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Class-Action News

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In the Courts

Elizabeth M. v. Montenez (No. 05-2750)

8th Circuit Court of Appeals | Decision Date: August 15, 2006

A class certification order in an action brought by present and former female patients a state's residential mental health facilities claiming that defendants-officials failed to protect them from certain sexual and physical assaults, and failed to adequately treat their mental illnesses and developmental disabilities, is vacated where plaintiffs failed to satisfy the requirements of Article III and Rule 23, and the district court abused its discretion in presuming the requirements were satisfied. Read the decision.

Tittle v. Enron Corp.

5th Circuit | Decision Date: September 5, 2006

In a dispute stemming from the Enron collapse and centering around the interpretation of two fiduciary liability insurance policies, denial of Kenneth Lay's wife's and Jeffrey Skilling's motion to compel arbitration and to stay an interpleader action pending arbitration is affirmed where the only present dispute was one among the insureds over the proper allocation of interpleaded funds, and the scope of an arbitration clause did not encompass such a dispute. Read the decision.

Zielinski v. Pabst Brewing Co., Inc.

7th Circuit | Decision Date: September 7, 2006

Summary judgment for brewing company in a class action suit seeking injunctive relief and damages related to changes in a prescription drug plan for retired workers is vacated and the case remanded where: 1) the presumption against vesting was overcome by the language and lack of end date in a shutdown agreement; and 2) the plaintiff class is entitled to benefits adjusted according to the duration of the commitment made by the employers. Read the decision.

Augustin v. Jablonsky

2nd Circuit | Decision Date: August 24, 2006

In an appeal concerning Nassau County Correctional Center's blanket strip search policy for newly admitted, misdemeanor detainees, denials of plaintiffs' repeated class certification motions for lack of common issue predominance are reversed as: 1) district courts may certify a class on a particular issue regardless of whether plaintiffs' claims, as a whole, satisfy the predominance test; 2) the district court erred when it excised common liability issues from its predominance analysis; and, as a result, 3) the district court exceeded its discretion in declining to certify a class on the issue of liability pursuant to Rules 23(b)(3) and (c)(4)(A), Fed. R. Civ. P. Read the decision.

Cooper v. IBM Personal Pension Plan (No. 05-3588)

7th Circuit | Decision Date: August 7, 2006

Judgment for plaintiffs in a class-action suit alleging age discrimination under ERISA in the structure of a pension plan is reversed where the plan did not discriminate based on age, even though participants of different ages experienced different results. Read the decision.

Hart v. Fed Ex Ground Package Sys. Inc. (No. 06-2903)

7th Circuit | Decision Date: August 9, 2006

Denial of motion to remand to Pennsylvania in a class-action employment suit is affirmed where the structure of the Class Action Fairness Act logically shifts the burden of persuasion to the plaintiff to show that the "home-state controversy" or "local controversy" exceptions apply. Read the decision.

Doe v. US

Federal Circuit | Decision Date: September 11, 2006

Dismissal of a complaint brought by Department of Justice attorneys against the government for alleged violations of the overtime provisions of the Federal Employees Pay Act is affirmed over their claim that the Court of Federal Claims erred when it dismissed their claims for overtime pay, administratively uncontrollable overtime (AUO), and holiday pay. Read the decision.

Koehl v. Verio, Inc.

California Appellate Districts | Decision Date: September 13, 2006

Judgment for defendants, in class action brought by former sales associates for restitution of wages and alleging that defendant employer illegally charged back previously paid commissions when a sale failed to generate revenue, is affirmed as the commissions were not wages and the chargebacks did not violate Labor Code section 221. Read the decision.

Cohen v. DirecTV

2nd District (CA) Court of Appeal | Decision Date: September 18, 2006

Denial of motion to compel arbitration, filed by defendant satellite television programming company in case brought by subscriber seeking class action status based on allegations that defendant covertly degraded some of its high definition transmissions, is affirmed as the prohibition on class litigation in the arbitration clause of the customer agreement is unconscionable and unenforceable. Read the decision.

Ezra Charitable Trust v. Tyco Int'l, Ltd.

1st Circuit | Decision Date: September 27, 2006

Dismissal of action alleging that Tyco did not adequately clean up its books in the wake of a major corporate scandal, and that new management perpetuated a fraud in the accounting for one of the company's largest subsidiaries, is affirmed where the amended class action complaint did not adequately allege scienter under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act. Read the decision.

Huynh v. Chase Manhattan Bank

9th Circuit | Decision Date: September 28, 2006

In a suit to recover amounts on deposit in foreign banks during the fall of Saigon in 1975, dismissal of the action is affirmed where, under application of the appropriate choice-of-law rules, the claims are time-barred and cannot be saved by equitable tolling. Read the decision.

Zavala v. Scott Bros. Dairy

California Appellate Districts | Decision Date: September 28, 2006

Denial of defendant employer's petition to compel arbitration, in class action alleging unfair business practices and wage claims regarding itemized wage-statements and rest periods, is affirmed as the nonnegotiable, nonwaivable, minimum statutory labor standards plaintiffs seek to assert stand independent of the collective-bargaining process. Read the decision.

Senger v. City of Aberdeen

8th Circuit | Decision Date: September 29, 2006

In an action brought by current and former firefighters to recover overtime pay that they claim is due them under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), grant of the defendant's motion for summary judgment and the denial of the plaintiffs' motion for partial summary judgment are both reversed where there is ambiguity as to precisely what the FLSA means when it says that each employee will be "credited." Read the decision.

Tittle v. Enron Corp.

5th Circuit Court of Appeals | Decision Date: October 3, 2006

Denial of Kenneth Lay's and Jeffrey Skilling's motion to compel arbitration in an insurance interpleader action brought by Enron's fiduciary insurer as part of a larger class action for breach of fiduciary duty is affirmed where the only dispute was one among the insureds over the proper allocation of the interpleaded funds, and the scope of the arbitration clause did not encompass such a dispute. Read the decision.

Aron v. U-Haul

California Appellate Districts | Decision Date: October 3, 2006

Judgment on the pleadings in favor of defendants on plaintiff's consumer class action suit, alleging that defendant's refueling charges and practices violate the California Consumers Legal Remedies Act and the California Unfair Competition Law, is reversed as plaintiff has alleged facts sufficient to state a cause of action under the UCL and section 1770(a)(5) of the CLRA. Read the decision.

Alvarez v. May Dep't Stores Co.

California Appellate Districts | Decision Date: October 11, 2006

Sustaining of demurrer without leave to amend the complaint's class action allegations, in action brought by 56 of defendant's past and present sales managers alleging Labor Code violations and unfair practices, is affirmed over claim that the doctrine of collateral estoppel is inapplicable to an order denying class certification in another lawsuit brought by other plaintiffs, because absent putative class members are not bound prior to the certification of a class, or, alternatively, the doctrine of collateral estoppel was erroneously applied. Read the decision.

Bates v. United Parcel Serv., Inc.

9th Circuit Court of Appeals | Decision Date: October 10, 2006

In the context of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA): 1) when plaintiffs challenge an employer's use of a safety-based qualification standard, they need not, independently of that challenge, establish generally that they can perform the essential function of doing the job safely; 2) they are, however, required to show they are "qualified" in the sense that they satisfy prerequisites for the position, including safety-related prerequisites, not connected to the challenged criterion; 3) also, they have the burden to prove that the challenged qualification standard "screen[s] out or tend[s] to screen out an individual with a disability or a class of individuals with disabilities;" and 4) the burden then shifts to the employer to establish the business necessity defense. Read the decision.

Morgan v. Gay

3rd Circuit Court of Appeals | Decision Date: October 16, 2006

A provision of the Class Action Fairness Act (CAFA), 28 U.S.C. section 1453(c)(1), which states that a federal appellate court "may accept an appeal" from a remand order "if application is made to the court of appeals not less than 7 days after entry of the order," should be read to mean "not more than 7 days after entry of the order" because the uncontested legislative intent behind the statute was to impose a seven-day deadline for appeals. Read the decision.

Santamarina v. Sears, Roebuck & Co.

7th Circuit Court of Appeals | Decision Date: October 19, 2006

Order of remand to a California state court in a class action alleging fraudulent misrepresentation concerning the "Craftsman" line of tools is affirmed where the case was not removable under the Class Action Fairness Act of 2005 since it was filed before the effective date of the Act, and an amended complaint filed after the effective date did not constitute a new cause of action. Read the decision.

Miller v. Farmers Ins. Exch.

9th Circuit Court of Appeals | Decision Date: October 26, 2006

In an action brought by former and current claims adjusters alleging that their employer improperly classified them as exempt from the Fair Labor Standard Act's (FLSA) overtime requirement, the court of appeals holds that all of the adjusters in the matter are exempt, contrary to the district court's finding that only some were. Read the decision.

Huber v. Taylor

3rd Circuit Court of Appeals | Decision Date: October 31, 2006

In a case involving class action plaintiffs' attorneys who were being sued for breach of fiduciary duty and related counts by a putative class that the attorneys themselves formed for asbestos personal injury litigation, summary judgment for defendants-attorneys and denial of class certification are reversed and vacated, respectively, where the district court erred in its choice of law analysis, which led it to require that plaintiffs demonstrate actual harm in a claim of breach of fiduciary duty when the remedy sought is disgorgement. Read the decision.

No New Cases

| Decision Date: November 30, -0001

There were no new reported cases last week. Read the decision.

Saab v. Home Depot U.S.A., Inc.

8th Circuit Court of Appeals | Decision Date: November 22, 2006

The review provisions of 28 U.S.C. section 1453(c) are limited to class actions brought under the Class Action Fairness Act (CAFA), 28 U.S.C. section 1332(d). Read the decision.

Miles v. Merrill Lynch & Co.

2nd Circuit Court of Appeals | Decision Date: December 5, 2006

Grant of class certifications in six focus cases out of 310 consolidated class actions alleging securities law violations on the part of underwriters in connection with initial public offerings, is vacated as: 1) a district judge may not certify a class without making a ruling that each Rule 23 requirement is met; 2) all evidence must be assessed as with any other threshold issue; 3) the fact that a Rule 23 requirement might overlap with an issue on the merits does not avoid the court's obligation to make a ruling as to whether the requirement is met; and 4) the cases pending on this appeal may not be certified as class actions. Read the decision.

Burr & Forman v. Blair

11th Circuit Court of Appeals | Decision Date: November 27, 2006

In dispute over attorney fees awarded after settlement of mass tort litigation, district court's denial of the attorney fees claim and enjoining of defendants from prosecuting a breach of contract action against plaintiff law firm, is reversed as the court lacked subject matter jurisdiction to adjudicate the claim and to enter the injunction. Read the decision.

In Re: African-Am. Slave Descendants Litig.

7th Circuit Court of Appeals | Decision Date: December 13, 2006

Dismissal for lack of standing of a series of class actions under 42 U.S.C. section 1982 brought by descendants of African-American slaves against companies or successor companies that were, or assisted, slave-owners is: 1) modified so that the dismissal of all claims other than those brought by legal representatives of a slave's estate or those with a claim under consumer protection law is without prejudice; 2) modified to dismiss an individual claim without prejudice for lack of diversity; 3) affirmed where the claims of the legal representatives violate the statute of limitations, thus dismissal with prejudice was proper on the merits; 4) reversed where the consumer protection claims were not barred at the threshold; and 5) reversed where a set of suits removed from California state court must remain in the Chicago district court for further pretrial proceedings to the extent that the suits make consumer protection claims. [sign-in required] Read the decision.

Andrews v. Roadway Express Inc.

5th Circuit Court of Appeals | Decision Date: December 19, 2006

In a suit brought by four class members of a settled class action discrimination lawsuit to enforce an Order approving a Consent Decree in that action and to recover back-pay and interest under its terms, summary judgment against plaintiffs is affirmed where Texas procedures governed enforcement of plaintiffs' judgment and, under Texas law, the action was dormant and forever time-barred. [Sign-in required.] Read the decision.

United Steelworkers of Am. v. Cooper Tire & Rubber Co.

6th Circuit Court of Appeals | Decision Date: January 17, 2007

A judgment compelling arbitration of a dispute brought by a union over a side agreement that limited company contributions to retiree healthcare benefits is affirmed where: 1) the court adopts the "scope" test, specifically, unless the parties indicate otherwise, disputes over a side agreement are arbitrable if the subject matter of the side agreement is within the scope of the CBA's arbitration clause; 2) under such test, the dispute was arbitrable; 3) the union had standing to arbitrate on behalf retirees and survivors. However, an order certifying a class is vacated as the district court erred by not requiring consent of the class members to union representation. [Sign-in required.] Read the decision.

Langbecker v. Elec. Data Sys. Corp.

5th Circuit Court of Appeals | Decision Date: January 18, 2007

Class certification of employees' ERISA action arising from defendants' alleged mismanagement of a company's 401(k) retirement plan is vacated and remanded where: 1) the district court incorrectly eliminated the ERISA section 404(c) defense from its evaluation of the suitability of the allegations on appeal for class treatment; 2) it erroneously refused to consider releases pertinent to the maintenance of a derivative suit on behalf of the plan; 3) although named representatives held sufficiently typical claims, the district court must reconsider whether they are adequate representatives in light of inherent intraclass conflicts; and 4) maintaining a Rule 23(b)(2) class action and the district court's superficial analysis of the Rule 23(b)(1) alternative were improper. [Sign-in required.] Read the decision.

Payton v. County of Carroll

7th Circuit Court of Appeals | Decision Date: January 18, 2007

Dismissal of 12 of 13 counts and denial of class certification in a putative class action against various counties challenging an administrative fee for posting a bond with the county sheriff is affirmed where plaintiffs failed to state a claim on the dismissed counts, and the named plaintiffs' claims were not typical of those of plaintiffs detained in other counties. [Sign-in required.] Read the decision.

Lebeau v. US

Federal Circuit Court of Appeals | Decision Date: January 24, 2007

In a class action brought against the government under the Little Tucker Act for breach of trust based on what plaintiffs asserted was the Secretary of the Interior's unreasonable delay in distributing to them their share of the Mississippi Sioux Tribes Judgment Fund, an award for plaintiffs is reversed where the district court erred in its determination that plaintiffs were entitled to money damages as a result of the Secretary's breach of trust. [Sign-in required.] Read the decision.

