Lyft, Inc. has agreed to pay $12.25 million and give additional job security to a proposed class of current and former drivers suing the ride-hailing service in California federal court, but stopped short of classifying drivers as employees. The suit is one of several that have been leveled against Lyft and competitor Uber Technologies Inc. in state and federal courts recently seeking clearer lines between employees and, as the services currently classify their drivers, independent contractors. Read more…
Class Actions Blog
Jeff Spross has written an article in The Week that addresses the notion raised by many commentators and politicians that there are too many lawsuits. In it, he points out that every society has to make a choice “about how to deal with collective action problems.” He argues that in the U.S. “we have a lot of class action lawsuits because we don’t do a very good job protecting people from harm through actual laws.”
Michigan Governor Rick Snyder, the City of Flint and various other state and local government agencies are facing two new class actions over their alleged mishandling of a water quality crisis that endangered the health of thousands of city residents. The first suit targets Snyder, the Michigan Department of Health & Human Services, Michigan Department of Environmental Quality and two individual emergency managers. The second suit names Flint, the city’s Receivership Transition Advisory Board and various officials as defendants. Read more…
Yesterday the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that an unaccepted settlement offer or offer of judgment does not moot a plaintiff’s case. Campbell-Ewald Co. v Gomez, 577 U.S. ___ (January 20, 2016). As a consequence the District Court retained jurisdiction to adjudicate Gomez’s complaint. Read more…
Consumer law attorney Daniel Karon asks the question, “we’re enlightened and motivated to prevent injuries before they happen . . . aren’t we?”
“Maybe not,” he says, “The Fairness Act would extinguish consumers’ ability to pursue preventive class actions and would destroy lives. And that the chamber and Congress smartly teed off on comparatively harmless defective washers doesn’t mean the Fairness Act’s effect won’t have sinister consequences. Perhaps a better name is the No Class Action Claim Until Someone is Killed Act.”
You can read the opinion piece here.
On January 11, 2016, the U.S. Supreme Court refused to grant review of a decision from the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals that had upheld a trial court’s denial of a motion to compel arbitration. Cox Communications, Inc. v. Healy, Richard, Case No. 15-466.
The Tenth Circuit had previously rejected Cox’s bid to force an on-going multidistrict litigation into arbitration. The dispute dates back to 2009, when several of Cox’s premium cable subscribers filed suits against the company for allegedly tying the service to set-top box rentals.
Upholding an Oklahoma judge’s decision to deny arbitration, the Tenth Circuit said that by letting “extensive” pretrial discovery and ample motion practice occur before it pointed to an arbitration clause in its customer contracts, the company waived its right to compel arbitration.
In the opinion Circuit Judge Carlos F. Lucero said that Cox was “essentially asking for a redo” of the trial court’s decision to grant the plaintiffs’ motion for class certification after the trial court had conducted a laborious analysis under Rule 23 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. The opinion blasted the arbitration request by suggesting it would have led to a waste of “a copious amount of judicial resources *** at great expense to the public.”
Judge Lucero added: “Cox’s complete failure to mention the presence of its arbitration contracts, despite the obvious impact that they would have on the court’s Rule 23 analysis, is clearly inconsistent with an intent to arbitrate.”