Eleventh Circuit

On October 25, 2023, the Eleventh Circuit overruled several objections to a $2.67 billion antitrust class action settlement agreement that was the product of years of negotiations between Blue Cross and classes of its past and present health plan subscribers.  Two objections, raised by Home Depot, focused on (i) the settlement’s release of antitrust claims arising from Blue Cross’s conduct, and, relatedly, (ii) the adequacy of representation for an injunctive class of plaintiffs who might have future claims based on that conduct.Continue Reading Eleventh Circuit Upholds Blue Cross Blue Shield Subscriber Settlement Over Antitrust and Public Policy Objections

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

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

Last week, the Eleventh Circuit reversed in part and remanded an order certifying a class in a case arising from a data breach of Chili’s restaurants, Green-Cooper v. Brinker International, Inc., No. 21-13146, 2023 WL 4446420 (11th Cir. July 11, 2023).  The opinion clarifies the Eleventh Circuit’s view of when data breaches give rise to Article III standing.Continue Reading Eleventh Circuit Holds Having Payment Information Posted to Dark Web Establishes Standing in Data Breach Case, Remands Class Certification Order

The Eleventh Circuit recently addressed two aspects of Article III standing relevant to class action settlements: the standing of a class member to object, and the standing of class representatives to seek injunctive relief—and thus whether such injunctive relief should be given any weight as part of the approval process.Continue Reading Eleventh Circuit Analyzes Article III Standing in Class Action Settlement Context

The Eleventh Circuit is poised to reconsider recent standing decisions favorable for defendants seeking to invoke Article III’s standing requirements to defeat class certification.

At issue is the Eleventh Circuit’s July 2022 decision in Drazen v. Pinto, holding that (i) all class members must have Article III standing in order to receive individual damages (whether through a settlement or otherwise), and (ii) the standing determination is decided under Eleventh Circuit law, even where certain class members do not reside within the Eleventh Circuit’s geographic boundaries and may have standing under other circuit precedent.  41 F.4th 1354, 1360–61 (11th Cir. 2022). The dispute in Drazen arose in the context of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”), and addressed both unwanted phone calls and text messages.  While a settlement in Drazen was pending, the Eleventh Circuit held in Salcedo v. Hanna, 936 F.3d 1162, 1168 (11th Cir. 2019), that, contrary to precedent in other circuits, a single unwanted text message was not sufficient to give rise to Article III standing under the TCPA.  Because the panel was bound by Salcedo, and because the proposed class definition in the Drazen settlement included individuals whose sole harm was an unwanted text message, those individuals did not have standing.  The panel therefore vacated the district court’s approval of the settlement.Continue Reading Eleventh Circuit to Reconsider Standing Decisions

An Alabama district court recently granted dismissal of a class action asserting Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act (“BIPA”) claims brought by Illinois residents against ProctorU, Inc. in Thakkar v. ProctorU Inc., No. 2:21-cv-01565 (N.D. Ala.).  The district court concluded that a choice-of-law provision contained in the terms of service and which required the application of Alabama law precluded the application of BIPA to the conduct alleged.Continue Reading Alabama Federal Court Finds Choice-of-Law Provision Bars BIPA Privacy Lawsuit Against Online Examination Company

The Eleventh Circuit, sitting en banc, recently applied TransUnion to hold that a plaintiff lacked Article III standing to bring claims under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.  Hunstein v. Preferred Collection & Mgmt. Servs., Inc., No. 19-14434, 2022 WL 4102824 (11th Cir. Sept. 8, 2022)(en banc).  The en banc decision reversed a controversial panel decision allowing a plaintiff to sue a collection agency for disclosing information about his debt to the agency’s mail vendor.Continue Reading Eleventh Circuit, Sitting En Banc, Reverses Panel Decision And Holds FDCPA Plaintiff Lacks Standing

In Drazen v. Pinto, the Eleventh Circuit vacated a class settlement and held that in order to receive individual damages (whether through a settlement or otherwise), all class members must have Article III standing under Circuit precedent.  2022 WL 2963470, at *6 (11th Cir. July 27, 2022).  The decision gives defendants another tool to defeat class certification, while at the same time makes it more difficult to include class members that lack standing in classwide settlements. Continue Reading Eleventh Circuit Holds that All Class Members Must Have Standing Under Circuit Law to Recover Individual Damages

The en banc Eleventh Circuit recently denied a petition to rehear the case of Johnson v. NPAS Solutions, LLC (Johnson II).  See 2022 WL 3083717 (11th Cir. Aug. 3, 2022).  The initial opinion in Johnson relied on two Supreme Court decisions from the 1880s to hold that district courts can never, under