WASHINGTON, D.C. — Two objectors to the $8.5 million settlement of a privacy class action against Google LLC tell the U.S. Supreme Court in a July 9 merits brief that the distribution of settlement funds to cy pres recipients, rather than class members, does not constitute a “fair, reasonable, and adequate” settlement of the class claims per Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23 (Theodore H. Frank, et al. v. Paloma Gaos, et al., No. 17-961, U.S. Sup.).
PHOENIX — Motel 6 Operating L.P. and G6 Hospitality LLC, doing business as Motel 6, and guests who filed a class complaint over the motel chain’s policy of voluntarily turning over guest registration information to agents of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) within the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) filed a joint notice of settlement on July 6 in the U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona and noted that it needed additional time to finalize the documentation (Jane V., et al. v. Motel 6 Operating L.P., et al., No. 18-242, D. Ariz.).
BALTIMORE — In supplemental briefs filed July 6 in Maryland federal court, Wikimedia Foundation and the U.S. government debate whether an in camera review provision in the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) displaces the state secrets privilege regarding documents withheld from discovery by the government in a lawsuit over communications intercepted by the National Security Agency (NSA) as part of its upstream surveillance program (Wikimedia Foundation v. National Security Agency, et al., No. 1:15-cv-00662, D. Md.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — A District of Columbia federal judge on July 3 granted a motion by Donald Trump’s presidential campaign to dismiss a lawsuit over the 2016 hack of the Democratic National Committee’s (DNC’s) database, finding that the plaintiffs, whose emails were made public in the incident, failed to establish jurisdiction (Roy Cockrum, et al. v. Donald J. Trump For President Inc., et al., No. 1:17-cv-01370, D. D.C., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 110948).
NEW YORK — The Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on July 6 affirmed a lower federal court’s ruling that a firm's multimillion dollar loss due to a fraudulent wire transfer scheme constituted computer fraud under the company's executive protection insurance policy (Medidata Solutions Inc v. Federal Insurance Company, No. 17-2492, 2nd Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 18376).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals defied the U.S. Supreme Court’s clear holding when it ruled that the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA) doesn’t preempt state law and the lack of reference to class arbitration in an employment agreement is not “silence” as defined by Stolt-Nielsen S.A. v. AnimalFeeds Int’l Corp., 559 U.S. 662, 684 (2010), an employer argues in a petitioner brief filed in the U.S. Supreme Court on July 9 (Lamps Plus, Inc., et al. v. Frank Varela, No. 17-988, U.S. Sup.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — In a June 29 motion, an Illinois state’s attorney asks the U.S. Judicial Panel for Multidistrict Litigation (JPMDL) to vacate its recently issued conditional order, as it relates to the state of Illinois, which consolidated lawsuits over Facebook Inc.’s recent data-sharing incident in a California federal multi-district litigation (MDL) (In re Facebook Inc., Consumer Privacy User Profile Litigation, No. 2843, JPMDL).
SAN FRANCISCO — Consumer privacy organization The Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) filed an amicus curiae brief on June 26, urging the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals to find that Facebook Inc.’s use of persistent cookies to track the private internet browsing activity of social network users, even after they were logged out of the service, was “an invasive business practice in violation of privacy laws” (In re: Facebook Inc. Internet Tracking Litigation, No. 17-17486, 9th Cir.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — In its June 28 order list, the U.S. Supreme Court denied a convicted felon’s petition for certiorari over whether law enforcement’s tracking of his location via a cell-site simulator violated his rights under the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution (Damian Patrick v. United States, No. 17-6256, U.S. Sup., 2018 U.S. LEXIS 4030).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Less than a week after issuing a decision in Timothy Ivory Carpenter v. United States, No. 16-402, U.S. Sup., the U.S. Supreme Court on June 28 applied that ruling, which required a warrant issued with probable cause for the search of a suspect’s cell site location information (CSLI) records, to five similar cases, granting certiorari in each, also vacating the underlying judgments based on warrantless searches and remanding to their respective courts of appeal (Tobias O. Reed v. Virginia, No. 17-5402, U.S. Sup., 2018 U.S. LEXIS 4042; Antoine Chambers v. United States, No. 17-5692, U.S. Sup., 2018 U.S. LEXIS 4063; Anthony C. Thompson v. United States, No. 17-5964, U.S. Sup., 2018 U.S. LEXIS 4056; Gareic J. Hankston v. Texas, No. 17-6213, U.S. Sup., 2018 U.S. LEXIS 4057; Albert D. Banks v. United States, No. 17-6704, U.S. Sup., 2018 U.S. LEXIS 4050).
