Class Actions Blog

Archive for the ‘Class Actions of Interest’ Category

$295 million class action antitrust settlement vacated

Posted on: July 30th, 2010 by Steve Larson

The plaintiffs and defendants reached a settlement in a class action lawsuit against De Beers S.A., and several related entities, and the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey approved the $295 million settlement.  The complaint alleged that De Beers fixed prices in the market for rough gem-quality diamonds by, among other things, executing output-purchase agreements with competitors, establishing a market-wide cartel to set production limits, and restricting wholesalers from reselling diamonds outside of certain geographic territories.  The first category of plaintiffs, purchasers who brought diamonds directly from De Beers, asserted violations of §§ 1 and 2 of the Sherman Act, 15 U.S.C. §§ 1-2.  The second category of plaintiffs, those who did not purchase directly from De Beers, such as consumers and jewelry retailers, asserted claims under state antitrust, consumer protection, and unjust enrichment laws of all fifty states and the District of Columbia.  The second category of plaintiffs could only rely on state law as a route to monetary relief because they lack standing to bring a federal antitrust claim for damages under  the Clayton Act.  Illinois Brick Co. v. Illinois, 431 U.S. 720, 735-36.  Some states, like Oregon, have passed statutes called Illinois Brick repealers, which allow indirect purchasers to assert antitrust claims under state law. Read more…

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Class action filed against American Airlines for losing bags, and refusing to refund baggage fees

Posted on: July 28th, 2010 by Steve Larson

American Airlines has been hit with a $5 million class-action over lost bags and its refusal to reimburse the baggage fees it charged.  The lawsuit against American Airlines is the first since the airline started charging fees for handling and transporting luggage in June 2008, one of the first airlines to impose such fees.  The lawsuit was filed on behalf of Danielle Covarrubias of Pierce County, Wash., who paid a $25 fee for her single piece of luggage on a flight to Grand Rapids, Mich.  The bag never arrived, and the airline refused her demand for a refund of the baggage fee, the lawsuit says.

The case is interesting because it demonstrates that consumers can use the class action device to encourage large corporations to improve their customer service.

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Nationwide class action brought by pizza delivery drivers against Domino’s Pizza certified

Posted on: July 2nd, 2010 by Steve Larson

On June 21, 2010, a federal district court judge in Minnesota conditionally certified a class pursuant to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).  The FLSA allows employees to bring collective actions if they are not being paid the minimum wage.  The drivers allege that they have not been adequately reimbursed for delivery expenses and therefore have been paid less than the federal minimum wage.  Domino’s maintained that there were variations in reimbursement rates by store and to determine whether the expenses were insufficient would require individual inquiries, which should defeat the certification.  The case is important because the district court judge correctly recognized that in an FLSA action, at conditional certification, plaintiffs need only establish a colorable basis for their claim that the putative class members were the victims of a single decision, policy or plan, and plaintiffs had made a showing that Domino’s stores reimbursed according to a common policy.

Click here to read the court’s decision to certify this class action.

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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.

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  • 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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