Question: When Is a $3 Million Attorney Fee Award Painful?

Answer:  When your fee request was $25 million higher.

And so it was in In Re: Volkswagen “Clean Diesel” Marketing, Sales Practices, and Products Liability Litigation, pending in federal court in San Francisco.  The case arose, in the court’s words, from VW’s “deliberate use of a defeat device – software designed to cheat emissions tests and deceive federal and state regulators – in nearly 600,000 Volkswagens- and Audi-branded turbocharged direct injection diesel engine vehicles sold in the United States.”  Continue reading “Question: When Is a $3 Million Attorney Fee Award Painful?”

Eighth Circuit Vacates Data Breach Class Action Settlement; Gently Rebukes Trial Court

Target Corporation announced a data breach in 2013, which occurred, as it noted in an SEC filing, when “an intruder stole certain payment card and other guest information from  [its] network.”  Estimates as to the number of affected customers varied, but all agreed it was huge:  deep into the millions. Continue reading “Eighth Circuit Vacates Data Breach Class Action Settlement; Gently Rebukes Trial Court”

In a Scorching Opinion, Sixth Circuit Refuses to Undo Class Action Settlement

Sometimes, appellate decisions are written in a purely clinical voice.  Other times, they’re infused with a dash of hot sauce.

Plaintiffs, who worked for defendants’ “Fourth Street Live” entertainment district in downtown Louisville, brought a putative class action against defendants in the Western District of Kentucky alleging violations of the Kentucky Wage and Hour Act relating to “their policies regarding off-the-clock work and mandatory tip-pooling.”  The court granted plaintiffs’ class certification motion.  Defendants then sought interlocutory appellate review but that was denied, as was their motion to reconsider.  Settlement discussions ensued, and the parties eventually reached agreement on the financial aspects.  It took them nearly another year, however, to agree on the non-monetary terms.  When that occurred, the parties filed a joint status report advising the court that they’d settled and that formal settlement documents would soon follow. Continue reading “In a Scorching Opinion, Sixth Circuit Refuses to Undo Class Action Settlement”

Football, Apple Pie and Class Actions Redux

On December 12, 2016, the U.S. Supreme Court denied certiorari in Gilchrist v. National Football League, case no. 16-283 and Armstrong v. National Football League.  For my prior post on these cases, see https://beneschclassactionblog.com/2016/11/28/as-american-as-football-apple-pie-and-class-actions/.  And please pass the bean dip.

As American as Football, Apple Pie and Class Actions

Two cert petitions in a football-related class action are pending before the U.S. Supreme Court: Gilchrist v. National Football League, case no. 16-283 and Armstrong v. National Football League.  Both are scheduled to be considered by the Court at its December 9, 2016 conference.  Continue reading “As American as Football, Apple Pie and Class Actions”

The Fresh Scent of Clean Laundry

Our planet is plagued by many vexing problems.  For some folks, front-loading washing machines was one of them.  They claimed that certain front-loading washers manufactured by Whirlpool were defective.  They contended those machines suffered from what they called the “Biofilm defect,” which caused mold and mildew to grow inside them.  That, in turn, allegedly caused moldy odor to permeate their homes and clothes.  And that, in turn, spawned eight years of litigation in the Northern District of Ohio. Continue reading “The Fresh Scent of Clean Laundry”

Plus Feature: OUCH?

When plaintiffs’ counsel settle a massive antitrust class action for $244 million, they should be happy, right?

One would think so, unless their $72.3 million fee request is cut by the court to $48,825,000 in the process, and its order to that effect comes complete with pretty pointed language.  Time to hold the Champagne?

The order at issue was entered October 31, 2016 in Dial Corporation v. News Corporation, Southern District of New York, case no. 13cv6802, Judge William H. Pauley III presiding. Continue reading “Plus Feature: OUCH?”