Pioneer Elecs. (USA), Inc. v. Superior Court of Los Angeles County

California Supreme Court | Decision Date: January 25, 2007

This appeal raised the issue of the extent to which California's right to privacy provision protects purchasers of potentially defective DVD players from having their identifying information disclosed to the plaintiff during civil discovery proceedings in a consumers' rights class action against the seller. The court finds, contrary to the court of appeals' ruling, that the trial court properly evaluated the alternatives, balanced the competing interests, and permitted disclosure of contact information regarding Pioneer's complaining customers unless, following proper notice to them, they registered a written objection. [Sign-in required.] Read the decision.

First American Title Inc. Co. v. Superior Ct. (Sjobring)

California Court of Appeal, 2nd Dist. | Decision Date: January 25, 2007

In an action alleging unlawful title insurance practices, an order granting motion to a class action representative plaintiff, who is not a member of the class he purports to represent, in order to obtain precertification discovery for the express purpose of identifying a member of the class who is willing to become a named plaintiff is vacated, as the current plaintiff is a stranger to the action. The grant of such discovery would sanction an abuse of the class action procedure. [Sign-in required.] Read the decision.

Dukes v. Wal-Mart, Inc.

9th Circuit Court of Appeals | Decision Date: February 6, 2007

In a class action suit by women employees against Wal-Mart alleging sexual discrimination under Title VII, certification of plaintiffs' class with minor modifications is affirmed where there was no abuse of discretion in a conclusion that it would be better to handle this case as a class action instead of clogging the federal courts with innumerable individual suits litigating the same issues repeatedly. [Sign-in required.] Read the decision.

Chesher v. Neyer

6th Circuit Court of Appeals | Decision Date: February 16, 2007

In a class action lawsuit against a county, county morgue employees, and a private photographer stemming from an "art project" he did at the morgue in which he photographed dead bodies without the knowledge or consent of the decedents' relatives, denial of summary judgment for defendants is affirmed and remanded. [Sign-in required.] Read the decision.

Chaly-Garcia v. US

U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals | Decision Date: November 29, 2007

In a suit brought by plaintiff against the United States and officials seeking relief as a class member under the class action settlement agreement in American Baptist Churches v. Thornburgh, 760 F. Supp. 796 (N.D. Cal. 1991) (ABC), which involved asylum applicants from El Salvador and Guatemala, summary judgment for defendants is reversed as plaintiff is a member of the ABC class and is entitled to the benefits of the agreement in the case. Read the decision.

Ligas v. Maram

7th Circuit Court of Appeals | Decision Date: February 15, 2007

In a class action suit under the ADA to require Illinois to provide community-based care for the class of institutionalized developmentally disabled people capable of living in the community, denial of petition to intervene is affirmed. [Sign-in required.] Read the decision.

Albritton v. Cagles, Inc.

U.S. 11th Circuit Court of Appeals | Decision Date: November 30, 2007

In cases arising from some of the "donning and doffing" litigation, alleging compensation is owed for time spent putting on and taking off protective or sanitary clothing necessary for work, dismissal of cases for failure to comply with the consent requirement of 29 U.S.C. section 216(b) is affirmed as consents filed by the plaintiffs in a previous lawsuit (Anderson v. Cagle's, Inc.) were limited to that litigation and they do not carry over to the present litigation. Read the decision.

Nelson v. Hodowal

7th Circuit Court of Appeals | Decision Date: January 2, 2008

In a suit under ERISA alleging that a pension plan's fiduciaries failed to anticipate a decline in the value of the plan's stock holdings, judgment for defendants is affirmed where: 1) outgoing directors' decision to sell most of their stock in the company was not material information; 2) an ERISA fiduciary does not have a duty to disclose, directly to a plan's participants, non-material information that may affect the participants for reasons unrelated to the value of the investment; and 3) a fiduciary is not responsible for the decline in an investment's value when an informed and independent investment adviser has been furnished without charge to all beneficiaries, who exercise full control over which investments their accounts will hold. Read the decision.

Dukes v. Wal-Mart, Inc.

U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals | Decision Date: December 11, 2007

In a class action suit by women employees against Wal-Mart alleging sexual discrimination under Title VII, certification of plaintiffs' class with minor modifications is affirmed where there was no abuse of discretion in a conclusion that it would be better to handle this case as a class action instead of clogging the federal courts with innumerable individual suits litigating the same issues repeatedly. (Substituted opinion) Read the decision.

Beattie v. CenturyTel, Inc.

U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals | Decision Date: December 18, 2007

In a class action alleging that defendant-telecommunications service provider violated federal and state law by using deceptive billing practices to bill customers for a wire maintenance program, a decision certifying the class is affirmed as to certification of the class on its federal-law claims under Rule 23 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, but remanded as to the state law claims for purposes of a Rule 23 analysis. Read the decision.

Hall v. Time Inc.

California Appellate Districts | Decision Date: January 8, 2008

In suit alleging claim for class action relief under the California unfair competition law (UCL), demurrer and judgment on the pleadings for defendants are affirmed where plaintiff alleged neither injury in fact nor causation, and thus lacked standing to pursue a UCL claim against defendants. Read the decision.

CashCall, Inc. v. Superior Ct. of San Diego County

California Court of Appeal, District 4, Div. 1 | Decision Date: January 24, 2008

In the class action context, there is no bright-line rule that the original class representative plaintiffs must be members of the class to have standing to obtain precertification discovery. In the circumstances of this action against a lender alleging violation of plaintiffs' privacy rights, the trial court did not err by applying a balancing test and ordering precertification discovery for the purpose of identifying class members who may become substitute plaintiffs in place of named plaintiffs who were not members of the class they purported to represent. Read the decision.

New England Health Care Employees Pension Fund v. Woodruff

10th Circuit Court of Appeals | Decision Date: January 16, 2008

In an appeal brought by the former CEO and CFO of Qwest, approval of a class action settlement in a securities fraud case, which did not include the CEO and CFO, is remanded for the district court to make appropriate findings and conclusions with respect to their objections to the settlement. Read the decision.

Anderson v. CNH US Pension Plan

8th Circuit Court of Appeals | Decision Date: February 7, 2008

In a putative class action brought by several retirees of a company against two entities that administer the company's pension and retirement plans, an appeal from denial of class certification is dismissed as the case is moot since plaintiffs have no remaining personal stake in the litigation. Read the decision.

Long John Silver's Restaurants, Inc. v. Cole

4th Circuit Court of Appeals | Decision Date: January 28, 2008

In case involving alleged violations of the FLSA for failure to pay overtime, order declining to vacate arbitration award which held that the "opt-in" class certification provision of the FLSA did not apply and that the arbitration proceedings were governed by the "opt-out" class certification provision of the AAA Class Rules is affirmed over claims that the court erred in failing to recognize that: 1) the arbitrator, in making the Award, had manifestly disregarded controlling legal principles; and 2) the arbitrator had exceeded the scope of his authority. Read the decision.

In re: Syncor ERISA Litig.

9th Circuit Court of Appeals | Decision Date: February 19, 2008

When parties (1) enter into a binding class action settlement agreement, which requires court approval pursuant to Rule 23(e) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, and (2) provide the required notice of the settlement to the district court prior to the district court's entry of the final judgments, the district court should hold a hearing and review the settlement agreement to determine if it is fair, reasonable, and adequate. A failure to do so, even when the district court has already drafted a summary judgment order, is an abuse of discretion. Read the decision.

Lussier v. Dollar Tree Stores, Inc.

9th Circuit Court of Appeals | Decision Date: March 7, 2008

In an appeal by putative class representatives in wage dispute litigation, denial of their request for attorney's fees following a successful motion to remand the underlying action after it had been removed by defendant pursuant to the Class Action Fairness Act (CAFA) is affirmed where the district court did not abuse its discretion in finding that, given the lack of clarity in the law at the time, defendant's removal arguments were not unreasonable. Read the decision.

Pierce v. County of Orange

9th Circuit Court of Appeals | Decision Date: March 24, 2008

In a class action brought by pretrial detainees in Orange County's jail facilities raising numerous constitutional, federal, and state law claims, a judgment against plaintiffs is affirmed for the most part, but reversed in part where: 1) two Stewart orders, which secure inmates housed in administrative segregation some minimal access to religious services and exercise, may not be terminated; 2) the district court clearly erred in finding that such orders were unnecessary to correct a current and ongoing violation of a federal right; and 3) because of physical barriers that deny disabled inmates access to certain prison facilities, and because of disparate programs and services offered to disabled versus non-disabled inmates, the county is in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Read the decision.

Springman v. AIG Mktg.

7th Circuit Court of Appeals | Decision Date: April 15, 2008

In a class action suit against insurers alleging that defendants violated fraud and consumer protection law by underpaying accident insurance claims submitted by the plaintiff and the members of his class, denial of the plaintiff's motion to remand to state court is affirmed where the substitution of a defendant did not relate back to the original suit since the plaintiff's delay in moving for substitution prevented the new defendant from knowing that, but for mistake, the action should originally have been brought against it. Thus, the filing date of the lawsuit for removal purposes under the Class Action Fairness Act was the date of substitution, which placed the action within the Act's effective date and allowed for removal to federal court. Read the decision.

Jonites v. Exelon Corp.

7th Circuit Court of Appeals | Decision Date: April 3, 2008

In a suit alleging that defendant violated the Fair Labor Standards Act by the way it implemented its on-call program and also by forcing plaintiffs to work during their lunch break without pay, summary judgment for defendant is affirmed where: 1) the on-call requirements did not restrict the plaintiff' activities such that the wait time for on-call assignments constituted work time; and 2) the lunch issue was better suited for determination by an arbitrator. Read the decision.

Gutierrez v. Johnson & Johnson

3rd Circuit Court of Appeals | Decision Date: April 22, 2008

In a class action against former employer on grounds of racial discrimination, a petition for permission to appeal a denial of class certification is dismissed where petitioner's Fed. R. Civ. Pro. 23(f) petition was untimely. Read the decision.

Negrete v. Allianz Life Ins. Co. of N. Am.

9th Circuit Court of Appeals | Decision Date: April 29, 2008

In a class action lawsuit against an insurance corporation challenging the sale of its fixed deferred annuities, an order, which effectively prevents defendant from proceeding with any settlement negotiations on similar class action claims raised in any other courts without permission from plaintiff's lead counsel, is reversed where: 1) in the context of the All Writs Act, there was no proper support for the district court's enjoining of proceedings in other courts; and 2) even if there were, the Anti-Injunction Act barred such injunction. Read the decision.

Lewis v. City of Chicago

7th Circuit Court of Appeals | Decision Date: June 4, 2008

In an action brought under Title VII involving the Chicago Fire Department's hiring practices, alleging that the test administered by defendant separating those eligible to work into "well qualified" and "qualified" groups had a disparate impact on the black applicants and was not a valid test of aptitude for firefighting, judgment for the plaintiff is reversed where: 1) the filing of the claim was untimely since the injury took place when black applicants were classified as "qualified" and not each time the city hired applicants in the "well qualified" group; 2) there was no continuing violation since the plaintiffs were injured when they were placed in the "qualified" category; and 3) equitable tolling did not apply. Read the decision.

Harney v. Speedway SuperAmerica, LLC

7th Circuit Court of Appeals | Decision Date: May 30, 2008

In a class action alleging that the manner in which defendant paid and forfeited its employees' bonuses violated Indiana's Wage Payment Statute and Wage Claims Statute, summary judgment for defendant is affirmed where: 1) the bonuses were conditioned on continued employment and plaintiffs failed to meet this criteria; 2) even if the unpaid bonuses could be considered "wages" they are considered deferred compensation and subject to forfeiture; 3) plaintiffs were not entitled to damages from defendant's failure to pay the bonuses within a statutory ten day period since bonuses are not wages; and 4) certification of certain questions of state law to the Indiana Supreme Court is denied. Read the decision.

Amaral v. Cintas Corp. No. 2

California Court of Appeal, First Appellate District, Division 3 | Decision Date: June 11, 2008

In an appeal presenting numerous legal issues concerning the constitutionality and application of a living wage ordinance which was enacted by a city and incorporated into its municipal contracts, the trial court's judgment and post-judgment rulings for the case are affirmed in its entirety with respect to: 1) rejection of challenges to the constitutionality of the ordinance; 2) findings on summary judgment or summary adjudication that employer-party violated the ordinance, breached its contracts with the City, and violated several Labor Code provisions; and 3) awards of back wages and unpaid benefits, imposition of penalties, and awards of statutory attorneys' fees and costs. Read the decision.

Rahman v. Chertoff

7th Circuit Court of Appeals | Decision Date: June 26, 2008

In an interlocutory appeal in a suit alleging violations of constitutional rights and seeking more effective ways of improving the FBI's and the Department of Homeland Security's methods of identifying and screening travelers, certification of two nationwide classes is reversed and remanded where: 1) the classes in the case failed to meet the typicality requirement of Rule 23(a)(3); 2) the classes were too ambulatory; and 3) the wrongs alleged were best addressed by individual lawsuits. Read the decision.

Silvercreek Mgmt. Inc v. Banc of Am. Sec. LLC

U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals | Decision Date: July 7, 2008

In a suit arising out of the Enron collapse, denial of a motion to extend a class settlement opt-out deadline is affirmed where: 1) the evidence presented by plaintiff and the performance of plaintiff's counsel fell below the threshold required for neglect to be excusable; and 2) plaintiff waived its due process objection for failure to raise it in district court. Read the decision.

LA ex rel Caldwell v. Allstate Ins. Co.

U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals | Decision Date: July 18, 2008

In a parens patriae action alleging violations of Louisiana's antitrust laws, denial of plaintiff's motion to remand the case back to state court after removal to federal court pursuant to the Class Action Fairness Act is affirmed where: 1) the Louisiana attorney general has power to bring parens patriae antitrust actions and possesses broad powers to vindicate the interests of the state; 2) the policyholders and not the state are the real parties in interest due to the state's request for treble damages; and 3) plaintiff waived its Eleventh Amendment immunity. Read the decision.

Brinker Restaurant Corp. v. Superior Ct.

