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Samuel Crimmins

Sam Crimmins is an associate in the firm’s Washington D.C. office. He is a member of the Class Actions Practice Group. His practice focuses on complex civil litigation.

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In a recent decision, the Ninth Circuit concluded that a damages model that had been developed, but not actually applied to the underlying data, sufficiently showed that damages were susceptible to common proof for purposes of class certification. 

The case, Lytle v. Nutramax Lab’ys, Inc., — F.4th— 2024 WL 1710663 (9th Cir. Apr. 22, 2024) concerns allegations that the defendants misled purchasers of their dog supplement—marketed as improving dogs’ joints and mobility—when allegedly no such benefits exist.  To support class certification, the plaintiffs put forward an expert who had created a conjoint survey that they claimed could calculate damages on a class-wide basis.  However, the plaintiffs conceded that the expert had not yet applied his analysis, relying instead on the expert’s prediction that his analysis could successfully measure the damages suffered by the class.   Continue Reading Ninth Circuit Holds that Unexecuted Damages Model is Sufficient for Class Certification

Cy pres (or “next best”) provisions are a relatively common provision of class action settlements.  The cy pres doctrine permits funds from a cash settlement in a class action to be sent to a third party, usually a charitable organization with a mission related to the claims in the lawsuit, rather than to class members.  Cy pres provisions are typically used for residual funds in a settlement pool or, less commonly, when class members are hard to identify.  But cy pres provisions have come under increasing scrutiny, as evidenced by an Ohio federal court’s recent rejection of a class action settlement based solely on its cy pres provision.  Hawes v. Macy’s Inc., No. 1:17-CV-754, 2023 WL 8811499 (S.D. Ohio Dec. 20, 2023). Continue Reading Federal Court Rejects Class Action Settlement Over Cy Pres Provision

The Eleventh Circuit resurrected a putative class action by holding that consumers need not prove actual damages in order to recover statutory damages based on alleged willful violations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (“FCRA”).  See Santos v. Healthcare Revenue Recovery Grp., LLC., –F4th–, 2023 WL 7289662 (11th Cir. Nov. 6, 2023) (per curium).Continue Reading Eleventh Circuit Holds Willful Violations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act Do Not Require Proof of Actual Damages

A court in the Northern District of Illinois recently issued a mixed ruling dismissing in part a putative class action claiming that a company violated the Illinois Consumer Fraud Act (“ICFA”) by allegedly failing to disclose that its dry shampoo products potentially contained the carcinogen benzene.  Although the court allowed the case to move forward on the ICFA claim to the extent that the claims were based on a theory that the products were adulterated, the court found the ICFA claim preempted by the FDA to the extent it relied on a theory that benzene should have been included on the ingredients list.Continue Reading Court Issues Mixed Ruling in Benzene Hair Product Case

The Ninth Circuit recently held in Chamber of Commerce v. Bonta that the Federal Arbitration Act preempts a California law that criminalizes employer conduct that requires employees to consent to arbitrate claims arising under the California Fair Employment and Housing Act.  This ruling came after the same panel previously held that the law, Assembly Bill 51, was not preempted because it focused on “pre-agreement” behavior and not the arbitration agreement itself.  In 2021, the panel sua sponte decided to rehear the case, apparently after Judge Fletcher (who was in the majority in both decisions) changed his mind on the law’s validity.  In doing so, the panel eliminated a circuit split it had previously created between itself and the First and Fourth Circuits.Continue Reading Ninth Circuit Reverses Course on Arbitration