Justia Class Action Opinion SummariesArticles Posted in US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
Ark. Tchr. Ret. Sys. v. Goldman Sachs Grp., Inc.
Shareholders of Defendant-Appellant Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. brought this class action lawsuit against Goldman and several of its former executives, claiming defendants committed securities fraud in violation of Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b–5 promulgated thereunder by misrepresenting Goldman’s ability to manage conflicts of interest in its business practices. After a number of appeals and subsequent remand, including an appeal to the Supreme Court, the district court once again certified a shareholder class under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23(b)(3). The Second Circuit reversed the district court’s class certification decision with instructions to decertify the class. The court held that the district court clearly erred in finding that Goldman failed to rebut the Basic presumption by a preponderance of the evidence and, therefore, abused its discretion by certifying the shareholder class. The court explained that there is an insufficient link between the corrective disclosures and the alleged misrepresentations. Defendants have demonstrated, by a preponderance of the evidence, that the misrepresentations did not impact Goldman’s stock price and, by doing so, rebutted Basic’s presumption of reliance. Thus, the district court clearly erred in concluding otherwise and therefore abused its discretion in certifying the shareholder class. View "Ark. Tchr. Ret. Sys. v. Goldman Sachs Grp., Inc." on Justia Law
In re: Kimberly Bruce
Defendants Citigroup Inc. and Citibank, N.A. (collectively, “Citi”) appealed from the bankruptcy court’s order granting in part and denying in part Citi’s motion, pursuant to Federal Rule of Bankruptcy Procedure 7012, to dismiss Plaintiff’s amended complaint, or, alternatively, to strike or dismiss the nationwide class action allegations therein. On appeal, Citi advanced s two primary arguments. First, Citi argues that a bankruptcy court’s civil contempt power is limited to the enforcement of its own orders and, therefore, that the Bankruptcy Code does not authorize one bankruptcy court to adjudicate the claims of a nationwide class of former debtors seeking to hold Citi in contempt of discharge orders entered by other bankruptcy courts across the country. Second, Citi argues that Plaintiff’s claim for violation of her discharge order and injunction under 11 U.S.C. Section 524(a)(2) fails to satisfy the civil contempt standard under Taggart v. Lorenzen, 139 S. Ct. 1795 (2019).The Second Circuit affirmed in part and reversed in part the bankruptcy court’s order and remanded the case to the bankruptcy court. The court explained that the Bankruptcy Code does not authorize a bankruptcy court to enforce another bankruptcy court’s discharge injunction. Further, the court wrote that there is no Section 524 “affirmative act” deficiency here. An intentional and systematic refusal to update the credit report upon the debtor’s request constitutes “an act to collect” under Section 524(a)(2), where, objectively, it has the practical effect of improperly coercing the debtor into paying off a discharged debt. View "In re: Kimberly Bruce" on Justia Law
Roberts v. Genting
On January 6, 2014, Defendant Genting New York LLC, d/b/a Resorts World Casino New York City ("Genting"), closed the Aqueduct Buffet (the "Buffet"), a restaurant located inside the Resorts World Casino (the "Casino") where Plaintiffs worked. Genting gave Plaintiffs no notice of the closure, which took effect the same day and resulted in 177 employees being laid off. The next week, Plaintiffs filed a putative class action against Genting, alleging that its failure to provide notice violated the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (the "WARN Act"), and New York Labor Law Section 860 et seq. (the "New York WARN Act"). On cross-motions for summary judgment, the district court denied Plaintiffs' motion and granted Genting's. On appeal, Plaintiffs argue that the district court erred in granting summary judgment for Genting because, they claim, a reasonable jury could only conclude that the Buffet was either an operating unit or a single site of employment under the WARN Acts. The Second Circuit affirmed in part and vacated in part. The court explained that Genting is not entitled to summary judgment because a reasonable finder of fact could conclude that the Buffet was an operating unit. Likewise, there is also evidence in the record to support the conclusion that the Buffet was not an operating unit. It will be for the finder of fact at trial to weigh the evidence comprising the "somewhat mixed" record in this case to answer the question. The court concluded that the district court erred in granting summary judgment for Genting and in dismissing Plaintiffs' claims under the WARN Acts. View "Roberts v. Genting" on Justia Law
MSP v. Hereford
