Tag Archives: class action

Sheet Metal Workers v. GlaxoSmithKline: How To Use State Consumer Fraud Laws To Bring Indirect Purchaser Antitrust Class Actions

[UPDATE: Drug and Device Law goes Jersey Shore on me and "creates a situation," as they say. I replied in the comments there, although my comment seems to disappear at times. Perhaps their commenting/moderating software is as frustrating and difficult as mine. I've cut and pasted my comment below the fold here.] I've discussed the problems with the Illinois Brick decision before. In short, since "indirect purchasers" cannot bring federal antitrust claims — even if they were injured by antitrust violations — "indirect purchasers" like third-party payors and retailers have to resort to state law. It is not uncommon to see lawsuits ... Continue Reading

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Ready, Fire, Aim: A Lesson In Bad Legal Writing From The Lowe’s Drywall Class Action Settlement Kerfuffle

The internet has not been pleased with the proposed settlement reached between Lowe's — which denies ever selling any tainted Chinese drywall — and the plaintiff's attorneys in a Georgia state court class action. There's two problems with the proposed settlement, which has not yet been approved by a judge. First, the settlement is a dreaded coupon settlement (i.e., a settlement in which the plaintiffs get only coupons or vouchers to buy more stuff from the defendant), one that will use particularly unreliable notice procedures for letting potential class members know about the settlement. For more, see ProPublica and the ... Continue Reading

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Ford Takes The Lead In Assaulting Consumers And Small Businesses Via The National Chamber Litigation Center

The Blog of the Legal Times reported yesterday: David Leitch, the general counsel of Ford Motor Co., is the new chairman of the board of directors of the National Chamber Litigation Center. Leitch succeeds James Comey, who until recently was senior vice president and general counsel of Lockheed Martin Corp. And what is "the National Chamber Litigation Center," you ask? It's the litigation arm of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, one of the most loathsome enterprises in the nation: I asked [U.S. Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Tom] Donohue what, exactly, the Chamber does. “Two fundamental things,” he replied. “We’re advocates. ... Continue Reading

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Receipt Manufacturers Knew For Years Bisphenol-A (BPA) Was Leeching Onto Consumer’s Hands

Hindsight is 20–20, or so defense lawyers like to say when their clients are caught poisoning thousands, sometimes millions, of people. Such will almost certainly be the case once the class-action litigation over BPA finally heats up. The latest product to be found guilty of leeching the toxic pseudo-hormone into unknowing customers is ordinary point-of-sale receipts: Cash register and other receipts may expose consumers to substantial amounts of bisphenol A, a hormone-mimicking chemical that has been linked with a host of potential health risks, according to a trio of recent studies. ... On July 28, Warner and his colleagues at ... Continue Reading

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Why Can’t Copyright Trolls Be Compelled Into Agency Hearings Or Arbitration?

[Update: I somehow missed Ron Coleman's earlier take on the article, but it's required reading if you're interested in the subject. Coleman and Walter Olson both seem on board with, as Olson words it, "steering rights owners into agency complaints or arbitration as an alternative, or at least precondition, to court action."]  Via Kevin Drum, Wired's Threat Level has a profile of Steve Gibson, CEO of Righthaven, a company which has applied the much maligned — but often quite lucrative — "patent troll" model to copyright litigation on behalf of publishers: Borrowing a page from patent trolls, the CEO of fledgling Las ... Continue Reading

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Kenneth Feinberg Should Disclose More About His Compensation For Administering The BP Fund

Kenneth Feinberg, whose pro bono publico work in the 9/11 Compensation Fund was widely lauded, is back again administering the $20 billion BP Compensation Fund and is in the middle of a publicity tour on the Gulf of Mexico. C-SPAN just posted a video of him discussing the Fund and his work on it this morning. Unlike with the 9/11 Fund, though, this time Feinberg is getting paid, and that raises a few questions. Nobody questions Feinberg's integrity, but the whole point of having a nation of law, not men, is to make everyone accountable to that law, and Professor ... Continue Reading

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Third Circuit Vacates Nationwide Antitrust Settlement That Combined Indirect Purchaser Claims From All Fifty States

Via Howard Bashman, whose client won, comes the Third Circuit's Sullivan et al. v. De Beers et al. ruling reversing the District of New Jersey's approval of a massive, nationwide settlement of antitrust claims brought by diamond purchasers against the De Beers cartel. As The Legal Intelligencer put it: In its 75-page opinion in Sullivan v. DB Investments Inc., the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the settlement must be vacated because the lower court had improperly certified a nationwide class of indirect purchasers despite recognizing that some of those plaintiffs would be barred from pursuing such indirect ... Continue Reading

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The Devil’s Advocate Argument In Favor Of Judge Feldman’s Deepwater Drilling Moratorium

Judicial supremacy made an unexpected comeback this week with Martin Feldman of the Eastern District of Louisiana, a "fair" and "terrifying" judge (who, for what it's worth, dismissed one of my cases a few months ago — no hard feelings), granting an injunction against the Secretary of the Interior from enforcing the Obama administration's moratorium on deepwater oil drilling because the moratorium was "arbitrary and capricious:" After reviewing the Secretary’s Report, the Moratorium Memorandum, and the Notice to Lessees, the Court is unable to divine or fathom a relationship between the findings and the immense scope of the moratorium. The ... Continue Reading

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BP Blows Smoke Over Amending The Oil Pollution Act

Some background: the Oil Pollution Act establishes strict liability for anyone who spills oil, but limits that liability in the case of offshore rigs to $75 million per spill, plus removal costs. Congress has contemplated removing those caps for the BP spill and all future spills. Over at the National Law Journal, David Ingram reports that BP, in addition to spilling oil and other substances all over the Gulf of Mexico, is now blowing smoke in the Washington, DC vicinity: A private consultant for energy companies told Congress on Tuesday that any effort to rewrite oil spill liability laws retroactively would ... Continue Reading

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What’s It Take To Be Lead Counsel On Multidistrict Class Action Litigation?

The Wall Street Journal (and their Law Blog) had an amusing piece recently about the jockeying underway for the position of lead counsel in the Toyota Motor Corporation Unintended Acceleration Marketing, Sales Practices, and Products Liability Multidistrict Litigation, which has been consolidated in the Central District of California: Lawyer Daniel Becnel Jr. of Reserve, La., donated a kidney to his sick brother. Alexandria, La., attorney Richard Arsenault organized a symposium featuring a lawyer played by John Travolta in the movie "A Civil Action." New York lawyer Anita Jaskot's father is a doctor. She is also single and speaks Polish. These are ... Continue Reading

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