The Ninth Circuit on Friday held that vehicle infotainment systems that illegally record private communications might generate an injury-in-fact sufficient to satisfy Article III standing—but (without more) such recordings fail to injure a plaintiff’s “person,” “business,” or “reputation” as is required to gain statutory standing under the Washington Privacy Act (“WPA”).Continue Reading Are You Not Infotained? The Ninth Circuit Tightens Statutory Standing Rules for WPA Claims
A judge in the Northern District of California recently held that a purchaser of eye makeup allegedly containing eye irritants lacked standing to pursue her claims—given that the product was not banned by the FDA and did not actually harm her eyes.Continue Reading Presence of Eye Irritants in Eye Makeup Is Not Enough for Article III Injury, N.D. Cal. Judge Rules
A recent decision from the U.S District Court for the District of New Jersey denied certification of a nationwide class of rental car customers, holding that common questions did not predominate within the class because of variations in the applicable law. In Dawn Valli v. Avis Budget Rental Car Group, LLC, No. 14-6072, 2023 WL 6579150 (D.N.J. Oct. 10, 2023), the court held that, where the laws of “all fifty states” could govern the claims of class members, the court could not properly instruct a jury on the applicable law, and as a result choice of law issues “swallowed” any common issues. Id. at *6.Continue Reading Choice of Law Issues Largely Defeat Certification of Broad Nationwide Class of Rental Car Customers
We are seeing a growing number of class actions alleging consumer harms from corporate carbon offset policies. On October 13, a California federal court threw out such a case (albeit with leave to amend) against e-commerce site Etsy.
The lawsuit, Blackburn v. Etsy, Inc., No. 2:23-cv-05711 (C.D. Cal. 2023), stemmed from a number of carbon offset promises Etsy has made since 2019—that the company engages in “100% offsetting [of] all carbon emissions from shipping[,]” that it was “the first major online shopping destination to offset 100% of carbon emissions generated by shipping[,]” and that its “goal [is] to run a carbon neutral business[.]” Dkt. No. 20 at 1. Plaintiffs alleged that the carbon offset promises were false “due to endemic methodological errors and fraudulent accounting on behalf of offset vendors.” Id. Plaintiffs claimed that Etsy’s false promises caused them harm because they paid more for products on the site than they otherwise would have under the mistaken belief that Etsy’s shipments were carbon neutral.Continue Reading California Federal Court Throws Out Carbon Offset Class Action Against Etsy
A federal district court in the Northern District of California granted a motion to dismiss a putative class action where the plaintiff claimed that the defendant violated the California Invasion of Privacy Act (“CIPA”) § 631 for using a third-party chat feature on its website. The court dismissed the plaintiff’s claim for lack of Article III standing but granted leave to amend.Continue Reading Federal Court Dismisses Chatbot Claim for Lack of Article III Standing Where Plaintiff Could Not Show Concrete Injury
False labeling class actions are often mired in debates about how a reasonable consumer would understand a product’s label. In many cases, the fight is centered on what third-party certification marks warrant to reasonable consumers. In Dzielak v. Whirlpool Corporation, — F.4th —, No. 20-2551, 2023 WL 6331102 (3rd Cir. Sept. 29, 2023), the Third Circuit articulated powerful arguments against finding that these marks create broad warranties.Continue Reading Third Circuit Flirts with Narrow View of Warranties Based on Third-Party Certification
Only one claim survived dismissal in a recent putative class action lawsuit alleging that a pathology laboratory failed to safeguard patient data in a cyberattack. See Order Granting Motion to Dismiss in Part, Thai v. Molecular Pathology Laboratory Network, Inc., No. 3:22-CV-315-KAC-DCP (E.D. Tenn. Sep. 29, 2023), ECF 38.Continue Reading All but One Claim in Pathology Lab Data Breach Class Action Tossed on Motion to Dismiss
A federal district court in the Northern District of California granted in part a motion to dismiss putative class action claims filed against Western Digital, a hard drive manufacturer whose older devices experienced a cyber-attack, where the plaintiffs alleged that their stored data was deleted but not that it was stolen. While plaintiffs will be permitted to maintain claims related to the data loss, they lack standing to assert claims based on future data misuse.Continue Reading Federal Court Partially Dismisses Hacked Hard Drive Claims Where Plaintiffs Could Only Show Data Deletion, Not Theft
Courts and litigants continue to grapple with the new frontier of artificial intelligence (“AI”). One recent case in California demonstrates a new wrinkle in this evolving landscape—the use of AI to aggregate class claims.
Because class settlements bind absent class members who do not object or opt out, Rule 23 requires courts to carefully review and approve them as “fair, reasonable, and adequate.” An important part of this inquiry is making sure class members are given adequate notice of the terms of the proposed settlement and their rights. When class members are required to submit claims to access settlement benefits, parties often turn to professional claims administration companies to assist in providing notice and facilitating the claims process. Under Rule 23, courts closely monitor the information that flows from class counsel and claims administrators to putative class members to make sure it complies with due process.Continue Reading California Federal Court Clamps Down on ‘En Masse’ Class Claims Identified by AI
Over the last several years, food and drug manufacturers have litigated countless class action lawsuits claiming that their products are misleadingly advertised. Many of these lawsuits claim that a product’s packaging is misleading because it allegedly violates FDA labeling rules. Last week, in DiCroce v. McNeil Nutritionals, LLC, — F.4th —, No. 22-1910, 2023 WL 6056144 (1st Cir. Sept. 18, 2023), the First Circuit found that these claims are impliedly preempted by the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (“FDCA”).Continue Reading First Circuit Finds “Fraud on the FDA” Claims Preempted by the FDCA