Class Action

Federal Courts Must Grant Requests for Stays Pending Arbitration

Last week, in Smith v. Spizzirri, the United States Supreme Court unanimously held that a federal court must grant a party’s request for a stay while arbitration is pending. In Spizzirri, a group of delivery drivers sued their current and former employers in Arizona state court. The plaintiffs alleged they were misclassified as independent contracts and were denied benefits. The defendants removed the case to federal court. The defendants also moved to compel arbitration and dismiss the suit.

Plaintiffs agreed their claims are arbitrable but argued the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA) only requires the court to stay, […]

The Real Estate Commission Settlement – What Does It Mean Other for Commission-Based Industries?

A Kansas City jury recently awarded a class of approximately 500,000 Missouri home sellers a verdict of $1.78 billion against the National Association of Realtors (NAR) and the four largest real estate broker franchises, finding the real estate entities conspired to require home sellers to pay an inflated brokerage commission in violation of antitrust laws. In Sitzer, et al., v. National Association of Realtors et al., Plaintiffs alleged that if a home seller did not agree to pay a set commission (usually 5-6%), his/her property would not be included on the “Multiple Listing Service” or MLS, […]

SCOTUS Deepens Circuit Split on Predominance Standard

The United States Supreme Court declined Visa and Mastercard’s petition for certiorari on Monday, thereby deepening a split between the circuit courts regarding the predominance standard for class certification. The National ATM Council, Inc. (NAC) filed a class action against the credit card companies for blocking ATM operators from charging customers different ATM fees. The credit card companies opposed certification by arguing, in part, that the putative class contained uninjured plaintiffs. They further argued this mixture of injured and uninjured plaintiffs failed to satisfy the predominance standard.

A federal judge disagreed and certified the class. The D.C. […]

By |2024-04-22T12:36:09-04:00April 22nd, 2024|Practice Areas: Class Action|Topics: |

Supreme Court Holds that Pure Omissions Cannot Support a Private Cause of Action Under SEC Rule 10b-5(b)

After hearing arguments on January 16, 2024, the Supreme Court issued its unanimous opinion on Macquarie Infrastructure Corp., et al. v. Moab Partners, LP, et al, on April 12, 2024. The Supreme Court granted certiorari to resolve “whether a failure to make a disclosure required by Item 303 can support a private claim under . . . Rule 10b-5(b) in the absence of an otherwise misleading statement.” The Court held that a manager’s pure omission cannot support an investor’s cause of action under Rule 10b-5(b). Instead, “the failure to disclose information required by Item 303 can […]

By |2024-04-17T10:37:21-04:00April 17th, 2024|Practice Areas: Class Action|Topics: |

Google Advertisement Privacy Case Gets Denied Its Certification Bid

On April 4, 2024, the United States District Court for the Northern District of California denied the certification of a class action lawsuit from potentially tens of millions of Google account holders against Google. Plaintiffs alleged that Google sells its account holders’ personal information billions of times each day to hundreds of participant advertisers despite repeatedly promising not to do so. In denying the class certification, the District Court held that while consumers meet certain certification requirements such as numerosity, typicality, and adequacy, the current class definition is improperly fail-safe. A fail safe class is one […]

Preliminary Approval of Settlement in Cannabis Dispensary Employee Class Action Lawsuit

The New Mexico federal court preliminarily approved a class action settlement for $525,000 in a wage claim asserted by a group of hourly employees from two cannabis dispensary chains, Medicine Man Technologies, Inc. (which does business in New Mexico as Schwazze) and R. Greenleaf Organics, Inc.

The “budtenders,” as the employees are classified, typically earn more than $30 per month in tips in addition to an hourly rate of $15.75. The lawsuit alleges that it is company-wide policy for cash tips to be pooled and distributed to employees at the end of each workday in proportion to […]

American Bar Association Moves to Dismiss Class Action Complaint Amid Rising Tide of Data Breach Litigation

The number of data breaches in the United States has increased significantly in the past ten years.  According to an IBM study, more than 4 out of 5 companies have experienced a data breach at least once. These data breaches have generated a corresponding rise in class action litigation against companies. The American Bar Association (“ABA”) is one of the most recent high-profile examples of an organization contending with such a suit.

