Category Archives: Federal Class Action

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In Sprint Victory, Judge Posner and the Seventh Circuit Hold That Arbitration Is Required in a TCPA Class Action Even Though the Alleged Violation Occurred After the Termination of the Contract

On May 11, 2015, in an opinion written by Judge Posner, the Seventh Circuit reversed an order denying Sprint’s motion to compel arbitration in a class action allegation violations of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”).  The thrust of the dispute was not whether there was a valid agreement to arbitrate between Sprint and the … Continue Reading

Baker v. Microsoft Corporation Revisited: Video Gaming Company Seeks to Stop Class Action Plaintiffs From Shortcutting the Appeals Process

We recently reported on a Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals opinion reversing a district court’s decision to strike class action allegations in a putative class action against Microsoft.  Baker v. Microsoft Corp., No. 12-35946, 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 4317 (9th Cir. Mar. 18, 2015).  In Baker v. Microsoft Corporation, the Ninth Circuit panel of judges … Continue Reading

Recent Ninth Circuit Decisions in False Advertising Consumer Class Action Cases May Prevent Preemption and Relegate the Primary Jurisdiction Doctrine to Second-Class Status

In two recent decisions, Reid v. Johnson & Johnson, __ F.3d __, Case No. 12-56726 (9th Cir. March 13, 2015) and Astiana v. The Hain Celestial Group, Inc., __ F.3d __, Case No. 12-17596 (9th Cir. April 10, 2015), the Ninth Circuit either rejected or minimized the use of preemption and primary jurisdiction as defenses … Continue Reading

Baker v. Microsoft Corporation: Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals Decision in Class Action Against Video Gaming Company May Make It More Difficult to Defeat Class Actions

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals recently reversed a district court’s decision to strike the class action allegations in Baker v. Microsoft Corp., No. 12-35946, 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 4317 (9th Cir. Mar. 18, 2015).  In Baker, the putative class alleged that a design defect in Xbox 360 video game consoles caused the consoles to … Continue Reading

Creative Construction: The Ninth Circuit Relaxes Removal Statute’s Timeliness Test in Class Action Fairness Act Cases

In Jordan v. Nationstar Mortgage LLC, No. 14-35943 and 15-35113, 2015 WL 1447217 (Apr. 1, 2015 9th Cir.), a Ninth Circuit panel held that cases subject to the Class Action Fairness Act (“CAFA”) become “removable” only when removal under CAFA is first ascertainable even if the initial pleading earlier disclosed a separate non-CAFA basis for … Continue Reading

Not So Small After All: CallFire Uses Common Carrier Defense to Defeat Rinky Dink TCPA Class Action Case

Last month, in Rinky Dink, Inc. v. Electronic Merchant Systems, et al., No 13-cv-01347, 2015 WL 778065 (W.D. Wash. Feb. 24, 2015), online voice and text provider CallFire became one of the first (if not the first) TCPA defendants to avoid liability for pre-recorded calls through the common carrier defense.… Continue Reading

Court Finds that Class Action Plaintiffs’ False Advertising Claims are Stripped Bayer Based on Federal Preemption

In the recent case of Gallagher v. Bayer AG, Case No. 14-cv-04601-WHO (N.D. Cal. March 10, 2015), the plaintiffs asserted that the defendants Bayer AG and related entities (collectively, “Bayer”) engaged in false advertising under California, New York, and Florida law.  The products in question were 20 varieties of One-A-Day vitamins that each included advertising … Continue Reading

Ascertainability Saps Plaintiffs’ Energy in Dietary Supplement Class Action

In the recent decision Mirabella v. Vital Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Case No. 12-62086-CIV-ZLOCH (S.D. Fl. Feb. 27, 2015) the plaintiffs attempted, but failed, to certify a nationwide class of all purchasers of an energy drink that allegedly caused harmful side-effects.  The plaintiffs brought claims under Florida’s consumer protection statute, known as the Deceptive and Unfair Trade … Continue Reading

The Second Circuit Holds That Comcast Does Not Require Automatic Denial of Rule 23(b)(3) Class Certification in Cases Presenting Individualized Damages Issues

In Roach v. T.L. Cannon Corp., No. 13-3070-cv, 2015 WL 528125 (2d Cir. Feb. 10, 2015), the Second Circuit Court of Appeals held that Comcast Corp. v. Behrend, 133 S. Ct. 1426 (2013), does not require district courts to first find that damages are capable of classwide measurement before certifying classes under Federal Rule of … Continue Reading

It’s Not Personal: Ninth Circuit Denies Putative Class Representative’s Appeal as Moot

In Campion v. Old Republic Protection Company, Inc., No. 12-56784, (Dec. 31, 2014) the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals held that a putative class representative’s appeal was moot because he had no personal stake in the case after voluntarily settling his individual claims.  Douglas Campion brought a class action against Old Republic asserting causes of … Continue Reading

No Proof Necessary: SCOTUS Rules Defendant’s Notice Of Removal Under CAFA Need Not Include Evidence of The Amount In Controversy

On December 15, 2014, the United States Supreme Court resolved a circuit split in holding that a defendant need not supply evidence of the amount in controversy in its notice of removal under the Class Action Fairness Act (“CAFA”).  In Dart Cherokee Basin Operating Co. v. Owens, No. 13-719, 574 U.S. __ (2014), the plaintiff, … Continue Reading

