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: , , , |

SCOTUS to Evaluate Fairness of Cy Pres and Class Settlement Awards

On April 30, 2018, the Supreme Court granted certiorari in Frank v. Gaos, No. 17-961 to determine whether a cy pres award of class action proceeds that provides no direct relief to class members supports class certification and comports with the requirement that  settlements binding class members must be “fair, reasonable, and adequate.”

Cy pres is French for “as near close as possible.”  The purpose of the doctrine in class action litigation is to allow unclaimed funds to be distributed to organizations that advance the interests of the litigation, instead of returning remaining funds to the defendant.  […]

By |2019-11-26T13:12:52-05:00April 30th, 2018|Practice Areas: General|Topics: |

Prospective Employees Who Were Not Given a Separate Disclosure of a Pre-Employment Background Checks Have Standing to Bring Suits for Technical Violations of the FCRA

Despite the Supreme Court’s holding in Spokeo, Inc. v. Robins, 136 S. Ct. 1540 (2016), as revised (May 24, 2016), a federal court recently allowed a class action lawsuit to proceed against Amazon, as a prospective employer, for a technical violation of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (“FCRA”) and without any “actual harm.”

In Hargrett v. DEDC LLC, 235 F. Supp. 3d 1320 (M.D. Fla. 2017), job applicants filed a class action lawsuit against Amazon, alleging a statutory violation of § 1681b(b)(2)(A) of FCRA in connection with preemployment background checks. Section 1681b(b)(2)(A)(I)-(ii) requires that before conducting a […]

By |2019-11-26T13:11:26-05:00February 15th, 2018|Practice Areas: Labor & Employment|Topics: , |