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  • March 24, 2014

    High Court Won't Hear Appeal Of ERISA Claim Time Limits

    The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday declined to review a lower court ruling tossing a retiree's proposed Employee Income Retirement Security Act class action, which the petitioner had argued was an ideal vehicle for resolving a circuit split over when claims accrue.

  • March 24, 2014

    SunEdison Ditches Retirement-Plan Stock Value Suit

    A Missouri federal judge tossed a putative class action by retirement-plan members alleging MEMC Electronics Materials Inc., now SunEdison Inc., illegally hid production problems and thus caused its stock value to fall, ruling Monday there was no evidence the plan should have stopped investing in company stock.

  • March 24, 2014

    Starbucks Baristas Lose Class Cert. Bid In Wage Action

    A California federal judge on Monday refused to certify four proposed classes in a suit alleging Starbucks Corp. did not allow for required rest breaks or meal periods, finding that each of the proposed classes were overinclusive.

  • March 24, 2014

    Justices Deny Challenge To FCC's Junk Fax Rules

    The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday let stand an Eighth Circuit ruling that held federal junk fax regulations were unassailable by an attorney handbook publisher facing $48 million in liability because he was required to first ask the Federal Communications Commission to reconsider them.

  • March 21, 2014

    Southwest Settles Credit Card Feud With 18.5K Customers

    A California federal judge on Friday gave final approval to a $1.1 million settlement between Southwest Airlines Co. and a class of 18,500 customers who say the airline violated the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act by printing their credit card expiration dates on their receipts.

  • March 21, 2014

    College Sports Scouting Co. Pays $1.6M To OT Class

    A Chicago federal judge approved a $1.6 million class action settlement Wednesday in a case that accused National Collegiate Scouting Association Inc., which matches athletes with prospective collegiate programs, of violating federal and state law by failing to pay “scout coordinators” overtime wages. 

  • March 21, 2014

    Hotwire Settles Class Action Over Hidden Tax, Insurance Fees

    Hotwire Inc. on Friday agreed to pay $130,000 to settle a class action alleging it misrepresented the price for international car rentals by providing an estimated price omitting taxes and insurance fees, according to documents filed in California federal court. 

  • March 21, 2014

    Chase Freed From Overpayment Deletion Class Action

    A New York federal judge on Friday quashed a proposed class action accusing a JPMorgan Chase & Co. unit of violating cardmember agreements by eliminating balances of customers who overpaid, ruling that the plaintiff lacked standing because he had been issued a refund.

  • March 21, 2014

    9th Circ. Upholds Calif. DNA Law After High Court Ruling

    The Ninth Circuit decided en banc on Thursday that police could continue collecting DNA samples from suspected felons without a warrant, saying such practices under a California law were legal in light of the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling on a similar Maryland statute.

  • March 21, 2014

    Wilmington Trust Can't Shake Shareholder Fraud Suit

    A Delaware federal judge on Thursday declined to dismiss a consolidated class action against Wilmington Trust Corp. accusing it of misleading investors about a precarious loan portfolio that fueled the bank's downfall and hasty merger with M&T Bank Corp.

  • March 20, 2014

    Canadian Student-Loan Data Breach Suit Gets Class Cert.

    A Canadian federal court agreed Tuesday to certify a class action accusing Canada's federal government of breaching student loan agreements and the borrowers' privacy rights by losing a hard drive that contained the personal data of more than half a million student loan program participants.

  • March 20, 2014

    9th Circ. Revives Hilton Call-Recording Class Action

    A divided Ninth Circuit on Thursday reinstated a class action accusing Hilton Worldwide Inc. of violating California privacy law by recording incoming customer service phone calls, knocking a district court for glossing over the added legal protection calls from cellphones are afforded over those from landlines.

  • March 20, 2014

    United, HIV/AIDS Patients Settle Mail-Order Drug Dispute

    United Healthcare Insurance Co. has agreed to settle a proposed class action brought by consumers who suffer from HIV/AIDS and say the company’s plan forced them to obtain medications through a mail-order pharmacy in a discriminatory move, according to documents filed in California federal court on Wednesday.

  • March 20, 2014

    CORRECTED: Stanford, Contractors To Pay $4M To Settle Data Breach Action

    A California judge said Wednesday he will preliminarily approve Stanford Hospital & Clinics and its contractors' $4.1 million settlement of class action claims that they violated a state privacy law by allowing the medical information of about 20,000 emergency room patients to be posted online for nearly a year. (Correction: An earlier story and headline incorrectly reported how much Stanford Hospital & Clinics will pay as part of the settlement, and incorrectly identified the hospital. The errors have been corrected.)

  • March 19, 2014

    NSA May Have to Keep Call-Data Evidence, Judge Says

    A California federal judge said Wednesday that he's inclined to require the National Security Agency to preserve data that could serve as evidence in a lawsuit by civil liberties groups and a separate class action by AT&T Inc. subscribers alleging its collection of Americans’ phone records violated constitutional protections.

  • March 19, 2014

    Wal-Mart Can't Block Approval For $1.7M Wage Deal

    A California federal judge gave preliminary approval Wednesday to a $1.7 million settlement between staffing companies and workers in a proposed wage class action, despite opposition from Wal-Mart Stores East LP and another remaining defendant that were found to lack standing to challenge the deal.

  • March 19, 2014

    8th Circ. Cuts $37M Judgment In Fidelity 401(k) Fees Row

    The Eighth Circuit reduced a $36.9 million judgment against ABB Inc. and Fidelity Management & Research Co. to $13.4 million in a class action brought by ABB retirees over 401(k) plan fees, ruling Wednesday that the lower court should have given the plan administrator more deference.