Plaintiff, MSP Recovery Claims, Series LLC (“MSP”) appealed from the district court’s judgment dismissing for lack of standing its putative class action against Defendant Hereford Insurance Company (“Hereford”) and denying leave to amend. MSP has brought several lawsuits around the country seeking to recover from insurance companies that allegedly owe payments to Medicare Advantage Organizations (“MAOs”) under the Medicare Secondary Payer Act (the “MSP Act”). In the putative class action brought here, MSP charges Hereford with “deliberate and systematic avoidance” of Hereford’s reimbursement obligations under the MSP Act. The Second Circuit affirmed. The court concluded that MSP lacked standing because its allegations do not support an inference that it has suffered a cognizable injury or that the injury it claims is traceable to Hereford. The court also concluded that the district court did not abuse its discretion when it denied MSP leave to amend based on MSP’s repeated failures to cure. The court explained that the plain language of Section 111 provides that when a no-fault insurance provider such as Hereford reports a claim pursuant to Section 111, it does not thereby admit that it is liable for the claim. The statutory context of the section’s reporting obligation and the purpose of the reporting obligation confirms the correctness of this interpretation. Because MSP’s argument that the payments made by EmblemHealth are reimbursable by Hereford rests entirely on its proposed interpretation of Section 111, MSP has not adequately alleged a “concrete” or “actual” injury or that the injury it alleges is fairly traceable to Hereford. View "MSP v. Hereford" on Justia Law
Contant v. AMA Cap., LLC
AMA Capital, LLC (“AMA”) is a claimant in an antitrust class-action settlement. The settlement agreement at issue required that each claimant substantiate its claims with such documents as class counsel and the claims administrator, in their discretion, deemed acceptable. The settlement agreement also provided each claimant with the opportunity to (1) remedy deficiencies in its claims before the claims administrator issued its decision and (2) if the claims administrator rejected its claims in whole or in part, contest the claims administrator’s decision within twenty days of the mailing of the rejection notice. In this case, the claims administrator rejected most of AMA’s claims because, among other things, AMA repeatedly failed to provide the requisite transactional records to support its claims. The district court agreed and also denied AMA’s motion for reconsideration based on documents it submitted subsequent to the claims administrator’s rejection. On appeal, AMA argues primarily that the district court erred by failing to consider documents it submitted during the post-rejection contest process and by denying its claims on the basis of improper evidentiary requirements. The Second Circuit affirmed the district court’s order holding that the claims administrator was not required to accept records during the contest process that were previously available to AMA, which is akin to a motion for reconsideration, and that the district court did not err by denying AMA’s claims. Moreover, because AMA has standing as a class member to appeal any denial of its claims, the court dismissed as moot the appeal in No. 22-19, which challenges the district court’s denial of AMA’s motion to intervene. View "Contant v. AMA Cap., LLC" on Justia Law
Michael Matzell v. Anthony J. Annucci et al.
Plaintiff, a former New York State prisoner, sued defendants-appellants pursuant to 42 U.S.C. Section 1983 for purportedly violating his rights under the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments when they denied his judicially ordered enrollment in New York's Shock Incarceration Program, thereby potentially extending his period of confinement. The district court denied the motion for judgment on the pleadings, holding that Plaintiff plausibly alleged that Defendants were not entitled to qualified immunity because they violated clearly established law. The Second Circuit affirmed the district court's denial of Defendants' motion for judgment on the pleadings as to the Fourteenth Amendment claim, reversed the district court's denial of Defendants' motion for judgment on the pleadings as to the Eighth Amendment claim, and remanded for further proceedings. The court explained that Plaintiff’s Eighth Amendment claim fails at the second prong of the qualified immunity analysis: it was not clearly established at the time of Defendants' conduct that denying a prisoner the opportunity to obtain early release from his sentence of confinement by denying judicially ordered entry into the Shock program would violate the Eighth Amendment. Moreover, the court held that given the liberty interest at stake and the clarity of the statutory law, Plaintiff plausibly alleged that Defendants' actions were egregious, shocking to the conscience, and unreasonable. View "Michael Matzell v. Anthony J. Annucci et al." on Justia Law
Christina Rynasko v. New York University
