Class Actions of Interest

Data Breach Class Action in Oregon Against Premera Settled

On Monday, Oregon federal district court judge Michael Simon preliminarily approved a $32 million settlement that would resolve multidistrict litigation against Premera Blue Cross over the health insurer’s 2015 data breach that affected an estimated 11 million customers and employees. In a 58-page order, Judge Michael H. Simon said the proposed settlement is fair, considering that the proposed class members have “several strong arguments” regarding Premera’s allegedly inadequate data security measures. The judge also noted

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Aequitas Investors Settle Securities Class Action in Oregon

Plaintiffs in a class action have entered into a settlement with a number of third parties who are alleged to have participated in or materially aided sales of securities by the now-defunct Aequitas companies of Lake Oswego, Oregon. The settlement totals $234.6 million and is on behalf of approximately 1,600 investors. It is believed to be the largest settlement of a securities lawsuit in Oregon history. The complaint in the class action lawsuit alleges that

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Tom Petty’s Estate and Others File Class Action Against UMG Recordings

On June 21, 2019, Tom Petty’s estate and other well-known music industry luminaries filed a class action suit against UMG Recordings Inc. (“UMG”) in California federal court alleging that the recording company negligently stored the artists’ Master Recordings in an inadequate and substandard storage warehouse located on the backlot of Universal Studios that was a known firetrap.

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En Banc Ninth Circuit Approves Once Rejected Hyundai Class Action Settlement

An MDL case entitled In re Hyundai and Kia Fuel Economy Litigation involved alleged misrepresentations involving fuel usage for Hyundai and Kia automobiles. A district court in California approved a nationwide $200 million settlement. A divided Ninth Circuit panel reversed the approval of the settlement holding that the district court must weigh all the varying state consumer protection laws before certifying nationwide class action settlements. Lawyers for plaintiffs and defendants saw this troubling decision as

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U.S. Supreme Court Allows Antitrust Class Action Against Apple to Proceed

A majority of the the U.S. Supreme Court held recently that consumers that purchase Apps from Apple’s App store are direct purchasers able to pursue a proposed antitrust class action under federal law. The majority rejected Apple Inc.’s contention that the consumers are “indirect purchasers” barred from pursuing federal antitrust damages under the high court’s 1977 ruling in Illinois Brick. Instead, the majority found the App Store buyers are direct purchasers from Apple, sidestepping calls

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Consumers File Class Action Against Meat Packers

A class-action lawsuit has been filed in Minnesota federal court that alleges that four large beef-packing companies and an industry information-sharing service have schemed to suppress the prices they pay for cattle and inflate the prices they charge consumers. The lawsuit names Cargill, Tyson Foods, National Beef Packing and JBS USA Food Co. — who collectively control 70% of U.S. beef processing — as defendants. Agri Stats Inc., a price forecasting service for beef, pork

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Wedding Guest Class Action Certified

A New York state court judge has granted class action status in a high-profile lawsuit in which many guests at a wedding reception in 2015 became violently ill. Nine ambulances were called to the July 31 reception after guests started vomiting and having diarrhea on the grounds of the Arrowhead Lodge at Oneida Shores Park. The lawsuit alleges the food—specifically the macaroni and cheese—provided by the caterer caused the illnesses. The bride’s father, is the

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Planet Hollywood Sued In Class Action Over Data Breach

On April 3, 2019, Earl Enterprises Holdings Inc. (“EEH”), the owner of popular chain restaurants such as Earl of Sandwich, Buca di Beppo and Planet Hollywood, was sued in federal court in the Middle District of Florida by customers who alleged that the company failed to exercise reasonable care in securing and safeguarding their sensitive personal information. EEH had announced that it experienced a year-long data breach affecting customers’ names, credit card numbers and expiration

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Dentists Settle Class Action Against 3M Over Defective Crowns

3M Co. has agreed to pay $32.5 million to settle a putative class action filed by dentists who alleged the company sold them faulty dental crown products that popped out of patients’ mouths, then failed to follow through with its warranty. The plaintiffs asked a Minnesota federal judge to preliminarily approve the settlement. Under the terms of the deal, dentist will receive about $250 per claim and funds will be set aside for future claims.

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Students Denied Admission File Class Action Relating to College Admission Scandal

A group of parents and current university students filed a proposed class action lawsuit in federal court in the Northern District of California against the perpetrators of recent elite college admission cheating scandals. The complaint also names several of the involved schools as defendants. The plaintiffs allege that as a result of the two fraudulent college admission schemes, unqualified students were unfairly accepted to highly selective universities, while students who had higher test scores and

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Uber Settles Class Action with Drivers Without Rip-off Clauses for $20 Million

Uber Technologies Inc. has agreed to pay $20 million to nearly 14,000 drivers to settle a class action lawsuit alleging that the ride-hailing company misclassified those drivers as independent contractors. The settlement only includes drivers in Massachusetts and California that did not have arbitration clauses in their contracts with Uber. In 2015, a California federal court had certified a class of 240,000 California drivers. In 2016, that court was presented with a $100 million settlement

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Swift Transportation Settles Class Action With Drivers For $100 Million

Swift Transportation Co. Inc. has agreed to pay $100 million to about 20,000 drivers to settle a class action alleging that it makes its drivers fake owner-operators in order to avoid federal and state wage laws. The lawsuit was filed in December 2009 and alleged that Swift misclassified its drivers as independent contractors and paid them below the federal minimum wage after making them lease and maintain their trucks and pay for gas, tolls, insurance

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Antitrust Class Action Filed Against National Association of Realtors

A class-action lawsuit was filed last week by a Minnesota home seller that alleges that the big four multiple listing services have driven up costs to sellers and have stifled competition. The complaint claims that the multiple listing services conspired with the National Association of Realtors and required brokers to offer buyer broker compensation at inflated rates when listing a property on an MLS site. “The conspiracy has saddled home sellers with a cost that

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Discrimination Class Action Filed Against Ogletree Deakins

A class action lawsuit has been filed by a former Ogletree Deakins Nash Smoak & Stewart PC shareholder who alleges that the law firm systematically pays female attorneys less than men. The lawsuit also alleges that the plaintiff was fired, because she urged other women at the firm to complain about pay inequity and harassment. The suit is filed in state court in California. There is currently a federal gender discrimination class action lawsuit pending

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U.S. Supreme Court Rejects Arbitration For Transportation Workers

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that trucking company New Prime Inc. cannot compel arbitration in a class action alleging it failed to pay independent contractor truck-drivers the proper minimum wage. The Supreme Court found that transportation workers engaged in interstate commerce, including those classified as independent contractors, are exempt from the Federal Arbitration Act (“FAA”).

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Scotts Miracle-Gro Settles Bird Seed with Pesticide Class Action for $85 Million

Consumers and Scotts Miracle-Gro submitted a motion for preliminary approval of a settlement in California federal court arising out of a class action alleging that the lawn company knowingly sold bird food laced with toxic pesticides. The settlement is for up to $85 million, depending on how many class members file claims. The settlement will fully refund money to any class members with valid proof of purchase or retailer records, and up to $100 per

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Syngenta $1.5 Billion Settlement of GMO Corn Class Action Approved

A $1.5 billion settlement between Syngenta and 650,000 corn producers over the agricultural giant’s genetically modified corn seed was approved. The order from U.S. District Judge John W. Lungstrum noted that the case was “hotly contested,” with the merits of the corn producer claims “thoroughly vetted through litigation” in multiple jurisdictions.

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