JUUL: Now in Certified Class Action Flavor

On June 28, 2022, the United States District Court for the Northern District of California certified four separate plaintiff classes in the nationwide JUUL electronic cigarette litigation. Certification of a plaintiff class is necessary for a class action lawsuit to proceed. The lawsuit alleges teen injury, fraud, and RICO violations against JUUL Labs and others, for the allegedly addictive and harmful effects of JUUL’s products.

In opposition to class certification, the JUUL Defendants argued that the proposed class lacked “commonality” because each potential plaintiff made an individual decision to purchase products containing nicotine or other addictive ingredients. […]

By |2022-07-26T11:15:36-04:00July 26th, 2022|Practice Areas: Class Action, General|Topics: , , |

Supreme Court Rules Prejudice Inquiry has no Place in Waiver of Arbitration Contract Provision

On May 23, 2022, the Supreme Court ruled, in a decision that will potentially have wide ranging impact on the arbitration of potential class action disputes, that a party’s right to try to send a case to arbitration after first litigating does not depend on whether the delay prejudiced the other party.  As a result, workers seeking to keep their cases out of arbitration no longer need to show prejudice when fighting a delayed arbitration bid.  They only need to show that the employer waived its right to arbitration by engaging in conduct inconsistent with the […]

Court Deems Reasonable Consumers Not Mislead by Frosted Strawberry Pop-Tarts’ Nutritional Value

On March 31, 2022, the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York ruled that Kellogg’s labeling for its Frosted Strawberry Pop-Tarts is not materially misleading and dismissed a putative class action against the breakfast giant.

To summarize, Plaintiff Kelvin Brown filed a class lawsuit against Kellogg Sales Co. on behalf of the putative class consisting of himself and “all purchasers of [Frosted Strawberry Pop-Tarts] who reside in New York during the applicable statute of limitations.” In the Class Action Complaint, Plaintiff alleged that Kellogg participated in deceptive business practices and false advertising by […]

By |2022-04-22T10:23:41-04:00April 22nd, 2022|Practice Areas: Class Action|Topics: , , , |

State Farm Policy Holders Granted Class Certification for Second Time in COVID-19 Insurance Recovery Class Action

On February 11, 2022, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia granted class certification for a second time to a statewide class of Virginia businesses in a potentially precedent setting COVID-19 insurance recovery class action.  The class includes at least 111 Virginia businesses who submitted insurance claims for pandemic-related losses to their insurer, State Farm—and whose claims State Farm denied under its policy’s virus exclusion.  The court’s ruling comes months after a Fourth Circuit panel reversed the trial court’s ruling and remanded the case, ruling that the trial court improperly granted class […]

By |2022-02-25T14:08:23-05:00February 25th, 2022|Practice Areas: Class Action|Topics: , , |

Dolphin’s Former Head Coach Sues NFL For Racial Hiring Practices

On Tuesday, February 1, 2022, former Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores filed a class-action lawsuit against the NFL and multiple NFL teams, including the New York Giants, the Denver Broncos, and the Miami Dolphins, alleging racial discrimination in the hiring process of African American coaches and general managers.  Although not directly relevant to his race discrimination claims, Flores also alleged that Dolphins owner Stephen Ross offered to pay him $100,000.00 per loss for each loss during the 2019 season.  Flores’ lawsuit comes just weeks after the Dolphins controversially fired him, despite back-to-back winning seasons as […]

Top Universities Accused of Collusion on Calculating Financial Aid

Georgetown University, along with 15 other private universities, are now defendants in an antitrust lawsuit recently filed in Illinois federal court regarding their financial aid calculations. The plaintiffs are five former students who attended some of the defendant universities and allege they engaged in price fixing and unfairly limited financial aid by utilizing a shared calculation method for applicants’ financial needs.

The defendants are private, national universities that are members of an organization titled the “568 Presidents Group.”  The group’s name is derived from a section of federal law permitting collaboration among universities on financial aid formulas […]

By |2022-01-25T12:50:08-05:00January 25th, 2022|Practice Areas: Class Action|Topics: , , |

2021 Year in Class Actions

2021 was a busy year in class actions.  State and federal courts across the country grappled with thousands of different class action lawsuits ranging from consumer protection, to employment discrimination, to COVID-19-related cases.

