Class Actions Blog

In Dart case, U.S. Supreme Court decides what is required for removal to federal court

Posted on: January 26th, 2015 by Steve Larson

US Supreme CourtIn the Dart case, the US Supreme Court has ruled that a defendant’s notice of removal need include only a plausible allegation that the amount in controversy exceeds the jurisdictional threshold; the notice need not contain evidentiary submissions.



Farmers sue over genetically modified corn seed

Posted on: January 22nd, 2015 by Steve Larson

CornHundreds of farmers are suing the Swiss company, Syngenta, for selling genetically modified corn seeds for a type of corn that China refused to import.  The farmers claim that Syngenta’s decision to sell the corn seed before China approved importing that type of corn pushed down all corn prices.  The lawsuit alleges that because corn cross-pollinates, all U.S. corn was viewed as contaminated by China.

The modified seed, known as Agrisure Viptera, was approved for planting in the United States in 2010.  Syngenta asked China to allow its import that year.  Instead of waiting for China’s approval, however, Syngenta began selling the modified seed.  That led China to cut off all corn imports from the United States in 2013.  The lawsuits say the introduction of Viptera corn without approval from China reduced U.S. corn exports by 85 percent in 2014.

According to Syngenta, China has now approved the import of Viptera corn grain for food and feed use. However, the farmers contend that they were already damaged by Syngenta’s actions prior to 2015.

Two grain exporters, Cargill Inc. of Minneapolis and Trans Coastal Supply Co. of Decatur, Ill., also are suing Syngenta.

In early December, several lawsuits against Syngenta were transferred to federal court in Kansas. Late last month, over 100 additional cases were transferred to the same court.

Publix settles background check class action

Posted on: January 15th, 2015 by Steve Larson

FTCPublix Supermarket agreed to settle allegations of violating the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), the law that requires that employers provide a disclosure to applicants prior to performing a background check.  The FCRA specifies that the disclosure is in writing and “in a document that consists solely of the disclosure.” 15 U.S.C. § 1681b(b)(2).

It was alleged that the background check disclosure forms used by Publix were not compliant with the FCRA since they included both a background check performance disclosure and a request that the applicant release the Publix from any liability in connection with the background check process.

Oregon Attorney General and 15 others ask CFPB to ban mandatory arbitration

Posted on: January 14th, 2015 by Steve Larson

fine printThe Oregon Attorney General, Ellen Rosenblum, and 15 other attorneys general have sent a letter to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau asking the federal government to adopt rules that protect consumers from mandatory arbitration clauses in important contracts. Read more…

Cargill settles Truvia consumer class action

Posted on: January 13th, 2015 by Steve Larson

Iced teaCargill, Inc. has agreed to pay $6.1 million to settle a consumer class action accusing the company of marketing its Truvia sweetener as natural when it actually contains largely synthetic and chemically produced ingredients, according to documents signed by a Hawaii federal judge.  Under the deal, Cargill will pay $6.1 million into a settlement fund to be distributed to the members of a nationwide class who purchased any of the Truvia products during a six-year period that ended in July 2014, as well as $1.8 million in attorneys’ fees that will be deducted from the settlement fund. Read more…

NCAA proposed concussion settlement rejected

Posted on: January 5th, 2015 by Steve Larson

football-injuryAn Illinois federal judge has rejected a $75 million settlement to resolve lawsuits brought by ex-NCAA athletes claiming they have suffered long-term damage from concussions, telling parties to resume negotiations because he has concerns about the fairness of the deal.  U.S. District Judge John Z. Lee denied the motion for preliminary approval of the deal, saying a $70 million fund wouldn’t be enough to fully fund the proposed 50-year medical monitoring program to examine former players for neurological ailments. Read more…

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The information contained in this blog does not constitute legal advice, and does not create an attorney-client relationship. We make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to this blog.

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This blog is intended to provide information to the general public and to practitioners about developments that may impact Oregon class actions.

About the author

  • Steve Larson

  • Steve Larson
  • Steve Larson has been representing investors, consumers and employees in class actions in Oregon for over 20 years. He is a shareholder at the law firm of Stoll Berne in Portland, Oregon.
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