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 …

Fifth Circuit Remands Putative Class Action under CAFAs Home State Abstention after RICO Claims are Dismissed

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A putative class action was filed by a Louisiana citizen in Texas State Court challenging the use of red light cameras within Texas. After removal, Watson amended his complaint to delete the RICO claim, and, eleven days later, moved to remand the case to State Court, arguing that CAFA’s exceptions precluded the district court from exercising diversity jurisdiction over the …

U.S. Ninth Circuit Declines to Mechanically Apply Traditional Conflict Rules to Class Actions

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The articulated bases for the State of California’s automatic disqualification rule for simultaneous conflicts “fits the circumstances of the lawyer who represents a class of plaintiffs whose interests may in some ways be adverse to each other, but all of whose interests are adverse to the defendant. In a class action, conflicts often arise not because an attorney simultaneously represents litigation adversaries but …

U.S. Fifth Circuit Re-Affirms pre-Stolt-Nielsen Caselaw referring the Question of Collective or Class Action under the Arbitration Agreement to the Arbitrator

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Stolt–Nielsen does not overrule prior Supreme Court and Fifth Circuit decisions requiring questions of arbitrability, including the availability of class mechanisms, to be deferred to arbitration by agreement.” In this particular case: “Section (g) of the arbitration agreement subjects ‘claims challenging the validity or enforceability of this Agreement (in whole or in part) or challenging the applicability of the Agreement …

U.S. Fifth Circuit Grants Rehearing En Banc to Consider when Reliance Can Be Inferred in Class Actions brought under the Civil RICO Statute

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On March 12, 2016, a majority of the judges on the U.S. Fifth Circuit voted to grant Rehearing En Banc to reconsider the October 15, 2015 decision in the Torres v. S.G.E. Management Ponzi scheme case, in which the original Panel refused to allow reliance to be inferred where there was some other rational explanation for the conduct in question: The …