Class Actions Blog

Will the Supreme Court invent a federal law to gut state consumer protection laws?

Posted on: September 14th, 2010 by Steve Larson

As mentioned in an earlier post on this blog, the U.S. Supreme Court will soon consider whether companies can ban class action lawsuits in the fine print of their contracts with consumers when it hears argument in AT&T Mobility v. Concepcion.  In its briefs, AT&T Mobility (“AT&T”) asks the Supreme Court to, in effect, create a federal law to gut state consumer protection laws.

AT&T knows that there have been many times over the years where it, and other cell phone and long distance phone companies, have been caught overcharging or otherwise cheating large numbers of consumers in ways that only involve a small amount of money for the individual consumer but which add up to many millions of dollars for the consumers combined.  In lots of cases in the past, consumers have filed class actions against AT&T and other phone companies under state consumer protection acts that stopped the illegal behavior for all of the customers, and won refunds for all of the customers. Read more…

U.S. Senator Goes on Record

Posted on: September 10th, 2010 by Steve Larson

U.S. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), was quoted by Washington Post columnist E.J. Dionne saying the following:

“Corporations hate juries.  It’s the one part of government you can’t buy.”

Wal-Mart asks US Supreme Court to Review Class Certification in Dukes v. Wal-Mart

Posted on: September 8th, 2010 by Steve Larson

As I suggested in a post on this blog in June, on August 25, 2010, Wal-Mart filed a petition asking the US Supreme Court to review the Ninth Circuit’s decision in Dukes v. Wal-Mart to allow that case to proceed as a class action.  The Ninth Circuit affirmed the trial court’s decision to certify a sex discrimination class action involving more than one million current and former female workers. Read more…

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…

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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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