Law360 Class Action Report – October 2016
Gucci’s $3.4M Deal Over Consumer Info Gets Final Nod
A California federal judge on Friday granted final approval of a settlement valued at approximately $3.4 million to resolve claims that Gucci improperly asked for personal information from California shoppers during credit card transactions, but awarded attorneys’ fees significantly lower than the requested amount.
Judge Bashant issued an order approving attorneys’ fees of about $135,000, well below the $440,000 sought by class counsel. Judge Bashant said the method used by class counsel to calculate its 15.5 percent fees request was flawed since it assumes all 28,000 class members will be able to travel to a California Gucci retail store within six months to redeem their vouchers.
Notes: Add to settlement tracker and judge tracker
JB Hunt Truckers’ Wage Suit Not Preempted, 9th Circ. Told
J.B. Hunt Transport Inc. truck drivers told the Ninth Circuit on Thursday that a California district court improperly expanded federal preemption to snuff out their proposed class action alleging the company failed to pay them minimum wage, insisting that 2014’s Dilts v. Penske ruling merits reviving the suit.
Notes: Research FAAA of 1994
Sex Pill Claims Too Vague To Be Misleading, Judge Rules
A California federal judge handed PharmaCare US Inc. a quick win on Thursday in a proposed class action brought by a consumer alleging the company deceptively advertised its IntenseX herbal sexual supplement, rejecting the theory that the product’s label made untrue promises.
Notes: add to judge tracker
Lyft Faces Another TCPA Suit Over Autodialed Texts
Ride-hailing company Lyft Inc. is for the second time facing allegations that it sent unwanted and unsolicited text messages to cellphones using an automated dialing system, in violation of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, after a proposed class filed a lawsuit in California federal court on Thursday.
Vizio Slapped With Class Action Over Energy-Efficient TVs
Vizio Inc. was hit with a proposed class action in Pennsylvania federal court Thursday contending that the company markets some of its televisions as “energy efficient” despite software that automatically disables the energy-saving features when picture settings are changed.
Notes: already in tracker
Whirlpool, Maytag Can’t Shake Faulty Fridge Class Action
A California federal judge said Thursday she’ll likely toss some negligence claims in a putative class action alleging Whirlpool and Maytag sold leaky refrigerators, but said she’s inclined to let consumers move ahead with breach of implied warranty claims.
Attys Win $15M Fees Despite Sears’ Protests In Defect Suit
A California federal judge on Tuesday signed off on $15 million in fees for the attorneys representing a class of millions of owners of allegedly defective Sears and Whirlpool dishwashers, finding the settlement the lawyers negotiated for their clients was “impressive.”
Notes: add to judges tracker
RJ Reynolds Escapes False Ad Suit Over E-Cigs
A California federal judge has spared R.J. Reynolds Vapor Co. from a proposed class action alleging the e-cigarette maker failed to warn California consumers that the smoking devices contain carcinogens, saying the suit wasn’t properly launched under the state’s toxic enforcement laws.
Starbucks Dumps Another Underfilled Ice Drink Suit
An Illinois federal judge on Friday poured out a proposed class action accusing Starbucks of underfilling its beverages, finding that reasonable consumers would realize that an iced drink would be filled with both solid ice and the fluid drink.
U.S. District Judge Thomas M. Durkin dismissed the suit brought by Steven Galanis alleging that Starbucks advertises the size of its cold drink cups on its menu but does not provide the number of fluid ounces advertised, finding that a reasonable consumer would think that the phrase “fluid ounces” refers to a drink’s volume, not its contents. Therefore, that consumer wouldn’t think the drink only contained liquid, the judge said.
Notes: add to judge tracker
Nissan To Fix Transmissions, Pay Up To $3.75M Atty Fees
Nissan has agreed to fix defective transmissions that caused vibrations in certain Pathfinder and Infiniti QX60 vehicles and pay up to $3.75 million in attorneys’ fees to resolve three proposed class actions brought by car owners, according to documents filed Tuesday in Florida federal court.
Home Depot Wants Sanctions For Atty Objecting To $13M Deal
Home Depot asked a Georgia federal court on Thursday to sanction a Florida attorney who filed a “lengthy and meritless” objection to an approved $13 million settlement in a class action over a massive 2014 data breach, saying the objection requires a deposition, which the attorney has repeatedly refused.
Shopper Seeks Class Cert. In Costco Receipt Suit
A Costco shopper asked an Illinois federal judge Wednesday for class certification in litigation accusing the bulk retailer of violating federal privacy law by including too many credit card digits on receipts, saying common issues predominate and a class action is the best way to handle them.
Class Action Calls Hormel’s ‘Natural Choice’ Meats False
A Florida man has filed a a putative class action against Hormel Foods, claiming the company has misled consumers by falsely marketing several deli meat and bacon products as “100 Percent Natural” or with “No Preservatives” despite the inclusion of preservatives and synthetic or genetically modified ingredients.
Notes: Thinking of making a trip to some cheaper food store like food4less and looking at these lower end brands to see which ones have similar labels?
California Wage and Hour
Google Wants ‘Abusive’ Weekly Pay Class Claims Tossed
Google Inc. and a staffing agency urged a California judge Friday to trim claims in a putative class action alleging they improperly failed to pay temporary workers owed wages, saying that a bid to include both exempt and nonexempt workers in one class was “overly broad” and “just an abusive tactic.”
Workers Say Financial Tech Co. Denied Them On-Call Pay
Fidelity National Information Services Inc. forced systems administrators and hardware planners to keep their cell phones on after hours and to answer work-related calls, texts and emails that they weren’t paid for, claimed a proposed collective action filed Thursday in California federal court.
Jack In The Box Served FLSA Suit By Calif. Store Manager
A Jack in the Box store manager filed a proposed class and collective action against the fast food chain in California federal court on Thursday, alleging that store managers are misclassified as exempt employees and denied pay in violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act.
Spokeo Nixes State Farm Credit Report Suit, Judge Says
A California federal judge said Friday he will dismiss a proposed class action alleging State Farm improperly considers job applicants’ credit reports and fails to notify them of their rights, saying varied experiences meant the suit couldn’t survive as a class action and the U.S. Supreme Court’s Spokeo decision renders it moot.
Notes: add to judges tracker
Mistras Group Reaches $6M Settlement In Wage Suit
A California federal judge on Tuesday granted approval to a $6 million settlement for nationwide and California classes of employees who worked as examiners and technicians at the infrastructure testing company Mistras Group Inc. and claimed they weren’t paid for training or travel time, in spite of his concerns about high attorneys’ fees and low payouts.
Notes: add to settlement tracker
DirecTV Class Wage Claims To Get New Look After Sandquist
DirecTV faced the possible revival of class action wage claims Friday when a California judge said he will reconsider his decision on its arbitration motion in light of Sandquist v. Lebo Automotive Inc. — a state Supreme Court ruling concerning classwide arbitration that came down just weeks after his own decision.
National Wage and Hour
Life Alert To Pay $3.2M To End Workers’ FLSA Suit
Life Alert Emergency Response Inc. is seeking final approval of a $3.2 million settlement with more than 2,000 current and former employees in a Fair Labor Standards Act minimum wage and overtime suit, according to documents filed in New York federal court Wednesday.
Microsoft Must Face Disparate-Impact Claims In Bias Suit
A Washington federal judge on Friday denied Microsoft’s bid to toss disparate-impact gender discrimination claims brought by technical employees, saying the proposed class made plausible assertions that the tech giant’s performance evaluation system negatively affected a disproportionate number of female employees.