Class Actions Blog

Lyft will pay $12 million to settle driver misclassification case

Posted on: February 5th, 2016 by Steve Larson

CarLyft, 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…

Jeff Spross in The Week debunks notion that there are too many lawsuits

Posted on: January 27th, 2016 by Steve Larson

Class Actions Practice Area urlJeff 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 and the City of Flint sued in class action by residents

Posted on: January 22nd, 2016 by Steve Larson

waterMichigan 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…

U.S. Supreme Court rules that unaccepted offer of settlement does not moot class action case

Posted on: January 21st, 2016 by Keith Dubanevich

US Supreme CourtYesterday 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…

Daniel Karon writes excellent op-ed on efforts by Congress to undermine class actions

Posted on: January 20th, 2016 by Steve Larson

WasherConsumer 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.


U.S. Supreme Court refuses request to force class action into arbitration

Posted on: January 15th, 2016 by Keith Dubanevich

fine printOn 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.”

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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 authors

  • Steve Larson

  • Keith Dubanevich
  • 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.
  • Keith Dubanevich

  • Keith Dubanevich
  • Keith Dubanevich has extensive experience handling antitrust, consumer and securities cases. Until joining the Portland, Oregon law firm Stoll Berne as a shareholder, he was the Associate Attorney General and Chief of Staff at the Oregon Department of Justice.
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