Posts Tagged ‘class actions’

Liability roundup

“Woman Upset She Didn’t Lose Weight Loses ‘Diet’ Dr Pepper Lawsuit Appeal”

The Ninth Circuit has “refused to reinstate a class-action lawsuit by a woman who argued that the makers of Diet Dr Pepper committed fraud.” “No reasonable consumer would assume that Diet Dr Pepper’s use of the term ‘diet’ promises weight loss or management,” wrote Judge Jay Bybee. The unanimous three-judge panel also declined to accept of lawyers for named plaintiff Shana Becerra that the depiction of “attractive, fit models in the ads implies that Diet Dr Pepper will help its consumers achieve those bodies.” [AP/NBC Los Angeles; opinion in Becerra v. Dr Pepper/SevenUp at Court Listener]

Also: “Woman sues Blue Buffalo dog food company for making her pooch fat” [Emily Saul, New York Post]

Class action roundup

“Wuest’s litigation history is more than unusual”

Judge William Alsup of the federal court in San Francisco has refused a motion to certify a privacy class action in which the named plaintiff would be a man who has “filed 10 other California Invasion of Privacy Act actions, none of which ever reached the class certification stage” but instead concluded with private settlements [Mario Marroquin, Legal NewsLine; Alison Frankel, Reuters]

“Wuest’s litigation history is more than unusual,” Alsup wrote. “This order finds that it shows a pattern of using the threat of class action to extract an undeserved premium on an individual claim. This pattern is further evidenced by the fact that in several of the bases, both Wuest and his counsel received settlement amounts disproportionate to maximum recovery allowed under the statute.

“The pattern is quite clear. The premium was something rightfully due to the ‘class’ but no absent putative class member ever got anything. Wuest and his counsel got it all.”

Liability roundup

Ruin by multiplication, in a New York bill

A pending New York bill, A.679/S.2407, would amend the state’s chief consumer protection law to raise guaranteed minimum statutory damages forty-fold, to $2,000 per sued-over transaction. Combine that with class action features that would enable multiplicative application to whole classes of repeat transaction, and the result should terrify business [Jonah Knobler, New York Law Journal]

Class action roundup

Higher education roundup

  • Oops! “Tulane sophomore unknowingly named as plaintiff in lawsuit over college bribery scandal” [John Simerman, New Orleans Advocate] “Admissions scandal class action is ‘fascinating’ but likely doomed – experts” [Alison Frankel, Reuters] Plus advice from Ken at Popehat;
  • Some problems with the idea of a sweeping presidential order to decree free speech on campus — and a promising if more modest step the White House could take instead [Donald Downs, Cato] Two more views on how universities can “fend off outside intervention and, more importantly, be true to their own mission… [by] nurturing a better free speech culture” [Keith Whittington, parts one and two; John McGinnis]
  • “‘If racial preference [in college admissions] is unjust, then it doesn’t magically become just because people notice some other injustice that has different beneficiaries,’ Olson said. ‘Two things can be unjust at the same time, and two injustices do not add up to one justice.'” [John Blake, CNN, quoting me on the argument that the admissions scandal somehow proves preference advocates’ case]
  • Harvard lawprof and residential dean Ronald Sullivan under fire for defending unpopular figures facing MeToo charges
    [Randall Kennedy, Chronicle of Higher Education; Conor Friedersdorf (quoting HLS prof Janet Halley: “Finally, the ‘climate survey’ technique is a dangerous precedent as a matter of employment rights and as a threat to academic freedom. It’s a thinly veiled version of the heckler’s veto.”)]
  • The Snuggle is real: very long list of demands by Sarah Lawrence students occupying campus building includes consistent access to detergent and fabric softener [Sarah Lawrence Phoenix; Pamela Paresky, Psychology Today] Rather more seriously, the students demand the college reconsider the tenure status of a professor who published a mildly conservative op-ed in the NYT [Colleen Flaherty, Inside Higher Ed]
  • Even if occasionally subverted by dishonest actors, standardized tests remain the gold standard among transparent, objective ways to improve the accuracy of college success prediction [Jenna A. Robinson, Martin Center]

Liability roundup