Class Action Blog by Carlton Fields Jorden Burt

July 22, 2014 11:10 AM | Posted by Dean A. Morande and Gary M. Pappas | Permalink
Plaintiff sued for underpayment or nonpayment of royalties on natural gas produced from wells in Kansas due to defendant’s failure to place the gas in marketable condition. The district court initially certified the class in 2011. read more
July 16, 2014 9:06 AM | Posted by Amanda Romfh Jesteadt and Gary M. Pappas | Permalink
The Central District of California denied plaintiff’s motion to certify a class of purchasers of defendant’s washing machines that contain an air hose connected to an air dome.  Plaintiff alleged the connection between the hose and dome was defective and could come loose under normal operation.  As a result, the washer would overflow and cause substantial property damage or personal injury. read more
July 15, 2014 8:39 AM | Posted by Amy Hurwitz and Jaret Fuente | Permalink
The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals vacated a decision declining to certify a consumer class against IKO Manufacturing, in which the district court wrote that “commonality of damages” is essential, reasoning that the district court had incorrectly read Comcast Corp. v. Behrend, 133 S. Ct. 1426 (2013), and Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. v. Dukes, 131 S. Ct. 2541 (2011), to require proof “that the plaintiffs will experience common damage and that their claimed damages are not disparate.”  read more
July 9, 2014 8:43 AM | Posted by Paul Williams and Kristin Shepard | Permalink
The robustness of the rule preventing non-settling defendants from objecting to a class settlement has received a boost from the Second Circuit.  The class settlement at issue involved the claims of investors against a hedge fund manager for damages and restitution of lost funds as a result of Madoff’s Ponzi scheme. read more
July 8, 2014 3:56 PM | Posted by Christine Stoddard and Kristin Shepard | Permalink
In Stephens, two former pilots brought a putative class action lawsuit against their employer airline and their retirement plan, alleging that a delay in paying retirement benefits and failure to pay interest during the delay violated the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (“ERISA”).  Defendants maintained that the delay was necessary to calculate the amount of benefits where a beneficiary elected to receive a lump sum rather than a monthly annuity. read more
July 7, 2014 10:47 AM | Posted by Steven Blickensderfer | Permalink
The Eleventh Circuit has affirmed the dismissal of a putative class action brought under the FDCPA, 15 USC § 1692, against a law firm for sending a letter to a homeowner in default. Specifically, the letter did the following: read more
July 2, 2014 11:39 AM | Posted by Clifton Gruhn and Ben Seessel | Permalink
The Central District of California denied certification of a putative nationwide class of mortgagors, holding that numerous individualized issues precludeda finding of predominance, superiority, or ascertainability. In particular, the plaintiffs alleged that defendant’s subsidiary escrow companies violated the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act’s kickback prohibition by accepting payments from delivery companies, such as UPS, FedEx, and OnTrac, in exchange for referring their delivery services to defendant’s escrow subsidiaries. The plaintiffs sought certification of a nationwide class consisting of all individuals who, in the past 15 years, were charged by any of the defendant’s subsidiaries an overnight delivery fee for mortgage processing and closing documents. The defendant characterized the charges at issue as “marketing fees” that were beyond the realm of RESPA and argued that the plaintiffs’ class definition raised numerous individualized issues. read more
June 30, 2014 1:38 PM | Posted by Michael Greenfield and Ben Seessel | Permalink
The U.S. District court for the Northern District of California denied plaintiffs’ motion for class certification because the proposed class did not satisfy Rule 23’s ascertainability and predominance requirements. Plaintiffs’ class action complaint alleged that Hulu violated the Video Privacy Protection Act by disclosing video selections and “personally identifiable information” to third parties such as Facebook. At the class certification hearing, the plaintiffs narrowed their theory to the alleged wrongful disclosure of personal identifying information to Facebook by transmission of c_user cookies, which contain a Hulu user’s Facebook ID. According to the court, by narrowing their theory, the plaintiffs limited the class to “registered Hulu users who at least once during the class period watched a video on having used the same computer and web browser to log into Facebook in the previous four weeks using default settings.” read more
June 26, 2014 11:40 AM | Posted by Ben Seessel and Jacob Hathorn | Permalink