Dole Defeats “All Natural Claims” for Sweet Victory

On December 8, 2014, U.S. District Court Judge Lucy Koh of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California granted defendant Dole’s motion for summary judgment of the plaintiff’s false labeling claims in Brazil v. Dole Packaged Foods, LLC.  The court granted summary judgment on the ground that the plaintiff had failed to … Continue Reading

Now That That’s Settled: The Status of Class Action Settlements in the Seventh Circuit after Pella, Radioshack and NBTY

Over the last several months, Judge Richard Posner has authored a triumvirate of opinions reversing the district courts’ approval, over objections, of consumer class action settlements—Eubank v. Pella Corp., 753 F.3d 718 (7th Cir. 2014), Redman v. RadioShack Corp., 768 F.3d 622 (7th Cir. 2014), and Pearson v. NBTY, Inc., No. 12-1245, 2014 WL 6466128 … Continue Reading

Faulty Damages Model Leads to Partial Decertification

On November 6, 2014, U.S. District Court Judge Lucy Koh of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California granted in part defendant Dole’s motion for decertification in Brazil v. Dole Packaged Foods, LLC.  In May of 2014, the court had granted certification of classes under both Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23(b)(2) … Continue Reading

Removing All Doubt: The First Circuit Clarifies the Conditions Triggering the 30-Day Removal Window When the Earlier, Initial Pleading Does Not Disclose Grounds for Removal

In Romulus v. CVS Pharmacy, Inc., No. 14-1937, 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 20548 (1st Cir. Oct. 24, 2014), the First Circuit Court of Appeals clarified the conditions triggering a defendant’s 30-day window to remove a case to federal court under the Class Action Fairness Act, 28 U.S.C. § 1332, when the earlier, initial pleading did … Continue Reading

Courts Still Searching for Sweet Spot in “Evaporated Cane Juice” Cases: Confusion Over Applicability of Primary Jurisdiction to ECJ Claims Continues

May 2014 was an active month for evaporated cane juice (“ECJ”) litigation in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.  Six courts issued opinions that involved the application of the primary jurisdiction doctrine to ECJ claims.  The primary jurisdiction doctrine allows courts to stay or dismiss a complaint without prejudice, pending the … Continue Reading

Tea Manufacturer Defeats Damages – Seeking Class Action Plaintiff in an Opinion Steeped in Comcast

In Lanovaz v. Twinings North America, Inc., 2014 WL 1652338, Case No. C-12-02646-RMW (N.D. Cal. April 24, 2014), the court granted-in-part and denied-in-part a motion for class certification in a false advertising case about tea labels.  The plaintiff alleged that the defendant’s tea was “misbranded” because it advertised the tea as a “Natural Source of … Continue Reading

J.M. Smucker Company Gets Out of a Jam in Food Labelling Case

On April 15, 2014, in the case Caldera v. The J.M. Smucker Co., CV 12-4936-GHK, J.M. (C.D. Cal.), Smucker Company (“Defendant”) defeated the plaintiff’s motion for class certification in a case challenging the labels on Defendant’s Crisco shortening and Uncrustables food products.  The lawsuit claimed that Defendant had mislabeled its Crisco shortening with false claims … Continue Reading

Sweet(ener) Confusion: Court Divide Over Role of Primary Jurisdiction Doctrine in “Evaporated Cane Juice” Cases Grows

In Swearingen v. Santa Cruz Natural, Inc., No. C 13-04291 (N.D. Cal. April 2, 2014), Judge Illston of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California granted defendant’s motion to dismiss based on the primary jurisdiction doctrine.  The court held that the determination of the issue of whether the use of the term … Continue Reading

Seventh Circuit Affirms Lodestar Method to Determine Attorneys’ Fees in TCPA Class Action Settlement

In Americana Art China Company, Inc. v. Foxfire Printing & Packaging, Inc., 743 F.3d 243 (7th Cir. Feb. 18, 2014), the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit affirmed the district court’s attorneys’ fees award in a class action settlement arising from the defendant’s faxing of thousands of unsolicited advertisements in violation of the … Continue Reading

A (POM) Wonderful Result For Consumer Class Action Defendants

On March 25, 2014, the court in In re: POM Wonderful LLC Marketing and Sales Practices Litigation, Case No. ML 10-02199 DDP (C.D. Cal.), granted a motion by defendant POM Wonderful LLC (“POM”) to decertify a previously certified class of consumers who purchased certain POM juice products.  The court granted POM’s motion because plaintiff failed … Continue Reading

When 30 Days Just Isn’t Enough: The Ninth Circuit Rules that Defendants’ Right to Remove May Not be Limited to 30 Days

In Rea v. Michaels Stores, No. 14-55008, 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 2928 (9th Cir. Feb. 18, 2014), the Ninth Circuit reversed the district court’s order remanding a wage-and-hour class complaint to state court, ruling that the defendant employer’s removal of the case to federal court under the Class Action Fairness Act (CAFA) was proper.  The … Continue Reading

Ninth Circuit Concludes That Common Issues Do Not Predominate Where Retailer’s In-Store Signs and Oral Sales Statements Place Each Putative Class Member’s Exposure to Misleading Statements in Doubt

In Berger v. Home Depot USA, Inc., Case No. 11-55592, 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 2059 (9th Cir. Feb. 3, 2014), the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the denial of class certification based largely on evidence that the defendant’s point-of-sale signs and oral statements supplied allegedly withheld information.  A proposed class lacks the requisite cohesion … Continue Reading
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