Consumers have recently filed several class actions related to their inability to use or obtain a refund for services no longer offered following the implementation of government restrictions. Such lawsuits have been filed in the context of gym memberships, student housing, and festival tickets, among others.

On March 26, 2020, one such putative class action was filed in the Southern District of New York against Town Sports International, LLC, the company operating the prominent gym franchise New York Sports Club (NYSC), for failing to suspend or credit membership fees during New York’s shutdown. Similar class actions also recently targeted other prominent gym franchises. Class actions were filed against 24 Hour Fitness in the Northern District of California on March 27, 2020 in Labib v. 24 Hour Fitness USA, Inc., Case No. 4:20-cv-02134, and against LA Fitness in the Southern District of Florida on March 30, 2020 in Barnett v. Fitness International, LLC, Case No. 0:20-CV-60658.

Another putative class action was filed on March 27, 2020 in the District of Arizona against the Arizona Board of Regents, the agency that governs Arizona State University, University of Arizona, and Northern Arizona University. The class action, Rosenkrantz v. Arizona Board of Regents, Case No. 2:20-CV-00613, alleges that the agency failed to offer refunds to students for unused portions of their fees for room and board or on-campus services no longer available after universities shifted to online learning.

Yet another putative class action was filed in Los Angeles Superior Court on March 24, 2020 against the Do LaB, Inc., which organizes and runs the annual Lightning In A Bottle music festival in the Central Valley region of California. The organizer recently cancelled the festival, scheduled for Memorial Day Weekend 2020, due to government mandates prohibiting large public gatherings. The class action, Rutledge v. Do LaB, Inc., Temporary Case No. E124175132, alleges that the organizer improperly failed to issue refunds for festival tickets.

Defendants are defending by pointing to their agreements for terms regarding refunds, cancellation or termination policies, automatic billing arrangements, warranty and guarantee provisions, class action waivers, and arbitration agreements.


This blog is intended to provide information to the general public and to practitioners about developments that may impact Oregon class actions.

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Apple announced the settlement of a class action in which it has agreed to pay up to $500 million to iPhone users accusing the tech company of releasing software updates that slowed down the performance of some smartphones. The settlement will give class members $25 each for their phones. If the payouts, attorney fees and expenses don’t add up to at least $310 million, class members will receive up to $500 apiece until that minimum settlement amount is reached.

The class action alleged that an Apple software update released around the same time as a new version of an iPhone negatively affected the battery life of older models, forcing some customers to spend hundreds of dollars on a new phone.

The case is In re: Apple Inc. Device Performance Litigation, case number 5:18-md-02827, in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.


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A class action filed in California alleges that Ring’s home security devices allegedly contain security vulnerabilities that permit hackers to spy on and harass the company’s customers in their homes. In the complaint, the plaintiffs allege that hackers used a Ring device in their 8-year-old daughter’s bedroom to call her racial slurs. The hacker allegedly played the Tiny Tim cover of “Tiptoe Through the Tulips” — a song used in the horror film “Insidious” — through their newly installed Ring camera’s two-way talk feature. As the daughter investigated the source of the music in the room she shared with her two sisters, the song “abruptly stopped, and a man’s voice rang out: ‘Hello there,'” LeMay and Blakeley said in the complaint. The hacker then began shouting racial slurs at their daughter and “encouraging her to misbehave,” they said.

The plaintiffs allege negligence, breach of implied contract, intrusion upon seclusion and public disclosure of private facts, among other claims. They’re looking to represent a class of potentially thousands of individuals who purchased indoor security cameras from Ring during the applicable limitations period. Additionally, they’ve proposed a subclass of all individuals who purchased Ring’s indoor security cameras and whose Ring accounts were accessed by an unauthorized third party.

The suit comes about a week after a similar putative class action was filed in California federal court. According to that complaint, the children of the named plaintiff were playing basketball outside when a voice came through the Ring speaker and instructed the children to get closer to the camera.

The two plaintiff’s experiences are part of a larger problem, the Ring customers said, pointing to similar hacks that have been reported across the country. There’s even a “widely streamed podcast” in which hackers live stream themselves “taking over people’s Ring smart-home cameras and using the two-way communication function to talk to and harass their owners,” they said.

The case is Ashley LeMay et al. v. Ring LLC, case number 2:20-cv-00074, in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California.


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Experian has reached a $24 million settlement with a class of more than 100,000 payday loan customers in a lawsuit that alleged that Experian inaccurately reported customers’ credit history by reporting debts on disputed loans. If approved, the $24 million settlement fund will be used to make automatic payments to each of the participating members of the class without the need to file a claim.

Lead plaintiff Demeta Reyes first took out a $2,600 loan from tribe-affiliated Western Sky Financial LLC in 2012, but said she later stopped making payments after learning that Georgia’s attorney general was bringing a consumer protection action against the company. Western Sky Financial, which is owned by a member of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe, avoided state usury laws as a tribe-affiliated lender and charged higher interest rates. Delbert Services Inc. would service the loans issued by Western Sky Financial, and another company, Cash Call Inc., provided the financial backing.

Reyes claims that Experian continued reporting delinquent loans serviced by Delbert even after Delbert folded and asked the credit agency to stop using its data. Reyes sued Experian Information Solutions Inc. in 2016, claiming that the company purposefully failed to “follow reasonable procedures to assure maximum possible accuracy” in violation of the FCRA.

In 2017, the trial court ruled in favor of Experian on summary judgment, with U.S. District Judge Andrew J. Guilford holding that the agency’s credit reports weren’t “unduly misleading” and that the evidence presented didn’t appear to support that Experian “willfully” failed to comply with the FCRA. A Ninth Circuit panel in May reversed the lower court’s decision over doubts about whether Experian intentionally continued to report on the Delbert portfolio — containing more than 128,000 accounts — after the servicer urged the agency to delete the accounts.

In October, Judge Guilford certified a class of more than 100,000 payday loan customers who claim Experian jeopardized their credit history when it reported debts on disputed loans. Under the proposed settlement, class members will receive a check for at least $270 in the mail within 45 days of the date that the settlement goes into effect.

The case is Demeta Reyes v. Experian Information Solutions Inc., case number 8:16-cv-00563, in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California.


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Public Justice recently published an article, “The Double Taxation of Attorney Fee Awards Leaves Wronged Consumers in the Cold. Help Us End It.” This excellent article on how unfair the tax laws are for consumers involved in litigation can be found here.


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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 and poultry, is also named as a defendant.

The plaintiffs, a beef consumer in Wisconsin and one in Nevada, argue that the decoupling of the price of cattle and the retail price of beef is the result of price-fixing by the meatpacking companies, which boosted their profit margins in recent years. Cattle prices fell in 2015 and have not recovered, while the price of beef at the grocery store remained roughly constant.


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U.S. District Judge James Donato sanctioned Fitbit Inc. and its Morrison & Foerster LLP attorneys for acting in bad faith, saying they owe attorneys’ fees after getting a proposed consumer class action removed to arbitration only to reveal they had no intention of arbitrating the claims. Continue reading “Judge Sanctions Fitbit and Its Attorneys For Bad Faith Transfer to Arbitration”