Tag Archives: Class Action

Flint Water Crisis Litigation Flows On

While the headlines from the Flint water crisis have all but subsided, two consolidated putative class actions arising from the crisis gained new life over the summer as a result of the Sixth Circuit’s ruling in Boler v. Earley. The Boler decision examined whether two groups of plaintiffs’ constitutional claims were preempted by the federal … Continue Reading

Flint Water Controversy Provides Civil Procedure Lesson Under CAFA Exception

In Mason v. Lockwood, Andrews & Neuman, a split panel of the Sixth Circuit affirmed a district court’s decision to remand a class action to state court under the “local controversy” exception to the Class Action Fairness Act.  CAFA requires a court to “decline” jurisdiction over a class action that otherwise qualifies for federal court … Continue Reading

Sixth Circuit: Standard For Sealing Judicial Records “Vastly More Demanding” Than For Rule 26 Protective Order

In Shane Group, Inc. v. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Mich., a unanimous panel of the Sixth Circuit vacated the district court’s orders sealing “most of the parties’ substantive filings” and approving a class action settlement in a price-fixing action against an insurer. In vacating the orders placing documents under seal and the settlement approval, … Continue Reading

Objections To Criminal Presentence Report Protected Against Discovery In Class Action

In Cyphert v. Scotts Miracle-Gro Co. (In re: Morning Song Bird Food Litig.), No. 15-3943, the Sixth Circuit imposed a high standard on class action plaintiffs seeking to use two sets of objections to a presentence report (PSR) in a criminal case against the corporate defendant.  The plaintiffs argued that the objections, which had been … Continue Reading

Sixth Circuit Rejects “Categorical” Approach To Class Action Settlements and Class Counsel Fees

Last week in Gascho, et al. v. Global Fitness Holdings, LLC, the Sixth Circuit addressed a laundry list of objections to a class action settlement on behalf of gym members who had been allegedly incorrectly charged certain fees.  The settlement made ~$15.5 million available to class members and awarded fees of $2.39 million to class … Continue Reading

A “Single, Company-wide Time-shaving Policy” Can Consist Of “Multiple Methods” In FLSA Collective Action

Last week, in Monroe v. FTS, USA, a divided panel of the Sixth Circuit affirmed the certification of a class of workers as sufficiently “similarly situated” under the Fair Labor Standards Act, holding that they were subject to “a single, company-wide time-shaving policy,” even though time was shaved via three separate methods. Some managers simply altered … Continue Reading

Sixth Circuit Decision in Class Certification Appeals

Because of the significant size of the jury verdicts or, more likely, the settlements of class actions, questions of class certification carry significant weight. However, it is not just monetary consideration that makes class actions so important. One element of aggregate litigation that is most frequently discussed is the due process considerations that need to … Continue Reading

Sixth Circuit Resurrects Gender Discrimination Class Action Against Wal-Mart

After the Supreme Court denied class certification to female Wal-Mart employees in Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. v. Dukes, 131 S. Ct. 2541 (2011) on the grounds that plaintiffs were unable to demonstrate any “nationwide” policy or practice of discrimination, Wal-Mart employees began to press their gender discrimination claims in a spate of narrower, regionally-focused class-action suits … Continue Reading

Sixth Circuit Offers Insights on Certification to State Supreme Courts

Last Friday, the Sixth Circuit declined to expand the rights of Kentucky counties to seek enforcement of a Kentucky statute.  In an unpublished opinion, Boyd County v. MERSCORP, Inc., the Sixth Circuit upheld the district court’s decision to dismiss a lawsuit brought by forty-one Kentucky counties as a class action lawsuit against Mortgage Electronic Registration … Continue Reading

Split Sixth Circuit Compels Arbitration in Employee Benefit Class Action Suit

Last week, the Sixth Circuit handed down its decision in Supplemental Benefit Committee v. Navistar International Corp., an appeal by a corporation seeking to compel arbitration in an ongoing dispute over employee benefits. Subjecting the disputed contractual issues to arbitration and holding that Navistar had not waived arbitration by participating in litigation, the Sixth Circuit … Continue Reading

SCOTUS Watch: Supreme Court Denies Certiorari in Massive Sixth Circuit Antitrust Case

