Federal District Courts Class Action Articles

The latest class action developments and trends in Federal District Courts, including news, key cases, and strategies.

Court Declines to Certify Class Alleging Off-Label Marketing of Cancer Drug

Third party payors ("TPPs") responsible for paying the costs of prescriptions for their beneficiaries sued Cephalon, Inc., alleging that it engaged in unlawful off-label marketing of Actiq, a drug approved to manage breakthrough cancer pain in certain patients. Plaintiffs argued that Cephalon's conduct caused plaintiffs to make excessive off-label prescription payments for Actiq to treat conditions not approved by the FDA and for whom less expensive pain management drugs ... Keep Reading »

Predominance Lacking in Telephone Recording Case Involving Caller Consent

In a class action brought under a California penal statute that prohibits the intentional recording of telephone calls without the consent of all parties on the call, a California district court denied class certification on the grounds that common questions of fact do not predominate among the putative class members. Defendant, a construction materials supplier, received orders from its customers through a dedicated phone line.  Prior to 2009, defendant utilized a ... Keep Reading »

Town Gets Schooled on Class Definition in PCB Contamination Case

The Town of Lexington, Massachusetts filed a putative class action in 2012 on behalf of itself and alleged similarly situated Massachusetts school districts that have one or more buildings with airborne polychlorinated-biphenyl (PCB) levels above the public health levels established by the EPA. From the outset of the litigation, defendants argued this proposed class was not ascertainable, as implicitly required by Rule 23, because it was impossible to identify the class ... Keep Reading »

Running on Empty: Defective Gas Class Sputters in Louisiana District Court

The Middle District of Louisiana denied certification of a putative class bringing claims for redhibition and unjust enrichment against Exxon Mobil Corporation ("Exxon").  Plaintiffs allegedly purchased gasoline refined at Exxon’s Baton Rouge terminal that Exxon conceded contained a resin accidentally introduced during the refining process. The parties disputed whether the resin fully combusted during normal engine operations or remained in the engine causing damage and ... Keep Reading »

Certification of Minor Class Could Have Major Impact on Facebook

Plaintiffs, two minors who used their parents' money to make purchases on Facebook without parental consent, brought a putative class action against the company, alleging its policy of representing purchases as non-refundable violates California law holding that contracts entered into by minors are void or voidable. Through their guardians, plaintiffs sought to certify a class of Facebook users who were minors during a four year period, along with a subclass of those who ... Keep Reading »

Target Reaches Preliminary Settlement in Consumer Data Breach Class Action

Last week, a Minnesota federal district court granted a motion for preliminary approval of a settlement of putative consumer class action claims against Target in the wake of a data breach at the retailer over the 2013 holiday shopping season.  The settlement will provide a fund of up to $10 million to be distributed through a claims process to class members who suffered identity theft as a result of the breach. The final approval hearing is set for November 10, ... Keep Reading »

Threat of Identity Theft is Not Enough: Another Data Breach Class Action Dismissed for Lack of Standing

Hewing to prior Third Circuit precedent in Reilly v. Ceridian and the Supreme Court's precedent in Clapper v. Amnesty International, the Middle District of Pennsylvania recently joined the majority of federal district courts in dismissing putative data breach class actions for lack of standing where the named plaintiffs fail to allege identity theft. Although standing is a requirement in any case, it is particularly relevant in the data breach context, where actual ... Keep Reading »

GCs facing more bet-the-company and higher exposure class actions

Across industries, companies spent $2 billion on class action lawsuits in 2014, slightly less than the $2.1 billion they spent in 2013. This year, spending is expected to return to 2013 levels. Companies’ class action dockets increased on average by one new case in 2014, bringing the average number of class actions managed to five. This total is expected to remain constant in 2015, as the number of new matters is likely to be offset by those resolved. As before, ... Keep Reading »

Question Certified To Second Circuit: Does The Court Or The Arbitrator Decide Whether An Arbitration Agreement Permits Class Arbitration?

In the Second Circuit, as in other jurisdictions, only exceptional circumstances will justify a departure from the basic policy of postponing appellate review until after the entry of a final judgment. A New York federal district court recently encountered such circumstances in connection with a motion to certify an interlocutory appeal of an order compelling arbitration. Plaintiffs filed a demand for class arbitration and defendants filed a competing motion to compel ... Keep Reading »

Sweet Ending for Plaintiffs in Food Labeling Class Action Against Ghirardelli

A California district court certified a Rule 23(b)(3) food labeling class action against chocolatier Ghirardelli and approved a proposed settlement.  The genesis of Plaintiffs' claim is that defendant mislabeled its "White Chips" and other products in a way that would mislead consumers into believing that the products contained white chocolate. Plaintiffs also asserted a claim that the "all natural" label was improper because the products contained "genetically modified, ... Keep Reading »