California Appellate Districts, Dist. 4., Div. 1 | Decision Date: July 22, 2008

In an action involving alleged violations of laws governing rest and meal breaks on transfer from the state supreme court, the court of appeals rules that: 1) while employers cannot impede, discourage or dissuade employees from taking rest periods, they need only provide, not ensure, rest periods are taken; 2) employers need only authorize and permit rest periods every four hours or major fraction thereof and they need not, where impracticable, be in the middle of each work period; 3) employers are not required to provide a meal period for every five consecutive hours worked; 4) while employers cannot impede, discourage or dissuade employees from taking meal periods, they need only provide them and not ensure they are taken; and 5) while employers cannot coerce, require or compel employees to work off the clock, they can only be held liable for employees working off the clock if they knew or should have known they were doing so. Read the decision.

Parra v. Bashas', Inc.

U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals | Decision Date: July 29, 2008

In a class action brought by current and former employees of defendant alleging that they had been discriminated against based upon their national origin in violation of Title VII and 42 U.S.C. section 1981, a decision denying certification of the class alleging pay discrimination is reversed where the district court abused its discretion in failing to find commonality in plaintiffs' original class definition for the discriminatory pay claim. Read the decision.

Garcia v. Tyson Foods, Inc.

U.S. 10th Circuit Court of Appeals | Decision Date: July 28, 2008

In a class-action case brought against Tyson Foods alleging, inter alia, violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 (FLSA), defendants' appeal from an interlocutory order denying their motion for partial summary judgment is dismissed where the interlocutory order had no precedential effect and could not have modified an injunction that had been entered against defendant's predecessor-in-interest in another case. Read the decision.

Gene & Gene LLC v. Biopay LLC

5th Circuit Court of Appeals | Decision Date: August 14, 2008

Order certifying a class of plaintiffs who alleged violations of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), 47 U.S.C. section 227, specifically unsolicited advertisements sent from one fax machine to another, is reversed where: 1) there was subject-matter jurisdiction over the case under the Class Action Fairness Act; and 2) plaintiffs had failed to advance any viable theory employing generalized, class-wide proof concerning the issue of lack of consent. Read the decision.

Abner v. Kansas City S. Ry. Co.

5th Circuit Court of Appeals | Decision Date: August 14, 2008

In employees' race discrimination suit, award of plaintiffs' attorney's fees and costs for an initial trial which ended in a hung jury is affirmed where a court may award reasonable fees, including those incurred in a first, inconclusive trial, and in doing so may: 1) cut out fees charged for work on unsuccessful claims and any other unreasonable work; and 2) look to the ultimate result of the case, especially as to the significant issues litigated, and the overall relief obtained. Read the decision.

Buckley v. Mukasey

4th Circuit Court of Appeals | Decision Date: August 20, 2008

In an action under Title VII claiming race discrimination, sex discrimination, and retaliation stemming from plaintiff's employment as a special agent with the Drug Enforcement Administration, judgment as a matter of law for the government is vacated and remanded where: 1) district court's ruling on certain class action litigation evidence constituted an error of law and thus, an abuse of discretion; 2) the court erred in granting the government's Rule 50 motion on a failure-to-promote retaliation claim; and 3) plaintiff was entitled to a new trial on the claims that were, and which should have been, submitted to the jury in a 2006 trial. Read the decision.

Bull v. City & County of San Francisco

9th Circuit Court of Appeals | Decision Date: August 22, 2008

An order denying qualified immunity in an 42 U.S.C. section 1983 class action suit is affirmed where, under the circumstances of this case, San Francisco's blanket policy of strip searching without reasonable suspicion of all individuals arrested and classified for housing in the general jail population violated the arrestees' clearly established constitutional rights. Read the decision.

Shook v. Bd. of County Comm'rs of the County of El Paso

10th Circuit Court of Appeals | Decision Date: August 29, 2008

In a suit seeking declaratory and injunctive relief on behalf of mentally ill patients at a county jail, denial of class certification is affirmed where: 1) Fed. R. Civ. P. 23(b)(2) authorizes an inquiry into the relationship between the class framed in the complaint and injunctive relief requested; and 2) a district court does not abuse its discretion in denying class certification where providing the requested relief at the level of specificity required by Fed. R. Civ. P. 65(d) would render a class action unmanageable, either because of difficulties in determining relevant aggregate characteristics of the class or because factual differences between class members require different standards of conduct for undefined groups within the class. Read the decision.

Hoffman v. Construction Protective Servs.

9th Circuit Court of Appeals | Decision Date: September 4, 2008

In an employment class action suit, exclusion of evidence regarding damages is affirmed where: 1) numerous plaintiffs made state law claims separate from the Fair Labor Standards Act class action; and 2) plaintiffs failed to disclose damages calculations per individual plaintiff. Read the decision.

Trout v. Sec'y of the Navy

D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals | Decision Date: September 2, 2008

In a class-action Title VII suit alleging sex discrimination by the Navy, order requiring plaintiffs to refund certain attorneys' fees and interest is affirmed where: 1) an intervening Supreme Court case regarding the retroactivity of sovereign immunity defenses did not apply to require defendant to pay attorneys' fees incurred prior to 1991; and 2) plaintiffs were not a "prevailing party" for purposes of litigating claims for interest on awarded attorneys' fees, because this litigation was separate from the sex-discrimination litigation. Read the decision.

Lee v. Dynamex

California Court of Appeal, Second Appellate District, Division 7 | Decision Date: September 17, 2008

In a putative class action lawsuit against defendant-parcel delivery company alleging it had improperly reclassified plaintiffs-drivers from employees to independent contractors in violation of California law, denials of plaintiff-employees' motion to compel and motion for class certification are reversed where: 1) the trial court erred in finding the proposed class lacked ascertainability; and 2) the trial court abused its discretion in denying plaintiffs' motion to compel disclosure of the identity of potential class members. Read the decision.

Pichler v. Union of Needletrades, Indus. and Textile Employees, AFL-CIO

3rd Circuit Court of Appeals | Decision Date: September 9, 2008

In a class-action suit alleging violation by defendant-labor union of plaintiffs' privacy rights under the Driver's Privacy Protection Act (DPPA), summary judgment for plaintiffs in part and for defendants in part is affirmed in part, vacated in part, and remanded where: 1) remand was necessary for analysis of whether summary judgment was appropriate on the issue of punitive damages; 2) if summary judgment on punitive damages was not appropriate, the Seventh Amendment required a trial by jury on the issue; 3) certain plaintiffs were properly dismissed for lack of standing to sue under the DPPA; 4) remand was necessary for analysis of whether summary judgment was appropriate on the issue of whether defendants had made multiple uses of plaintiffs' private information; 5) defendant's use of plaintiffs' personal information was for a purpose not permitted by the DPPA; 6) DPPA's statutory scheme allowed a finding of civil liability even if defendants did not know their use of the information obtained was impermissible; and 7) DPPA allowed the recovery of liquidated damages even without a showing of actual damages. Read the decision.

In Re: American Express Merchants' Litigation

2nd Circuit Court of Appeals | Decision Date: January 30, 2009

In a matter of first impression, decision holding that the enforceability of a class action waiver provision contained in the contract between parties was a question for the arbitrator is reversed and remanded where: 1) the question of the enforceability of the class action waiver provision was properly decided by the court; and 2) the class action waiver provision was unenforceable under the Federal Arbitration Act. Read the decision.

Cundiff v. Verizon California, Inc.

California Court of Appeal, Second Appellate District, Division 3 | Decision Date: October 16, 2008

Following judgment in favor of plaintiffs in a class action consumer protection suit against defendant-Verizon California alleging unfair business practices, judgment regarding distribution of undeliverable settlement checks in favor of defendant-Verizon is reversed where: 1) notwithstanding the "claims-made" nature of the settlement, the definition of "unpaid residue" accurately described the unclaimed funds at issue in this case; and 2) court rejected Verizon's assertion the legislative history of section 384 suggests it should be applied only in fluid recovery cases in which a common fund is created. Read the decision.

Arreola v. Godinez

7th Circuit Court of Appeals | Decision Date: October 14, 2008

In a putative class-action suit by an inmate challenging a jail's policy of denying crutches to injured inmates in certain areas of the jail, denial of certification of a class for injunctive relief is affirmed, and denial of certification of a class for damages is remanded where: 1) plaintiff had standing to sue; 2) plaintiff's second amended complaint was not time-barred; 3) the proposed class for injunctive relief did not meet the Fed. R. Civ. P. 23(b)(2) requirements for certification; and 4) remand was necessary for consideration of whether the proposed damages class met the Rule 23(b)(3) requirements. Read the decision.

Arreola v. Godinez

7th Circuit Court of Appeals | Decision Date: October 14, 2008

In a putative class-action suit by an inmate challenging a jail's policy of denying crutches to injured inmates in certain areas of the jail, denial of certification of a class for injunctive relief is affirmed, and denial of certification of a class for damages is remanded where: 1) plaintiff had standing to sue; 2) plaintiff's second amended complaint was not time-barred; 3) the proposed class for injunctive relief did not meet the Fed. R. Civ. P. 23(b)(2) requirements for certification; and 4) remand was necessary for consideration of whether the proposed damages class met the Rule 23(b)(3) requirements. Read the decision.

Winnett v. Caterpillar, Inc.

6th Circuit Court of Appeals | Decision Date: January 27, 2009

In a suit alleging that defendant-employer breached its promise to provide lifetime retiree medical benefits to plaintiffs at no cost, a district court decision in favor of plaintiffs is reversed on interlocutory appeal where a 1998 collective labor agreement did not provide workers with a right to no-cost retiree medical benefits that vested as soon as the worker became eligible for retirement or a pension. Read the decision.

Taylor v. United Parcel Serv. Inc.

5th Circuit Court of Appeals | Decision Date: December 30, 2008

In a race discrimination and retaliation suit brought by an African-American employee, district court erred in granting summary judgment to the employer where: 1) all claims were timely because the statute of limitations was tolled through the conclusion of an appeal on a similar discrimination class action against UPS in which plaintiff was a class member; and 2) plaintiff had submitted sufficient evidence to make out a prima facie case of discriminatory and retaliatory pay disparity. Read the decision.

Amoche v. Guarantee Trust Life Ins. Co.

1st Circuit Court of Appeals | Decision Date: February 13, 2009

In the context of the $5 million amount-in-controversy requirement for removal under the Class Action Fairness Act of 2005, the circuit court rules that, at least where the complaint does not contain specific damage allegations, a removing defendant must show a reasonable probability that the amount in controversy exceeds $5 million. Read the decision.

Homa v. Amer. Express Co.

3rd Circuit Court of Appeals | Decision Date: February 24, 2009

In a class action, district court's dismissal of plaintiffs' complaint with prejudice in favor of individual arbitration is reversed where: 1) the Federal Arbitration Act does not preclude the circuit court from applying state law unconscionability principles to void a class-arbitration waiver; and 2) under New Jersey choice of law principles, if the claims at issue are of such a low value as effectively to preclude relief if decided individually then the application of Utah law to the class-arbitration waiver is invalid and the waiver is unconscionable. Read the decision.

Budrow v. Dave & Buster's of California, Inc.

California Court of Appeal, Second Appellate District, Division 8 | Decision Date: March 2, 2009

In a class action suit, trial court's grant of defendant's motion for summary judgment is affirmed where: 1) bartenders employed by defendant may participate in tip pools established pursuant to the Labor Code, as the Code does not distinguish between direct and indirect table service or limit tip pools to employees providing direct table service; and 2) plaintiff cannot maintain his action under the Business and Professions Code, as it is predicated solely on the alleged illegality of defendant's tip pool. Read the decision.

Franco v. Athens Disposal Co., Inc.

California Court of Appeal, Second Appellate District, Division 2 | Decision Date: March 10, 2009

In a class action suit, trial court's grant of defendant's petition to compel arbitration based on a written agreement is reversed where: 1) the class arbitration waiver in the agreement was unconscionable with respect to the alleged violations of the meal and rest period laws given the modest size of the potential individual recovery, the potential for retaliation against members of the class, and the fact that absent members of the class may be ill informed about their rights; and 2) the arbitration agreement is unconscionable as it prevents plaintiff from acting as a private attorney general and seeking civil penalties on behalf of other employees, conflicting with the Private Attorneys General Act of 2004. Read the decision.

Hohider v. UPS

U.S. 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals | Decision Date: July 23, 2009

District court judgment certifying a class of employees alleging unlawful discrimination under the Americans with Disabilities Act is reversed where: 1) the court abused its discretion in identifying the Teamsters legal standard as controlling plaintiffs' claims and in granting certification after adopting the Teamsters method of proof to adjudicate plaintiffs' claims without considering the ADA's statutory elements; and 2) the required inquiry under the ADA into the elements of qualification and reasonable accommodation cannot be evaluated on a classwide basis in a manner consistent with FRCP Rule 23, and thus the class cannot be certified as plaintiffs cannot adjudicate their claims and requested relief without it. Read the decision.

Brown v. Nucor Corp.

U.S. 4th Circuit Court of Appeals | Decision Date: August 7, 2009

In an appeal from the denial of plaintiffs' motion for class certification in an employment discrimination action, denial of the motion is vacated where: 1) plaintiffs presented compelling direct evidence of discrimination sufficient to meet the Fed. R. Civ. P. 23 commonality requirement; and 2) there was insufficient evidence that each of the employer's departments was so autonomous as to justify classifying them as separate environments. Read the decision.

Monroe v. City of Charlottesville

U.S. 4th Circuit Court of Appeals | Decision Date: August 31, 2009

In a 42 U.S.C. section 1983 action claiming that defendant-city's police performed racially discriminatory searches, district court's denial of class certification is affirmed where plaintiff had little interest in or knowledge and understanding of the case, and appeared to be merely lending his name to the suit. Dismissal of plaintiff's Fourth Amendment and equal protection claims is affirmed where: 1) plaintiff's subjective beliefs were irrelevant in assessing whether a reasonable person would have felt free to terminate his encounter with the police; and 2) the city did not classify plaintiff on the basis of his race. Read the decision.

Fowler v. UPMC Shadyside

U.S. 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals | Decision Date: August 18, 2009

In an employment discrimination case under the Rehabilitation Act, the district court's dismissal of plaintiff's complaint is vacated and remanded where: 1) a 4 year limitation applies to plaintiff's failure-to-transfer claim, and not the general 2 year statute of limitations the district court applied in barring the complaint; 2) plaintiff's complaint need only allege sufficient facts to state a plausible failure-to-transfer claim; 3) plaintiff need only plead that she is an individual with a disability and the district court improperly focused on whether she could prove she was disabled; but 4) the district court did not abuse its discretion in denying an untimely motion for a class action determination. Read the decision.

