Putative Class Actions

News & Analysis as of

Third Circuit Ascertainability Rulings Continue to Imperil Low-End Consumer Class Actions

It’s a pattern repeated in millions of households every day: you go to the grocery or the drug store, buy the items you need, and don’t bother to keep the receipt. You may throw the receipt away immediately, you may throw...more

$30, Four Opinions, and No Decision: The Province and Duty to Say What the Law Probably Is

Federal appellate courts ordinarily grant en banc hearings or rehearings only when “(1) en banc consideration is necessary to secure or maintain uniformity of the court’s decisions; or (2) the proceeding involves a question...more

The Supremes Sing Out About Control: It is the Primary Test for Deciding Whether a Worker is an Employee or an Independent...

In December 2008, newspaper carrier Maria Ayala sued Antelope Valley Newspapers on behalf of herself and a putative class of other newspaper carriers. The crux of her allegations in the complaint is that Antelope Valley...more

Ninth Circuit Thinks Inside the Bun, Applies Traditional Agency Principles To Dismiss Putative TCPA Class Action Claims Against...

In Thomas v. Taco Bell Corp., No. 12-56458 (9th Cir. July 2, 2014) the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals recently held that Taco Bell, one defendant in a putative class action lawsuit alleging violations of the Telephone...more

Federal Court: Employer’s Method of Calculating Overtime Violated Pa. Statute

A federal district judge in Pennsylvania recently found that RadioShack’s method of computing overtime violates the Pennsylvania Minimum Wage Act (PMWA). In Verderame v. RadioShack Corp., the plaintiff brought a putative...more

Exposing Individual Issues Regarding Consent Can Help Defeat Class Certification

Recent decisions suggest it may be tougher for plaintiffs to obtain class certification in Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) matters where individual issues regarding consent predominate. The TCPA imposes $500...more

California Court Grants Hospital Summary Judgment on Data Breach Claim

In its recent decision in Eisenhower Medical Center v. Superior Court, 226 Cal. App. 4th 430(Cal. App. 4th Dist. 2014), the Court of Appeal of California, Fourth District, had occasion to consider whether a medical facility’s...more

California Supreme Court Clarifies Requirements of Commissioned Employee Exemption

In recent years there has been substantial litigation regarding whether and how employers may satisfy California minimum wage requirements for compensation plans involving commissions. In Peabody v. Time Warner Cable, Inc.,...more

Sugar and Spice and Cases on Ice: Evaporated Cane Juice Case Stayed Until FDA Issues Formal Guidelines

Last week, a California federal judge revived a putative class action accusing Amy’s Kitchen Inc. of misleading customers by labeling sugar as “evaporated cane juice” on its products. In a finding that puts the case on hold...more

Business Litigation Reporter -- June 2014

Goodwin Procter’s Business Litigation Reporter provides timely summaries of key cases and other developments within dedicated Business Litigation sessions and related courts throughout the country – courts within which...more

Harsh Justice

Concerned that its own decision might have "the potential to conflict" with that of the Pennsylvania Insurance Department, a Pennsylvania federal court relied on the primary jurisdiction doctrine to dismiss a putative class...more

DC Circuit Holds Named Plaintiff Who Settles Individual Claims Retains Standing To Appeal Denial Of Class Certification

In Stephens, two former pilots brought a putative class action lawsuit against their employer airline and their retirement plan, alleging that a delay in paying retirement benefits and failure to pay interest during the delay...more

11th Affirms Dismissal of FDCPA Class Action Based on Law Firm Collection Letter

The Eleventh Circuit has affirmed the dismissal of a putative class action brought under the FDCPA, 15 USC § 1692, against a law firm for sending a letter to a homeowner in default. Specifically, the letter did the...more

Royal Park Investments Sues RMBS Trustee Deutsche Bank Over $3.1 Billion in Alleged Losses

On June 18, Royal Park Investments filed a putative class action in the Southern District of New York against Deutsche Bank National Trust Company. This action is similar to a series of lawsuits filed by a group of...more

Eleventh Circuit Enforces Class Arbitration Waiver

The Eleventh Circuit affirmed a ruling compelling arbitration of an employment dispute. Plaintiff employees brought a putative collective action suit against the defendant, a windshield repair company, pursuant to the Fair...more

Lack Of Predominance, Superiority, And Ascertainability Foreclose Mortgagors’ Proposed Class Action Alleging Kickbacks In...

The Central District of California denied certification of a putative nationwide class of mortgagors, holding that numerous individualized issues precludeda finding of predominance, superiority, or ascertainability. In...more

Courts In 9th Circuit Continue To Split On Ascertainability: “All Natural” Class Action Dies On the Vine But Sexual Energy...

On June 13, 2014, U.S. District Judge Charles R. Breyer of the Northern District of California, issued an order denying class certification to a putative class of consumers who had purchased ConAgra food products labeled as...more

Twitter Sued in TCPA Class Action for Messaging Recycled Wireless Numbers

Not long after filing a spirited amicus brief criticizing “opportunistic plaintiffs’ lawyers” for using the TCPA as an “extortionist club” against companies offering automatic text-enabled services, Twitter has been sued in a...more

California Supreme Court Eases Path Toward Class Certification of Independent Contractor Misclassification Claims

In Ayala v. Antelope Valley Newspapers, Inc., the California Supreme Court set forth the legal standard for determining whether independent contractor misclassification claims can be brought on a classwide basis, or must be...more

June 2014: Class Action Litigation Update: “Ascertainability” Emerges as Key Battleground in Class Actions Involving Low-Cost...

“Ascertainability” Emerges as Key Battleground in Class Actions Involving Low-Cost Consumer Goods. Grocery store shelves have emerged as the favored hunting ground of the plaintiff’s consumer class action bar, which has...more

Out-Of-State Bank Fees Permissible Under Federal Law, Eleventh Circuit Rules

Out-of-state bank fees are permitted under federal law, the Eleventh U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals recently concluded. A pair of Florida customers – Derek Pereira and Camila De Freitas – presented checks at a Florida...more

Amended Class Definition That Excludes Putative Class Member Does Not Preclude American Pipe Tolling

The Eastern District of Michigan recently held that certain claims of a putative class member were tolled under American Pipe & Constr. Co. v. Utah., 414 U.S. 538 (1974), even though the named plaintiff had unsuccessfully...more

Supreme Court Refuses To Overturn Fraud-On-The-Market Presumption, But Adjusts Presumption To Allow Evidence of Absence Of “Price...

The securities class action industry was launched a quarter-century ago when the Supreme Court recognized the so-called “fraud-on-the-market” presumption of reliance in most putative securities class actions. The result has...more

The Plaintiff Who Knew Too Much: First Circuit Dismisses Effort to Toll Statute of Limitations

On June 3, 2014, the First Circuit affirmed the dismissal of a putative class action filed by a group of former workers in a French luggage factory against Bain Capital, LLC in the District of Massachusetts. The case...more

Low-Tech Proof In a High-Tech World: Northern District of California Denies Class Certification In Hulu Data Privacy Case

On June 16, the Northern District of California denied a motion for class certification in In re Hulu Privacy Litigation, No. C 11-03764 LB, ECF No. 111. The plaintiffs in that action alleged that Hulu violated the Video...more

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