Tiffany Troy and Eric John Mata, current ABA members, filed a class-action complaint against the ABA on April 21, 2023, for breach of implied contract […]

Supreme Court Evaluates Private Cause of Action for Allegedly Lying by Omission

On January 16, 2024, the Supreme Court heard oral argument in Case Number 22-1165, Macquarie Infrastructure Corp., et al. v. Moab Partners, L.P., et al.   Before the Court was whether a “failure to make a disclosure under Item 303 of the SEC regulation S-K can support a private claim under Section 10b of the Exchange Act, even in the absence of an otherwise misleading statement.”

Between February 2016, and February 2018, Macquarie Infrastructure Corporation (MIC) in various Management’s Discussion and Analysis allegedly “disclosed a few known trends that would affect their bottom line but omitted” a new […]

United States Supreme Court Grants Certiorari to Decide Coinbase’s Arbitration Dispute

 

On November 3, 2023, the United States Supreme Court granted certiorari and agreed to hear the Ninth Circuit’s decision in Coinbase Inc. v. Suski. The Supreme Court is expected to review the Ninth Circuit’s decision ruling that Coinbase’s dispute with its cryptocurrency users is to be resolved by the Court and not via arbitration.

Coinbase’s User Agreement provides that any dispute between one of the largest cryptocurrency exchange platforms and its users will be resolved through arbitration and not through the courts. A delegation clause in the User Agreement also stated that all issues surrounding the enforceability […]

By |2023-11-07T11:42:37-05:00November 7th, 2023|Practice Areas: Class Action|Topics: , , , |

COURT REJECTS USE OF ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE TO SUBMIT CLASS CLAIMS

A federal court recently approved a $255 class settlement against Juul for economic losses to consumers who purchased the product but were misled about its addictiveness, causing them to overpay. In re: Juul Labs Inc., Marketing, Sales Practices and Products Liability Litigation, case number 3:19-md-02913, in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.  However, the Court rejected the use of the Artificial Intelligence or AI platform “ClaimClam” to submit class settlement claims and objections en masse. ClaimClam purportedly aggregates and submits claims in exchange for a percentage of each claimant’s recovery.

As is typical […]

By |2023-10-19T09:38:44-04:00October 19th, 2023|Practice Areas: Class Action|Topics: , , , , , |

Avoiding “False Advertising” and “Genuineness of Product” Class Action Litigation

What makes champagne “champagne”?  According to the Comité Interprofessionnel du Vin de Champagne (CIVC), only bubbly wine made through traditional methods and grapes from the Champagne region of France.  The United States agreed to this definition in a 2006 trade agreement.  Not just wine makers must think twice before affixing the word “champagne” to their product.  The CIVC even threatened litigation against Apple for using “champagne” as a color name for the iPhone.

Businesses in the United States increasingly face copy-cat litigation emulating the arguments employed by the CIVC.  For example, coffee growers in the Hawaii Kona […]

By |2023-09-05T13:14:08-04:00September 5th, 2023|Practice Areas: Class Action|Topics: , , |

The Supreme Court Upholds the Automatic Stay During an Arbitration Appeal

On June 23, 2023, the Supreme Court held, in Coinbase, Inc. v. Bielski, that the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA) imposes an “automatic stay” on litigation while an appellate court decides whether the parties must resolve their dispute through arbitration.  The decision ends a federal circuit split in which some courts have required class action defendants to bear the cost of seeking to enforce an arbitration clause while litigating the underlying claims in federal court.  This ruling eliminates such unnecessary expense because it requires federal courts to pause litigation and allow the appellate court to determine whether […]

By |2023-06-27T22:56:36-04:00June 27th, 2023|Practice Areas: Class Action|Topics: , |