Ali v. U.S.A. Cab. Ltd.

California Court of Appeal, 4th Appellate District, Div. 1 | Decision Date: August 24, 2009

In a wage and hour action against a taxicab company claiming that the company's leases wrongfully classified lessees as independent contractors rather than employees, the denial of class certification is affirmed, where the purported class would be unmanageable, and common questions did not predominate over individual issues, given differences among lessees' situations. Read the decision.

Young v. Johnson & Johnson

1st Circuit Court of Appeals | Decision Date: September 28, 2009

In a class action lawsuit against pharmaceutical companies claiming that they unfairly and deceptively inflate drugs' average wholesale prices (AWPs), district court's judgment dismissing Class 1 plainitffs' claims is vacated and remanded as there is a lack of clear understanding of both the scope of the district court's judgment and the reasons for the judgment. Read the decision.

In re: Ins. Brokerage Antitrust Litig.

U.S. 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals | Decision Date: September 8, 2009

In class action cases claiming a vast conspiracy between some of the nation's largest insurance brokers and insurance carriers involving bid rigging and steering of customers, district court's orders granting final approval of a $121.8 million settlement and a $28 million settlement, as well as the district court's order approving an award of $29.5 million for attorneys' fees and expenses is affirmed where: 1) each element of the alleged RICO violations and violation under the Sherman Act involved common questions of law and fact which predominated over any individual ones and therefore satisfies the predominance requirement of Rule 23(b)(3); 2) the district court's decision not to certify separate subclasses or require separate representation did not constitute an abuse of discretion and likewise, its approval of the settlement agreement and plan of allocation was also within its discretion; and 3) district court's award of attorneys' fees was reasonable and not an abuse of discretion. Read the decision.

Cho v. Seagate Tech. Holdings, Inc.

California Court of Appeal, 1st Appellate District, Div. 3 | Decision Date: September 15, 2009

In a class action lawsuit against a manufacturer for falsely overstating in advertising and packaging the storage capacity of computer disc drives that it manufactures for public sale, trial court did not abuse its discretion in overruling a class member's objections and approving a settlement as there are no facts that show the parties engaged in any collusion or improper conduct. However, the matter is vacated and remanded to correct the class definition to unambiguously state that indirect purchasers of new Seagate disc drives are members of the plaintiff class and to renotice the settlement in order to give adequate notice to all class members, and allow for additional claims, objections or opt outs. Read the decision.

Schachter v. Citigroup, Inc.

Supreme Court of California | Decision Date: November 2, 2009

In a putative class action against Citigroup by its former employees challenging the company's forfeiture provision of a voluntary employee incentive compensation plan (Plan) upon termination in violation of Labor Code section 201 and 202, the judgment of the court of appeals granting Citigroup's motion for summary judgment is affirmed as the company Plan's forfeiture provision does not run afoul of sections 201 or 202 because no earned wages remain unpaid upon termination for cause or resignation. Read the decision.

Allen v. McWane Inc., No. 08-41037

U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals | Decision Date: January 11, 2010

In an action under the Fair Labor Standards Act seeking payment for pre- and post-shift time spent donning and doffing protective gear, summary judgment for defendant is affirmed where, at each plant at issue, there existed a custom or practice of not compensating pre- or post- shift time spent putting on and taking off protective gear. Read the decision.

Bates v. Rubio's Rest., Inc.

California Court of Appeal, 4th Appellate District, Div. 3 | Decision Date: November 30, 2009

In a $7.5 million settlement agreement arising from a wage and hour class action lawsuit, trial court judge's order vacating an earlier ruling that the 140 late-identified class members should receive notice and then recusing himself from any further proceedings in the matter is affirmed where: 1) when a judge is not disqualified at the time of making the first ruling, the first ruling does not become void just because the judge later disqualifies himself in the interests of justice and encapsulates both rulings in one minute order; and 2) defendant's argument that the judge's order vacating the prior ruling about the 140 late-identified class members must be reversed is rejected. Read the decision.

Narouz v. Charter Comms., LLC

U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals | Decision Date: January 15, 2010

In a class action for unpaid wages, the district court's denial of the parties' motion to certify a class for settlement purposes is vacated where: 1) the voluntary dismissal by a class representative of his personal claims in a putative class action lawsuit did not render moot his appeal of the denial of class certification; and 2) the district court erred in denying class certification without providing any findings or providing any analysis of the Fed. R. Civ. P. 23 factors. Read the decision.

Calvao v. Town of Framingham , No. 09-1648

U.S. 1st Circuit Court of Appeals | Decision Date: March 17, 2010

In police officers' putative class action suit against a town claiming that the town failed to pay them sufficient overtime in violation of the FLSA, district court's grant of partial summary judgment holding that the town met the eligibility requirements for the public safety exception is affirmed where: 1) plaintiffs' argument that the town was required to notify affected employees before establishing a valid work period under section 207(k) is rejected; 2) the text of the statute, as well as caselaw, confirm that a public employer need only establish a section 207(k) compliant work period to claim the exemption's benefits without explicitly giving notice to affected employees, and here, the town has done so and is entitled to judgment; and 3) plaintiffs' claim that the district court abused its discretion by denying their motion to strike certain evidence is rejected. Read the decision.

Gutierrez v. California Commerce Club, Inc.

California Court of Appeal | Decision Date: August 2, 2010

In plaintiffs' putative class action lawsuit against California Commerce Club, Inc. (Club), claiming that they and other similarly situated members of the class were injured by defendant's unlawful policy and practice of denying meal and rest breaks to certain hourly, non-union employees, trial court's order sustaining defendant's demurrer without leave to amend is reversed as it was premature for the trial court to make determinations pertaining to class suitability on demurrer as plaintiffs' allegations of the operative complaint were sufficient to move the action beyond the pleading stage. Read the decision.

Dukes v. Walmart

9th Circuit Court of Appeals | Decision Date: December 11, 2007

Supreme Court set to hear this term! The Dukes case involves the biggest employment discrimination class action ever filed in the US. With up to 1.5 million potential class members, Dukes tests the bounds of what similarities must be shared by class members in order to certify a class - although it is unclear if the Supreme Court will rule on this question. The lawsuit alleges that Wal-Mart discriminated against its female employees in its promotion and pay practices. Class members represent every level of employee in the company, from hourly store clerks to salaried managers, as well as employees from more than 3400 stores across the country. Wal-Mart challenged the certification of the class, claiming among other things that the class size is unmanageable and coercive - unmanageable because it would be virtually impossible for the company to defend itself against that many claims and coercive because a class that big forces the company into settling the claims rather than spend the money to litigate the action. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled en banc to uphold the certification of the class. The US Supreme Court granted cert in December and oral arguments are expected in March 2011. Read the decision.

Tien v. Tenet Healthcare Corp.

Cal.App.4th | Decision Date: February 16, 2011

In a class action asserting wage-related claims brought by hourly employees, alleging that employer-health care provider did not pay legally mandated additional wages for missed meal periods and rest breaks, denial of class certification is affirmed where substantial evidence, unchallenged by plaintiffs, supported each denial of class certification and plaintiffs failed to show the court's ruling was error. Read the decision.

Eduardo Rios, et al., Appellants, vs. Jennie-O Turkey Store, Inc., et al., Respondents.

State of Minnesota Court of Appeals | Decision Date: February 18, 2011

Jennie-O Turkey Store, Inc., operates six turkey-processing plants in Minnesota. The company requires production-line workers to wear certain gear and equipment (e.g., boots, pants, smocks, gloves, and hats) to meet sanitation and safety standards. These employees must put on the required gear and equipment before they start their shifts and remove it at the completion of their shifts. For meal breaks, they must partially don and doff those items. Before 2007, Jennie-O recorded the times that the hourly production-line employees started and ended their shifts by using a pre-set start time or by having a supervisor swipe a time card. The shift ended with individual time-card swipes. However, starting in 2007, a different method was used; the start and end of a shift were determined by individual time-card swipes. A group of current and former employees filed a class-action suit against the company, contending that neither timekeeping method fully captured the time it took to don and doff, that they were underpaid as a result, and that the company violated their employment contracts and the MFLSA. Read the decision.

Hodge v. Aon Insurance Services

Court of Appeals of California, Second District, Division Eight | Decision Date: February 24, 2011

The appeal before us today arises from a class action in which claims adjusters currently or previously employed by a third party administrator (TPA) allege that their employer unlawfully designated them as exempt administrative employees as defined by Wage Order No. 4. The parties tried the case to the trial court, and the court concluded that the employer had not violated the overtime regulations because the claims adjusters were exempt administrative employees. We affirm the trial court's judgment. Read the decision.

Johnson v. U.S. Vision, Inc.

United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit | Decision Date: February 24, 2011

Debra Johnson, as a potential class representative, appeals the district court's order denying her motion to remand this case to state court. She claims Defendants failed to demonstrate the necessary jurisdictional amount in controversy under the Class Action Fairness Act of 2005. We have jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1453(c)(1) and we REVERSE and REMAND. Read the decision.

Juarez v. Kmart

Court of Appeals of California, First District, Division Five | Decision Date: March 9, 2011

Appellant Braulio Juarez and six other plaintiffs filed a class action complaint against the Kmart corporation and 17 companies that provided janitorial services at Kmart stores in California alleging they had not been paid overtime or provided with required meal or rest breaks. The trial court declined to certify the class, ruling it was not ascertainable, that common issues did not predominate, and that class treatment was not superior to individual lawsuits. Appellants now appeal contending the trial court erred when it declined to certify the class. We conclude the trial court did not abuse its discretion and will affirm. Read the decision.

Purdham v. Fairfax County School Board

United States Court of Appeals,Fourth Circuit | Decision Date: March 10, 2011

Appellant James Purdham is employed as a safety and security assistant by the Fairfax County, Virginia, School Board. Purdham filed this action asserting that the School Board failed to pay him overtime wages for his services as the coach of a high school golf team, and thereby violated the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA or Act), 29 U.S.C. Section 201 et seq. After the close of discovery, the district court granted the School Board's motion for summary judgment. Whether Purdham is owed overtime wages hinges on whether, as a golf coach, he is to be deemed an employee or a volunteer within the meaning of the FLSA. We hold, for the reasons set forth within, that the School Board properly deemed Purdham a volunteer. Accordingly, we affirm the judgment of the district court. Read the decision.

Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. v. Dukes

U.S. Supreme Court | Decision Date: March 29, 2011

Transcripts from oral arguments heard by the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday March 29, 2011. Read the decision.

Randall v. Rolls-Royce Corporation

United States Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit | Decision Date: March 30, 2011

The plaintiffs in this class action suit on behalf of more than 500 female employees of a Rolls-Royce plant in Indiana that manufactures aircraft, industrial, and marine engines appeal from the denial of class certification and the subsequent grant of Rolls-Royce's motion for summary judgment. (We refer to the defendants, all of which are affiliated corporations, collectively as "Rolls-Royce.") Read the decision.

Barboza v. West Coast Digital GSM, Inc.

Court of Appeals of California, Second District, Division Four | Decision Date: March 24, 2011

This is the fourth appeal in this case, a class action against West Coast Digital GSM, Inc. (WCD), brought by employees alleging wage and hour claims. Our brief summary of the facts leading up to the third appeal is based in large part on our prior opinions. The class action complaint was filed in November 2004 against WCD and Victor Chapron, a director, officer, and managing agent of WCD.1 Plaintiffs moved for class certification in August 2005. WCD opposed the motion. The trial court denied certification, and plaintiffs appealed. Read the decision.

Marlo v. UPS, Inc.

United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit | Decision Date: April 28, 2011

Appeal and cross-appeal from a jury verdict awarding Marlo unpaid overtime, meal, and rest-period wages. UPS classified Marlo as an executive and administrative employee under California's Industrial Welfare Commission, thereby purporting to exempt him from the California Labor Code's overtime-pay requirements. The district court initially certified a class comprised of full-time supervisors employed by UPS from 2000 to 2004, and appointed Marlo class representative. In 2008, however, the court decertified the class on the ground that Marlo had failed to establish that common issues of law or fact predominated over individual ones. We hold that the district court did not abuse its discretion in decertifying the class. We address the remaining issues in a memorandum disposition filed contemporaneously with this opinion. Read the decision.

Alameda County Management Employees Assn. v. Superior Court

California Court of Appeals | Decision Date: May 10, 2011

Facing a multi-million dollar budget reduction for the 2009-2010 fiscal year, the Superior Court of Alameda County implemented a reduction in force. Among those laid off were a number of members of appellant Alameda County Management Employees Association (ACMEA), a labor organization representing certain Court employees in managerial classifications. Although these employees' seniority would have entitled them to demotions under the Court's personnel policies, in all but two instances, the Court denied their requests, citing the definition of seniority contained in a memorandum of understanding it had negotiated with another union. The Court determined that the seniority definition contained in the MOU applied to ACMEA's members and that under that definition, they could not exercise the demotion rights they would otherwise have enjoyed under the Court's personnel policies. Read the decision.

Lewis v. City of Chicago

United States Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit | Decision Date: May 13, 2011

The City of Chicago must hire 111 black firefighter applicants and pay $30 million in loss-of-chance damages as a result of a discriminatory civil service examination. After receiving right-to-sue letters from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in 1998, a group of unsuccessful applicants from the "qualified" pool of firefighter applicants filed a class action, alleging that the cutoff at 89 had a disparate impact on black candidates.Of the 6,000 applicants, 111 will be offered firefighting jobs. Back-pay for these 111 - estimated at $30 million - will be split among the remaining class members. Read the decision.

Perez v. Mountaire Farms, Inc.

United States Court of Appeals,Fourth Circuit | Decision Date: June 7, 2011

In a Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) dispute, 29 U.S.C. sections 201 et seq., judgment of the district court in favor of plaintiffs is affirmed in part and reversed in part where: 1) under the FLSA, time spent donning and doffing protective gear at the beginning and the end of each workday is compensable, while mid-shift donning and doffing is not; and 2) defendant's violations were not willful, thus triggering only a two-year statute of limitations for claims for back pay. Read the decision.

Areso v. Carmax, Inc.

