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Class Action Blog

As society becomes increasingly litigious, and as plaintiff attorneys market their services more aggressively, class action litigation is posing a rapidly growing threat to businesses in all sectors.

Class Action Blog
October 8, 2019

Ninth Circuit Declares Facebook Must Face Certified Class Alleging Violations of Illinois’s Biometric Information Privacy Act

Three Illinois Facebook users filed a putative class action against Facebook on behalf of an Illinois class alleging a violation of the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA). Specifically, they alleged that Facebook violated the statute by “collecting, using and storing biometric identifiers (a ‘scan’ of ‘face geometry,’ …) from their photos without obtaining a written release and without establishing a compliant retention schedule.”

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Class Action Blog
August 22, 2019

Declaratory Judgment Class Action Ruling Vacated for Lack of Standing

A GEICO insured injured in a car accident assigned his Florida PIP (Personal Injury Protection) benefits to his chiropractor. The chiropractor would have been entitled to recover $10,000.00 assuming the insured was diagnosed with an emergency medical condition (EMC), but was otherwise limited to $2,500.00 in benefits. GEICO paid the chiropractor $7,311 in PIP benefits, even though there was no EMC finding. Unsatisfied, the chiropractor filed a declaratory judgment class action against GEICO seeking a declaration that GEICO was required to pay the chiropractor the full $10,000.00. Several months after suit was filed and more than two years after the accident, the insured “obtained an EMC medical diagnosis.” After denying the motion to remand the case “for lack of Article III standing,” the court granted summary judgment in favor of the chiropractor. GEICO then appealed arguing that the chiropractor lacked standing. The Eleventh Circuit panel concluded that the chiropractor had no standing and for that reason vacated the judgment and directed the district court to remand the case to Florida state court.

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Class Action Blog
January 7, 2019

Second Circuit Rules Investor Had Article III Standing, But Failed to State Claims

Total Gas & Power North America, Inc. (Total Gas) is a company engaged in natural gas commodity and derivative trading at regional hubs in the western United States. A trader at the West Desk of Total Gas reported market manipulation in four commodities markets to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and the Commodities Future Trading Commission (CFTC). Both agencies concluded Total Gas had engaged in a multi-year strategy to repeatedly manipulate the price of natural gas commodities. 

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Class Action Blog
October 21, 2018

Ninth Circuit Finds Standing for Data Breach Customers to Pursue Putative Class Action Against Retailer

Several putative class action lawsuits were filed as the result of a January 2012 hack attack on online retailer Zappos.com, Inc.’s servers. The hack allowed the theft of personal identifying information (“PII”) of more than 24 million Zappos customers. There was an MDL set up in the District of Nevada to handle pretrial proceedings. Zappos filed a motion to dismiss the third amended consolidated complaint and a motion to strike the class allegations. The Court grouped the various plaintiffs into (1) those who alleged that they had financial losses from identity theft; and (2) those named in earlier complaints who did not allege having financial losses from identity theft. The District Court ruled that the group alleging they already had financial losses had Article III standing.

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Class Action Blog
September 24, 2018

Third Circuit Affirms Class Certification Denial of Nationwide and Four-State Classes

Patricia Wright and Kevin West sued Owens Corning and Owens Corning Sales, LLC (“Owens Corning”) in Pennsylvania pursuing a nationwide class action case for allegedly selling defective roofing shingles. The summary judgment ruling in favor of the Defendants was partially reversed on appeal which led Wright and West to join with Jaime Gonzalez and others in filing similar suits in California, Illinois, Pennsylvania, and Texas. Those cases were then transferred and consolidated in Pennsylvania. The District Court denied the motion to certify the Nationwide and Four-State Class Action cases, rulings the 3rd Circuit affirmed in March of 2018. The case was before the 3rd Circuit on a Rule 23(f) appeal.

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