U.S. Fifth Circuit Affirms Class-Wide Damages Model, Reverses Certification of Fraud Claims, and Remands for Further Consideration of Pot. Waiver Issue and Its Pot. Effect on the Question of Adequacy

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In a case against Progessive for breach of contract, statutory insurance law, and fraud claims relating to the adjustment of total-loss claims, the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals rejected Progressive’s challenge under Comcast: “Plaintiffs’ liability theory is that Defendant unlawfully used WorkCenter Total Loss (WCTL) to calculate the base value of total loss vehicles. Plaintiffs claim that using WCTL, …

Louisiana Fourth Circuit Emphasizes that, in Considering a Motion to Decertify, the Court Should Consider the Prejudice to the Parties at that Stage of the Proceedings

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The Louisiana Fourth Circuit Court of Appeal recently articulated ten principles relating to a court’s decision on a Motion to Decertify a class: 1. A trial court’s decision denying a decertification motion is an interlocutory judgment that is immediately appealable. 2. A trial court’s decision denying a motion to decertify a class is one involving a valid exercise of discretion …

U.S. Ninth Circuit Affirms Certification of RICO Claims against Credit Card Processing Service Providers

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Small businesses and business owners who leased “point of sale” credit and debit card processing equipment brought two related class claims against Leasing Defendants, a group of entities who financed their acquisition of such equipment.  As a matter of general background: Credit and debit card transactions are processed through financial networks called interchanges that are run by entities such as …

Ninth Circuit Rejects Stand-Alone ‘Administrative Feasibility’ Requirement in Addition to the Superiority considerations under Rule 23(b)(3)

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Plaintiffs brought a putative class action against ConAgra on behalf of consumers who purchased Wesson-brand cooking oil products labeled “100% Natural” which they allege was false or misleading, as Wesson oils are made from bioengineered ingredients that are “not natural”.  The district corut granted class certification, and the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed. “The language of Rule 23 …

Eastern District of North Carolina Certifies Class and Grants Summary Judgment under ERISA on Unpaid Contributions

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Participants filed a putative class action against Trojan Horse and Glen Burnie Hauling for failing to make deposits into their defined contribution 401(k) plan, despite having continued to make such deductions and withholdings from plaintiffs’ wages.  The plaintiffs also joined Ascensus Trust, and sought summary judgment on fiduciary status and breach. The Court found that “the unpaid Plan contributions are …

Northern District of Illinois Certifies FDCPA Claims, Rejecting Challenges based on Ascertainability and Article III

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A debt collector’s “attempt to impose percentage-based collection costs or fees absent a prior express agreement violates the FDCPA, unless such costs are allowed by applicable state law…. NRA contends that the proposed class is not ascertainable because ‘to the extent liability, if any, turns on whether or not the “costs” charged to each putative class member were expressly authorized …

U.S. District Court in Hawaii Finds Formal Trial Plan Unnecessary in Absence of Individualized Proof Problems

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A class action was brought against Lloyds Bank regarding the issuance of certain dual currency, or International Mortgage System (“IMS”), loans.  The U.S. District Court in Hawaii certified a class, and the U.S. Ninth Circuit denying Lloyds’ Rule 23(f) petition. Lloyds then filed a Motion to Compel Trial Plan “illustrating the expected course of proceedings at trial and showing that …

U.S. Seventh Circuit Affirms Certification of Anti-Trust Action; Rejects Application of Previous Class Release

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Plaintiffs brought suit alleging that the defendants agreed to restrict the supply of containerboard by cutting capacity, slowing back production, taking downtime, idling plants, and tightly restricting inventory, thereby leading to an increase in the price of containerboard.  A nationwide class of direct purchasers was certified, and the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed. First, the court noted that the …

U.S. Supreme Court Vacates and Remands Statutory Damages Case for “Concreteness” of Injury Analysis under Article III

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The defendant operates a ‘people search engine’ which conducts a computerized search in a wide variety of databases and provides information about the subject of the search.  Based on inaccurrate information that gathered and then disseminated about the plaintiff, he filed a class complaint under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), which provides that any business or person who willfully …

Judge in W.D. Arkansas Sanctions Attorneys who Dismiss Putative Class Action to Effectuate Settlement in State Court

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A putative class action was filed in the Circuit Court of Polk County, Arkansas, and properly removed under the Class Action Fairness Act of 2005 (CAFA). An answer was filed, followed by a motion for partial judgment on the pleadings.  Then the court stayed the action on joint motion of the parties. At the initial mediation session, the possibility of …