$18.8 Million Proposed Settlement Reached in Military Leave Lawsuit Against Southwest Airlines
On September 13, 2018, a proposed settlement of $18.8 million was reached between Southwest Airlines Co. (“Southwest”) and a class of 2,000 current and former Southwest pilots who alleged that the airline denied them paid sick leave and matched retirement contributions for periods of short-term military leave that lasted 14 days or less (“STML”), all in violation of the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (“USERRA”).
On September 18, 2018, a record-breaking $6.2 billion settlement was reached between Visa Inc. and Mastercard Inc., along with a number of high profile banks including JP Morgan Chase, Citigroup Inc. and Bank of America Corp, and a class of around 12 million retailers who accused the credit card companies and banks of violating federal antitrust laws. Plaintiffs alleged that the entities compelled retailers to pay deliberately inflated “swipe fees” on every purchase made with a Visa or Mastercard credit card, which the banks then utilized to fund consumer credit card rewards.
On September 13, 2018, a disgruntled customer of the Swedish furniture company, Ikea, filed a proposed class suit against the company in federal court in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. The complaint alleges that Ikea intentionally misled customers as to the company’s return policy when the transaction included the use of an Ikea coupon.
The path of the female attorney is not always easy nor is it the same for every woman in the legal industry. When trying to find a place in a profession such as the law, which is still for the most part considered a “boys’ club,” many lawyers believe that they must adhere to antiquated ideas of how a lawyer “should” act. However, our latest profiled attorney in the Women in the Law Series, New York and New Jersey attorney Debbie Gough, decided to turn her back on such preconceived notions and chose instead to embrace what makes her different. For Ms. Gough, mantras of truthfulness, passion and empathy have guided her to become a zealous, top-notch litigator as well as a more discerning human being.
On September 11, 2018, a $42.5 million settlement was reached between a class of investors who claimed that biomedical company Intuitive Surgical Inc. violated federal security laws when it purposefully misled shareholders as to the safety of its da Vinci robotic surgery device.
On September 7, 2018, a class action suit against sportswear giant Adidas America Inc. was removed from the California state court in San Diego to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California. The suit, which was filed on July 3, 2018, claims that a June 2018 data breach of Adidas customers’ personal information was the result of the company’s negligent failure to implement proper cyber security measures.
On August 30, 2018, the makers of the now iconic pine tree-shaped air fresheners, Car-Freshner Corp., filed suit in federal court in the Northern District of New York against Bob Ross Inc. and Surreal Entertainment, alleging that the defendants violated state and federal trademark laws by selling pine tree-shaped car fresheners which pictured the face of the famed host of The Joy of Painting.
On August 24, 2018, after four years of litigation in Florida federal court, a settlement was reached between a class of patients who claim that they were overcharged for emergency radiological services in hospitals owned and operated by defendants JFK Medical Center and HCA Holdings, Inc. According to court documents, the settlement will be valued at around $220 million.
On August 28, 2018, superstore BJ’s Wholesale Club Inc. (“BJ’s”), filed suit in federal court in the Northern District of Illinois against a group of America’s most successful producers of chicken products, alleging that defendants, including Tyson Foods and Perdue Farms, violated federal antitrust laws by illegally conspiring to increase the price of chicken sold in the United States from 2008 through 2016.
On August 17, 2018, plaintiff Dr. Miles Conway filed suit against social media giant Facebook Inc. in federal court in the Southern District of Florida, alleging that the company has negligently and carelessly failed to take down a fake Facebook account that operated under the plaintiff’s name, despite multiple attempts by the plaintiff and his friends to have it removed from the site.
On August 14, 2018, book distributor Readerlink Distribution Services, LLC was sued for violations of the federal Lanham Act, violations of the Illinois Uniform Deceptive Trade Practices Act and of the Illinois Right of Publicity Act in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, by a professional freelance translator who accused the company of falsely attributing her English to Spanish translation of a Star Wars book named “Star Wars: Poe Dameron: Flight Log,” to a poorly-worded Spanish language translation of another book called “Star Wars: The Force Awakens: Rey’s Survival Guide.”
On August 14, 2018, Illinois federal court Judge John J. Tharp denied a bid by well-known baby food manufacturer, Gerber Products Company, to dismiss class claims that allege the company fraudulently marketed its Good Start Gentle (“GSG”) infant formula as able to actively reduce the risk of developing allergies to cow’s milk and decrease incidences of atopic dermatitis (also known as eczema).
On July 30, 2018, the descendants of famed actor and action star Steve McQueen filed suit in California state court against legendary sports car company Ferrari alleging that Ferrari infringed upon the family’s intellectual property rights when it launched a 70th anniversary collection of Ferraris which included one model called “The McQueen.”
On July 29, 2018, just ten days after the horrific sinking of a Missouri Duck Boat on Table Rock Lake, estate representative for victims of the accident filed suit in U.S. District Court in the Western District of Missouri against the owner and operator of the Ride the Duck tour company and the manufacturer of the land-to-sea amphibious vehicle.
On July 24, 2018, national legal non-profit A Better Balance issued a press release announcing that it filed a class action in New York State Supreme Court, Orleans County, on behalf of two former Walmart employees, which challenges Walmart’s “no-fault” absence control policy “as systematically violating the rights of women who need leave for pregnancy-related illnesses or medical care.”