Earlier this week the Supreme Court reaffirmed the validity of the “fraud-on-the-market” presumption of reliance that significantly eases the burden on investors in obtaining certification of private securities fraud class actions, but held that defendants must be permitted an opportunity at the class certification stage to rebut the presumption through direct or indirect evidence showing that the alleged misrepresentations did not impact the stock price. read more
June 25, 2014 5:26 PM | Posted by Mark A. Neubauer and Meredith M. Moss | Permalink
The California Supreme Court this week confirmed the validity of an employee's waiver of the right to bring a class action contained in an arbitration agreement. That's the good news for employers. However, the court also held that these arbitration agreements may not include a waiver of an employee's right to bring representative claims under the Private Attorney General Act (PAGA), found at Section 2698-99 of the California Labor Code. That is not good news and ... read more
June 24, 2014 5:40 PM | Posted by Alina Alonso Rodriguez and Jaret J. Fuente | Permalink
The Eastern District of Michigan recently held that certain claims of a putative class member were tolled under American Pipe & Constr. Co. v. Utah., 414 U.S. 538 (1974), even though the named plaintiff had unsuccessfully moved for certification of an amended class whose definition excluded the putative class member’s claims.  In 2013, Plaintiff Machesney filed a Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”) class action against Ramsgate Insurance Company in the Eastern District of Michigan after receiving three junk faxes between 2006 and 2007. At that time, another person who had received the same junk faxes from Ramsgate, and another company managed by Ramsgate, had already initiated a similar, but separate class action against Ramsgate and the management company... read more
June 18, 2014 9:06 AM | Posted by D. Matthew Allen and Jaret J. Fuente | Permalink
Florida’s Third District Court of Appeal reversed an order certifying a class of Porsche vehicle owners who had their high intensity discharge headlights stolen during the class period. read more
June 17, 2014 9:56 AM | Posted by Amy Lane Hurwitz and Gary M. Pappas | Permalink
A Louisiana District Court struck plaintiff’s class allegations in a putative nationwide class of Mercedes vehicle owners finding plaintiff failed to meet his burden of proving predominance, superiority and manageability. read more
June 16, 2014 2:02 PM | Posted by Oleg Rivkin and Kristin Shepard | Permalink
A Delaware federal district court granted defendants’ motion to dismiss plaintiffs’ claims on statute of limitations grounds, rejecting plaintiffs’ argument that the claims had been tolled under the principles of cross-jurisdictional tolling. read more
June 13, 2014 8:28 AM | Posted by Christine Stoddard and Kristin Shepard | Permalink
In Werdebaugh v. Blue Diamond Growers, the plaintiff brought suit in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California to certify a nationwide class of consumers who purchased Blue Diamond almond milk products containing allegedly false and deceptive labels. read more
June 12, 2014 8:36 AM | Posted by Paul Williams and Kristin Shepard | Permalink
Following the Supreme Court’s 2012 recognition of concurrent federal and state jurisdiction over Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”) class actions in Mims v. Arrow Financial Services, federal courts have issued numerous decisions addressing certification of TCPA classes that may be of broader interest to class action lawyers. (By way of example, see our May 20, 2014 post: Ohio District Court Strikes Impermissible "Fail-Safe" Class Allegations.) read more
June 11, 2014 9:37 AM | Posted by David Luck | Permalink
On June 5, 2014, the Eleventh Circuit decided in favor of Fifth Third Bank on its appeal of a district court order remanding a putative class action to Florida state court. read more
June 5, 2014 8:50 AM | Posted by Michael Greenfield and Ben Seessel | Permalink
The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia certified a Rule 23(b)(3) class, holding that the class was sufficiently ascertainable and satisfied the requirements of Rule 23(b)(3). Plaintiff’s class action complaint alleged that Quicken Loans violated section 1681g(g) of the Fair Credit Reporting Act by failing to provide credit score disclosures “as soon as reasonably practicable” after obtaining the plaintiff consumer’s credit report. read more
June 4, 2014 8:45 AM | Posted by Jacob Hathorn and Ben Seessel | Permalink
A California federal district court denied a renewed motion for certification of a nationwide class, holding that the application of California negligence and conversion law would violate the due process rights of non-Californian class members. read more
June 3, 2014 8:44 AM | Posted by Clifton R. Gruhn and Ben V. Seessel | Permalink
The Southern District of Texas recently denied certification of a subclass of BP shareholders who purchased shares prior to the Deepwater Horizon explosion and alleged that misstatements regarding safety improvements caused them to buy BP shares at inflated prices. read more