SAN FRANCISCO — Reconsidering an earlier ruling allowing a former Lyft Inc. driver to pursue a claim against Uber Technologies Inc. under the California unfair competition law (UCL), a California federal magistrate judge on June 21 held that the driver did not establish entitlement to injunctive or restitutive relief under the statute based on Uber’s obtaining data on the rival firm’s drivers via spyware (Michael Gonzales v. Uber Technologies Inc., et al., No. 3:17-cv-02264, N.D. Calif., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 104332).
NEW ORLEANS — The Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on June 25 found that a federal court erred in granting judgment on the pleadings and dismissing all claims against an insurer in a coverage dispute arising from the hacking of a specialty retail chain insured’s credit card network (Spec's Family Partners, Limited v. The Hanover Insurance Co., No. 17- 20263, 5th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 17246).
SAN FRANCISCO — A long-running constitutional challenge to a California law permitting the collection of DNA samples from certain arrestees came to an end June 22, when a California federal judge followed recent state and federal rulings finding such laws not in violation of the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution when conducted with probable cause (Elizabeth Aida Haskell, et al. v. Edmund G. Brown, et al., No. 3:09-cv-04779, N.D. Calif., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 105051).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — A divided U.S. Supreme Court on June 22 found that the government’s search of a suspect’s cell site location information (CSLI) records qualified as a search under the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, thus requiring a showing of probable cause before search of such records in which it found that a user has a reasonable expectation of privacy (Timothy Ivory Carpenter v. United States, No. 16-402, U.S. Sup., 2018 U.S. LEXIS 3844).
PHILADELPHIA — Because an ex-employee of The Coca-Cola Co. (Coke) failed to establish a causal connection between credit card fraud and the theft of company-owned laptops containing employees’ personally identifiable information (PII), a Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on June 20 affirmed the dismissal of his putative breach of contract and negligence class claims against the soft drink manufacturer (Shane K. Enslin v. The Coca-Cola Co., et al., Nos. 17-3153 and 17-3256, 3rd Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 16613).
SAN FRANCISCO — A California federal judge on June 19 agreed to stay a long-running putative privacy class action over Google LLC’s Street View feature in light of a pending U.S. Supreme Court case that the parties believe “is likely to bear directly” on a tentative settlement in the case (In re Google LLC Street View Electronic Communications Litigation, No. 3:10-md-02184, N.D. Calif.).
SANTA ANA, Calif. — A commercial general liability insurer on May 30 asked the Fourth District California Court of Appeal to reverse a lower court’s finding that penalties for the crime of secretly recording confidential communications under California Penal Code Section 632 can be shifted onto an insurer, arguing that the lower court’s ruling violates public policy (Nautilus Insurance Company v. Monique Mingione, No. G055914, Calif. App., 4th Dist., Div. 3).
WASHINGTON D.C. — Because the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) does not provide for a private cause of action, a District of Columbia federal judge on June 15 granted a diagnostic laboratory’s motion to dismiss a complaint alleging that the lab violated the act by not furnishing patients with ample privacy while obtaining their personal health information (PHI) (Hope Lee-Thomas v. Laboratory Corporation of America, No. 1:18-cv-00591, D. D.C., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 100428).
INDIANAPOLIS — In light of a defendant’s showing of relevance and the plaintiffs’ failure to establish privilege, an Indiana federal magistrate judge on June 14 concluded that a Facebook instant message string between two named plaintiffs was not covered by a protective order in a putative class action over pension plan administrative fees, leading him to mostly grant a motion to compel (Mary Bell, et al. v. Pension Committee of ATH Holding Company LLC, et al., No. 1:15-cv-02062, S.D. Ind.).
ST. PAUL, Minn. — Rejecting objections by two class members, an Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on June 13 affirmed a trial court’s approval of a $10 million settlement between Target Corp. and a class of consumers affected by a 2013 data breach, finding that on remand after a previous ruling in the objectors’ favor, the presiding judge conducted the necessary “rigorous analysis” of the settlement (In re: Target Corporation Customer Data Security Breach Litigation, No. 15-3909, 15-3912, 16-1203, 16-1245 and 16-1408 8th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 15839).