  • March 19, 2014

    BRE Settles Investor Suits Over $4.5B Essex Merger

    BRE Properties Inc. settled Tuesday three proposed shareholder class actions in Maryland state court attempting to block the real estate investment trust’s proposed merger with Essex Property Trust Inc., which will create a REIT with a total market capitalization of $15.4 billion.

  • March 18, 2014

    Caterpillar Gets Discovery On Faulty Engines Pared Down

    A Florida federal judge modified a discovery order in a putative class action alleging Caterpillar Inc. sold faulty bus engines, ruling Monday that the plaintiffs had failed to show the discovery on one of the two at-issue engines was necessary for class certification.

  • March 18, 2014

    BofA, McCabe Weisburg Shake Foreclosure Atty Fee Suit

    Bank of America NA and McCabe Weisberg & Conway PC have temporarily dodged a class action accusing them of charging unauthorized and illegal foreclosure-related attorneys’ fees after a Pennsylvania federal judge concluded Monday that a mortgage contract implicated in the suit appeared to allow such charges.

Expert Analysis

  • Halliburton: Do Plaintiffs Have A Fix In Affiliated Ute?

    Claire Loebs Davis

    In the building frenzy over the possible demise of the fraud-on-the-market presumption in the upcoming U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Halliburton Co. v. Erica P. John Fund, one theory that has been repeatedly put forward is that plaintiffs’ attorneys could sidestep the formidable obstacle of proving classwide reliance by taking advantage of a high court ruling in Affiliated Ute Citizens v. U.S. However, a key distinction has been widely forgotten, says Claire Loebs Davis of Lane Powell PC.

  • Stakes Are High For ERISA Fiduciaries

    Michael R. Dube

    A U.S. Supreme Court decision favorable to the plaintiffs bar in Fifth Third Bancorp v. Dudenhoeffer could mean renewed exposure for Employee Retirement Income Security Act fiduciaries — including company retirement plan committees — to vexatious, costly and burdensome litigation of precisely the sort that Congress believed it was cracking down on when it passed the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act, say Michael Dube and Michael Gass of Choate Hall & Stewart LLP.

  • Court Split Over Medical Device Claims Persists

    Andrew L. Campbell

    A recent decision by the California Court of Appeal in Coleman v. Medtronic Inc. has widened the judicial divide over preemption of state law tort claims in cases implicating Class III medical devices. If courts continue to apply the narrow interpretation favored by Coleman, the violation of almost any U.S. Food and Drug regulation could potentially provide a basis for common law negligence and/or strict liability claims under state law, say attorneys at Faegre Baker Daniels LLP.

  • Calif. Court Dims 'Shine The Light' Law For Plaintiffs

    Vincent Loh

    The California Court of Appeal's recent decision in Boorstein v. CBS Interactive Inc. appreciably limits the ability of plaintiffs to bring suit under California's "Shine the Light" law, and provides a road map for those seeking to escape “liability traps” based on mere technical violations of the law, says Vincent Loh of Robins Kaplan Miller & Ciresi LLP.

  • High Court's CAFA Ruling Won't Affect AG Enforcement

    Ryan Kriger

    Assertions that the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent AU Optronics decision will inspire attorneys general to bring more state court lawsuits, and that they may do so in tandem with private class action counsel, not only lack any factual basis, but evidence a misunderstanding of the role of the attorneys general in our justice system, and the relationship between the attorneys general and the citizenry, say Ryan Kriger and Jill Abrams, assistant attorneys general in Vermont.

  • Litigation Costs Are In Your Control, So Take Control

    Collin Hite

    Counsel certainly have the power to have a case in any district ready for trial in a year. Implementing the scope of Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 1 is and should be what federal litigation is all about in this day and age. Resources from the Federal Judicial Center provide really excellent ideas to streamline cases and the increasingly rambling manner in which they are handled by attorneys, says Collin Hite of Hirschler Fleischer PC.

  • Planning For The Next Mega-Sized Class Action Settlement

    Andrew Shimek

    Due to the sheer volume of data, a larger number of settling and nonsettling defendants and the intricacy of reaching class members, mega-sized settlements create additional complexity for settlement administration. During the presettlement stage, it is critical to identify the data resources and map out a strategy with the settlement administrator regarding data transfer, mapping and data normalization, say Andrew Shimek and Stephanie Fiereck of Epiq Systems Inc.

  • Hulu Hoops: Damages Theories In Recent Privacy Cases

    Tom Counts

    The recent order in In re Hulu Privacy Litigation was about whether the Northern District of California could award damages. It leaves one critical question unanswered, and one critical argument available to defendants — even if statutory damages can be awarded absent actual damage, should they be awarded? Three recent cases suggest the answer may be “no,” say Tom Counts and Ryan Nier of Paul Hastings LLP.

  • High Court May Tighten Reins On Data Breach Class Actions

    Steven Grimes

    If the U.S. Supreme Court decides to hear the washing machine cases, the court will likely provide further answers to the question of what constitutes injury in the class action setting. If the court holds that no-injury classes are improper, this will strike a serious blow to class action lawyers who are seeking to cash in on companies that have been victimized by a data breach, says Steve Grimes, a partner with Winston & Strawn LLP and former federal prosecutor.

  • Don't Apply Risk Analysis To Discounted Settlement Value

    Judge Wayne D. Brazil

    In preparing to teach a course on alternative dispute resolution, I recently did some research into the relationship between probability theory and the way “decision analysis” — aka “risk analysis” — is sometimes used to determine the discounted settlement value of civil cases. What I learned was unnerving, but it may help defense and plaintiffs’ counsel avoid misevaluating their cases, says Judge Wayne Brazil, a JAMS mediator and former magistrate judge in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.