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State Of Louisiana, As Absent Class Member, Escapes CAFA Settlement Trap

The Third Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a Pennsylvania district court decision holding the Eleventh Amendment to the United States Constitution prevented a private party from enjoining the state of Louisiana from bringing...more

SeaWorld Shareholders See Red After World Sees Blackfish

A California District Court granted certification to a group of SeaWorld investors in a shareholder securities fraud case following the release of the documentary “Blackfish.” ...more

Charges By Law Firm-Owned Vendors Challenged In Putative Client Class

Plaintiffs signed engagement letters with the law firm Finkelstein & Partners (the “law firm”) to represent them in two separate personal injury lawsuits on a contingency basis. ...more

Sixth Circuit Litigants Beware: Exiting The American Pipe Highway Can Forfeit Your Toll

Classified contributors have blogged numerous times (including several times this year) on opinions that tested the boundaries of American Pipe tolling, including those that addressed whether the doctrine applies to claims...more

401K Not OK: ERISA Class Certified Under Rule 23(b)(1)(B)

A New York district court granted certification in an ERISA class action brought by employees of Deutsche Bank alleging the individual fiduciaries of the company’s retirement plan engaged in self-dealing and mismanagement of...more

Lease-Termination Fee Class Fails Third Circuit Ascertainability Requirement

Using the Third Circuit’s comparatively robust ascertainability standard, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania recently denied certification of a class of tenants allegedly charged an...more

Lone Objector’s Class-Conflict Arguments Miss the Target

In 2015, Target settled a class action stemming from a massive data breach of its customers’ sensitive information. According to the settlement terms, Target agreed to pay $10 million to those affected. The Minnesota district...more

Saved By The Bellwether Trial in the Ninth Circuit

Removal under the “mass action” provision of the Class Action Fairness Act (CAFA) is appropriate when 100 or more plaintiffs take the affirmative step of proposing to try their claims jointly and the claims involve common...more

Class Notice Online Works Just Fine

In a case involving alleged violations of ERISA and the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act, the District Court of the Western District of Kentucky certified a class of Anthem Health Plan insureds who were denied...more

No Pick-Off, No Problem: How a Pre-Certification Rule 68 Offer Survived (Twice)

A magistrate judge in the United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania denied plaintiff’s motion to strike a Rule 68 offer of judgment served prior to class certification. The Rule 68 offer in this...more

Adequacy is Adequate: DC District Court Certifies Pacer Fee Class

The United States District Court for the District of Columbia certified a class of all individuals and entities who paid fees to obtain court records though the Public Access to Court Electronic Records (PACER) system. The...more

Nothing Crafty About Michaels’ Disclosure Under Spokeo

A New Jersey District Court followed Spokeo’s Article III standing analysis and dismissed claims by three putative class representatives against Michaels Stores. Plaintiffs claimed that Michaels’ online employment application...more

Ascertainability and Predominance Foil Certification of Spyware Invasion of Privacy Class

A Georgia district court denied certification of a multi-state common law invasion of privacy class in which plaintiff sought damages and an injunction against the lessor of computers allegedly containing unauthorized...more

Magistrate Judge Had Authority To Enter Final Judgment Without Consent Of Absent Class Members But Abused Discretion In Approving...

The Ninth Circuit held that a magistrate judge was not required to obtain the consent of absent class members to approve a settlement in a Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) case and to enter a final judgment after...more

Spokeo Gets Lyft Off

The Northern District of California dismissed a Fair Credit Reporting Act case against Lyft upon finding that plaintiff lacked Article III standing based on the Supreme Court’s decision in Spokeo, Inc. v. Robins, 136 S. Ct....more

District Courts Find Impermissible “Fail-Safe” Class Definitions But Deny Motions to Strike Class Allegations

Two recent decisions from the Eastern District of Illinois involving the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), decided a day apart, provided valuable insight as how this court will respond to motions to strike class...more

Nothing Shady Where State Statutory Language Restricting Class Actions is Clear

Six years ago, the U.S. Supreme Court stated in a plurality opinion that “Rule 23 unambiguously authorizes any plaintiff, in any federal proceeding, to maintain a class action if the Rule’s requirements are met” — even if the...more

Cy Pres Standard Dispute Settled With Reasonable Approximation

The District Court for the Southern District of New York recently addressed whether the “next best” or “reasonable approximation” standard should apply when the court evaluates proposed cy pres designations in class action...more

No Repose for Debate on Applicability of American Pipe Tolling

In its seminal 1974 American Pipe opinion, the Supreme Court held that the commencement of a class action tolls the applicable statutes of limitation as to all putative class members who would have been parties had the class...more

Seventh Circuit Strikes Again – Rejects Settlement In Shareholder Deal Litigation

In yet another strongly-worded opinion, the Seventh Circuit rejected the proposed settlement of a Walgreens’ shareholder strike suit in which the class obtained “worthless” supplemental disclosures but class counsel received...more

“Placeholder” Motions to Certify are Unnecessary after Campbell-Ewald According to South Carolina District Court

Relying on the Supreme Court’s 2016 opinion in Campbell-Ewald, the United States District Court for the District of South Carolina ruled that a class action plaintiff need not file a “placeholder” motion to certify to avoid a...more

Smooth Operators: Seventh Circuit Untangles Objections and Affirms Settlement of Hair Product Class

The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a class settlement over objection in a case involving a hair-smoothing product (“the Smoothing Kit”) that allegedly destroyed users’ hair and burned their scalps. Plaintiffs sued...more

2015 Food Industry Decisions With Bite

Food for Thought is a review of significant court decisions affecting the food, beverage, dietary supplements and personal care products industry. Although many cases in this edition focus on class certification, others...more

California Court Gives Ford SUV Tailgate Class the Boot

Plaintiffs from California, New Jersey, and Florida claimed their 2002-2005 Ford Explorers, Mercury Mountaineers, and Lincoln Aviators suffered from a common design defect: the plastic appliqué just below the flip-glass on...more

Tablet Class Damages Model Doesn’t Tabulate … For Now

The Central District of California denied certification of a class that otherwise met the requirements of Rule 23 because the damages model proposed by plaintiff’s expert did not establish a reliable method for calculating...more

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