Within this influx of class action lawsuits, there were key developments in class action law that affected these lawsuits in 2021 and may continue to have an impact in years to come.  This article addresses just a handful of these developments.

 

I. Article III Standing in Class Action Lawsuits

On June 25, 2021, the Supreme Court issued what may be a landmark decision in TransUnion v. […]

By |2022-01-05T09:48:29-05:00January 4th, 2022|Practice Areas: Class Action|

Supreme Court to Consider Waiver of Right to Arbitration in Employee Wage and Hour Case

On November 15, 2021, the U.S. Supreme Court announced it would hear a case by a former Taco Bell employee, Robyn Morgan, regarding her former employer’s right to compel arbitration in her wage and hour case.  Morgan’s claims stem from her allegation that her former employer and Taco Bell franchisee, Sundance, Inc., failed to pay her time-and-a-half for overtime.  Specifically, Morgan alleges that Sundance recorded her worktime across multiple weeks to keep her time under forty hours per week.  Sundance answered Morgan’s Complaint and litigated the case for eight months.  It then moved to compel arbitration […]

Supreme Court to Determine Viability of Cause of Action for HIV-Positive Plaintiffs Alleging Disability Discrimination Against CVS Pharmacy Inc. Under Affordable Care Act

The U.S. Supreme Court recently granted certiorari in CVS, et al., v. Doe, at al., Docket No. 20-1374, to determine whether 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Affordable Care Act (“ACA”) provides a disparate-impact cause of action for plaintiffs alleging disability discrimination.

In CVS, the plaintiffs/respondents, five individuals living with HIV, allege that CVS Pharmacy’s new requirement that they must obtain their specialty medication through specialty pharmacists by mail or through drop shipments at a CVS Pharmacy, and not at their local pharmacy, is discriminatory. Several respondents requested to opt-out of the program. However, […]

The Supreme Court to Examine “Excessive” ERISA Fees

The Supreme Court recently agreed to hear the class action ERISA case, Hughes v. Northwestern University, Docket No. 19-1401, to determine whether a retirement plan that pays or charges its participants fees that are significantly higher than those of other available investments is breaching its fiduciary duties under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA).  In short, the Supreme Court’s review could determine what qualifies as a plausible claim for relief in a “defined contribution” retirement plan.

In Hughes, five Plaintiffs filed the action in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, asserting six […]

By |2021-09-15T12:21:59-04:00September 15th, 2021|Practice Areas: Class Action, Labor & Employment|Topics: , , , |

Supreme Court to Determine whether the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act displaces the States Secret Privilege

On November 8, 2021, the Supreme Court will hear oral argument in the class action case, Federal Bureau of Investigation v. Fazaga, Docket No. 20-828.  In Fazaga, members of a Muslim community in Southern California filed suit against the FBI and various FBI agents, alleging that the government’s secret surveillance of them was not lawful because it was based on their religious beliefs and practices.  More specifically, three Muslim men allege that the FBI targeted them because of their religion by using a confidential informant to gather information about Muslims as part of a counterterrorism investigation. […]

By |2021-09-07T14:27:58-04:00September 7th, 2021|Practice Areas: Class Action, General|Topics: , , |

State Farm Policy Holders Granted Class Certification in COVID-19 Insurance Recovery Class Action

On August 19, 2021, in a first-of-its-kind ruling, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia granted class certification to a statewide class of Virginia businesses in a COVID-19 insurance recovery class action.  The Court granted class certification to a class of at least 111 Virginia businesses that, between March 23 and June 20, 2020, submitted insurance claims to State Farm for pandemic-related business losses.  The losses stemmed from the COVID-19 restrictions put in place in Virginia that required many recreational businesses to close—and then only permitted them to reopen at limited capacity […]

By |2021-08-27T14:56:20-04:00August 27th, 2021|Practice Areas: Class Action|Topics: , , |