On Monday, the Supreme Court issued its new round of orders from its February 27 conference. Among them was the denial of a petition for certiorari in a massive antitrust class action lawsuit—“likely the largest ever certified and upheld by a federal court of Appeals”—against manufacturers of polyurethane foam. In Carpenter Co. v. Ace Foam (aka … Continue Reading

Federal Questions, Removal, and Remand: Sixth Circuit Affirms Dismissal of Class Action FICA Claim

In a published decision this week, the Sixth Circuit reviewed the dismissal of an employee’s claim for excessive withholding of FICA taxes against her employer. In affirming the district court’s refusal to remand the federal tax case and subsequent outright dismissal of the claim, the court examined artful pleading, administrative remedies, and the timing of removal … Continue Reading

Noting Sixth Circuit Trend, District Court Admits “Human Factors” Expert Testimony In Products Liability Class Action

We have posted in the past about how, since 2010, the Sixth Circuit has been far more likely to reverse an exclusion of Daubert testimony than a district court’s decision to admit such testimony (although admittedly the sample size is small).  And about two weeks ago, we posted on an additional reversal of a district … Continue Reading

Supreme Court Accepts Omnicare Securities Class Action

The Supreme Court has granted certiorari from the Sixth Circuit’s decision in Laborers District Council Construction Industry Pension Fund v. Omnicare, Inc.    In that securities class action, the plaintiffs allege that statements from a 2005 registration statement that Omnicare’s agreements with drug companies were “legally and economically valid” had violated securities laws.  Creating a split … Continue Reading

Supreme Court may decide key damages issue impacting Target data breach cases

With the onslaught of litigation resulting from Target’s data privacy breaches, including recently filed class actions within the Sixth Circuit in Ohio, Kentucky, and Tennessee federal district courts, there is an increased focus on the appropriateness of class certification in such cases.  Can cardholders whose information was stolen but not used as of the date of the case filing … Continue Reading

Courts, Rather than Arbitrators, Presumably To Decide Whether Arbitration Clauses Authorize Classwide Arbitration

The Sixth Circuit earlier this week decided an issue recently left open by the United States Supreme Court as to whether the Court or an arbitrator is to decide whether classwide arbitration is available under an arbitration clause.  In Reed Elsevier, Inc.  v. Crockett, Case No. 12-3574 (Nov.  5, 2013) (pdf), the Court examined whether … Continue Reading

The Sixth Circuit Rejects Settlement That Benefits Plaintiffs’ Attorneys At The Expense Of The Class

The Sixth Circuit’s decision in In re: Dry Max Pampers Litigation (No. 11-4156) creates a new standard for class action settlements:  they must pass the smell test.  Judge Kethledge’s decision finds that the class received “nearly worthless injunctive relief” while the named plaintiffs received $1,000 per child and the plaintiffs’ attorneys received $2.73 million.  The … Continue Reading

Sixth Circuit Re-Affirms Certification of Liability-Only Class of Consumers

In a decision sure to reverberate among the class action bar, the Sixth Circuit recently re-affirmed the certification of a liability-only class of Ohio consumers, despite the Supreme Court’s directive that it reconsider its previous affirmation of the same class in light of the Supreme Court’s recent decision in Comcast v. Behrend,133 S. Ct. 1426 … Continue Reading

The Sixth Circuit Delivers a Pair of Class Action Decisions

The Sixth Circuit yesterday handed down two class action decisions of interest, one involving dismissal of a complaint (Dudenhoefer v. Fifth Third Bancorp) and the other concerning certification issues (Young v. Nationwide Mutual Ins. Co.).  Judge Stranch authored both opinions. Dudenhoefer arises against the Sixth Circuit’s recent backdrop of insisting on detail in complaints in … Continue Reading

Sixth Circuit Denies Whirlpool’s En Banc Petition in Front Loading Washer Case

The Sixth Circuit yesterday entered an order denying Whirlpool Corporation’s en banc petition seeking review of a May 4, 2012 panel decision affirming class certification in a multi-district litigation involving alleged design defects leading to mold and mildew in certain front-load washing machines made by Whirlpool and sold to Ohio consumers.  See Opinion, In re … Continue Reading
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