Class Actions Blog

Daniel Karon writes excellent op-ed on efforts by Congress to undermine class actions

Posted on: January 20th, 2016 by Steve Larson

WasherConsumer law attorney Daniel Karon asks the question, “we’re enlightened and motivated to prevent injuries before they happen . . . aren’t we?”

“Maybe not,” he says, “The Fairness Act would extinguish consumers’ ability to pursue preventive class actions and would destroy lives. And that the chamber and Congress smartly teed off on comparatively harmless defective washers doesn’t mean the Fairness Act’s effect won’t have sinister consequences. Perhaps a better name is the No Class Action Claim Until Someone is Killed Act.”

You can read the opinion piece here.


U.S. Supreme Court refuses request to force class action into arbitration

Posted on: January 15th, 2016 by Keith Dubanevich

fine printOn January 11, 2016, the U.S. Supreme Court refused to grant review of a decision from the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals that had upheld a trial court’s denial of a motion to compel arbitration. Cox Communications, Inc. v. Healy, Richard, Case No. 15-466.

The Tenth Circuit had previously rejected Cox’s bid to force an on-going multidistrict litigation into arbitration.  The dispute dates back to 2009, when several of Cox’s premium cable subscribers filed suits against the company for allegedly tying the service to set-top box rentals.

Upholding an Oklahoma judge’s decision to deny arbitration, the Tenth Circuit said that by letting “extensive” pretrial discovery and ample motion practice occur before it pointed to an arbitration clause in its customer contracts, the company waived its right to compel arbitration.

In the opinion Circuit Judge Carlos F. Lucero said that Cox was “essentially asking for a redo” of the trial court’s decision to grant the plaintiffs’ motion for class certification after the trial court had conducted a laborious analysis under Rule 23 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. The opinion blasted the arbitration request by suggesting it would have led to a waste of “a copious amount of judicial resources *** at great expense to the public.”

Judge Lucero added: “Cox’s complete failure to mention the presence of its arbitration contracts, despite the obvious impact that they would have on the court’s Rule 23 analysis, is clearly inconsistent with an intent to arbitrate.”

Employee rights lawyers: mandatory arbitration and class action waivers unfair

Posted on: January 14th, 2016 by Steve Larson

fine printTerisa Chaw of the National Employment Lawyers Association wrote an op-ed in the Huffington Post explaining why it is unfair to force employees to participate in mandatory arbitration.

Conair class action certified

Posted on: January 13th, 2016 by Steve Larson

A California federal judge has certified a nationwide class action on behalf of of consumers claiming that Conair Corp. breached its implied warranty by selling them hair dryers that caught on fire. The class is made up of consumers who purchased either a model 259 or model 279 Infiniti Pro hair dryer between Aug. 15, 2009, and the present, either directly by or through a retailer. The judge found that whether the hair dryer contained coil and cord defects that caused it to burst into flames, was a common question appropriate for certification of a nationwide class. Read more…

Fitbit named in class action alleging inaccurate heart rate monitoring

Posted on: January 12th, 2016 by Steve Larson

Fitbit is named in a class action lawsuit alleging that its heart rate monitoring technology— which it calls PurePulse—is inaccurate.  Essentially, Fitbit uses LED lights to monitor blood flow through a user’s wrist and, by using algorithms, can determine a user’s heart rate. Similar technology is used in the Apple Watch, along with several more competing smartwatches and fitness trackers. Read more…

Auto dealer who is also a congressman gets an amendment to a bill passed that allows auto dealers to rent cars subject to safety recalls

Posted on: January 11th, 2016 by Steve Larson

CarAuto dealer who is also a congressman gets an amendment to a bill passed that allows auto dealers to rent cars subject to safety recalls. I am not making this up. Here is the article.

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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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About this blog

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.
  • Keith Dubanevich

  • Steve Larson
  • Keith Dubanevich has extensive experience handling antitrust, consumer and securities cases. Until joining the Portland, Oregon law firm Stoll Berne as a shareholder, he was the Associate Attorney General and Chief of Staff at the Oregon Department of Justice.
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