Category Archives: Class Action

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When Santa Brings a Dud

Christmas stocking - boy dissatisfied with christmas presentMost holiday seasons, an “it” toy stands at the top of children’s wish lists. With this instant rise in popularity frequently comes a corresponding rise in consumer complaints. Years ago, the consumer complaints might get some media attention—but that attention usually focused on the consumer competition to acquire the demand-exceeds-supply product. Now, people turn to … Continue Reading

Supreme Court Says Offering to Settle Cannot Moot Class Action Suits

SPOT_REAL ESTATE_iStock_000018815208_LargeLast week, the US Supreme Court ruled that an offer of judgment under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 68 made to the lead plaintiff in a class action lawsuit, in addition to a separate free-standing settlement offer in the same amount, does not render the lawsuit moot. In Campbell-Ewald Co. v. Gomez, No. 14-857, 2016 … Continue Reading

Growing Concerns: Marijuana Industry Hit with Its First Ever Product Liability Lawsuit

SPOT_LIT_ANTITRUST_iStock_000018612885_LargeThe cannabis industry is taking a hit.  The nation’s first cannabis product liability lawsuit was filed in Colorado and challenges the cannabis industry’s production process. Flores v. LivWell Inc., was filed by two marijuana users alleging that the fungicide Eagle 20 was intentionally applied to thousands of marijuana plants at a Denver facility. Plaintiffs Brandan … Continue Reading

No Injury? No Problem.

485017745The Supreme Court recently granted certiorari in Spokeo v. Robins, a case that has the potential to redefine standing in federal court. The Ninth Circuit’s February 2014 decision permitted plaintiff Thomas Robins to establish standing under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (“FCRA”) with nothing more than a speculative injury. This contravenes Supreme Court precedent, which … Continue Reading

Seventh Circuit Guts Important Tool for Resolving Federal Class Actions

iStock_000006033889_MediumThe Seventh Circuit has struck down a common feature of preliminary approval orders of federal class action settlements. The Seventh Circuit held that a federal court may not preliminarily enjoin class members from prosecuting related state lawsuits while the court decides whether to give final approval to the class settlement.  Adkins v. Nestlé Purina PetCare … Continue Reading

Updates on West Coast GMO Battles

466183849In California, a federal judge approved a class certification motion in a suit against ConAgra Food Inc. for alleged mislabeling of its Wesson oil products.  The dispute is based on allegations that ConAgra mislabeled oil as “100% natural.”  Plaintiffs argue the oil is not natural because it contains genetically modified ingredients. Further up the coast … Continue Reading

The Rise of Issue Class Certification Presents New Risks For Mass Tort and Consumer Product Defendants

475084443Mass tort and consumer product class actions are on the rise as courts grow more willing to certify classes solely on the issue of liability. In the past, certification of such class actions was rare, because courts generally forced the named plaintiff to demonstrate that common issues predominated across an entire claim before any portion of … Continue Reading

Supreme Court Eases Removal of CAFA Actions

144272837On Monday, December 15, the U.S. Supreme Court issued an opinion that makes it easier for defendants to remove class actions to federal court under the Class Action Fairness Act of 2005 (“CAFA”). Dart Cherokee Basin Operating Co. v. Owens does so in three ways: 1.     A defendant’s Notice of Removal does not have to … Continue Reading

“Made in the USA” Continues to be Fodder for Class Action Lawsuits

474810085“Made in the USA” does not necessarily mean the same thing outside of California.  In a recent decision, Paz v. AG Adriano Goldschmied Inc., a federal judge refused to dismiss a class action “Made in the USA” lawsuit, based on California’s strict regulation about the use of “Made in the USA” labels, suggesting that retailers … Continue Reading

First Circuit Deals a Blow to Speculative Risk Class Actions

74879113Speculative risk of future injury is not enough to support a class action claim according to a recent decision from the First Circuit. On November 4, 2014, the First Circuit affirmed the United States District Court of Massachusetts’ decision to dismiss a putative class action for lack of standing, finding that the alleged risk of future … Continue Reading

Self-Selection of Lawsuit Class Members Coming Under Fire

dv1492011A putative class action plaintiff’s affidavit  claiming that they qualify to be a class member may not be sufficient in many cases going forward.  This “self-selection” of class members is coming under fire from more federal courts.  A growing trend suggests that courts have started taking a harder look at how class membership is defined … Continue Reading

Rear-View Liability: NHTSA Issues New Rule Requiring Rear Visibility Technology

164355317The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (“NHTSA”) issued a final rule requiring vehicle manufacturers to install rear view cameras in all vehicles by May 1, 2018.  Will this new rule lead to new avenues of litigation risk and potential liability for vehicle manufacturers?  If past history is a guide, the answer may well be yes. … Continue Reading
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