The American Arbitration Association (“AAA”) recently published a set of modified Mass Arbitration Supplementary Rules and a new Consumer Mass Arbitration and Mediation Fee Schedule, both effective January 15, 2024.  The modified rules and fee schedule aim to address the increasingly prevalent tactic of plaintiffs’ firms launching mass arbitration campaigns against defendants with arbitration agreements in their consumer contracts.

The AAA defines a mass arbitration as 25 or more similar demands for arbitrations filed against or on behalf of the same party or related parties where representation of all parties is consistent or coordinated across arbitrations.  The modified rules implement the following key changes:

Continue Reading AAA Introduces Rule Changes Tailored for Mass Arbitrations

A Washington court recently dismissed with prejudice putative class action claims against Seattle Children’s Hospital asserting that use of third-party tracking technology on its website constituted wiretapping and other privacy law violations.

Continue Reading Washington State Court Dismisses Wiretapping and Other Claims Involving Hospital Website

The United States District Court for the Southern District of Iowa has dismissed on sovereign immunity grounds a putative class action against the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics (“UIHC”) for unjust enrichment and violations of the Electronic Communications Privacy Act and Computer Fraud and Abuse Act.  See Yeisley v. Univ. of Iowa Hosps. & Clinics, No. 3:23-cv-00025 (S.D. Iowa Feb. 16, 2024) (unpublished). 

The plaintiff, a patient of UIHC, had alleged that UIHC used a pixel on its website to share her personally identifiable information with third parties for marketing purposes and without her consent.  The Court did not reach the merits of the case and instead granted UIHC’s motion to dismiss on the basis that sovereign immunity barred each of the plaintiff’s claims.

Continue Reading Federal Court Dismisses Lawsuit Over Use of Pixel Technology on University Hospital Websites

Another federal judge in the Eastern District of Michigan dismissed a putative class action against a vehicle manufacturer on prudential mootness grounds, holding that the manufacturer’s voluntary recall program mooted the plaintiffs’ claims. See Letson v. Ford Motor Co., 2024 WL 845844 (E.D. Mich. Feb. 28, 2024).

Continue Reading Another Federal Court Holds that Recall Moots Class-Action Claims

In class actions challenging data collection, whether the defendant’s privacy policy disclosed the collection is almost always a key question at the dismissal stage.  In a memorandum decision likely to be useful to defendants, the Ninth Circuit recently affirmed dismissal of claims challenging Google’s collection of data from third-party apps on its Android mobile operating system, holding that Google’s Privacy Policy clearly disclosed the collection.  See Hammerling v. Google LLC, No. 22-17024 (9th Cir. Mar. 5, 2024) (unpublished).

Continue Reading Ninth Circuit Affirms Dismissal of Data Privacy Claims Based on Disclosure of Collection in Privacy Policy

The Southern District Court of New York recently denied a motion to dismiss a false advertising lawsuit against a water bottle company, holding that a reasonable consumer could be misled by the company’s “carbon neutral” labeling.

Continue Reading New York Federal Court Denies Motion to Dismiss False Advertising Suit Based on “Carbon Neutral” Claims

This blog recently covered a decision from the Northern District of California denying a defendant’s motion for summary judgment on a plaintiff’s “greenwashing” claims, which asserted that defendant’s “non-toxic” and “Earth-friendly” labels were false and misleading.  See Bush v. Rust-Oleum Corp., 2024 WL 308263 (N.D. Cal. Jan. 26, 2024).  Now, the same court has granted class certification on those claims, demonstrating that not only can these claims be difficult to defeat before trial, but it can also be difficult to prevent certification on those claims as well.

Continue Reading “Greenwashing” Claims Certified For Class Treatment

The Ninth Circuit recently dismissed a putative class action by an online business over allegations that Google placed search results over the business’s website. While the district court had denied a motion to dismiss, the Ninth Circuit reversed, holding that copies of websites are not chattel that could support a trespass to chattel claim and that the Copyright Act preempted the remaining claims of unjust enrichment, implied in law contract, and unfair competition.

Continue Reading Ninth Circuit Dismisses Website Framing Claim as Preempted by Copyright

The District Court for the Northern District of Illinois recently granted in part a motion to dismiss a putative class action complaint asserting wiretapping, Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act (“BIPA”), and consumer protection claims relating to their eufy home security cameras and video doorbells (the “Eufy Products”).  See Sloan, et al. v. Anker Innovations Ltd., No. 22-CV-7174 (N.D. Ill. Jan. 9, 2024).  Plaintiffs contend in their complaint that the Eufy Products applied a facial recognition program to differentiate images of known and unknown individuals within home security services and purportedly misrepresented data storage and encryption practices for the Eufy Products.

Continue Reading Illinois Federal Court Partially Dismisses Wiretapping, BIPA Claims Involving Home Security Products

A federal judge in the Western District of Texas recently sided with a growing trend of rulings adopting a narrow reading of the Video Privacy Protection Act (VPPA) in dismissing a putative class action against the operators of a Texas Longhorns email newsletter.  The case involved tracking pixels embedded in videos that were linked in the newsletter but posted to public websites.  The court held that because the plaintiffs had not made a durable commitment through signing up for the newsletter, and because videos were not embedded in the newsletter, plaintiffs failed to meet the definition of “consumer” as defined in the VPPA.

Continue Reading Judge Highlights Trend of Narrow Reading of VPPA In Class Action Dismissal