Target Pharmacies Settle Whistleblower Case for $3 Million
On December 11, 2018, the U.S. Department of Justice announced that it had reached a $3 million settlement agreement with Target Corp., bringing an end to whistleblower claims that Target pharmacies in Massachusetts automatically refilled prescriptions of Massachusetts Medicaid beneficiaries without an explicit request for each refill by the beneficiary. The suit alleges the actions were in violation of Massachusetts Medicaid regulation 130 CMR 406. 411 (c)(6) and the U.S. False Claims Act.
On December 4, 2018, class claims were filed in New York federal court against celebrity watering holes Rose Bar and Jade Bar. Female employees allege that the popular bars inside New York City’s exclusive Gramercy Park Hotel violated the Fair Labor Standards Act and New York Labor laws.
On December 7, 2018, class claims were filed against cereal giant Kellogg Co. in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California alleging that the company’s popular Kellogg’s Nutri-Grain Soft Baked Breakfast Bars (Strawberry) and Kellogg’s Cracklin’ Oat Bran cereal contain the probable carcinogen glyphosate.
On December 4, 2018, the fate of a famous painting by Impressionist painter Camille Pissarro was the focus of arguments in Los Angeles federal court. Rue Saint-Honore in the Afternoon. Effect of Rain, the painting in question, has a long and storied past dating back to 1930s Germany and is currently said to be valued at around $30 million. The plaintiffs in the suit, the Cassirer family, argue that the painting rightfully belongs to them and not Madrid’s Museo Nacional Thyssen-Bornemisza, where it has been on display since it was acquired from a Swiss collector in 1988. In the complaint, the plaintiffs allege that the painting was illegally confiscated from Lilly Cassirer in 1939 by Nazi officials as she was fleeing Germany The plaintiffs argued that the confiscation was in violation of several international laws. After the painting was illegally obtained, it was next traced to the collection of a New York art dealer, then to a Swiss collector who eventually sold it to the defendant.
On November 26, 2018, a $1billion lawsuit was filed in California federal court against Walt Disney Company (“Disney”) and Fox Entertainment LLC (“Fox”) by renowned Asian resort developer, Genting Malaysia Berhad (“GENM”). The plaintiff alleges it entered into agreements with Fox in 2013 to build a theme park called “Fox World,” which was to become the centerpiece of Resorts World Genting, an integrated resort complex in Genting Highlands, Malaysia. Court documents note that Fox will soon be acquired by Disney. Resorts World Genting is the only legal land-based casino in Malaysia and the resort complex attracts over 23 million tourists a year. The resort includes seven hotels, performance venues, shopping malls, gondola lifts, an indoor Snow World attraction, a bio park, temple, bowling alley and arcade, as well as restaurants, bars and clubs.
Don’t be afraid to be who you are—a sentiment often promulgated among young people by teachers, parents and ad campaigns hoping to encourage confidence in one’s own skin. But sometimes that is easier said than done. As we get older and more experienced, we may consciously, or subconsciously, temper our personality to fit societal expectations, particularly in a professional setting. Women have an especially fine line to tread in the professional arena, most notably in male-dominated professions such as the law. When you meet a woman who stands out from the crowd and who is unapologetically herself, you can’t help but admire her for the trail she is blazing for all women in the legal industry.
Fresh off the heels of the successful first run of the show “The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina,” Netflix has settled claims by a religious group called the Satanic Temple stemming from the show’s usage of a “androgynous goat-headed deity” image. The figure is featured prominently in the “Academy of the Unseen Arts,” a fictional satanic school which the titular character attends. Plaintiffs allege the image is used to represent the evil antagonists of the series and in doing so, violates a trademark held by the Satanic Temple.
An $18.9 million settlement has been reached in the National Hockey League (“NHL”) concussion multidistrict litigation (“MDL”). Plaintiffs in the MDL similarly allege that while playing professional hockey for one or more of the Member Clubs or the NHL, they were subjected to head trauma and/or injuries and/or brain trauma and/or injuries and that these injuries have caused, or may cause a variety of neurodegenerative, cognitive, emotional, and/or mental health conditions.
On November 8, 2018, Australian songwriters Sean Carey and Beau Golden filed proposed settlement documents with the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, bringing an end to copyright infringement claims between the plaintiffs and well-known music super stars Faith Hill, Tim McGraw and Ed Sheeran.
On November 6, 2018, video game developer Riot Games was sued for permitting ongoing sexual harassment, misconduct and bias in the workplace, which combined to create a hostile working environment.
The suit was filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court by former Riot Games employee, Jessica Negron and current Riot Games employee, Melanie McCracken.
On October 30, 2018, California Judge Ioana Petrou granted approval for a $6.8 million settlement in favor of employees of The Wine Group LLC, who alleged that the company, the world’s second largest winemaker by volume, violated multiple state labor statues by denying employees meal and rest breaks as well as failing to properly pay overtime and minimum wages.
On November 2, 2018, a $6.6 million preliminary settlement was reached between hotel chain Motel 6 and a putative class of Latino hotel guests who claimed that the defendant unlawfully disclosed their personal information to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (“ICE”) agents.
On October 30, 2018, class claims were filed in federal court in the Eastern District of New York against alternative-dairy producer Miyoko’s Kitchen Inc., claiming that the company, which makes a variety of vegan “dairy” products such as butter and cheese, intentionally mislead consumers by labeling it’s European-Style Cultured Vegan Butter as butter.
On October 26, 2018, superstore Walmart Inc. agreed to a $160 million settlement to end an investor class suit in federal court in the western district of Arkansas.
On October 19, 2018, a proposed class of consumers who purchased Sexy Hair Concepts shampoos from Ulta Beauty stores asked Massachusetts Judge F. Dennis Saylor to grant approval for a $2.3 million settlement.