Cal.App.4th | Decision Date: May 20, 2011

In 2005, CarMax implemented a new pay plan for its sales consultants in California. Under the California Pay Plan, CarMax paid Areso and other sales consultants pursuant to a formula which took into account the number of vehicles sold by a sales consultant and the average price of the vehicles or other products sold, decreasing the percentage paid to the sales consultant as the average sale price increased, and providing for an adjustment if the base payment totaled less than the target commissions. Leena Areso appeals from the trial court's grant of summary adjudication in favor of CarMax, Inc. (CarMax) in her class action lawsuit, which (among other causes of action) alleged violations of the Labor Code, including a failure to pay compensation for overtime. We affirm. Read the decision.

Wal-Mart Stores v. Betty Dukes

United States Supreme Court | Decision Date: June 20, 2011

We are presented with one of the most expansive class actions ever. The District Court and the Court of Appeals approved the certification of a class comprising about one and a half million plaintiffs, current and former female employees of petitioner Wal-Mart who allege that the discretion exercised by their local supervisors over pay and promotion matters violates Title VII by discriminating against women. Read the decision.

Salazar v. Butterball, LLC

United States Court of Appeals, Tenth Circuit | Decision Date: July 5, 2011

In this case we are asked to decide whether donning and doffing poultry processing workers' personal protective equipment is "changing clothes" under 29 U.S.C. 203(o). We hold that donning and doffing the PPE at issue in this case is changing clothes and that there is a custom or practice of excluding donning and doffing time from measured working time under the collective bargaining arrangement between the Union and Butterball. We, therefore, affirm the district court's ruling that Butterball did not violate the FLSA by failing to pay plaintiffs for donning and doffing time. Read the decision.

Smith et al. v. Bayer Corp.

U.S. Supreme Court | Decision Date: June 16, 2011

Respondent (Bayer) moved in Federal District Court for an injunction ordering a West Virginia state court not to consider a motion for class certification filed by petitioners (Smith), who were plaintiffs in the state-court action. Bayer thought such an injunction warranted because, in a separate case, Bayer had persuaded the same Federal District Court to deny a similar class-certification motion that had been filed against Bayer by a different plaintiff, George McCollins. The District Court had denied McCollins' certification motion under Fed. Rule Civ. Proc. 23. Read the decision.

Soderstedt v. CBIZ Southern California, LLC

Cal.App.4th | Decision Date: July 7, 2011

Plaintiffs and appellants appeal from an order denying class certification in the action they filed against their former employer, defendant and respondent CBIZ Southern California, LLC (CBIZ). As putative class representatives, they sought to certify a class of current and former employees assertedly misclassified by CBIZ as exempt from Californias overtime laws. The trial court ruled that a class action was not superior in light of the evidence submitted, finding that appellants failed to establish a predominance of common questions of law or fact, numerosity or adequacy. We affirm. Read the decision.

Securitas Security Services USA, Inc. v. Superior Court (Holland)

Cal.App.4th | Decision Date: July 7, 2011

Evans filed a class action complaint against Securitas Security Services USA, Inc. (Securitas), alleging wage and hour violations. We conclude that employees working consecutive overnight shifts that are not interrupted by unpaid, nonworking periods do not work split shifts, as defined in the Industrial Wage Commission's wage order No. 4-2001 (Cal. Code Regs., tit. 8, 11040), commonly known as Wage Order No. 4. Securitas is not entitled to summary adjudication, however, because it failed to show that plaintiffs have not worked split shifts in other circumstances falling within the wage order definition. We therefore will deny the petition and remand with directions. Read the decision.

Pruell v. Christi

United States Court of Appeals,First Circuit | Decision Date: July 14, 2011

Pruell and Gordon, employees of Caritas, purport to represent a class of over 12,000 Caritas hospital employees and claim that they and other class members were deprived of compensation for work performed during their meal break, for work performed before and after shifts, and for time spent attending training sessions. Accordingly, the district courts subject matter jurisdiction is currently in doubt, the case cannot proceed until that is established, and resolving that issue should be the first order of business on remand. Read the decision.

Cahoon v. Shelton

United States Court of Appeals,First Circuit | Decision Date: July 22, 2011

We are entering an era in which retirement benefits paid to public employees are subject to heightened scrutiny. In this case, a municipality became convinced that former firefighters and police officers who had retired on disability pensions were collecting a particular benefit (full reimbursement of certain medical expenses) without legal warrant. The municipality acted on this conviction and stopped paying the tab. A group of affected retirees sued to enforce continued payment. The district court entered summary judgment against all but three of the plaintiffs. The court then held a bench trial and resolved the remaining claims. The plaintiffs appeal the summary judgment rulings. We affirm. Read the decision.

Amador v. Superintendents of Department of Correctional Services

United States Court of Appeals, Second Circuit | Decision Date: June 15, 2009

Interlocutory appeal from a dismissal of Section 1983 claims by various present or former female inmates of New York state prisons, individually and on behalf of a class, for injunctive and declaratory relief, largely for protective measures against sexual abuse and harassment, and a dismissal of individual claims for damages entered by the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York (Kevin T. Duffy, Judge). We lack jurisdiction over the claims for damages but hold that the class claims for injunctive and declaratory relief are not moot because they fall within the exception for claims capable of repetition, yet evading review. We vacate the judgment of the district court in part and remand for further proceedings. Read the decision.

Amador v. Superintendents of Department of Correctional Services

United States Court of Appeals, Second Circuit | Decision Date: June 15, 2009

Interlocutory appeal from a dismissal of Section 1983 claims by various present or former female inmates of New York state prisons, individually and on behalf of a class, for injunctive and declaratory relief, largely for protective measures against sexual abuse and harassment, and a dismissal of individual claims for damages entered by the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York (Kevin T. Duffy, Judge). We lack jurisdiction over the claims for damages but hold that the class claims for injunctive and declaratory relief are not moot because they fall within the exception for claims capable of repetition, yet evading review. We vacate the judgment of the district court in part and remand for further proceedings. Read the decision.

Amador v. Superintendents of Department of Correctional Services

United States Court of Appeals, Second Circuit | Decision Date: June 15, 2009

Interlocutory appeal from a dismissal of Section 1983 claims by various present or former female inmates of New York state prisons, individually and on behalf of a class, for injunctive and declaratory relief, largely for protective measures against sexual abuse and harassment, and a dismissal of individual claims for damages entered by the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York (Kevin T. Duffy, Judge). We lack jurisdiction over the claims for damages but hold that the class claims for injunctive and declaratory relief are not moot because they fall within the exception for claims capable of repetition, yet evading review. We vacate the judgment of the district court in part and remand for further proceedings. Read the decision.

Amador v. Superintendents of Department of Correctional Services

United States Court of Appeals, Second Circuit | Decision Date: June 15, 2009

Interlocutory appeal from a dismissal of Section 1983 claims by various present or former female inmates of New York state prisons, individually and on behalf of a class, for injunctive and declaratory relief, largely for protective measures against sexual abuse and harassment, and a dismissal of individual claims for damages entered by the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York (Kevin T. Duffy, Judge). We lack jurisdiction over the claims for damages but hold that the class claims for injunctive and declaratory relief are not moot because they fall within the exception for claims capable of repetition, yet evading review. We vacate the judgment of the district court in part and remand for further proceedings. Read the decision.

Amador v. Superintendents of Department of Correctional Services

United States Court of Appeals, Second Circuit | Decision Date: June 15, 2009

Interlocutory appeal from a dismissal of Section 1983 claims by various present or former female inmates of New York state prisons, individually and on behalf of a class, for injunctive and declaratory relief, largely for protective measures against sexual abuse and harassment, and a dismissal of individual claims for damages entered by the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York (Kevin T. Duffy, Judge). We lack jurisdiction over the claims for damages but hold that the class claims for injunctive and declaratory relief are not moot because they fall within the exception for claims capable of repetition, yet evading review. We vacate the judgment of the district court in part and remand for further proceedings. Read the decision.

Amador v. Superintendents of Department of Correctional Services

United States Court of Appeals, Second Circuit | Decision Date: June 15, 2009

Interlocutory appeal from a dismissal of Section 1983 claims by various present or former female inmates of New York state prisons, individually and on behalf of a class, for injunctive and declaratory relief, largely for protective measures against sexual abuse and harassment, and a dismissal of individual claims for damages entered by the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York (Kevin T. Duffy, Judge). We lack jurisdiction over the claims for damages but hold that the class claims for injunctive and declaratory relief are not moot because they fall within the exception for claims capable of repetition, yet evading review. We vacate the judgment of the district court in part and remand for further proceedings. Read the decision.

Litman v. Cellco Partnership

United States Court of Appeals, Third Circuit | Decision Date: November 5, 2009

Because the United States Supreme Court‟s decision in Concepcion holds that state law “[r]equiring the availability of classwide arbitration ... is inconsistent with the FAA[,]” 131 S. Ct. at 1748, we now endorse the District Court‟s decision to reject New Jersey law holding that waivers of class arbitration are unconscionable, and we will affirm the District Court‟s order compelling individual arbitration of the appellants‟ claims. Read the decision.

Symczyk v. Genesis Healthcare Corporation

Third Circuit | Decision Date: August 31, 2011

In an appeal from a judgment of the district court dismissing, for lack of subject matter jurisdiction, a class-action for relief under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), 29 U.S.C. sections 207 and 216(b), judgment is reversed where a collective action brought under Section 216(b) does not become moot when, prior to moving for “conditional certification” and prior to any other plaintiff opting in to the suit, the putative representative receives a Rule 68 offer Read the decision.

Clark v. United States

Federal Circuit | Decision Date: August 29, 2011

In an appeal from a judgment of the trial court granting the government summary adjudication on the ground that plaintiffs-National Guard members were not eligible, under 37 U.S.C. section 206, to receive compensation for time spent taking correspondence training courses, judgment is affirmed where the mandate rule did not bar consideration of the claim and because the trial court correctly found that none of the plaintiffs received the requisite written orders or authorizations in connection with any of the correspondence courses they took, thus placing none in a duty status necessary for federal payment. Read the decision.

Ellis v. Costco Wholesale Corporation

Ninth Circuit | Decision Date: September 16, 2011

In an appeal from a judgment of the district court granting class certification in a labor and employment complaint alleging gender-based promotional practices discrimination, judgment of the district court is affirmed with respect to its ruling on standing and Rule 23(a) certification, but reversed on its rulings regarding "commonality" and "typicality" under Rule 23(a) and certification of the class under Rule 23(b)(2). Read the decision.

Local Joint Executive Board of Las Vegas v. NLRB

Ninth Circuit | Decision Date: September 13, 2011

In a petition for review of an order of the defendant-NLRB dismissing a complaint alleging unfair labor practices by certain Las Vegas hotels, 29 U.S.C. sections 151-169, petition is granted with a vacateur of the order where: 1) the NLRB's decision in Hacienda Hotel, Inc. Gaming Corp. is arbitrary and capricious as it provides no explanation for the rule it follows in dismissing plaintiff's complaint especially since deference is not due where the NLRB, after fifteen years, is unable to form a reasoned analysis in support of its ruling; and 2) the hotels violated section 8(a)(5) of the National Labor Relations Act when they unilaterally ceased dues-checkoff before bargaining to impasse. Read the decision.

Shahriar v. Smith & Wollensky Restaurant Group, Inc.

Second Circuit | Decision Date: September 26, 2011

In an appeal from a judgment of the district court granting plaintiffs' motion for Rule 23 class-certification in a labor and wages dispute, judgment is affirmed where the court properly exercised supplemental jurisdiction over plaintiffs' state claims and found the requirements for Rule 23(a), (b)(3) satisfied. Read the decision.

Johnson v. Nextel Communications, Inc.

Second Circuit | Decision Date: September 26, 2011

In an appeal from a judgment of the district court dismissing plaintiffs' complaint against its former counsel for failure to state a claim, judgment is reversed because the complaint, under Rule 12(b)(6), states a claim against both former counsel for breaching its fiduciary obligations and defendant-Nextel for aiding and abetting a such breach where the it alleges that the defendants, in an underlying employment discrimination dispute, entered into a settlement agreement involving unconsentable conflicts of interest. Read the decision.

Marler v. E.M. Johansing LLC

Cal. App. 4th | Decision Date: October 19, 2011

In an appeal from a judgment of the trial court denying plaintiff's motion for class certification on their complaint for breach of contract and fraud against defendant-mobile park owners, judgment is reversed where: 1) there is an ascertainable class of plaintiffs; 2) the trial court should have allowed plaintiffs leave to amend their class descriptions to more concisely identify class and sub-class members; 3) the court erred in its analysis of the community of interest element of class certification; 4) defendants have not shown that plaintiffs lack standing to represent the class; and 5) a non-class action representative suit would not be an adequate substitute for class relief Read the decision.

American Honda Motor Co., Inc. v. Superior Court (Lee)

Cal. App. 4th | Decision Date: September 29, 2011

In an appeal from a class certification order of the trial court in an action alleging defendant's sale of automobiles with defective gears, judgment is reversed where the court abused its discretion because there is insufficient community of interest to sustain a class certification Read the decision.

Novella v. Westchester County

Second Circuit | Decision Date: November 3, 2011

In an appeal from a judgment of the district court arising from a class complaint under ERISA, judgment is affirmed where the court correctly awarded summary judgment to the lead-plaintiff on his individual claims for miscalculation of benefits, but reversed where the court erred in certifying the class and granting certain class judgments because the six-year statute of limitations began to run when each pensioner knew or should have known that the defendants had miscalculated the amount of his pension benefits such that some of the plaintiffs' claim may be stale. Read the decision.

Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc. v. Beland

Second Circuit | Decision Date: November 3, 2011

In an appeal from a judgment of the district court in favor of the defendant in plaintiff's arbitration complaint for breach of fiduciary duty and other related claims against financial services companies, judgment is affirmed in part and reversed in part where the court erred in directing a complete withdrawal on the grounds of release because plaintiffs' claims include "suitability" claims that were preserved by a carve-out clause in a previous class-settlement agreement between the parties. Read the decision.

Nachshin v. AOL, LLC

Ninth Circuit | Decision Date: November 21, 2011

In an appeal from a cy pres distribution order of the district court in plaintiffs’ consumer class-action complaint involving AOL's advertisements in its email footers, order is vacated because while the donations were made on behalf of a nationwide plaintiff-class, they improperly were distributed to geographically isolated and substantively unrelated charities. Read the decision.

Schwartz v. Merrill Lynch & Co.

Second Circuit | Decision Date: November 30, 2011

In an appeal from a judgment of the district court denying appellant's petition to vacate an adverse arbitration decision on her Title VII complaint for gender-based employment discrimination, judgment is affirmed where the court correctly held that the arbiters' decision was not based on Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire, and therefore the Federal Arbitration Act does not apply. Read the decision.

