Archive for the ‘Class Actions’ Category

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WHAT HAPPENED – XBOXs were created with (at least one) mechanical fallacy that ended breaking the system without warning.  Plaintiffs (*cough* NERDS) filed a class action lawsuit in California against XBOX because of this defect.  The California Court hearing this issue denied the Plaintiff’s right to proceed with a class action lawsuit on grounds that the class and case was not suitable for class action status.  As is common in California, the plaintiff’s stipulated to a dismissal of their suit, appealed the denial of class certification and won.

WHY IS THIS BEFORE THE SUPREME COURT:  The State of California is the Chekov’s gun on this case brief, as the practice of dismissing a class action suit and appealing it subsequent to that dismissal is a procedure that is only done in California, as the Federal Rules require a different procedure in order to appeal this decision.  The issue here is whether or not the Supreme Court is down with that procedure or not.

WHAT ARE THE RAMIFICATIONS:  Allowing this procedure to pass would create two possible scenarios, one being specific to this case, and the other being more general.  First, saying that this procedure is OK would allow an unwritten, contrary rule to be written in the Rules of Federal Procedure.  Considering that the Supreme Court usually does that on their own, good money says that they are not OK with goddamn liberal Californians making their own rules.  More broadly speaking, this case could allow individual jurisdictions to make their own rules all the time, which also is probably not what the Supreme Court wants to do either.

ROOT FOR MICROSOFT IF: you want that extra class action money going toward more HALO sequels.

ROOT FOR BAKER IF:  the Rules of Civil Procedure were made to be broken.

PREDICTION:  Microsoft 9-0

Does Banking Help More Than Harm?

Posted: October 4, 2016 by Nazim in Class Actions

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The answers to the question “does banking help more than harm?” range from the naively optimistic to the conspiracy-theorist bleak. It doesn’t help that, in the face of scandals Wells Fargo’s CEO had to forfeit $41 million in stocks, his salary while the investigation goes on, and will not be eligible to get a bonus this year. It’s mind numbing that the reaction to this kind of penalty, which is an amount of money I’m not sure I can fathom, is a shrug. I mean, he’ll be fine. Or, at least, I’m confident he’ll be fine. I could be wrong. But I’m certainly not losing sleep over it.

I’m relatively sure he didn’t offer a set of steak knives to the employee who opened the most accounts, but those who opened too few accounts were certainly fired. So, to keep earning a living, they opened about 2 million accounts and additional services without anyone asking them to. You might have an account in your name (here’s how to get a free credit check to see what accounts you have open). And it certainly wasn’t just a few bad apples: after all, the saying is there to illustrate that when you see a few rotten apples in a barrel, the rest aren’t far off. It was systemic. It was so bad that the employees are suing because they were forced to meet aggressive sales quotas or face demotion, forced to resign, or be fired.

What’s that saying? The best way to rob a bank is to be a banker.

Uber Class Action Forced into Arbitration

Posted: September 13, 2016 by Nazim in Arbitration, Class Actions

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A few weeks ago, a judge rejected a settlement in a class action case filed by Uber drivers against the company. The judge said that the settlement, worth about $100 million, was too small a fraction of what they could potentially win in court, estimated at just shy of $900 million in some filings. However, while that case was going on, Uber appealed the judge’s decision striking the mandatory arbitration cause, and won the appeal last week. Without going in too deep, this might mean that the whole class action must be removed to arbitration court, which notoriously favors big companies, and might not even allow the case to proceed as a class action, imposing significant burdens on each plaintiff, if they want to pursue the case.

More detail at the Consumerist.

Judge Rejects Uber Class Action Settlement

Posted: August 25, 2016 by Nazim in Class Actions

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The $100 million settlement offer in the class-action filed against Uber by its drivers was deemed insufficient by the judge, who, in these kinds of cases, has a duty to protect the interests of the unnamed plaintiffs (those of us who get a $5 coupon in the mail after it all shakes out). The same court calculated that the total benefits to the plaintiffs could have been as high as $852 million. However, the whole class action might collapse if Uber’s appeal of their denial of mandatory arbitration is granted. Further, the company is replacing its drivers with self-driving cars, starting this month in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

More detail on the case at The Wall Street Journal.

WHAT HAPPENED?

The Appellant in this is contesting a significant award in a class action case regarding the Fair Labor Standards Act. The Appellants argue that Appellees class action includes plaintiffs who were not injured and also includes an inconsistent calculation of individual damages for each plaintiff.

WHY IS THIS BEFORE THE SUPREME COURT?

Class actions are strictly regulated to ensure that the parties before the Court have similar damages and arguments. Since class actions involve substantial monetary damages, it is the Court’s job to ensure that these questions are answered conclusively before the trial begins. The Appellant believes that the lower Court did this incorrectly; however, the Appellants arguments focus mostly on a witness who presented these findings at trial. Therefore, the Appellant’s arguments are more evidentiary-based rather than arguments based on how general class actions should be decided.

WHAT IS THE RULING

This case is not yet decided.

WHAT ARE THE RAMIFICATIONS OF THIS DECISION?

In a vacuum, this case is your fairly standard appellate review decision, as the Court has to make sure that the lower Court did their job correctly in evaluating the evidence. On a broader level, this case and the Spokeo v. Robbins case, could lend insight on how the Supreme Court considers the growing number of class actions in the United States.

YOU SHOULD ROOT FOR TYSON FOODS IF YOU:

Hate statistics and class actions, but love chicken nuggets and labor discrimination.

YOU SHOULD ROOT FOR THE BOUAPHEKEO IF YOU:

Hate specifics and appellate actions, but love expert witnesses and million dollar plaintiff verdicts.