Eleventh Circuit Holds Rule 23 Trumps State Law Precluding Private Class Actions

The Alabama Deceptive Trade Practices Act’s (ADTPA) restriction on private class actions does not apply in federal court. Federal Rule 23 controls. That’s what the Eleventh Circuit recently held, relying on Shady Grove Orthopedic Associates, P.A. v. Allstate Insurance Co., 559 U.S. 393, 130 S. Ct. 1431, 176 L.Ed.2d 311 (2010). Plaintiff contracted for installation of a wood fence. The manufacturer warranted that the wood was treated and would remain free from rot, ... Keep Reading »

Event: DRI Class Actions (July 23-24, 2015)

DRI will be hosting Class Actions: Latest Developments in Law and Practice July 23-24, 2015 at the JW Marriott in Washington, D.C. This high level seminar experience is hosted by an interdisciplinary collection of DRI committees and offers a stellar opportunity to sharpen your class action defense skills in the presence of the best in the business. Attendees will have the opportunity to build their books of contacts at a variety of networking events, where the finest ... Keep Reading »

Ninth Circuit Finds Local Controversy Exception to CAFA

The Ninth Circuit reversed the dismissal of a class action and instructed the district court to remand the case to state court, based on the local controversy exception to the Class Action Fairness Act (CAFA). In doing so, it held that a post-removal amended complaint may be considered to determine whether remand is appropriate. A group of Nevada citizens sued six separate entities in Nevada state court for illegal debt collection practices. After removal, the ... Keep Reading »

Eighth Circuit Affirms Denial of “Predominance” Class: The Long Arm of the Missouri Merchandising Practices Act Does Not Reach Wholly Out-of-State Conduct

In 2012, California resident Ronald Perras brought suit in federal district court against H&R Block and its affiliates (H&R), which are headquartered in Kansas City, Missouri. Perras alleged that H&R violated the Missouri Merchandising Practices Act (MMPA) by charging its customers compliance fees in excess of H&R’s actual cost of complying with new federal regulations. Perras sought to define a class of all persons in all states except Missouri who had ... Keep Reading »

Party Waived Right to Compel Arbitration by Waiting to Raise the Defense Until After Class Certification and Shortly Before Trial

After two years of litigation and extensive pretrial discovery, the Tenth Circuit held that cable company Cox Enterprises had waived its right to compel arbitration in an antitrust class action.  The opinion is a cautionary tale for defendants not to delay in invoking their arbitration rights, warning against efforts by parties to "game the federal courts and abuse the judicial process" by waiting to raise the arbitration defense until after class certification and ... Keep Reading »

Certification Unhealthy: Ninth Circuit Vacates Order Certifying Class of Dietary Supplement Purchasers

The Ninth Circuit vacated a class certification order issued by the Central District of California, finding that common issues did not predominate because plaintiff had failed to demonstrate that the alleged misrepresentation that formed the basis of her suit had been made to all putative class members. Plaintiff alleged that defendant, Supple LLC, violated California’s Unfair Competition Law, California’s False Advertising Law, and California’s Consumer Legal Remedies ... Keep Reading »

A Message From the Eighth Circuit Regarding the TCPA

The purpose of a telephone solicitation, rather than its content, determines whether it is prohibited telemarketing under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), 47 U.S.C. § 227 et seq. That is what the Eighth Circuit determined in a case arising from unsolicited telephone calls with prerecorded messages initiated for the purpose of promoting the motion picture, Last Ounce of Courage. The Golan family, who were registered on federal and state "do not call" ... Keep Reading »

All About That Base: Claim Against Fat Loss Supplement Maker Fails For Lack of Ascertainability

Adam Karhu bought a dietary supplement called VPX Meltdown Fat Incinerator (“Meltdown”) in reliance on advertising by Vital Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (“VPX”) that Meltdown would result in fat loss. Concerned that Meltdown did not in fact result in loss of girth “in all the right places,”1 if at all, Karhu filed a class action suit in the Southern District of Florida alleging that Meltdown’s advertising was false. Karhu’s motion for class certification was denied because he ... Keep Reading »

Nevada Federal District Court Follows National Trend, Dismisses Data Breach Class Action for Lack of Standing

In granting a motion to dismiss a data breach putative class action lawsuit, the District of Nevada joined the majority of federal district courts in holding that plaintiffs whose personal information was stolen lack Article III standing to sue in federal court. The case derived from a 2012 breach of Zappos.com, Inc.’s servers in which hackers stole 24 million customers' personal information. Zappos moved to dismiss the case for lack of standing because, it alleged, ... Keep Reading »

Laid-Off Chicago Teachers Clear Class Certification Hurdles

In 2011, the Board of Education of the City of Chicago laid off over 1,400 teachers and paraprofessionals, all of whom belonged to the same union.  The Board chose which schools would be subject to layoffs and it was then up to the principals of those schools to recommend the positions to be cut, subject to the central office review.  In 2012, the union, as well as three laid-off African-American tenured teachers, commenced a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the ... Keep Reading »