For Halloween, rather than discuss any of the various litigation over candy (e.g., the litigation over Skittles or “slack fill” in packages), we are going to travel back to 1984 to look at what a mishap with a sheep costume says about how consumer expectations can affect liability from Ferlito v. Johnson & Johnson, 983 F.2d 1066 (6th Cir. 1992) (Table). Continue Reading Little Bo Peep’s Fiery Sheep

Over the past year, there have been a growing number of lawsuits, including class actions, filed against website operators in various states — including California, Florida, Illinois, and Pennsylvania — for violations of state wiretapping laws or the Video Privacy Protection Act of 1988 (VPPA).

At a high level, these wiretapping lawsuits claim that the website intercepts website user and visitor information via session replay technology and other tracking technology in violation of certain state wiretapping laws. The states in which

Continue Reading Increasing Litigation Related to Website Technology and Data Sharing

Did you know that there was a class-action lawsuit after Super Bowl XLV?  The game was played at Cowboys Stadium (now known as AT&T Stadium) in Dallas, Texas, between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Green Bay Packers. The litigation arose out of a temporary-seating debacle: the full complement of temporary seats was not installed in time, resulting in some ticketholders being left without seats and others being relocated. There was also another group of ticketholders who complained about a restricted view from their seats even though they did not receive the lower, restricted-view ticket price. On the field, the Packers defeated the Steelers 31-25. In the courtroom, the plaintiffs’ bid for class certification suffered the same fate as the Steelers. A look at the Fifth Circuit’s opinion in Ibe v. Jones, 836 F.3d 516 (5th Cir. 2016), provides some valuable insights.Continue Reading Super Bowl Class Action

A recent Sixth Circuit opinion reiterated that, for purposes of evaluating diversity jurisdiction, the citizenship of a limited liability company is determined by the citizenship of its members. E.g., Akno 1010 Mkt. Street St. Louis Missouri LLC v. Pourtaghi, 43 F.4th 624, 626 (6th Cir. 2022). An LLC’s state of organization and principal place of business are irrelevant to that analysis because 28 U.S.C. § 1332(c) refers specifically to “corporation[s],” while LLCs, like partnerships, are treated as unincorporated associations. Id.; Delay v. Rosenthal Collins Grp., LLC, 585 F.3d 1003, 1005 (6th Cir. 2009) (“The general rule is that all unincorporated entities — of which a limited liability company is one — have the citizenship of each partner or member.”). But a different jurisdictional test applies when a plaintiff’s complaint falls within the Class Action Fairness Act (CAFA).
Continue Reading LLCs Are Treated Like Corporations When Determining Jurisdiction Under CAFA

There is a public perception that class actions result in multimillion-dollar liability for the defendants. The recent settlement of Woodard v. Labrada, a case in which TV’s Dr. Mehmet Oz was originally named as a defendant, shows that is not always the case. The suit alleged misrepresentations regarding certain weight-loss supplements manufactured by Labrada Bodybuilding Nutrition, Inc., which the plaintiffs claimed Dr. Oz received compensation to promote on his TV show. After six years of litigation, Labrada — the only remaining defendant (the plaintiffs dismissed the allegations against Dr. Oz and other media defendants) — agreed to a settlement that requires the payment of just $625,000.
Continue Reading Dr. Oz Suit Shows Not All Class Actions Result in Millions of Dollars

On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court, in Morgan v. Sundance, Inc., overturned the arbitration-specific waiver rules in nine circuits that had held a finding of prejudice was essential to determining whether a party had waived its right to arbitrate. Instead, courts should apply “ordinary procedural rules” — such as the federal law that waiver is the intentional relinquishment or abandonment of a known right (without a prejudice requirement) — to determine whether an arbitration agreement is enforceable.
Continue Reading No More Special Arbitration-Waiver Rules

The Eighth Circuit’s recent decision in Schumacher v. SC Data Center, Inc. provides guidance on when alleged violations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act do not constitute a concrete injury sufficient to confer standing under the Supreme Court’s TransUnion LLC v. Ramirez decision. Given class-action plaintiffs’ fondness for claims seeking statutory damages, the potential ramifications of TransUnion — which was issued last summer and cast further doubt on whether plaintiffs have standing to recover statutory damages for technical violations of the FCRA and other statutes — have been a hot topic among the class-action bar.  In fact, an entire panel discussion at this year’s ABA National Institute on Class Actions was devoted to TransUnion.

TAKEAWAY: While the full impact of TransUnion remains to be seen, Schumacher shows that plaintiffs may not have standing to pursue violations of the FCRA’s requirements that employers provide information to prospective employees.Continue Reading Plaintiffs’ Standing to Assert FCRA Violations Dealt Another Blow

Welcome to Taft’s Class Action & Consumer Insights blog. Here, we will discuss developments in class actions and consumer statutes that are frequently the subject of class actions, such as the Fair Credit Reporting Act, the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, and various state-law consumer-protection statutes. We hope you enjoy.
Continue Reading Introducing Taft Class Action & Consumer Insights