Litigation

Recently, there has been a proliferation of putative class actions targeting allegedly misleading statements (or omissions) on the FDA-approved labels for over-the-counter (“OTC”) drugs.  Last year, we explained how these types of claims are vulnerable to a strong federal preemption defense.  In short, because the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (“FDCA”) explicitly forbids states from imposing OTC labeling requirements that are “different from,” “in addition to,” or “otherwise not identical” with those provided under federal law, 21 U.S.C. § 379r(a), state-law claims that directly challenge or conflict with the FDA’s decision-making for OTC drug labels are expressly preempted.

Continue Reading Another Win for Preemption in Over-The-Counter Drug Labeling Case

In Moses v. New York Times Co., 2023 WL 5281138 (2d Cir. Aug. 17, 2023), the Second Circuit vacated and remanded the approval of a class action settlement because the district court applied the wrong legal standard in determining that the settlement was fair.  But in doing so, the court reiterated that incentive awards for class action representatives are permissible in the Second Circuit.

Continue Reading Second Circuit Holds that Rule 23(e) Prohibits Presumption of Fairness of Arm’s-Length Negotiated Class Settlements

Recently, a court in the Northern District of California compelled arbitration in a putative privacy class action, concluding that the arbitration provision included in a photo-editing app’s terms of use was not unconscionable.  See Flora, et al., v. Prisma Labs, Inc., 2023 WL 5061955 (N.D. Cal. Aug. 8, 2023).

Continue Reading California Federal Court Finds That Plaintiffs Must Arbitrate Their BIPA Claims

In a recent published decision, the Fifth Circuit declined to articulate a rule for the “order and depth in which” it “grapples with constitutional standing and the Rule 23 inquiry.”  Chavez v. Plan Benefit Services, Inc., __ F.4th __, No. 22-50368, 2023 WL 5160393 (5th Cir. Aug. 11, 2023).  The court concluded that the plaintiffs—three employees who participated in health and retirement plans administered by the defendants—had standing to sue on behalf of absent class members who participated in thousands of different benefits plans administered by the defendants.  The court went on to affirm the district court’s certification of two classes, each under both Rules 23(b)(1)(B) and 23(b)(3).

Continue Reading Fifth Circuit Declines to Wade Into Circuit Split on Relationship Between Standing and Class Certification

Last week, the Ninth Circuit rejected an attempt to broaden the scope of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”), 47 U.S.C. § 227, when it held that text messages not containing audio could not violate the TCPA’s prohibition against sending messages with “artificial or prerecorded voices.”  See Trim v. Reward Zone USA LLC, — F.4th –, 2023 WL 5025264, at *4 (9th Cir. Aug. 8, 2023). 

Continue Reading Ninth Circuit Holds Spam Text Messages Are Not Prerecorded Voices Under TCPA  

A court in the Southern District of California recently dismissed for failure to state a claim a case contending that a health care corporation violated users’ privacy under California law.  See Cousin v. Sharp Healthcare, No. 22-CV-2040-MMA (DDL), 2023 WL 4484441 (S.D. Cal. July 12, 2023).

In the proposed class action suit against Sharp Healthcare, a non-profit that operates multiple hospitals and medical groups, plaintiffs alleged violations of privacy under the California Constitution and common law, as well as violations of the California Confidentiality of Medical Information Act (“CMIA”) and California Invasion of Privacy Act (“CIPA”).  Plaintiffs claimed that Sharp collected and shared patients’ personal and sensitive health information by incorporating a third-party pixel on Sharp’s website.

Continue Reading Court finds Plaintiffs Fail to Plead CMIA, CIPA Claims against Health Care Corporation based on Conclusory, Hypothetical, and Vague Assertions

At the end of last month, courts handed down two decisions in favor of website operators and their service providers in session replay litigation, granting motions to dismiss on personal jurisdiction grounds.

Continue Reading Website Operator and Session Replay Provider Succeed on Personal Jurisdiction Arguments

This blog previously covered the Eleventh Circuit’s July 2022 decision in Drazen v. Pinto, which held that all class members must have Article III standing in order to receive individual damages in a class settlement.  41 F.4th 1354 (11th Cir. 2022).  Because the law in the Eleventh Circuit at the time held that a

On July 26, 2023, the UK Supreme Court decided in R (on the application of PACCAR Inc and others) (Appellants) v Competition Appeal Tribunal and others (Respondents) [2023] UKSC 28 that litigation funding agreements (“LFAs”) — where third party funders agree to finance the legal costs of litigation in return for a percentage of any damages recovered — constitute damages-based agreements (“DBAs”) under UK law. Consequently, LFAs will be unenforceable unless they satisfy the statutory requirements for DBAs. In practice, this decision is likely to render many LFAs that are currently in place unenforceable, and will affect the type of funding arrangements available to claimants in collective proceedings moving forward.

Continue Reading UK Supreme Court Hands Down Judgment on Litigation Funding Agreements

Rule 23(c)(4) states that, “[w]hen appropriate, an action may be brought or maintained as a class action with respect to particular issues.”  But do classes under Rule 23(c)(4), otherwise known as “issue classes,” also need to satisfy the requirements of Rule 23(a) and (b)?  In Harris v. Medical Transportation Management, Inc., 2023 WL 4567258 (D.C. Cir. July 18, 2023), the D.C. Circuit confirmed that the answer is “yes.” 

Continue Reading D.C. Circuit Confirms That Issue Classes Must Satisfy the Requirements of Rule 23(a) and (b)