Joshua Rawa and others filed a California class action against Monsanto alleging that its labeling on Roundup herbicide was misleading. After a California class was certified, class counsel filed another case in Missouri on behalf of a putative class of consumers from the other 49 states. After a nationwide settlement agreement was entered into, the California case was transferred to Missouri, where Monsanto has its headquarters, to consolidate all cases. After the Missouri court granted preliminary settlement approval, James Migliaccio, a member of the original California class, objected to the settlement on multiple grounds. The district court overruled his objections and granted final approval at which time, Migliaccio appealed. The Eighth Circuit concluded that the class was adequately represented and that the settlement was “reasonable, fair, and adequate,” and therefore affirmed.
As society becomes increasingly litigious, and as plaintiff attorneys market their services more aggressively, class action litigation is posing a rapidly growing threat to businesses in all sectors.
Henry Lee filed a class action lawsuit against the Defendant doing business as The Body Shop for alleged “willful violations of the federal Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act of 2003.” He originally filed suit in federal court in New York, but after objections were raised to the federal court settlement and the federal judge directed the plaintiff to “show cause why the Federal Court Action should not be dismissed for lack of standing,” Lee voluntarily dismissed.
Ninth Circuit En Banc Reverses Panel and Approves The Nationwide Class Action Settlement Of MDL Cases Regarding Vehicle Fuel Economy Misrepresentations.
Most class action cases are complex. Whenever multiple class actions are joined in an MDL, the complexity is greatly increased. This blog post discusses the five consolidated appeals of an objected to nationwide class action settlement. On appeal, a divided three judge panel vacated the class certification and remanded. However, “a majority of the nonrecused active judges” voted to rehear the case en banc. That resulted in six judges joining all of the majority opinion, three judges joining the dissenting opinion, and one judge joining separate parts of the majority and dissenting opinions.
Ninth Circuit Holds That Plaintiffs Are Not Required to Support Class Certification Motions by Admissible Evidence
Nurses Sali and Spriggs moved to certify seven classes of registered nurses allegedly underpaid by Corona Regional Medical Center (“Corona”) as a result of its employment policies and practices. The district court denied class certification for all of the proposed classes on multiple grounds including some of the classes failed to meet Federal Rule 23(b)(3)’s predominance requirement, none of the classes satisfied Rule 23(a)’s typicality requirement, Spriggs was not an adequate class representative because not a member of any of the proposed classes, and the attorneys were inadequate because they “had not demonstrated they [would] adequately serve as class counsel.” After Sali and Spriggs appealed, they moved to stay the appeal while the California courts ruled on some state law substantive issues. After the state courts ruled, Sali and Spriggs limited their appeal to four of the seven original classes. The 9th Circuit reversed and remanded for further proceedings.
The 7th Circuit affirmed the district court’s finding that a proposed class representative was inadequate, justifying the class certification denial. However, the 7th Circuit reversed the ruling that the Rule 67 payment into the Court’s treasury of more than what Plaintiff was entitled to recover mooted the case thus justifying its dismissal. The court also emphasized that district courts have many tools available to respond to abusive litigation practices.