Plaintiff appealed the district court’s decision dismissing her claims against New York University (NYU) and declining to allow her to amend her complaint to add another plaintiff. Plaintiff s a parent of an adult student who attended New York University (NYU) (Defendant-Appellee) during the Spring 2020 semester—a semester during which NYU suspended its in-person operations and transitioned to remote instruction. Alleging breach of contract, unjust enrichment, and other claims, Plaintiff brought a putative class action suit against NYU to partially recover the tuition and fees she paid for her daughter’s Spring 2020 semester. The district court granted NYU’s motion to dismiss on the basis that Plaintiff lacked standing and denied Plaintiff’s motion to amend her complaint to add a current NYU student as an additional plaintiff because it concluded that amendment would be futile. The Second Circuit affirmed the judgment of the district court in part, vacated in part, and remanded for further proceedings. The court concluded that the district court correctly determined that Plaintiff lacks standing to bring her breach of contract and unjust enrichment claims because she has not alleged an injury-in-fact to herself, rather than to her daughter. The court held that Plaintiff fails to plausibly allege a claim for conversion. The court wrote that for these reasons, the district court properly dismissed her claims. However, the court concluded that amending the complaint to add a current student as plaintiff would not be futile. The student plaintiff plausibly alleged claims for breach of contract, unjust enrichment, and money had and received that would survive a motion to dismiss. View "Christina Rynasko v. New York University" on Justia Law
In re Payment Card Interchange Fee and Merchant Discount Antitrust
A putative class of over 12 million merchants brought this antitrust action under the Sherman Act against Visa U.S.A. Inc., MasterCard International Inc., and numerous banks that serve as payment-card issuers for those networks. Plaintiffs alleged that Visa and MasterCard adopted and enforced rules and practices relating to payment cards that had the combined effect of injuring merchants by allowing Visa and MasterCard to charge supracompetitive fees (known as “interchange fees”) on each payment card transaction. After nearly fifteen years of litigation, the parties agreed to a settlement of roughly $ 5.6 billion, which was approved by the district court over numerous objections. In so doing, $900,000 in service awards was granted to lead plaintiffs, and roughly $523 million was granted in attorneys’ fees. Appellants are various objectors who argue that the district court erred when it certified the class, approved the settlement, granted service awards and computed attorneys’ fees. The Second Circuit affirmed in all respects the district court’s orders to the extent they constituted a final judgment, with the exception that the court directed the district court to reduce the service award to class representatives to the extent that its size was increased by time spent in lobbying efforts that would not increase the recovery of damages. The court made no ruling as to how damages should be allocated between branded oil companies and their branded service station franchisees, the reasonableness of the special master’s ultimate findings, or the legality of releasing an as-of-yet hypothetical future claim. View "In re Payment Card Interchange Fee and Merchant Discount Antitrust" on Justia Law
Mazzei v. The Money Store
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 60(b) authorizes relief from a final judgment, order, or proceeding based on, among other things, “fraud on the court.” Years after an adverse judgment and unsuccessful appeals in Mazzei v. The Money Store, 829 F.3d 260 (2d Cir. 2016) (“Mazzei I”), Plaintiff sought such relief in district court. He did so after a deposition in a separate, unrelated lawsuit cast doubt on the truthfulness of certain representations that Defendants’ counsel made to the court in Mazzei I. Defendants moved under Rule 12(b)(6) to dismiss the fraud on the court claim, which the district court granted. Plaintiff then moved for reconsideration, which was denied. Plaintiff then appealed these orders. The Second Circuit affirmed. The court held that the district court correctly concluded that Plaintiff failed plausibly to plead a fraud on the court claim. The district court correctly reasoned that the conduct of which he complained had not impaired the court’s ability to fully and fairly adjudicate his case because the fraud alleged could have been redressed in Mazzei I. View "Mazzei v. The Money Store" on Justia Law
McCutcheon v. Colgate-Palmolive Co.
Plaintiffs brought a class action under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 ("ERISA"), arguing that Defendant Colgate-Palmolive Co. miscalculated residual annuities based on an erroneous interpretation of its retirement income plan and improperly used a pre-retirement mortality discount to calculate residual annuities, thereby working an impermissible forfeiture of benefits under ERISA. The district court granted summary judgment to Plaintiffs on these claims. Colgate appealed that order and the final judgment of the district court. The Second Circuit affirmed. The court concluded that the text of the RAA is unambiguous and requires Colgate to calculate a member's residual annuity by subtracting the AE of LS from that member's winning annuity under Appendix C Section 2(b). Further, the court wrote that Colgate's "same-benefit" argument does not disturb our conclusion that the RAA's language is unambiguous. Because "unambiguous language in an ERISA plan must be interpreted and enforced in accordance with its plain meaning," the court affirmed the district court's grant of summary judgment to the class Plaintiffs as to Error 1. View "McCutcheon v. Colgate-Palmolive Co." on Justia Law