Developmental Services Network v. Douglas, No. 11-55851

Ninth Circuit | Decision Date: November 30, 2011

In an appeal from a preliminary order of the district court district court enjoining the enforcement of California Welfare and Institutions Code section 14105.191(f), which amended California's Medicaid Plan and set provider reimbursement rates for the 2009-2010 and subsequent rate years, order is vacated because although the State did not obtain federal approval prior to implementing the changes, the plaintiffs cannot carry their Section 1983 burden. Read the decision.

Aleman v. AirTouch Cellular

California Court of Appeal | Decision Date: December 21, 2011

In an appeal from a judgment of the trial court dismissing plaintiffs' complaint for labor and wages violations, judgment is: 1) affirmed because plaintiff was not entitled to receive reporting time pay for attending meetings at work, where all the meetings were scheduled and plaintiff worked at least half the scheduled time; and 2) affirmed as he was not owed additional compensation for working split shifts, where on each occasion he worked a split shift he earned more than the minimum amount required by a wage order; but 3) reversed on the trial court's award of attorney fees to the defendant since plaintiffs' claims were subject to Labor Code section 1194. Read the decision.

Sky Sports, Inc. v. Superior Court (Hogan)

California Court of Appeal | Decision Date: December 15, 2011

In an appeal from a judgment of the trial court finding that petitioner has waived its right to compel arbitration in a labor and employment class action lawsuit, judgment is reversed where the Code of Civil Procedure section 1281.21 requirements to compel arbitration were not satisfied until the class was certified, and therefore, any purported delay in bringing a motion to compel arbitration does not constitute a waiver of the right. Read the decision.

Reilly v. Ceridian Corp.

U.S. Third Circuit Court of Appeals | Decision Date: December 12, 2011

In an appeal from a judgment of the district court dismissing plaintiffs' putative class-action for lack of standing, judgment is affirmed where plaintiffs failed to plead specific facts demonstrating Article III standing because their allegations of an increased risk of identity theft as a result of a database security breach are only hypothetical, future injuries. Read the decision.

Bridgeford v. Pacific Health Corp.

California Court of Appeal | Decision Date: January 8, 2012

In a class action alleging wage and hour violations in which the plaintiffs also sought statutory penalties as a representative enforcement action under the Private Attorneys General Act of 2004 (PAGA), the trial court's order sustaining a demurrer to the complaint is reversed, where: 1) the sustaining of the demurrer to the class action allegations based on collateral estoppel was error, as the plaintiffs, who were unnamed putative class members in a similar previous action against the defendants, were not bound by collateral estoppel with respect to any issue decided in connection with the denial of class certification in that action; and 2) the dismissal of the plaintiffs' individual claims and representative claims under PAGA was error, as the trial court did not address those claims and the defendants conceded there was no basis to dismiss them. Read the decision.

Reyes v. Macy's, Inc.

California Court of Appeal | Decision Date: January 19, 2012

On appeal from an order granting an employer's motion to compel arbitration of the plaintiff's individual claims but denying the employer's request to dismiss class allegations and plaintiff's claim under the Labor Code Private Attorneys General Act of 2004, plaintiff's motion to dismiss the appeal is granted, where: 1) the portion of the trial court's order granting the employer's own motion to compel arbitration of the individual claims was not appealable; and 2) the remainder of the order denying the motion to dismiss representative claims was not a final judgment and, therefore, not yet appealable. Read the decision.

Muto v. CBS Corp

United States Second Circuit | Decision Date: February 2, 2012

In a putative class action complaint brought in New York by Pennsylvania residents against the plaintiffs' former employer and the employer's pension plan for benefits alleged to be due under ERISA, the district court's dismissal of the complaint as time-barred is affirmed, where: 1) the district court was correct in applying New York's borrowing statute directing it to look to Pennsylvania law for the applicable statute of limitations; and 2) plaintiffs' claims were untimely under Pennsylvania law. Read the decision.

Gentry v. Siegel

United States Fourth Circuit | Decision Date: February 2, 2012

In bankruptcy proceedings in which former employees of the debtor filed claims for unpaid overtime wages, the district court's judgment affirming the bankruptcy court's denial of a Rule 9014 motion and its refusal to allow the claimants to pursue class actions is affirmed, where: 1) the bankruptcy court was within its discretion to rule that the bankruptcy process would provide a process superior to the class action process for resolving the claims of former employees; 2) notice of the bankruptcy process to the named claimants was not constitutionally deficient; and 3) with respect to unnamed claimants, the named claimants lacked standing to challenge the notice.  Read the decision.

Muldrow v. Surrex Solutions Corp.

California Court of Appeal | Decision Date: January 24, 2012

In a class action against an employer for failure to pay overtime and failure to provide meal periods to "senior consulting services managers" who worked as employment recruiters, the trial court's judgment in favor of the defendant and postjudgment order awarding costs are affirmed, where: 1) the trial court properly determined that the employees were subject to the commissioned employees exemption to the requirement to pay overtime wages; and 2) the trial court did not err in denying the employees' missed meal period claim. Read the decision.

Ruiz v. Affinity Logistics Corp

Ninth Circuit | Decision Date: February 8, 2012

In a class action for alleged violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and California laws, the district court's judgment in favor of the defendant is vacated, where: 1) the issue of whether the district court properly applied California's choice of law framework was not waived; 2) the district court erred when it concluded that Georgia law applied; 3) the parties' choice of Georgia law was unenforceable in California; and 4) under California's choice of law framework, the law of California applied. Read the decision.

Skilstaf, Inc. v. CVS Caremark Corp.

Nine Circuit | Decision Date: February 9, 2012

In a putative class action against retail drug stores filed by a plaintiff who had been part of a previously settled class action against a wholesale prescription-drug distributor and a publisher of information about prescription drugs, the district court's dismissal of the complaint is affirmed, where: 1) the district court properly considered the evidence the parties presented and concluded that a covenant not to sue in the settlement agreement was intended to bar against third parties claims that were related to the claims released; 2) enforcing the prior judgment and settlement agreement against the plaintiff, including the covenant not to sue, did not violate the plaintiff's due process rights; and 3) the elements of issue preclusion were met. Read the decision.

Shaver v. Siemens Corp.

Third Circuit | Decision Date: February 29, 2012

In a class action by former employees alleging that the employer and its retirement plans violated ERISA by refusing to provide them with permanent job separation (PJS) pension benefits when it terminated their employment, the district court's denial of the defendants' motion for summary judgment is reversed, where the employees were not entitled to PJS benefits because the plans as written did not entitle them to PJS benefits, and no ERISA provision required otherwise. Read the decision.

Thurman v. Bayshore Transit Management, Inc.

California Court of Appeals | Decision Date: February 27, 2012

In a suit alleging that various employers had violated provisions of the Labor Code that require employers to provide meal and rest periods for their employees, in which the trial court imposed civil penalties, including unpaid wages, against the defendants under the Private Attorneys General Act of 2004, restitution under the Unfair Competition Law, and prejudgment interest, the judgment is: 1) affirmed against the plaintiff's various challenges, including the denial of class certification, and against all but one of the defendants' challenges to the relief granted; and 2) reversed insofar as it allowed the plaintiff to avoid the judicial admission, set forth in his complaint, that the defendants had provided meal periods since July 2003, and permitted him to recover for missed meal periods after July 2003. Read the decision.

Thurman v. Bayshore Transit Management, Inc.

California Court of Appeals | Decision Date: February 27, 2012

In a suit alleging that various employers had violated provisions of the Labor Code that require employers to provide meal and rest periods for their employees, in which the trial court imposed civil penalties, including unpaid wages, against the defendants under the Private Attorneys General Act of 2004, restitution under the Unfair Competition Law, and prejudgment interest, the judgment is: 1) affirmed against the plaintiff's various challenges, including the denial of class certification, and against all but one of the defendants' challenges to the relief granted; and 2) reversed insofar as it allowed the plaintiff to avoid the judicial admission, set forth in his complaint, that the defendants had provided meal periods since July 2003, and permitted him to recover for missed meal periods after July 2003. Read the decision.

Thurman v. Bayshore Transit Management, Inc.

California Court of Appeals | Decision Date: February 27, 2012

In a suit alleging that various employers had violated provisions of the Labor Code that require employers to provide meal and rest periods for their employees, in which the trial court imposed civil penalties, including unpaid wages, against the defendants under the Private Attorneys General Act of 2004, restitution under the Unfair Competition Law, and prejudgment interest, the judgment is: 1) affirmed against the plaintiff's various challenges, including the denial of class certification, and against all but one of the defendants' challenges to the relief granted; and 2) reversed insofar as it allowed the plaintiff to avoid the judicial admission, set forth in his complaint, that the defendants had provided meal periods since July 2003, and permitted him to recover for missed meal periods after July 2003. Read the decision.

Knepper v. Rite Aid Corp

Third Circuit | Decision Date: March 27, 2012

In consolidated opt-out Fed. R. Civ. P. 23(b)(3) damages class actions based on state statutory wage and overtime laws that paralleled the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), which suits alleged violations arising from the same conduct by the same defendant sued in a separate opt-in collective action under the FLSA at 29 USC section 216(b), the district court's judgment granting the defendants' motion to dismiss on the pleadings is: 1) reversed, as a) purported "inherent incompatibility" with FLSA 216(b) actions does not defeat otherwise available federal jurisdiction over opt-out actions based on state law, and b) permitting the opt-out class action to proceed alongside the FLSA opt-in action would not violate the Rules Enabling Act; and 2) affirmed to the extent it held that the state laws were not preempted by the FLSA. Read the decision.

Coneff v. AT&T Corp.

Ninth Circuit | Decision Date: March 16, 2012

In a putative class action against a mobile phone provider brought by residents of eight different states, the district court's denial of a motion to compel arbitration is reversed and the case remanded, where: 1) the arbitration clause should not have been struck down because of its class-action waiver provision, since the Federal Arbitration Act preempts a Washington state law invalidating the class-action waiver on substantive unconscionability grounds; 2) the district court on remand had to apply Washington choice-of-law rules to determine whether any of the relevant states allowed voiding a contract on grounds of freestanding procedural unconscionability. Read the decision.

Brinker Restaurant v. Superior Court (Hohnbaum)

Supreme Court of California | Decision Date: April 12, 2012

In a putative class action by a restaurant's hourly nonexempt employees claiming that the restaurant failed to provide them required rest and meal breaks, or premium wages in lieu of such breaks, the Court of Appeal's reversal of class certification as to three disputed subclasses is: 1) affirmed as to the off-the-clock subclass, where neither a common policy nor a common method of proof was apparent; 2) reversed as to the rest period subclass, where the trial court did not abuse its discretion in concluding that common questions predominate; and 3) reversed as to the meal period subclass and remanded, where the class definition included individuals with no possible claim, since neither Wage Order No. 5 nor Labor Code section 512 imposes a requirement that a meal period must be provided every five hours. Read the decision.

Sutter v. Oxford Health Plans LLC

United States Third Circuit | Decision Date: April 3, 2012

In a dispute over a health plan's alleged failure to make prompt and accurate reimbursement payments to participating physicians, a district court's order denying a motion to vacate an arbitrator's award of class arbitration is affirmed, where the arbitrator endeavored to interpret the parties' arbitration agreement within the bounds of the law, and his interpretation was not totally irrational. Read the decision.

Liu v. Amerco

United States First Circuit | Decision Date: May 4, 2012

In a class action suit alleging that U-Haul had engaged in an attempted price-fixing scheme in violation of state consumer protection law, the district court's dismissal is vacated, where: 1) diversity jurisdiction existed, since the amount in controversy as to the class would likely exceed $5,000,000; 2) the alleged acts violated the state law; and 3) the plaintiff adequately pled causation of damages. Read the decision.

Kinecta Alternative Financial Solutions Inc. v. Superior Court (Malone)

California Court of Appeal | Decision Date: April 25, 2012

In a putative class action alleging wage and hour violations by an employer, in which the defendant moved to compel arbitration of the plaintiff's individual claims, alleging failure to pay overtime and provide rest and meal periods, and to dismiss the class claims, it is held that: 1) the plaintiff did not provide evidence establishing that the provision authorizing only bilateral arbitration was unenforceable or that classwide arbitration was required; and 2) the parties' arbitration agreement did not authorize class arbitration, so the order denying the defendant's motion to dismiss class claims without prejudice had to be reversed. Read the decision.

Aleksick v. 7-Eleven, Inc.

California Court of Appeal | Decision Date: May 8, 2012

In a class action challenge to the practice of a payroll services provider in converting any partial hour worked in a pay period from minutes to hundredths of an hour, thereby shorting employees of a few seconds of time and commensurate pay, summary judgment to the defendant is affirmed, where: 1) the complaint did not allege any statutory predicate for the Unfair Competition Law (UCL) claim of unlawfulness, and the plaintiff did not seek leave to amend, so the principle of forfeiture applied; and 2) even without forfeiture, the plaintiff could not pursue UCL claims for unlawfulness or unfairness because the Labor Code wage statutes govern the employee-employer relationship, and undisputed evidence showed the defendant was not the class members' employer. Read the decision.

Alday v. Raytheon Co.

United States Court of Appeals (9th Circuit) | Decision Date: May 21, 2012

In a class action by retired employees under section 301 of the Labor Management Relations Act and section 502 of ERISA: 1) summary judgment to the plaintiffs is affirmed, where a) the employer expressly agreed to provide 100% company-paid healthcare coverage for eligible retirees in collective bargaining agreements (CBAs), b) the employer's obligation survived the expiration of the CBAs, and c) the employer's agreed-upon obligation could not be unilaterally abrogated by the employer, regardless of the rights it reserved for itself in plan documents; and 2) the district court's rejection of the retirees' claim for punitive and extra-contractual damages is affirmed. Read the decision.

Iskanian v. CLA Transportation Los Angeles

California Court of Appeal | Decision Date: June 4, 2012

In light of AT&T Mobility LLC v. Concepcion (2011), reiterating the rule that the principal purpose of the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA) is to ensure that arbitration agreements are enforced according to their terms, the trial court's rulings are affirmed where it properly ordered this case to arbitration and dismissed class claims. Read the decision.

