Justia Class Action Opinion Summaries

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The Supreme Court granted a writ of prohibition prohibiting the circuit court from enforcing an order granting class certification in the underlying civil action filed by Respondents, holding that class certification was improperly granted.The underlying suit arose after an employee of Petitioners - three hospitals, misappropriated the private information of certain patients from Petitioners' medical records during the course of performing her authorized job duties. Respondents - Deborah Welch and Eugene Roman - successfully certified a class of approximately 7,445 individuals. The Supreme Court granted this petition prohibiting the circuit court from enforcing its order granting class certification, holding (1) Welch lacked standing because she suffered no injury-in-fact; and (2) as to Roman and the subclass of 109 individuals he represented, the prerequisites to class certification were not met. View "State ex rel. W. Va. University Hospitals--East, Inc. v. Honorable Hammer" on Justia Law

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The First Circuit affirmed the judgment of the district court granting two summary judgment motions in favor of Defendants in this class action lawsuit, holding that Defendants' actions in this case could not support a claim under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO).In granting the two summary judgment motions at issue, one filed on behalf of all Defendants and on filed behalf of certain Defendants, the district court adopted the findings of law of the Court of Appeals of Puerto Rico in Collazo Burgos v. La Asociación de Suscripción Conjunta del Seguro de Responsabilidad Obligatorio, No. K AC2010-0179, 2017 WL 6884428 (P.R. Cir. Nov. 30, 2017). The court further held that Defendants' actions were required under Puerto Rico law and thus could not support a RICO claim. The First Circuit affirmed, holding that the district court did err under the Erie doctrine in adopting the reasoning of the court of appeals in Collazo Burgos. View "Torres-Ronda v. Nationwide Mutual Insurance Co." on Justia Law

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The appellants were two of a group of plaintiffs who sued eBay and PayPal, challenging provisions in their respective user agreements. Plaintiffs’ second amended complaint alleged 23 causes of action, 13 against eBay, seven against PayPal, and three against both defendants. The trial court dismissed, without leave to amend, 20 of the causes of action, including 14 claims against eBay. Three causes of action proceeded: breach of contract against both defendants and violation of the covenant of good faith and fair dealing against eBay. More than three years later, the appellants opted out of the case against eBay, and voluntarily dismissed the two claims against it. Judgment of dismissal was entered against them.The appellants appealed, contending the trial court got it wrong as to 11 of the dismissed causes of action. The court of appeal affirmed, noting that this was the third appeal of the case. The trial court properly dismissed the claims and did not abuse its discretion in doing so without leave to amend. All of the alleged causes of action failed to state a claim. The court stated that “counsel for appellants has apparently been urging the same contentions for some nine years, all without success. This is enough.” View "George v. eBay, Inc." on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed in part the judgment of the district court dismissing Plaintiffs' request for class certification, holding that the district court did not abuse its discretion by holding that Plaintiffs' certification request did not meet the requirements of Mont. R. Civ. P. 23.Plaintiff lived in apartment complexes owned and operated by Defendants. Plaintiffs alleged that their leases contained multiple provisions violating Montana law. Plaintiffs sought certification as a class under Rule 23 to include other tenants who entered into similar lease agreements with Defendants. The district court dismissed most claims but denied the dismissal of two claims as to one plaintiff. The district court also denied Plaintiffs' request for class certification. The Supreme Court affirmed in part and remanded for further proceedings, holding that the district court did not err in dismissing Plaintiffs' request for class certification. View "Vulles v. Thies & Talle Management, Inc." on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the trial court granting a motion for class certification filed after a summary judgment motion had been granted in favor of the plaintiff in this case, Plantation Building of Wilmington, Inc., holding that no reversible error occurred.The defendant, the Town of Leland, consented to and joined a motion for continuance filed by Plaintiff. The trial court granted the motion. Thereafter, the trial court granted Plaintiff's motion for summary judgment and denied Defendant's competing motion. Thereafter, Plaintiff filed a motion for class certification. The trial court granted the motion. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that because the motion for continuance identified that the issue of class certification would be resolved after addressing the cross-motions for summary judgment and the parties did not follow the sequence, Defendant waived any objection it may have had to the court granting Plaintiff's motion for class certification after granting Plaintiff's summary judgment motion. View "Plantation Building of Wilmington, Inc. v. Town of Leland" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court dismissed this appeal for lack of a final or otherwise appealable order, holding that the orders Appellants were attempting to appeal were not appealable on an interlocutory basis.In this class-action dispute brought against certain online travel companies (the OTCs) Appellees alleged that the OTCs failed to remit the full amount of taxes imposed by the appellee government entities on hotel accommodations. The circuit court granted Appellees' motion for summary judgment. Appellees then filed an amended and supplemental complaint requesting, in light of the declaratory judgment determination, a judgment against the OTCs for all unpaid taxes from 1995 to the present, plus penalties and interest. The circuit court denied the OTCs' combined motion to dismiss and strike Plaintiffs' second amended complaint. The Supreme Court dismissed the appeal, holding that the order was not appealable. View "Hotels.com, L.P. v. Pine Bluff Advertising & Promotion Commission" on Justia Law

