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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, […]

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: , , |

Universities and Colleges Face Class Action Lawsuits Amid Reopening

With students returning back to school, there has been a large number of reported outbreaks of COVID-19. Many students and parents are filing suits for breach of contracts as it relates to remote learning and the impact that social distancing and campus closures have on students and their learning experience. University staff has also been filing suits saying that schools have not been taking the appropriate measures to protect staff from exposure to the virus.

Attorneys, Matthew D. Berkowitz, Brian O’Shea, and Samantha Lewis dive deep into possible causations and significant hurdles for class certification.

COVID-19 and a Potential Fall Without College Sports

On August 11, 2020, both the Big Ten and the PAC 12 conferences announced they would “postpone” fall sports due to the COVID-19 pandemic—the first of the “Power 5” conferences to do so.  Their decision came on the heels of several other leagues, including the Mountain West Conference and the Mid-American Conference, postponing their fall sports until the spring.  It is unclear whether other conferences, including the SEC, ACC, and Big XII, which are still scheduled to play sports this fall, will follow suit.

The danger of serious illness and the possibility of significant spread of the […]

By |2020-08-12T09:40:33-04:00August 12th, 2020|Practice Areas: Class Action, General|Topics: , , |

Insurance Carriers Face COVID-19 Class Action Claims

The government-enforced lockdowns around the country have led to a wave of COVID-19 related business interruption claims. Insurance carriers that denied these claims now face class action suits from their insureds. While it is generally the case that an insured can bring breach of contract actions against carriers that deny claims, insureds seeking to sue their carriers in class action suits face additional obstacles.

Case in point, in the pending federal Western District of Washington case Germack DDS v. The Dentists Ins. Co.,  the insurer, The Dentists Insurance Company (TDIC)  filed a Motion to Strike and Dismiss […]

By |2020-06-05T10:27:44-04:00June 5th, 2020|Practice Areas: Class Action, General|Topics: , |

Thinking of Suing Over Baseball Sign Stealing? Think Again.

The old elephant in the room of Major League Baseball has reared its ugly head once again:  cheating.  More specifically, sign stealing.  Cheating and baseball have a long marriage.  The 1951 New York Giants, in fact, won maybe the most famous pennant in baseball history by illegally stealing signs.

Technology, however, has changed sign stealing from an old baseball tradition into something more like a large-scale fraud.  On January 13, 2020, Major League Baseball completed its investigation of an illegal sign stealing scheme by the Houston Astros—an investigation that it has called the most extensive investigation in […]

By |2020-02-03T10:27:51-05:00February 3rd, 2020|Practice Areas: Class Action, General|Topics: , |

Federal Court Decertifies FCRA Class Action for Lack of Standing Under Spokeo

On October 18, 2019, a federal judge in the United States District Court for the Central District of California decertified a class of approximately 6.5 million Wal-Mart job applicants, ruling that the plaintiffs failed to satisfy Article III standing requirements under Spokeo v. Robins. The Supreme Court in Spokeo reiterated that a statutory violation by itself and without a concrete injury is insufficient to confer Article III standing.

In Pitre v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., a class of plaintiffs alleged that Wal-Mart violated the Fair Credit Reporting Act by failing to provide job applicants with required and sufficient […]

By |2019-11-26T13:20:52-05:00October 22nd, 2019|Practice Areas: General|Topics: , |

D.C. District Court Dismisses Proposed Class Action Against The George Washington University Alleging Mismanagement of Workers’ Retirement Savings

On Monday, July 15, 2019, the United States District Court for the District of Columbia dismissed a proposed class action lawsuit against The George Washington University. The suit was filed under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act. The Court held that Plaintiff Melissa Stanley lacked standing to sue because she explicitly gave up her right to sue as part of a 2016 settlement with the University.

Stanley filed the instant lawsuit against the University in April 2018, alleging that the University, its board of trustees, and its plan administration committee breached their fiduciary duty by burdening Stanley’s […]

By |2019-11-26T13:19:27-05:00July 16th, 2019|Practice Areas: General, Labor & Employment|Topics: , , |

The District of Columbia Circuit in the Spotlight: Does Bristol-Myers Apply to Class Action Lawsuits?

The appeal at issue originated from a class action lawsuit filed by Whole Foods Market’s employees in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia. Molock v. Whole Foods Mkt., Inc., 297 F.Supp. 3d 114 (D.D.C. 2018). Specifically, on June 22, 2017, Whole Foods Market’s employees filed a class action lawsuit for unpaid wages. The class consisted of current and former Whole Foods Market employees from the District of Columbia and several states. The employees claimed that they were not paid their entitled bonuses as a result of managers manipulating certain labor cost and […]

By |2020-04-15T10:19:51-04:00June 3rd, 2019|Practice Areas: General|Topics: |

SCOTUS Holds that Third-Party Defendants Cannot Remove Class Actions from State to Federal Court

On May 28, 2019, in a 5-4 decision, in which Justice Thomas sided with the Court’s “liberal” justices, the Supreme Court held in Home Depot USA, Inc. v. Jackson that a third-party defendant cannot use the Class Action Fairness Act (CAFA) to remove a class action from state to federal court.

This case began when Citibank filed a debt-collection action in state court in North Carolina against respondent George Jackson, who borrowed money on a Citibank credit card to buy a home water-filtration system. In response, Jackson filed a counterclaim against Citibank and a third-party class action […]

By |2019-11-26T13:18:10-05:00May 29th, 2019|Practice Areas: General|Topics: , |

SCOTUS Punts Ruling on Cy Pres Doctrine in Class Action Settlements

The Supreme Court issued its much-awaited ruling in Frank v. Gaos (17-961).  Court watchers anticipated that the Court would resolve the circuit split concerning the propriety of the cy pre doctrine in class action settlements.  Plaintiffs in the underlying litigation filed suit against Google alleging the company shared users’ search information with third-party vendors and, therefore, violated various common law privacy interests and state and federal statutes.  Because the class consisted of approximately 129 million individuals who used Google’s search engine, any monetary award to individual class members would be incredibly small.  Class counsel and Google […]

By |2019-11-26T13:17:10-05:00April 23rd, 2019|Practice Areas: General|Topics: , , , |

Students and Parents Respond to College Admission Scandal with a Class Action Lawsuit

On March 12, 2019, the United States Department of Justice charged 50 individuals, including celebrities and well-known professionals, with participating in an elaborate multi-million-dollar college recruitment scheme. Under the scheme, administrators and coaches at numerous prestigious educational institutions, as well as ACT and SAT administrators, were bribed in exchange for admitting children with lackluster credentials into such institutions. In light of these charges, current students have “piggybacked” on the government’s case and filed a civil class action complaint alleging punitive and compensatory damages of at least $5 million, which includes the recoupment of the plaintiffs’ admission […]

By |2019-11-26T13:16:47-05:00March 26th, 2019|Practice Areas: General|Topics: |