Elgin v. Dept. of Treasury

United States Supreme Court | Decision Date: June 11, 2012

In a suit brought by federal employees discharged pursuant to 5 U.S.C. section 3328, which bars from Executive agency employment anyone who has knowingly and willfully failed to register for the Selective Service as required by the Military Selective Service Act (MSSA), 50 U.S.C. App. section 453, claiming that section 3328 is an unconstitutional bill of attainder and unconstitutionally discriminates based on sex when combined with the MSSA's male-only registration requirement, the First Circuit's dismissal for lack of jurisdiction is affirmed where the Civil Service Reform Act of 1978 (CSRA) precludes district court jurisdiction over petitioners' claims, because it is fairly discernible that Congress intended the statute's review scheme to provide the exclusive avenue to judicial review for covered employees who challenge covered adverse employment actions, even when those employees argue that a federal statute is unconstitutional. Read the decision.

In Re: Enterprise Rent-A-Car Wage & Hour Employment

United States Third Circuit | Decision Date: June 28, 2012

In a nationwide collective class action under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) alleging failure to pay required overtime wages, the district court's grant of summary judgment for the sole stockholder of thirty eight domestic subsidiaries is affirmed where it is not a "joint employer" of the subsidiaries' assistant managers within the meaning of the FLSA. Read the decision.

City of San Diego v. Haas

California Court of Appeal | Decision Date: June 29, 2012

In a class action pension case involving San Diego Ordinance No. 0-19567, which amended the San Diego Municipal Code (SDMC) to reflect that employees hired on or after July 1, 2005 were not eligible for the Four Benefits, summary judgment against San Diego City Employees Retirement System (SDCERS), is affirmed where: 1) although the Ordinance operates retroactively, it is not invalid because it only amends the SDMC to reflect the City's existing agreements with defendants; 2) no vote was required under City Charter article IX, section 143.1 for the Ordinance to become effective because defendants never accrued rights to the Four Benefits; and 3) Schaefer's individual appeal lacks merit. Read the decision.

L.I. Head Start Child Development Services, Inc. v. Economic Opportunity Commission of Nassau County

United States Second Circuit | Decision Date: March 13, 2013

Judgment awarding damages against defendants pursuant to the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) for breaching their duties as fiduciaries of an employee welfare benefits plan, is affirmed, where: 1) plaintiffs have standing; 2) plaintiffs' Underfunding Claim and EOC Suffolk Delinquency Claim are timely; 3) defendants are fiduciaries; and 4) defendants breached their fiduciary duties with respect to the Underfunding Claim and the EOC Suffolk Delinquency Claim. Read the decision.

Wang v. Chinese Daily News, Inc.

United States Ninth Circuit | Decision Date: March 4, 2013

District court’s certification of plaintiffs' state law claims as a class action under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23(b)(2) in a suit brought by newspaper employees for violations of federal and state labor laws, is reversed in part, and the findings of commonality under Rule 23(a) and predominance under Rule 23(b)(3) are vacated and remanded for reconsideration in light of Wal-Mart Stores v. Duke, 131 S. Ct. 2541 (2011). Read the decision.

Pashby v. Delia

United States Fourth Circuit | Decision Date: March 5, 2013

District court's decision granting preliminary injunction and class certification to plaintiffs, North Carolina residents who lost access to in-home personal care services due to a statutory change that imposed stricter eligibility requirements, is remanded where the district court: 1) properly granted plaintiffs' motion for a preliminary injunction based on plaintiffs' likelihood of success on their the American with Disabilities Act, Rehabilitation Act and Social Security Act claims; but 2) erred in determining that the plaintiffs were likely to succeed on the merits of their due process claim; and 3) failed to comply with the requirements of Federal Rule of Procedure 65, so on remand, must clarify its order and address the issue of security. Read the decision.

Standard Fire Ins. Co. v. Knowles

United States Supreme Court | Decision Date: March 19, 2013

Plaintiff's stipulation that he and the class would seek less than $5 million in damages does not defeat federal jurisdiction under the Class Action Fairness Act, which gives federal district courts original jurisdiction over class actions in which the matter in controversy exceeds $5 million in sum or value, because a plaintiff who files a proposed class action cannot legally bind members of the proposed class before the class is certified. Read the decision.

Parisi v. Goldman, Sachs & Co.

United States Second Circuit | Decision Date: March 21, 2013

District court improperly denied defendants' motion to compel arbitration of plaintiff Parisi's gender discrimination claim, and the order is reversed and remanded, where: 1) the arbitration agreement compelled arbitration of individual claims but not class claims; and 2) private plaintiffs do not have a substantive right to bring a Title VII class action utilizing the pattern-or-practice method of proof. Read the decision.

Tibble v. Edison International

United States Ninth Circuit | Decision Date: March 21, 2013

District court's judgment in a class action brought under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) by plaintiff beneficiaries who alleged that their pension plan was managed imprudently and in a self-interested fashion, is affirmed, where: 1) the district court correctly measured the timeliness of claims alleging imprudence in plan design from when the decision to include those investments in the plan was initially made; 2) mere notification that retail funds were in the Plan menu falls short of providing actual knowledge of the breach or violation; 3) because DOL's interpretation of how the safe harbor functions is consistent with the statutory language, the district court properly decided that section ERISA section 404(c) did not preclude merits consideration of beneficiaries' claims; 4) the revenue sharing as carried out by defendants does not violate ERISA; 5) defendants did not violate their duty of prudence under ERISA by including in the plan menu mutual funds, and a unitized fund for employees' investment in the company's stock; and 5) defendants were imprudent in deciding to include retail-class shares of three specific mutual funds in the plan menu because they failed to investigate the possibility of institutional-share class alternatives. Read the decision.

Slattery v. US

United States Federal Circuit | Decision Date: March 21, 2013

In litigation relating to the failure of Meritor Savings Bank after the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) breached a capital agreement with Meritor, and award for losses, judgment of Court of Federal Claims requiring distribution of the receivership surplus to current shareholders and denying a former employee's motion to intervene is affirmed, where: 1) the lower court erred in applying the current version of 12 U.S.C. section 1821(d)(11) but the error was harmless, as under section 1821(d)(11), current Meritor shareholders are the proper recipients of the receivership surplus; 2) the lower court properly dismissed plaintiff Roth's second amended complaint because he has no rights to the receivership surplus; 3) there is no reason to overturn the lower court's order limiting the government's liability; and 4) the former employee's claim is barred by res judicata. Read the decision.

Compton v. Superior Court (American Managment Services, LLC)

California Court of Appeal | Decision Date: March 19, 2013

Order compelling arbitration of plaintiff's class action complaint for violations of Labor Code provisions governing the payment of wages is reversed and remanded where the arbitration agreement plaintiff signed as a condition of obtaining employment was unconscionable. Read the decision.

Comcast Corp. v. Behrend

United States Supreme Court | Decision Date: March 27, 2013

Plaintiffs' class action, alleging violations of the federal antitrust laws, was improperly certified under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23(b)(3), where: 1) the Third Circuit ran afoul of Supreme Court precedents when it refused to entertain arguments against plaintiffs' damages model that bore on the propriety of class certification simply because they would also be pertinent to the merits determination; and 2) under the proper standard for evaluating certification, plaintiffs' model falls far short of establishing that damages can be measured class-wide. Read the decision.

Johnson v. Priceline.com, Inc.

United States Second Circuit | Decision Date: March 26, 2013

Judgment dismissing plaintiff's state law claims for breaches of fiduciary duty and contract, and unfair trade practices is affirmed, where because plaintiffs have failed as a matter of law to allege an agency relationship between defendant and consumers who use defendant's "Name Your Own Price" service to reserve hotel accommodations, they cannot plausibly claim that defendant breached an agent's fiduciary duty in failing to apprise consumers that it might have procured the accommodations at costs lower than their bids, retaining the difference as profit. Read the decision.

Cruz v. TD Bank, N.A.

United States Second Circuit | Decision Date: March 27, 2013

Two questions are certified to the New York State Court of Appeals: 1) whether judgment debtors have a private right of action for money damages and injunctive relief against banks that violate the Exempt Income Protection Act's (EIPA) procedural requirements; and 2) whether judgment debtors can seek money damages and injunctive relief against banks that violate the EIPA in special proceedings prescribed by Article 52 of the New York Civil Practice Law and Rules and, if so, whether those special proceedings are the exclusive mechanism for such relief or whether judgment debtors may also seek relief in a plenary action. Read the decision.

Selevan v. New York Thruway Authority

United States Second Circuit | Decision Date: March 27, 2013

Summary judgment for defendant in putative class action challenging the constitutionality of defendant's toll policy that allows residents of one island municipality, who must use toll bridges in order to travel by car between their homes on Grand Island, New York, and any location not on Grand Island, to use these bridges at a discounted rate, but denies the same discount to all other motorists is affirmed, where: 1) plaintiffs have Article III standing; 2) the toll policy at issue here was a minor restriction on travel and did not involve "invidious distinctions" that would require strict scrutiny analysis pursuant to the Fourteenth Amendment; 3) the district court properly evaluated plaintiffs' constitutional right-to-travel and dormant Commerce Clause claims under the three-part test set forth in Northwest Airlines, Inc. v. County of Kent; and 4) the Grand Island Bridge toll scheme a) is based on "some fair approximation of use" of the bridges, b) is not "excessive in relation to the benefits" it confers, and c) does not "discriminate against interstate commerce." Read the decision.

Perez v. Nidek Co., LTD

United States Ninth Circuit | Decision Date: March 25, 2013

Dismissal of complaint brought by plaintiff-patients who suffered no injuries but who were subject to the off-label use of a medical device for eye surgeries, where the Food and Drug Administration status of the device was not disclosed to the plaintiff-patients, is affirmed where: 1) the complaint did not state a claim under the California Protection of Human Subjects in Medical Experimentation Act because the surgeries were not "medical experiments" subject to the protection of the Act; 2) plaintiff Perez did not have standing to sue for injunctive relief under the California Consumers Legal Remedies Act; and 3) plaintiff Perez's common law fraud by omission claim is expressly preempted by the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FDCA), and even if it were not, it is impliedly preempted because it amounts to an attempt to privately enforce the FDCA. Read the decision.

Gonzales v. US Dept. of Homeland Security

United States Ninth Circuit | Decision Date: March 29, 2013

District court's judgment and orders denying plaintiffs' motions to amend class certification and to file an amended complaint are vacated and remanded for reconsideration of plaintiffs' motions to amend to add a challenge to the retroactive application of Duran Gonzales I (which held that plaintiffs were ineligible to adjust status because they were not eligible to receive waivers because the requisite ten-year period had not elapsed since they last departed from the United States), in light of the new retroactivity test set forth in the intervening en banc decision in Garfias-Rodriguez v. Holder. Read the decision.

Harden Manufacturing Co. v. Pfizer, Inc.

United States First Circuit | Decision Date: April 3, 2013

Summary judgment for defendant on plaintiffs' RICO and fraud class action alleging defendant's fraudulent marketing of off-label uses of its drug Neurontin, is: 1) reversed as to the RICO claim where plaintiff presented evidence of causation and injury sufficient to survive summary judgment; 2) vacated as to the state law fraud and common law claims, in light of the determination of the RICO claim; and 3) vacated as to the denial of class certification. Read the decision.

Muriithi v. Shuttle Express, Inc.

United States Fourth Circuit | Decision Date: April 1, 2013

District court's refusal to compel arbitration pursuant to a provision in the parties' franchise agreement is vacated and remanded, where the district court erred in concluding that: 1) the class action waiver was an unconscionable contract provision; and 2) the other two challenged provisions regarding splitting arbitration fees, and a one-year limitations period, also rendered the arbitration clause unconscionable. Read the decision.

Muriithi v. Shuttle Express, Inc.

United States Fourth Circuit | Decision Date: April 1, 2013

District court's refusal to compel arbitration pursuant to a provision in the parties' franchise agreement is vacated and remanded, where the district court erred in concluding that: 1) the class action waiver was an unconscionable contract provision; and 2) the other two challenged provisions regarding splitting arbitration fees, and a one-year limitations period, also rendered the arbitration clause unconscionable. Read the decision.

Muriithi v. Shuttle Express, Inc.

United States Fourth Circuit | Decision Date: April 1, 2013

District court's refusal to compel arbitration pursuant to a provision in the parties' franchise agreement is vacated and remanded, where the district court erred in concluding that: 1) the class action waiver was an unconscionable contract provision; and 2) the other two challenged provisions regarding splitting arbitration fees, and a one-year limitations period, also rendered the arbitration clause unconscionable. Read the decision.

Gonzalez v. Downtown LA Motors

California Court of of Appeals | Decision Date: April 2, 2013

Plaintiff-employees were entitled to separate hourly compensation for time spent waiting for repair work or performing other non-repair tasks directed by the employer during their work shifts, as well as penalties under Labor Code section 203(a) in a wage and hour law class action, in which plaintiffs challenged defendant-employer's practice of compensating plaintiffs on the basis of repair tasks completed ("piece-rate") and then allegedly supplementing an employee's pay, if necessary, to cover any shortfall between the piece-rate wages and the minimum wage floor. Read the decision.

Akopyan v. Wells Fargo Home Mortgage, Inc.

California Court of Appeals | Decision Date: April 4, 2013

Judgment of dismissal of class action complaints arising out of their home mortgage loans are affirmed, where: 1) the limitation on late payment charges in Business and Professions Code section 10242.5(b) applies to home mortgage loans negotiated by mortgage loan brokers, regardless of the exempt status under section 10133.1 of entities that funded and serviced the loans; and 2) plaintiff-borrowers' contract claims against defendant-federally regulated entities that serviced their loan for misapplying payments and charging late fees in violation of section 10242.5(b) which they claim is implied in their loans is preempted by the National Bank Act and the Home Owners Loan Act. Read the decision.

Molchatsky v. US

United States Second Circuit | Decision Date: April 10, 2013

In class action alleging defendant US Securities and Exchange Commission negligently failed to adequately investigate Bernard Madoff despite numerous warnings, and in doing so violated federal statutes, regulations and internal polices, dismissal of the suit is affirmed, where the discretionary function exception to the Federal Tort Claims Act shield's the SEC's conduct from plaintiffs' claim. Read the decision.

Mayo v. Board of Educ.