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After a class of homeowners settled their claims against a Chinese company for manufacturing and selling toxic drywall, the settlement agreement divided the settlement class into three groups based on when a plaintiff joined the litigation. Three plaintiffs appeal the settlement award, alleging that the lawyers for the settlement class placed them in the wrong plaintiff group and the district court failed to fix the error.The Fifth Circuit dismissed plaintiffs' appeal, concluding that the settlement agreement waived a plaintiff's right to appeal an award determination beyond the district court. In this case, because plaintiffs opted into the settlement agreement as absent class members, they waived their right to appeal. View "Frego v. Settlement Class Counsel" on Justia Law

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Isabel Garibay appealed a trial court's confirmation of a class action settlement reached between Josue Uribe and Crown Building Maintenance Company (Crown). Uribe sued Crown as an individual regarding alleged Labor Code violations for failure to reimburse him for the cost of uniform cleaning and required footwear as a day porter doing janitorial-type work. Uribe’s suit also included a cause of action in a representative capacity for civil penalties and injunctive relief under the Labor Code Private Attorneys General Act of 2004 (PAGA). The parties reached a settlement conditioned on Uribe filing an amended complaint converting his lawsuit into a class action on his Labor Code claims and including unreimbursed employee cell phone usage costs as an additional basis for both his Labor Code and PAGA causes of action. Garibay, an unnamed member of the class once it was formed, had earlier filed in the Alameda County Superior Court a putative class action asserting Labor Code claims for unreimbursed cell phone use by Crown employees, together with a representative PAGA cause of action on that basis. When Uribe and Crown sought preliminary approval of their agreement to settle Uribe’s lawsuit on a class-wide basis, the trial court authorized Garibay to intervene as a named party in the lawsuit to oppose the settlement. The trial court later granted Uribe’s motion for preliminary approval of the settlement, and then Crown and Uribe’s joint motion for final approval. Meanwhile, the Judicial Council had referred Crown’s petition to coordinate Uribe’s and Garibay’s lawsuits to the presiding judge of the Alameda court to appoint a judge to hear the petition; that appointment remained pending at the time the judgment in Orange County was entered. After the parties advised the Alameda court no stay had been entered in the coordination proceedings, the court subsequently entered judgment. Garibay challenged the settlement after the trial court declined to rule on both Crown’s motion to dismiss Garibay’s complaint in intervention and Garibay’s motion to vacate the judgment. The Court of Appeal found Uribe's PAGA notice did not encompass a claim for unreimbursed cell phone expenses, making the notice was inadequate to support Uribe’s PAGA cause of action on that theory in his lawsuit. And because Uribe and Crown’s agreement did not allow for severance of nonviable settlement terms, judicial approval of a settlement that included Uribe’s PAGA cause of action could not survive review. The Court therefore reversed the judgment. View "Uribe v. Crown Building Maintenance Co." on Justia Law

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The First Circuit affirmed the rulings of the district court denying the Commission of the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services' motion to dismiss Plaintiffs' complaints against her, holding that Plaintiffs' allegations of error were without merit.Plaintiffs were (1) a class of individuals who claimed to have been held against their will without due process on the basis of a certification of their need for emergency mental health treatment, and (2) a group of hospitals who claimed to have been forced to retain persons certified to be in need of such treatment. The Commissioner moved to dismiss the claims based on Eleventh Amendment immunity and Plaintiffs' asserted lack of standing. The district court denied the motion to dismiss. The First Circuit affirmed, holding that there was no merit to the Commissioner's challenges to the district court's standing and Eleventh Amendment immunity rulings. View "Doe v. Shibinette" on Justia Law

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The First Circuit affirmed the ruling of the district court that there was no per se constitutional entitlement to a bond hearing after six months of detention and otherwise vacated the district court's declaratory and injunctive relief, holding that it was advisory.Petitioners brought this class action on behalf of noncitizen detainees held without possibility of release pending the completion of their removal proceedings. On remand, Petitioners alleged that mandatory detention of the class members under 8 U.S.C. 1226(c) for more than six months violated the Fifth Amendment Due Process Clause or the Eighth Amendment excessive Bail Clause. The district court ruled that there was no per se constitutional entitlement to a bond hearing after six months of detention but that the length of time that might constitutionally pass without a bond hearing turned on each noncitizen's individual circumstances. The court then issued declaratory and injunctive relief in favor of all class members. The First Circuit held (1) the district court properly rejected the claim that persons detained for six months under section 1226(c) are automatically entitled to a bond hearing; and (2) the district court improperly granted binding equitable relief. View "Reid v. Donelan" on Justia Law