Consumer Protection

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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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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Cattle Ranchers File Class Action Against Meatpackers

A cattle ranchers’ trade association filed a class action in federal court in Illinois accusing meatpackers including industry powerhouses Tyson, JBS SA, Cargill and National Beef Packing Co. of conspiring to keep down cattle prices. The complaint alleges the meatpackers are seeking to push the cattle industry toward the level of consolidation already seen in poultry processing.

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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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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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Discrimination Class Action Against Airbnb in Oregon is Allowed to Proceed

Oregon federal district judge Michael Simon denied a motion to dismiss an Oregon class action lawsuit that alleges Airbnb allows discrimination against black users. The lawsuit contends the vacation rental website, which connects homeowners with travelers looking to rent a room, allows the homeowners to discriminate by requiring would-be guests to register with their full name and a photograph. Since the lawsuit was filed, the company changed the policy to only allow homeowners to see

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Antitrust Class Actions Regarding Generic Lidoderm Pain Patch Settle for A Combined Amount Over $270 Million

A California federal judge gave final approval to two settlements of class actions alleging that Teikoku, Endo and Actavis violated antitrust laws by stalling the release of a generic form of the Lidoderm pain patch. One class actin was on behalf of direct purchasers and settled for $166 million. The other was on behalf of end payors and settled for $104.75 million.

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Samsung and Toshiba Settle Optical Disc Drive Price Fixing Claims for $25 Million

Samsung and Toshiba agreed to pay $25 million to resolve a class action alleging that they participated in an industry-wide conspiracy to fix optical disk drive prices. The plaintiffs settling the case were indirect purchasers of the drives; ie. consumers. If approved, the proposed deal would bring the total amount of consumer settlements in the case to $205 million.

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Judge Approves Settlement in Anthem Data Breach Case

Last week, a California federal judge approved a $115 million settlement ends claims Anthem Inc. put 79 million consumers’ personal information at risk in a 2015 data breach. U.S. District Judge Lucy H. Koh ruled that the deal, which provides the class of data breach victims with two years of credit monitoring, coverage of out-of-pocket expenses stemming from the breach, and compensation for those who got their own credit monitoring — is “ fair, reasonable

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John Hancock Settles Insurance Class Action for $91 Million

John Hancock Life Insurance Company (U.S.A.) has entered into a preliminary settlement with certain owners of its universal and variable universal life insurance policies who have policies that contain a contractual promise that “Applied Monthly Rates will be based on [John Hancock’s] expectations of future mortality experience”—and nothing else.

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