Mealey's Class Actions

  • May 24, 2024

    $3.25M Settlement Gets Final OK In ERISA Imprudence Case Over Retirement Plans

    BALTIMORE — Resolving an Employee Retirement Income Security Act suit over use of the GoalMaker asset allocation service and other aspects of a Maryland hospital system’s retirement plans, a Maryland federal judge on May 23 granted final approval to a $3.25 million class settlement and awarded a third of that as attorney fees.

  • May 24, 2024

    $30M Settlement Between Jan-Pro, Franchisees Granted Final Approval

    SAN FRANCISCO — A $30 million wage-and-hour settlement between Jan-Pro Franchising International Inc. and California cleaning franchisees in a case in which the franchisees alleged that they were misclassified was granted final approval on May 23 by a federal judge in California, who also partially granted and partially denied a motion for attorney fees and service awards.

  • May 24, 2024

    LTC Insurer Gets Extension To Answer Class Complaint Alleging Unfair Rate Hikes

    CHICAGO — In a docket entry, an Illinois federal judge granted a long-term care (LTC) insurer an extension to answer an amended complaint in a putative class action alleging that the insurer sought premium increases in different states and for different amounts without considering policy language prohibiting nonuniform rate increases.

  • May 24, 2024

    Acella Pharmaceutical Agrees To $41M Settlement For Faulty Thyroid Hormone Drugs

    GAINESVILLE, Ga. — A Georgia federal judge granted final approval to a $41 million settlement to end claims that a pharmaceutical company made and sold thyroid hormone pills that were subpotent and awarded $5 million in attorney fees.

  • May 23, 2024

    Judge: Consolidation Needed To Address Settlement In Related Mortgage Class Suits

    COLUMBUS, Ohio — In an order filed in the wake of a status hearing on a joint motion for preliminary approval of a $185 million settlement to resolve two related suits accusing Wells Fargo Bank N.A. and Wells Fargo and Co. (together, Wells Fargo) of violating state and federal law by engaging in a scheme to place borrowers into a forbearance program during the COVID-19 pandemic, a federal judge in Ohio on May 22 notified the parties that unless they filed a brief in opposition within seven days, the court “will sua sponte consolidate these cases into a single case for settlement purposes only, appoint both counsel as interim class counsel for settlement purposes only, and consider the pending motion for preliminary approval.”

  • May 23, 2024

    High Court: Courts Decide Which Competing Contracts, Arbitration Clauses Govern

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — In a situation where parties have agreed to competing contracts or arbitration clauses regarding how to resolve claims in a dispute, it is a court’s job to decide which contract governs, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled May 23 in a suit between a cryptocurrency exchange and a group of its users.

  • May 23, 2024

    $5.5M Amazon COVID-19 Screenings Pay Settlement Granted Preliminary Approval

    FRESNO, Calif. — A federal magistrate judge in California on May 22 granted preliminary approval of a $5.5 million settlement after supplemental briefing and a revised class notice was filed in two consolidated cases by California workers who accuse Amazon.com Services LLC of failing to pay them for time spent undergoing COVID-19 symptom screenings before their shifts.

  • May 23, 2024

    Cancer Sufferers Say J&J, LTL Divisive Merger, Transfers Were Fraudulent

    TRENTON, N.J. — Johnson & Johnson and its various subsidiaries hoped to avoid liability or delay a day of reckoning through a divisive merger under Texas law and a series of fraudulent transfers of assets and liabilities, women who allegedly contracted ovarian cancer or mesothelioma as a result of exposure to asbestos in the company’s talc claims in a May 22 putative class action.

  • May 23, 2024

    6 Golden Corral Data Breach Suits Consolidated In North Carolina Federal Court

    RALEIGH, N.C.  — Citing “judicial economy” and avoiding “the risk of inconsistent rulings,” a North Carolina federal judge granted a motion to consolidate six putative negligence class actions over a 2023 data breach experienced by Golden Corral Corp., which exposed the personally identifiable information (PII) of the buffet restaurant chain’s employees.

  • May 22, 2024

    Judge Preliminarily Approves $600M Settlement In Ohio Train Derailment Litigation

    YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio — A federal judge in Ohio on May 21 granted preliminary approval to a $600 million settlement to resolve the class action against Norfolk Southern Railway Co. and Norfolk Southern Corp. (Norfolk Southern, collectively) pertaining to alleged injuries from the release of toxic chemicals at the 2023 train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio, ruling that the proposed agreement is “fair, reasonable, and adequate, entered into in good faith, and free from collusion.”  A third-party lawsuit among Norfolk Southern and railcar companies continues.

  • May 22, 2024

    Flint Bellwether Plaintiffs Insist Expert Is Qualified, Evidence Rule Satisfied

    ANN ARBOR, Mich. — The Bellwether III plaintiffs in the Flint water crisis litigation filed a response brief in Michigan federal court on May 21 arguing that a pediatrician they intend to call as an expert witness is qualified to testify and that her opinions satisfy the requirements of Federal Rule of Evidence 702.

  • May 22, 2024

    Federal Judge: WARN Act Bakery Worker Class Owed Nearly $3M In Damages

    BURLINGTON, Vt. — A federal judge in Vermont partially granted a dissolution receiver’s summary judgment motion in a Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act of 1988 (WARN Act) lawsuit brought by a class of workers after three bakeries ceased operations and determined that the class is owed damages of $2.759,502.02; however, the judge determined that a bench trial must be held to determine whether the receiver is entitled to a reduction of liability based on good faith.

