News & Analysis as of

“Death by a Thousand Cuts” – Commercial Landlord Liable for Constructive Eviction Based on Cumulative Interference with Tenant’s...

In its recent decision, Sears, Roebuck & Co. v. 69th Street Retail Mall, L.P., 2015 WL 5778622, the Pennsylvania Superior Court affirmed the liability of a commercial landlord on a claim of constructive eviction based on the...more

Deceptive Pricing Class Actions Against Major Retailers on the Rise

Major retailers recently have faced a spate of class-action complaints alleging that they have engaged in misrepresentations and false advertising through the deceptive use of a marketing strategy known as “price anchoring,”...more

Comcast and its Discontents

Shortly after the Supreme Court’s decisions in Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. v. Dukes, 131 S. Ct. 2541 (2011) and AT&T Mobility LLC v. Concepcion, 563 U.S. 321 (2011), I appeared before a federal district judge on a motion to dismiss...more

Stores for Sale! Retailers and Restaurants Spin Off Real Estate

Several major retailers and restaurant chains have recently engaged in a variety of transactions to spin off their real estate and lease it back. Retailers and restaurants are suddenly doing them, or considering them, at an...more

Federal Circuit Held District Court Abused Discretion in Refusing to Award Attorneys’ Fees

On April 10, 2015, in a precedential opinion, the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals–Judge Moore writing–vacated and remanded U.S. District Court Judge Mariana R. Pfaelzer’s 2014 decision denying fees, finding that it “cannot...more

Employee Survives Summary Judgment with Self-Serving Testimony

In Nigro v. Sears, Roebuck and Co., (No. 12-57262, filed 2/25/15, amended 4/10/15) (Nigro), the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit held a self-serving declaration can be sufficient to create a genuine issue...more

Financial Institutions File Class Action Suit In Response to Data Breach

On March 13, a federal credit union filed a class action suit against a national retailer and parent company, alleging their actions during a September 2014 data breach injured credit unions, banks, and other financial...more

Pro Se and Ex Rel. Don’t Mix, Even for Attorney Whistleblowers

William Verrinder filed a False Claims Act against three of America’s biggest companies—Wal-Mart, Sears and Rite-Aid—claiming they charged Medicare for expired drugs. Since he’s a lawyer himself, he filed pro se. That way he...more

Sears’ New $400 Million Secured Loan: Another Sign of Trouble at the Venerable Retailer?

Last year, the 112-year old retailer J.C. Penney was regularly in the news – and it was rarely good. The stock was in a free-fall, in the process of dropping from about $20 per share in May 2013 to a low of a little more...more

Ninth Circuit Shows No Affinity for Independent Contractor Status in Delivery Drivers

Delivering another blow to the independent contractor model, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals held this week that furniture delivery drivers for Affinity Logistics were employees under California law, not independent...more

"Supreme Court Punts on Twin No-Injury Washing Machine Class Actions"

Earlier today, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to review decisions upholding class certification in two cases that have garnered increasing scrutiny by the legal community — Butler v. Sears, Roebuck & Co. and Whirlpool Corp....more

Comity and Commonality: A Tale of Two Identical Class Actions Brought By Forum-Shopping Plaintiffs’ Counsel

In Murray v. Sears, Roebuck and Co., No. C 09-5744, 2014 WL 563264 (N.D. Cal. Feb. 12, 2014), the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California denied a motion for class certification that was practically...more

Moldy Washing Machines at the Supreme Court: A Platform for Further Development of Rule 23?

Three cases about moldy washing machines currently sit at the U.S. Supreme Court, waiting for their names to be called. The cases are nearly identical consumer products class actions, and they have enormous potential to shape...more

California Court Rejects Managers’ Overtime Misclassification Class Action

Dailey v. Sears, Roebuck & Co., D061055 (March 20, 2013): In a recent decision, the California Court of Appeal affirmed the denial of class certification where there was not a predominant common question on a claim of...more

Employer Beware - Automatic termination policies are illegal. Just ask Sears.

Qualified employees with a disability are entitled to a reasonable accommodation from their employer to enable them to perform the essential functions of their job. One of the most difficult issues employers face is...more

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