste, et al., No. 19-5334, W.D. Wash.).
SANTA ANA, Calif. — A California federal judge on April 25 allowed most expert testimony being challenged and then mostly denied summary judgment to a customer and a bank in their dispute over alleged fraudulent accounts opened under the customer’s name by a bank employee (Samuel Liera Soria v. U.S. Bank N.A., No. 8:17-cv-00603, C.D. Calif., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 70068).
ATLANTA — An 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on April 22 vacated its October 2018 opinion in an appeal filed by two objectors to a $6.3 million settlement by Godiva Chocolatier Inc. to end class claims over receipts and issued a new one in its place, once more affirming the settlement but rewriting the portion of the opinion addressing the lead plaintiff’s standing (Dr. David S. Muransky, et al. v. Godiva Chocolatier, Inc., Nos. 16-16486 and 16-16783, 11th Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 11630).
SAN FRANCISCO — Three months after hearing oral arguments in an appeal of the approval of a privacy class action over Facebook Inc.’s now-discontinued practice of scanning users’ private messages (PMs), a Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on April 23 directed the parties to submit supplemental briefs addressing whether the named plaintiffs had standing in light of two U.S. Supreme Court rulings (Matthew Campbell, et al. v. Facebook Inc., et al., No. 17-16873, 9th Cir.).
SAN JOSE, Calif. — Five months after preliminarily approving an $8.3 million settlement of privacy claims against Lenovo (United States) Inc. over its use of intrusive, hidden adware on computers, a California federal judge on April 24 granted final approval to the settlement (In Re: Lenovo Adware Litigation, No. 3:15-md-02624, N.D. Calif., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 69797).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — A divided U.S. Supreme Court on April 24 reversed and remanded a Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals decision that upheld class arbitration for allegations of negligence and breach of implied contract levied against an employer (Lamps Plus, Inc., et al. v. Frank Varela, No. 17-988, U.S. Sup.).
SAN JOSE, Calif. — Following a hearing for final approval of an $8.3 million settlement of privacy claims over intrusive computer adware installed by Lenovo (United States) Inc., a class of consumers submitted a supplemental brief on April 22 at the direction of a California federal judge, citing parallel cases that they contend support their proposed attorney fees rate of 30 percent of the settlement fund (In Re: Lenovo Adware Litigation, No. 3:15-md-02624, N.D. Calif.).
SAN FRANCISCO — A month after the U.S. Supreme Court declined to rule on the fairness of a cy pres privacy class settlement, remanding the case to resolve questions on standing, Google LLC filed a motion in the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on April 22, seeking remand to the original trial court for the ordered standing determination (In re: Google Referrer Header Privacy Litigation, No. 15-15858, 9th Cir.).
SAN DIEGO — A hospital secretly recorded more than 1,800 women without obtaining their consent for more than a year as they underwent surgeries and other procedures, a plaintiff argues to a California federal court on April 17 in a proposed class action complaint seeking to represent a class of women who were filmed (Amber Snodgrass v. Sharp HealthCare, et al., No. 19-0702, S.D. Calif.).
SAN FRANCISCO — A lawyer’s discussions with asbestos expert witnesses are entitled to constitutional privacy protections, and even if his law firm owns the alternative causation work product he created, claims alleging interference with his ability to seek employment constitute independent wrongful acts sufficient to survive summary adjudication, an attorney told a California appeals court on March 8 (Evan C. Nelson v. Tucker Ellis LLP, No. A153661, Calif. App., 1st Dist.).
CHICAGO — After the last remaining plaintiff in a putative consolidated class action over a payment device data breach experienced by Barnes &Noble Inc. (B&N) dismissed her claims against the retailer, a California federal judge in an April 8 minute entry dismissed the six-year-old lawsuit with prejudice (In re Barnes & Noble Pin Pad Litigation, No. 1:12-cv-08617, N.D. Ill.).
NEWARK, N.J. — In accordance with a Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruling, a New Jersey federal judge on April 15 partly vacated his earlier ruling dismissing a customer’s complaint against J. Crew Group Inc. under the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACTA), changing the dismissal’s status from being with prejudice to without prejudice (Ahmed Kamal v. J. Crew Group Inc., et al., No. 2:15-cv-00190, D. N.J.).
SANTA ANA, Calif. — Calling it “one of the largest settlements in history for privacy cases,” a group of consumers suing Vizio Inc. over its surreptitious viewing habits data collection practices filed a motion in California federal court April 15, seeking final approval of a settlement agreement with the smart TV maker that would establish a $17 million fund and require clear disclosures of any future data collection (In Re: Vizio Inc., Consumer Privacy Litigation, No. 8:16-ml-02693, C.D. Calif.).