  • May 22, 2024

    Beyond Meat, Consumer Class Say Settlement Reached In Protein Content Case

    CHICAGO — A nationwide class settlement has been reached in a consolidated case by consumers accusing Beyond Meat Inc. of labeling its plant-based meat substitutes with inflated protein content and overstating the quality of the protein, the consumers and defendant announced in a joint notice of settlement filed in a federal court in Illinois.

  • May 22, 2024

    Judge Gives Final OK To $1.5 Million Settlement Of College Data Breach Suit

    KALAMAZOO, Mich. — A Michigan federal judge granted final approval of the settlement of a consolidated negligence class action over a data breach experienced by a college in 2022, deeming the $1.5 million agreement to be “fair, reasonable, and adequate.”

  • May 22, 2024

    Retirees Lose 2nd Circuit ERISA Bid For Retroactive Early Pension Benefits

    NEW YORK — A Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel issued a summary order upholding two decisions against retirees who sought retroactive early pension benefits in a putative class action, including a decision under which submission of an election form resulted in only forward-looking benefits.

  • May 21, 2024

    Objectors Appeal Final Approval Of Google Location History Settlement

    SAN JOSE, Calif. — Three class members who had previously objected to the cy pres nature of a $62 million settlement of a consolidated class action over the purported collection of users’ location data by Google Inc., as well as an accompanying attorney fees award, on May 20 filed notice that they are appealing the final approval of the settlement and the corresponding judgment of a California federal court to the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals.

  • May 21, 2024

    3rd Circuit Won’t Review Class Certification In Suit Related To FCA Violations

    PHILADELPHIA — The Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals denied a petition seeking interlocutory review of a district court’s order granting class certification in a suit alleging that Teva Pharmaceuticals Industries Ltd. and its executives violated the Securities Exchange Act by artificially raising the price of its stock and concealing information about the multiple sclerosis drug Copaxone, the subject of a False Claims Act (FCA) suit alleging that Teva engaged in a kickback scheme that increased the price of the drug, finding that “interlocutory review is not appropriate” at the class certification stage as to a merits review of the Securities Exchange Act.

  • May 21, 2024

    Mineral Rights Holders Seek Certification Of Class In Fracking Royalty Dispute

    COLUMBUS, Ohio — Mineral rights holders have moved in Ohio federal court seeking class certification in their lawsuit alleging that drilling companies breached the royalty agreement among the parties, arguing that “this case arises from the systematic breach of a form contract, making it the paradigmatically appropriate case for class certification.”

  • May 21, 2024

    ERISA Residual Annuities Class Action Is Headed Back To 2nd Circuit

    NEW YORK — After a New York federal judge entered final judgment for the class on remand in a long-running Employee Retirement Income Security Act class action over residual annuities, Colgate-Palmolive Co. and related defendants filed a notice of appeal.

  • May 21, 2024

    Judge Preliminarily OKs $2.4 Million Settlement Of Suit Over Lender’s Data Breach

    BRIDGEPORT, Conn. — Less than three months after consolidating six lawsuits over a financial services firm’s November data breach, a Connecticut federal judge granted preliminary approval to a settlement that establishes a $2.45 million fund to settle negligence and contractual claims against the lender.

  • May 21, 2024

    Multiplan Is Using AI To Drive Down Out-Of-Network Reimbursements, Hospitals Say

    CHICAGO — Multiplan Inc., a company purportedly dedicated to lowering health care costs, and insurers conspire and violate the Sherman Act through the use of artificial intelligence and related tools to drive down the price of out-of-network medical care, two hospitals allege in a class action filed in Illinois federal court.

  • May 20, 2024

    Insureds To Address Class Exclusion, Diversity In Removed Data Breach Suits

    MADISON, Wis. — The parties in seven putative class actions over a 2024 data breach experienced by a health insurance provider were directed by a Wisconsin federal judge to file briefs addressing several issues related to whether the lawsuits were properly removed from state court and whether they should be consolidated in federal court.

  • May 20, 2024

    Consumer Dismisses Class Suit Over Hershey’s Special Shape Reese’s Products

    TAMPA, Fla. — A putative class complaint by a Florida woman who sued The Hershey Co. alleging that the pictures of specially shaped Reese’s Peanut Butter products mislead consumers as they show “explicit carved out artistic designs” that do not match the actual products within the packaging was dismissed by a federal judge in Florida on May 17 after the plaintiff filed a notice of voluntary dismissal.

  • May 20, 2024

    $3.5M Deal Proposed In ERISA Imprudence Suit Over TDFs, Another Fund

    GREENSBORO, N.C. — Retirement plan participants have asked a North Carolina federal court for preliminary approval of a $3.5 million class settlement that would resolve their Employee Retirement Income Security Act suit over what they allege are “objectively imprudent investment options.”

  • May 17, 2024

    Ruling Comparisons Sufficient, 3rd Circuit Vacates ERISA Imprudence Case Dismissal

    PHILADELPHIA — In a May 16 opinion largely focused on record-keeping fees, a Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel vacated dismissal of an Employee Retirement Income Security Act imprudence complaint that it said a lower court found didn’t compare “‘apples to apples,’” ruling that under “close examination,” the comparisons “are sufficient to plausibly state a claim.”