Class Actions Blog

Archive for the ‘Class Actions of Interest’ Category

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.

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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.

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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…

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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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General Motors named in $10 billion class action

Posted on: December 31st, 2014 by Steve Larson

CarGeneral Motors is the defendant in a lawsuit seeking to recover $10 billion for customers who allege that defects including faulty ignition switch problems caused 27 million cars to drop in value.  The suit alleges violations of state consumer protection statutes, breach of implied warranties, fraud by concealment, unjust enrichment and other claims over more than 60 recalls affecting GM-branded vehicles sold in the U.S. from model years 1997 to 2014. Read more…

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Sony facing class-action lawsuit over data breach by North Koreans

Posted on: December 19th, 2014 by Steve Larson

Data SecurityA short time ago, it was revealed that a massive computer breach had exposed the personal information of thousands of current and former Sony employees.  The U.S. Government has said that North Korea was behind the hacking.

Lawyers representing two former Sony Pictures employees filed a class-action lawsuit in federal court in Los Angeles this week. The 45-page complaint on behalf of former and current employees alleges that the Culver City studio was negligent by ignoring warnings that its system was subject to hacking.  According to the complaint, Sony “failed to secure its computer systems, servers and databases, despite weaknesses that it has known about for years” and “subsequently failed to timely protect confidential information of its current and former employees from law-breaking hackers.” 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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