Class Actions Blog

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 Pro. 8, making clear that the familiar notice pleading standard is no longer applicable.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…

Plaintiff’s lawyers in Toyota class action file consolidated complaint

Posted on: August 5th, 2010 by Steve Larson

Lawyers for the plaintiffs in the multidistrict litigation (MDL) cases against Toyota consolidated before Judge Selna in the Central District of California have filed a consolidated complaint, joining all the claims for economic injuries into one action.  The consolidated complaint asserts that all class members suffered economic injuries because their vehicles declined in value following recalls tied to sudden acceleration problems.

The complaint asserts that Toyota violated California consumer fraud statutes.  The complaint does not assert that any product liability laws were violated, because courts have rejected those types of claims under product liability laws.   More than 200 lawsuits are pending in the MDL in Santa Ana, California.

$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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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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