WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) on Sept. 20 announced that it had reached settlements with three Boston hospitals that had been charged with violating the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) in connection with the filming of a television show.
SAN FRANCISCO — Three and a half months after dozens of lawsuits against Facebook Inc. were centralized in California federal court, the plaintiffs on Sept. 21 filed a consolidated complaint against the social network alleging privacy violations, negligence and related claims for Facebook’s sharing of users’ personal information with a third-party consulting firm (In re Facebook Inc., Consumer Privacy User Profile Litigation, No. 3:18-md-2843, N.D. Calif.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The plaintiff in three lawsuits over the National Security Agency’s domestic surveillance activities on Sept. 17 filed an appellant brief in the third suit in the District of Columbia Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, arguing that a trial court improperly dismissed his claims under the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution without permitting discovery (Larry Klayman v. National Security Agency, et al., No. 18-5097, D.C. Cir.; and Larry Klayman, et al. v. Barack Obama, et al., Nos. 17-5281 and 17-5282, D.C. Cir.).
ATLANTA — A group of banks and financial institution (FI) plaintiffs filed a brief Sept. 20 in Georgia federal court opposing Equifax’s motion to dismiss claims related to its 2017 data breach, arguing that they sufficiently alleged injuries related to the defendant’s failure to protect their members’ personally identifiable information (PII) (In Re: Equifax Inc., Customer Data Security Breach Litigation, No. 1:17-md-2800, N.D. Ga.).
CHICAGO — An Illinois federal judge on Sept. 17 denied approval of a $1.2 million settlement by Neiman Marcus Group LLC in a data breach lawsuit without prejudice and decertified the settlement class, citing intraclass conflicts (Hilary Remijas, et al. v. The Neiman Marcus Group, LLC, No. 14-1735, N.D. Ill., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 158250).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The rebranded Yahoo Inc. will pay approximately $47 million in a global settlement of all litigation arising from its historic data breach, the company said Sept. 17 in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, which already fined the company $35 million for its handling of the breach.
ATLANTA — In a Sept. 12 reply brief supporting its motion to dismiss a consolidated class action over its 2017 data breach, Equifax Inc. tells a Georgia federal court that a group of consumer plaintiffs did not plead necessary elements of their contract, negligence and Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) claims, also asserting that a host of claims brought under other states’ laws cannot apply to conduct that occurred only in Georgia (In Re: Equifax Inc., Customer Data Security Breach Litigation, No. 1:17-md-2800, N.D. Ga.).
PORTLAND, Ore. — The plaintiffs in a putative class action against Premera Blue Cross over a 2014 data breach filed a motion Aug. 30 for sanctions for discovery misconduct in Oregon federal court, claiming that the insurer willfully spoliated evidence that the hackers exfiltrated policyholders’ data (In Re: Premera Blue Cross Customer Data Security Breach Litigation, No. 3:15-md-02633, D. Ore.).
BALTIMORE — Concluding that an in camera review provision in the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) does not apply, a Maryland federal judge on Aug. 20 denied a motion by Wikimedia Foundation to compel documents withheld from discovery by the National Security Agency (NSA) in a lawsuit over purported constitutional violations in the agency’s upstream surveillance activities (Wikimedia Foundation v. National Security Agency, et al., No. 1:15-cv-00662, D. Md., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 141418).
SAN FRANCISCO — Citing the U.S. Supreme Court’s disposal of a similar case as moot in light of recent legislation, Google LLC on Sept. 7 moved for the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals to dismiss and remand its presently stayed appeal of a trial court order requiring the company to comply with a governmental warrant seeking production of emails stored outside the United States (In re: Search of Content That is Stored at Premises Controlled by Google, No. 17-17393, 9th Cir.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The same day that 13 amicus curiae briefs were filed supporting a cy pres settlement in a privacy class action over Google LLC’s sharing of referrer header information, both the respondents and the federal government filed briefs with the U.S. Supreme Court Sept. 5, requesting that the Oct. 31 oral arguments be divided (Theodore H. Frank, et al. v. Paloma Gaos, et al., No. 17-961, U.S. Sup.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Online retailer Zappos.com Inc. filed a petition for certiorari on Aug. 20, urging the U.S. Supreme Court to address a deepening circuit split on the “recurring and important issue” of what constitutes whether a concrete injury sufficient to confer an individual whose personally identifiable information (PII) was compromised in a data breach with standing to sue the breached business under Article III of the U.S. Constitution (Zappos.com Inc. v. Theresa Stevens, et al., No. 18-225, U.S. Sup.).
PHOENIX — An Arizona federal judge on Aug. 20 granted a joint motion seeking additional time to complete a settlement agreement in a class complaint accusing Motel 6 Operating L.P. and G6 Hospitality LLC, doing business as Motel 6, of voluntarily turning over guest registration information to agents of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) within the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) (Jane V., et al. v. Motel 6 Operating L.P., et al., No. 18-242, D. Ariz.).
SAN JOSE, Calif. — Three months after most of the asserted class claims against Intuit Inc. were dismissed, the plaintiffs in a putative class action over 2014 data theft incidents associated with the TurboTax line of tax preparation software filed a motion in California federal court Aug. 23 seeking preliminary approval of a settlement that would dispose of nonmonetary claims, while permitting class members to pursue claims over actual damages from fraudulent tax return filings (In re Intuit Data Litigation, No. 5:15-cv-01778, N.D. Calif.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Supreme Court has no jurisdiction to hear an employer’s appeal of a class arbitration ruling because the original, two-part decision by the trial court was not appealable; however, if the high court decides to reach the merits, it should hold that the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA) doesn’t preempt state law, an employee argues in his respondent brief filed Aug. 30 in the high court (Lamps Plus, Inc., et al. v. Frank Varela, No. 17-988, U.S. Sup.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — In a pair of Aug. 29 respondent briefs, Google LLC and a class with which it settled privacy claims tell the U.S. Supreme Court that cy pres settlements, when subject to certain guidelines, are a useful way to settle certain class actions, like the one below, in which distribution of funds to class members is infeasible (Theodore H. Frank, et al. v. Paloma Gaos, et al., No. 17-961, U.S. Sup.).
CINCINNATI — The admittance of expert testimony on the use of cell tower data to track mobile phones of robbery suspects does not taint the convictions of the suspects enough to overcome the wealth of other evidence against them, the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals held Aug. 23 (United States v. Shawn Pearson, et al., Nos. 17-1724, 17-1962, 6th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 23797).
CHICAGO — An Illinois federal judge on Aug. 23 dismissed a class complaint by airline workers suing over the collection of their biometric data, ruling that their claims are preempted by the Railway Labor Act (RLA) and must be submitted to arbitration (Jennifer Miller, et al. v. Southwest Airlines Co., No. 18-86, N.D. Ill.).
SEATTLE — Determining that a credit union placed its communications with certain technical witnesses at issue by citing them in its complaint over Eddie Bauer LLC’s data breach, a Washington federal judge on Aug. 23 deemed the work product privilege waived, leading him to grant in part the retailer’s motion to compel (Veridian Credit Union v. Eddie Bauer LLC, No. 2:17-cv-00356, W.D. Wash., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 143788).
DENVER — Two weeks after a Colorado federal magistrate judge recommended granting in part Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc.’s motion to dismiss a putative class action over a 2017 data breach, both the restaurant chain and the plaintiffs filed objections Aug. 15, raising arguments related to injury, choice of law and the economic-loss doctrine (Todd Gordon, et al. v. Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc., No. 1:17-cv-01415, D. Colo.).