Class Actions Blog

Pro-Corporate Interest U.S. Supreme Court to Consider Class Action Waivers

Posted on: August 30th, 2010 by Steve Larson

The U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral argument in November in AT&T Mobility v. Concepcion.  The court will consider the extent to which companies can ban class-action lawsuits in the fine print of their contracts with consumers and employees.  AT&T Mobility’s Wireless Service Agreement includes an arbitration clause, which requires any disputes to be submitted to arbitration, and a class action waiver clause, which requires any dispute to be brought in an individual capacity.  The district court and the Ninth Circuit, following a long line of precedent, held that a class action waiver was unconscionable under California law, and, thus, unenforceable.  The Ninth Circuit opinion is found at 584 F.3d 849.  Class action waivers are also unenforceable under Oregon law. Read more…

Filipino teachers file class action alleging they were forced into indentured servitude

Posted on: August 23rd, 2010 by Steve Larson

A class-action lawsuit filed in Louisiana claims that 350 Filipino teachers were placed into indentured servitude after being recruited to teach in the state. The teachers were recruited through a placement service, which “charged them exorbitant application fees and transportation and housing costs” and took large amounts of their salaries, according to the lawsuit. The suit also contends that the teachers were forced to live in crowded houses and could not see their families. The suit names Universal Placement International (UPI), based in Los Angeles, and a related company, PARS International Placement Agency of Manila. Lourdes, as defendants.  The suit is being filed by the Southern Poverty Law Center. Read more…

Antitrust class action against Apple and AT&T certified

Posted on: August 16th, 2010 by Steve Larson

US District Court Judge James Ware sitting in the Northern District of California (San Jose Division) certified a class action asserting monopolization in violation of the Sherman Act against Apple and AT&T.  The plaintiffs allege that although they were required to purchase a two-year service agreement with AT&T Mobility when they purchased their iPhones, Apple and AT&T Mobility had secretly agreed to technologically restrict voice and data service in the aftermarket for continued voice and data services for five years. Read more…

Judge orders Wells Fargo to pay $203 million in overdraft fee class action

Posted on: August 11th, 2010 by Steve Larson

On August 10, 2010, A federal judge in California ordered Wells Fargo Bank to pay restitution of $203 million to California consumers who overdrew their checking accounts and were charged excessive overdraft fees because the bank re-ordered electronic debit transactions from the high dollar amount to the lowest dollar amount so as to deplete the customer’s available funds as quickly as possible while maximizing the amount of “Overdraft fees” collected by the banks.  The practice generated massive revenues.  Between 2005 and 2007, Wells Fargo assessed over $1.4 billion in overdraft penalties in California alone. Read more…

Federal pleading standards in employment class actions

Posted on: August 10th, 2010 by Jennifer Wagner

In Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 129 S. Ct. 1937 (2009), the Supreme Court issued a watershed decision on pleading standards under Fed. R. Civ. Pro. 8, making clear that the familiar notice pleading standard is no longer applicable.  In Iqbal, the Court clarified that its decision in Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 554 (2007) applied to “all civil actions,” and was not limited to pleading standards in antitrust cases.  Iqbal, 129 S. Ct. at 1953.  Under Iqbal and Twombly, a complaint must now “contain sufficient factual matter” to “‘state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.’”  Id. at 1948 (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 570).  While the new “plausibility” standard is not a “probability” standard, exactly what a plaintiff must allege in any particular context to “nudge[] [his] claims … across the line from the conceivable to the plausible” (Id. at 1951) remains unclear.  Further, it leaves significant room for subjective judicial determinations as to the merit of plaintiff’s allegations. Read more…

iPad Users file class action lawsuit over alleged discontinuance of AT&T’s unlimited data plan

Posted on: August 9th, 2010 by Steve Larson

A class action lawsuit complaint was filed against Apple, Inc., AT&T Inc. and AT&T Mobility, LLC (collectively “Defendants”) in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California (captioned Adam Weisblatt v. Apple, Inc., AT&T Inc. and AT&T Mobility, LLC, Case No. 5:10-cv-02553-PVT) alleging that Apple and AT&T sold the 3G-enabled iPads with promises that “unlimited data” service plans would always be available at the customers’ option, but that as of June 7, 2010, Apple and AT&T discontinued providing the “unlimited data” plan, according to class action lawsuit news reports. Read more…

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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

  • 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.
  • jenwagner

  • Steve Larson
  • Jennifer Wagner is a litigation lawyer who practices in the areas of complex business, employment, securities, and class action litigation. She is an associate at the law firm of Stoll Berne in Portland, Oregon.
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