Justia Class Action Opinion SummariesArticles Posted in U.S. 8th Circuit Court of Appeals
Gomez, et al. v. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., et al.
Plaintiffs sought to establish a nationwide class of thousands of borrowers who allegedly paid inflated appraisal fees in connection with real estate transactions financed by Wells Fargo. Plaintiffs subsequently appealed the district court's dismissal of their claims contending that the appraisal practice of Wells Fargo and Rels unjustly enriched Rels and violated the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO), 18 U.S.C. 1961 et seq.; the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act of 1974 (RESPA), 12 U.S.C. 2601 et seq.; California's Unfair Competition Law (UCL), Cal. Bus. & Prof. Code 17200 et seq.; and Arizona's anti-racketeering statute (AZRAC), Ariz. Rev. Stat. 13-2314.04. Because plaintiffs did not plausibly allege a concrete financial loss caused by a RICO violation, the district court did not err in concluding that they lacked standing under RICO and AZRAC. In regards to the UCL claims, the court agreed with the district court that the complaint did not allege "lost money or property" where plaintiffs admitted that Wells Fargo charged them market rates for appraisal services as disclosed on the settlement. The court also rejected plaintiffs' claims under RESPA Section 8(a) and (b), as well as plaintiffs' assertion that the district court erred in dismissing their claims with prejudice rather than sua sponte allowing them leave to amend the complaint for the third time. View "Gomez, et al. v. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., et al." on Justia Law
Hargis v. Access Capital Funding, LLC, et al.
Plaintiff sued defendants in Missouri state court, on behalf of a putative class of similarly situated borrowers, alleging that defendants engaged in the unauthorized practice of law in violation of Mo. Rev. State 484.020 when they charged certain fees in the course of refinancing plaintiff's mortgage. Defendants moved the suit to federal court under the Class Action Fairness Act (CAFA), 28 U.S.C. 1332(d) and plaintiff subsequently appealed the district court's judgment. The court held that plaintiff failed to show that she was charged any fees, directly or indirectly, for legal work performed by non-lawyers. Therefore, plaintiff had not shown injury and did not have standing to bring her claim. In light of plaintiff's lack of standing, the district court should have dismissed for lack of jurisdiction rather than reaching the merits of the summary judgment motion. Accordingly, the judgment was affirmed in part, vacated in part, and remanded with instructions that the action be dismissed for lack of jurisdiction. View "Hargis v. Access Capital Funding, LLC, et al." on Justia Law
Rolwing v. Holdings, Inc.
After a merger between Nestle and Ralston Purina, plaintiff, a book-entry shareholder, filed this putative class action in Missouri state court on behalf of himself and all other Ralston Purina book-entry shareholders at the time of the execution of the merger agreement. Plaintiff claimed that Nestle was required to pay the class on a certain date, Nestle's payment was delinquent, and therefore the class was entitled to interest on the payment. Nestle subsequently appealed the district court's order remanding the putative class action to the state courts of Missouri. Because at the time the case was removed it did not meet the amount in controversy requirements for federal subject matter jurisdiction under the Class Action Fairness Act of 2005 (CAFA), 28 U.S.C. 1332(d), 1453, 1711-15, the court affirmed the order of the district court. View "Rolwing v. Holdings, Inc." on Justia Law
Palmer, et al. v. Illinois Farmers Ins. Co.; Kluessendorf, et al. v. Progressive Preferred Ins. Co.; Hara, et al. v. USAA Casualty Ins. Co.; Johnson, et al. v. American Family Mutual Ins.
Insureds, Minnesota residents, filed class action complaints against their automobile insurers alleging violations of a Minnesota statute, Minn. Stat. 65B.285, requiring insurers to provide a discount for cars which have antitheft devices and breach of contract claims based on the failure to apply the statutory discount. The court affirmed the district court's dismissal of the insureds' amended complaints, rejecting their attempts here, particularly in the absence of any indication that Minnesota's administrative remedies were inadequate, to circumvent Minnesota's administrative remedies in order to create a private right of action. View "Palmer, et al. v. Illinois Farmers Ins. Co.; Kluessendorf, et al. v. Progressive Preferred Ins. Co.; Hara, et al. v. USAA Casualty Ins. Co.; Johnson, et al. v. American Family Mutual Ins." on Justia Law
Dunham v. Portfolio Recovery Associate
Plaintiff, on behalf of himself and others similarly situated, sued defendant, alleging claims under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), 15 U.S.C. 1692g, where defendant conceded that plaintiff did not owe a certain payment obligation. The district court granted defendant's motion for summary judgment and plaintiff appealed. The court held that, although the district court erred in interpreting the FDCPA's consumer requirement, the court nonetheless affirmed the judgment. Whether plaintiff was a "consumer" was not determinative because the court found that defendant sufficiently verified the payment obligation that plaintiff allegedly owed. View "Dunham v. Portfolio Recovery Associate" on Justia Law
Cook, et al. v. ACS State & Local Solutions, et al.