United States Fourth Circuit | Decision Date: April 11, 2013

Dismissal of class action brought by plaintiff-temporary employees alleging that they were entitled to the benefits of an arbitration award entered as the result of an arbitration between the School Board and the Union, as well as benefits from the underlying CBA is affirmed, where: 1) the Union adequately consented to the notice of removal; 2) the plaintiffs' complaint failed to state a claim for relief; and 3) the district court did not err in striking the plaintiffs' motion for reconsideration. Read the decision.

McDaniel v. Wells Fargo Investments, LLC,

United States Ninth Circuit | Decision Date: April 9, 2013

Dismissal of four class action suits challenging the policies of brokerage firms that forbid their employees from opening outside trading accounts, is affirmed, where the district courts correctly determined that the federal Securities Exchange Act, and related self-regulatory organizations rules, preempt the enforcement of California's forced-patronage statute against brokerage houses that forbid their employees from opening outside trading accounts. Read the decision.

Learjet, Inc. v. Oneok, Inc.

United States Ninth Circuit | Decision Date: April 10, 2013

n consolidated multidistrict litigation involving allegations that defendants manipulated the price of natural gas by reporting false information to price indices published by trade publications and engaging in wash sales in the energy crisis of 2000-2002: 1) summary judgment for defendants in most of the cases, finding that plaintiffs' state law antitrust claims were preempted by the Natural Gas Act is reversed; 2) the district court's orders dismissing AEP defendants from the Wisconsin and Missouri suits; and 3) all of the other orders at issue in this appeal are affirmed. Read the decision.

Busk v. Integrity Staffing Solutions, Inc.

United States Ninth Circuit | Decision Date: April 12, 2013

Dismissal of plaintiffs' class action suit for unpaid wages under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and Nevada state law is: 1) reversed in part as to the state law claims, where a FLSA collective action and a state law class action are not inherently incompatible as a matter of law even though plaintiffs must opt into a collective action under the FLSA but must opt out of a class action under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23; 2) reversed in part, where plaintiffs stated an unpaid wages claim under the FLSA and parallel state law for undergoing a security clearance meant to prevent employee theft at the end of each shift, because plaintiffs sufficiently alleged that this activity was "integral and indispensable" to their principal activities; but 3) affirmed in part as to the dismissal of a claim under the FLSA for shortened lunch periods remanded for the district court to consider the argument that the workers stated a state law claim regarding lunch periods because Nevada defines "work" differently than federal law. Read the decision.

Genesis Healthcare Corp. v. Symczyk

United States Supreme Court | Decision Date: April 16, 2013

A collective action under the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 (FLSA) on behalf of respondent and other employees similarly situated, was appropriately dismissed for lack of subject-matter jurisdiction where, after she ignored petitioners' offer of judgment under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 68, respondent had no personal interest in representing putative, unnamed claimants, nor any other continuing interest that would preserve her suit from mootness. Read the decision.

Sams v. Yahoo! Inc.

United States Ninth Circuit | Decision Date: April 15, 2013

Dismissal of putative class claims alleging that defendant Yahoo! violated the Stored Communications Act (SCA) when it disclosed subscriber information to the government pursuant to allegedly invalid subpoenas, is affirmed, where defendant is statutorily immune from suit under the SCA's good-faith immunity provision in 18 U.S.C. section 2707(e) because it produced the requested documents in good faith reliance on grand jury subpoenas Read the decision.

Rodriguez v. Robbins

United States Ninth Circuit | Decision Date: April 17, 2013

The district court properly granted a preliminary injunction to a certified class of non-citizens who challenged their prolonged detentions, requiring the government to identify those detained as certain criminal or terrorist aliens under 8 USC section 1226(c) or arriving aliens under section 1225(b), and to provide each with an individualized bond hearing, where: 1) petitioners were likely to succeed on the merits of their claim that section 1225(b) must be construed to authorize only six months of mandatory detention, after which detention is authorized by section 1226(a) and a bond hearing is required; 2) the preliminary injunction is necessary to ensure that individuals whom the government could not prove constitute a flight risk or danger to public safety are not needlessly detained, and therefore, petitioners clearly showed a risk of irreparable harm; 3) the balance of equities favors petitioners; and 4) the public interest benefits from a preliminary injunction that ensures that federal statutes are construed and implemented in a manner that avoids serious constitutional questions. Read the decision.

Radcliffe v. Experian Information Solutions, Inc.

United States Ninth Circuit | Decision Date: April 22, 2013

The district court's approval of the settlement of a class action against credit reporting agencies under the Fair Credit Reporting Act is reversed and remanded, where: 1) the district court abused its discretion in approving this settlement where the class representatives and class counsel did not adequately represent the interests of the class; and 2) the settlement agreement created a divergence of interests between the named representatives and the class because incentive awards were conditioned on the class representatives' support for the settlement and significantly exceeded in amount what absent class members could expect to get upon settlement approval. Read the decision.

McWilliams v. City of Long Beach

Supreme Court of California | Decision Date: April 25, 2013

Judgment of the Court of Appeals allowing suit challenging the defendant's telephone users tax (TUT) and seeking refund of the taxes paid to proceed, is affirmed, where: 1) the Government Claims Act permits a class action claim by taxpayers against a local government entity for the refund of an unlawful tax "in the absence of a specific tax refund procedure set forth in an applicable governing claims statute"; and 2) defendant's local ordinance purporting to prescribe the procedures for the refund of a local tax, is not a "statute" within the meaning of the Government Claims Act. Read the decision.

Unspam Technologies, Inc. v. Chernuk

United States Fourth Circuit | Decision Date: May 3, 2013

Dismissal of four foreign banks from a class action in which plaintiffs allege that defendants participated in a global Internet conspiracy to sell illegal prescription drugs, is affirmed, where plaintiffs have failed to show that any of the banks has constitutionally sufficient contacts with Virginia, or with the United States, to subject them to personal jurisdiction in a court in Virginia. Read the decision.

Radcliffe v. Experian Information Solutions, Inc.

United States Ninth Circuit | Decision Date: May 2, 2013

The district court's approval of the settlement of a class action against credit reporting agencies under the Fair Credit Reporting Act is reversed and remanded, where: 1) the district court abused its discretion in approving this settlement where the class representatives and class counsel did not adequately represent the interests of the class; and 2) the settlement agreement created a divergence of interests between the named representatives and the class because incentive awards were conditioned on the class representatives' support for the settlement and significantly exceeded in amount what absent class members could expect to get upon settlement approval. (Amended Opinion) Read the decision.

Choate v. Celite Corporation

California Court of Appeals | Decision Date: May 2, 2013

A collective bargaining agreement "otherwise provides" and thereby abrogates an employee's statutory right under Labor Code section 227.3 to immediate payment for vested vacation time only if the agreement clearly and unmistakably waives that right, and because the agreement in this case lacked this clarity, defendant was required to immediately pay terminated employees for all their vested vacation time, but the trial court's judgment imposing waiting time penalties is reversed because defendant nonpayment was not "willful." Read the decision.

US v. City of New York

United States Second Circuit | Decision Date: May 14, 2013

In civil rights action brought by the United States, alleging racial discrimination in the hiring of New York City firefighters: 1) summary judgment on the disparate treatment claim against defendant-city is vacated; 2) dismissal of the federal claims against Mayor Bloomberg is affirmed; 3) dismissal of the state law claims against Mayor Bloomberg and the Fire Commissioner is affirmed; 4) dismissal of the federal law claims against the Fire Commissioner is vacated; 5) the injunction against defendant-city with respect to the hiring of entry-level firefighters is modified, and, as modified, is affirmed; and 6) the bench trial on the liability phase of the discriminatory treatment claim against defendant-city is reassigned to a different district judge. Read more... Read the decision.

New Vista Nursing and Rehabilitation v. NLRB

United States Third Circuit | Decision Date: May 16, 2013

Summary judgment for nurses union against plaintiff on a charge of unfair labor practices, and subsequent orders affirming the same, are vacated, where: 1) the Recess of the Senate in the Recess Appointments Clause refers to only intersession breaks, i.e. breaks between sessions of the Senate; and consequently, 2) the NLRB panel below lacked the requisite number of members to exercise the NLRB's authority because one panel member was invalidly appointed during an intrasession break. Read more... Read the decision.

Ciolino v. Frank

United States Ninth Circuit | Decision Date: May 15, 2013

The district court's orders granting final approval to a class action settlement between Hewlett-Packard Company and a nationwide class of consumers who purchased certain HP inkjet printers, and awarding attorneys' fees, is reversed and remanded, where: 1) the attorneys' fee award to class counsel violated the section 1712 of the Class Action Fairness Act because when a settlement provides for coupon relief, either in whole or in part, any attorneys' fee that is "attributable to the award of coupons" must be calculated using the redemption value of the coupons; and here, 2) the district court awarded fees that were attributable to the coupon relief, but failed to first calculate the redemption value of those coupons Since the district courts have an independent obligation under Rule 23 to ensure reasonableness of lodestar fees, the court said the fairness of the amount should be gauged against the overall class recovery, and weigh the figure against a variety of factors Read the decision.

Hinojos v. Kohl's Corporation

United States Ninth Circuit | Decision Date: May 21, 2013

District court's dismissal of claims under California’s Unfair Competition Law, Fair Advertising Law, and Consumer Legal Remedies Act brought by a plaintiff in a putative class action against defendant alleging false advertising, is reversed, where: 1) a consumer has "lost money or property" so long as false advertisements induced him to buy a product he would not have purchased or to spend more than he otherwise would have spent, and thus has standing to sue under the Unfair Competition Law and Fair Advertising Law because he has suffered an economic injury; 2) for the same reasons, plaintiff states a claim under the California’s Consumer Legal Remedies Act; and 3) defendant' motion to certify the issues to the California Supreme Court both on the merits and because defendant only requested certification for the first time after oral argument. Read the decision.

Leyva v. Medline Industries, Inc.

United States Ninth Circuit | Decision Date: May 28, 2013

The district court's order denying class certification in action brought by plaintiff-employees alleging defendant-employer violated California's labor laws, is reversed and remanded, where: 1) the district court applied the wrong legal standard and abused its discretion when it denied class certification on the grounds that damages calculations would be individual; and 2) the district court abused its discretion by finding that the class would be unmanageable despite the record’s demonstration to the contrary Read the decision.

State Employees Bargaining Agent Coalition v. Rowland

United States Second Circuit | Decision Date: May 31, 2013

Judgment for defendant-state officials dismissing plaintiffs' federal constitutional law claims is reversed and remanded, where: 1) plaintiffs have made out a claim that defendants, in their official capacities, violated their First Amendment right to freedom of association by targeting union employees for firing based on their union membership; and 2) the claims for monetary damages against the defendants in their individual capacities are not barred by the Eleventh Amendment and defendants are not entitled to qualified immunity at this stage Read the decision.

Brown v. Superior Court (Morgan Tire & Auto LLC)

California Court of Appeals | Decision Date: June 6, 2013

The trial court erred in granting defendant's motion to compel individual arbitration as to plaintiff's claims under the Labor Code Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA), where: 1) defendant did not waive or abandon its right to enforce the arbitration agreement; 2) the National Labor Relations Act does not make the class-action waiver unenforceable; but 3) the class action waiver is unenforceable as applied to claims under PAGA because the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA) does not demand enforcement of an arbitration agreement that purports to override the statutory right to bring representative claims under PAGA Read the decision.

Harris v. Amgen, Inc.

United States Ninth Circuit | Decision Date: June 6, 2013

Dismissal of an ERISA class action brought by current and former employees of defendants is reversed, where: 1) a presumption of prudence did not apply because the plan terms did not require or encourage the defendant fiduciaries to invest primarily in employer stock; 2) in the absence of the presumption, plaintiffs sufficiently alleged violation of defendants' fiduciary duties regarding two employer sponsored pension plans; and 3) defendant is an adequately alleged fiduciary of the Amgen Plan Read the decision.

American Express Co. v. Italian Colors Restaurant

United States Supreme Court | Decision Date: June 20, 2013

The Federal Arbitration Act does not permit courts to invalidate a contractual waiver of class arbitration on the ground that the plaintiffs' cost of individually arbitrating a federal statutory claim exceeds the potential recovery, and therefore the Second Circuit's holding that the class-action waiver in this matter was unenforceable and arbitration of plaintiffs' antitrust claims could not proceed, is reversed Read the decision.

Padilla v. Maersk Line, Limited

United States Second Circuit | Decision Date: June 25, 2013

Summary judgment in favor of plaintiffs, a class of seafarers discharged from service on defendant's ships due to illness or injury, is affirmed, where: 1) here, the collective bargaining agreement does not limit the availability of unearned wages and so general maritime law must be applied; 2) the record reflects that it was the custom and practice for seafarers working for defendant to derive substantial income from overtime compensation and that, consequently, such compensation was a common expectation of both the seamen and of defendant; and 3) plaintiffs were entitled, as part of unearned wages, to overtime pay that they would have earned from the time of their discharge until the end of their respective voyages. Read the decision.

Thompson v. Automobile Club of Southern California

California Court of Appeals | Decision Date: June 27, 2013

The trial court did not abuse its discretion in denying plaintiff's motion for class certification in an action challenging defendant's policies relating to renewal, specifically, its practice of "backdating" late renewals to the member's original expiration date if the renewal occurs within 95 days, which he alleged results in late-renewing members receiving less than a full year of services, where: 1) the evidence demonstrates the trial court properly exercised its discretion when it concluded the proposed class was not ascertainable; 2) the trial court had substantial evidence from which it could conclude that individual issues predominated over common ones; 3) plaintiff's claims were not typical of the class; and thus, 4) the court therefore properly exercised its discretion when it denied class certification Read the decision.

Erie Insurance Exchange v. Erie Indemnity Company

United States Third Circuit | Decision Date: June 28, 2013

The district court's order remanding plaintiff's action for misappropriation of funds against defendant, who is plaintiff's attorney-in-fact and manages plaintiff's operations, is affirmed, where because this case was brought under state rules that bear no resemblance to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23 in that they allow for suits by entities, not a conglomerate of individuals, it does not meet the statutory definition of "class action." Read the decision.

The Authors Guild Inc. v. Google Inc.

United States Second Circuit | Decision Date: July 1, 2013

The district court's order certifying a plaintiff class of authors claiming that defendant committed copyright infringement by copying and displaying snippets of millions of books in the Library Project of its Google Books search tool, is vacated and remanded, whereclass certification was premature in the absence of a determination by the district court of the merits of defendant's "fair use" defense. Read the decision.

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