Plaintiffs brought a class action suit against a variety of defendants, alleging that each improperly obtained personal driver information from the Missouri Department of Revenue (DOR) in violation of the Driver's Privacy Protection Act (DPPA), 18 U.S.C. 2721-2725. The district court found that neither of plaintiffs' theories stated a valid claim under the DPPA and granted defendants' Rule 12(b)(6) motions to dismiss. The court held that plaintiffs could not establish a violation of the DPPA if all defendants have done was obtain driver information in bulk for potential use under a permissible purpose. The court also held that plaintiffs could not establish a DPPA violation by alleging that defendants obtained personal information with the sole purpose of selling it to third parties who have permissible section 2721(b) uses for the information. Accordingly, the judgment was affirmed. View "Cook, et al. v. ACS State & Local Solutions, et al." on Justia Law
Thatcher v. Hanover Ins. Group, Inc., et al.
Plaintiff filed a putative class action in Arkansas state court against defendants, asserting causes of action for unjust enrichment, fraud, constructive fraud, and breach of contract. After defendants removed the case to federal district court pursuant to the Class Action Fairness Act (CAFA), 28 U.S.C. 1332(d), plaintiff sought permission to voluntarily dismiss his case without prejudice so that he could refile an amended complaint in state court that would avoid federal jurisdiction. The district court granted plaintiff's voluntary motion to dismiss without prejudice. Defendants appealed, arguing that the district court should have considered whether the motion to voluntarily dismiss was an improper forum-shopping measure. The court agreed and reversed the court's dismissal, remanding for consideration of the issue. View "Thatcher v. Hanover Ins. Group, Inc., et al." on Justia Law
Kreisler & Kreisler, LLC v. National City Bank, et al.
Plaintiff brought a class action against the Bank, alleging that the Bank breached its contract by charging interest in excess of the rate specified in the promissory note. The court affirmed the district court's grant of the Bank's motion to dismiss where the district court correctly concluded that the relevant provisions were clear, did not conflict with one another, and adequately disclosed the interest to be charged.
Bennett, et al. v. Nucor Corp., et al
Plaintiffs, six current and former African-American employees, brought suit against Nucor alleging racial discrimination in violation of 42 U.S.C. 1981 and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. 2000e-2000e-17. The district court denied plaintiffs' requests for class certification, granted summary judgment in favor of Nucor on several claims and the case proceeded to trial. A jury returned verdicts against Nucor and awarded each plaintiff monetary damages. The parties appealed and cross-appealed, contesting various rulings by the district court. The court held that the district court did not abuse its discretion in believing that evidence of a previous enforcement action alleging race discrimination at the Blytheville plant was relevant to the credibility of plaintiffs' allegations. The court also held that the district court properly admitted certain statements at issue. The court further held that because Nucor failed to renew its motion under Rule 50(b), the court was without power to disturb the district court's entry of judgment on the jury's punitive damages award. The court finally held that the district court did not abuse its discretion by concluding that plaintiffs had not met their burden of demonstrating the commonality of their claims and that summary judgment was warranted on plaintiffs' disparate impact claims, failure-to-train disparate treatment claims, and failure-to-promote disparate treatment claims. Accordingly, the judgment of the district court was affirmed.
Washington, et al. v. Countrywide Home Loans, Inc.
Plaintiffs sued Countrywide Home Loans, Inc. under the Missouri Second Mortgage Loan Act (MSMLA), Mo. Rev. State. 408.231-.241, alleging, for a putative class, that Countrywide charged them unauthorized interest and fees in violation of section 408.233.1. The district court granted summary judgment for Countrywide and plaintiffs appealed. The court held that because interest accrued for the two days before plaintiffs receive the loan discount and settlement/closing fee as a result of the alleged MSMLA violations, plaintiffs have raised a material issue of fact as to whether the alleged violations caused their loss. The court also held that because the document processing/delivery fee was not included in section 408.233's exclusive list of authorized charges, it violated the MSMLA. The court further held that because the document processing/delivery fee violated the MSMLA, the prepaid interest Countrywide collected on plaintiffs' loan was an additional violation of the statute. Accordingly, the court reversed and remanded for further proceedings.