Whole Foods Faces Class Claims Over Sparkling Water Ingredients
On April 11, 2021, class claims were filed in federal court in the Southern District of New York against grocery store chain Whole Foods Market Group Inc. (“Whole Foods”) alleging that it engages in false, deceptive and misleading advertising in relation to its Lemon Raspberry Italian Sparkling Mineral Water (“the Product”), which depicts pictures of fresh lemons and raspberries on the label.
On April 6, 2021, class claims were filed in federal court in the Northern District of Illinois against The Kraft Heinz Company (“Kraft”) over claims that its popular Kraft Mac & Cheese products (“the Products) have improper and misleading packaging, also displayed in its marketing.
On March 31, 2021, class claims were filed in the Circuit Court for the Eleventh Judicial Circuit for Miami-Dade County against Event Entertainment Group Inc. over the company’s decision to withhold ticketholder refunds from the cancelled 2020 Ultra Music Festival.
On April 1, 2021, the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation issued a transfer order centralizing all suits in the Robinhood January 2021 Short Squeeze litigation in the Southern District of Florida under Judge Cecilia M. Altonaga. According to the transfer order, the newly consolidated actions share factual questions arising from trading restrictions imposed by Robinhood and other brokers in late January 2021 in response to a dramatic rise in trading and share prices for a group of so-called “meme stocks.” Meme stocks include GameStop Corp, AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc, American Airlines Group Inc., Bed Bath & Beyond Inc., BlackBerry Ltd., Express, Inc., Koss Corporation, Naked Brand Group Ltd., Nokia Corp, Sundial Growers Inc., Tootsie Roll Industries, Inc. and Trivago N.V.
On March 25, 2021, class claims were filed in California federal court in the Northern District of California San Jose Division, against insurance giant GEICO General Insurance Company (“GEICO”) alleging that GEICO unfairly profited from the COVID-19 pandemic.
On March 10, 2021, plaintiffs in the class action lawsuit against cereal giant, Kellogg Sales Co. (“Kellogg”), reached a revised $13 million settlement and presented it to California Northern Court Judge Lucy Koh for preliminary approval.
On March 8, 2021, Northern District of California Judge Jacqueline Scott Corley denied cryopreservation tank manufacturer Chart Industries’ (“Chart”) motion for summary judgment, thus keeping alive proposed class claims over the March 2018 malfunction of a Chart cryopreservation tank at the Pacific Fertility Center (“PFC”).
The suit was originally filed on March 13, 2018, by named plaintiff S.M. In the complaint, the plaintiff describes how she, and many others, relied on PFC and its Chart cryopreservation tanks to maintain and preserve her frozen eggs indefinitely. However, on March 11, 2018, the plaintiff received an email informing her that earlier that week, the cryopreservation tank containing her frozen eggs had lost liquid nitrogen for a brief period of time which “may have resulted” in the loss of her eggs.
On March 7, 2021, class claims were filed in federal court in the District of Colorado against United Airlines over U.A. Flight 328, which made headlines on February 20, 2021, when it experienced what has been described as spectacular engine failure in one of the plane’s two engines.
In the complaint, named plaintiff Chad Schnell describes how approximately four minutes after takeoff, as the Boeing 777-200 aircraft reached an altitude of 12,000 feet, passengers heard loud noises and began to experience violent shaking of the plane. Shortly after the extreme turbulence began, passengers - including the plaintiff - witnessed from the plane’s windows missing pieces from the right engine and a fire that ignited within the engine.
On February 25, 2021, plaintiffs in the TikTok multidistrict litigation (“MDL”) submitted a motion to Judge John Z. Lee of the Northern District of Illinois, requesting preliminary approval of a $92 million settlement in the TikTok litigations. The settlement, if approved, will bring an end to an MDL comprised of 21 putative class actions that similarly allege that defendants TikTok Inc. (“TikTok”) and its parent company Byte Dance Technology Inc., mishandled issues of plaintiffs’ privacy.
As the legal system continues to adapt to the constant change brought about by the global pandemic, many law firms are looking ahead to plan for the future. We explore how law firms have changed and what modifications are here to stay in our new series, Post-Pandemic Law Firm Landscape. Hear firsthand from plaintiffs firms on how they've navigated the current state of the legal system and their outlook moving forward.
On February 22, 2021, class claims were filed in Texas Federal Court in the District Court of Harris County against Griddy Energy LLC (“Griddy”) by a group of Griddy customers who allege that they were charged excessive electricity prices due to Winter Storm Uri in February 2021.
On February 23, 2021, class claims were filed in federal court in the Eastern District of California Fresno Division, against retail giant Walmart Inc. alleging that the defendant implemented an illegal policy requiring its non-exempt workers to undergo COVID-19 screenings prior to each shift without pay.
The battle against insurance carriers over a lack of business interruption coverage in the wake of the on-going pandemic continues with a group made up primarily of Washington State dentists and orthodontists, in addition to other businesses like restaurants, filing a motion for Western District of Washington Judge Barbara J. Rothstein to certify questions of common state law to the Washington State Supreme Court.
The controversy surrounding the meteoric rise and fall of the GameStop stock continues, as yet another class action complaint involving the incident was filed on February 16, 2021, in Massachusetts federal court. In the suit, plaintiff Christian Iovin alleges that defendant Keith Patrick Gill, a professional securities broker, purposefully incited a market frenzy by advocating for amateur market traders to enact revenge on big hedge fund companies by artificially inflating the price of shares of GameStop.
On February 5, 2021, baby food giant Gerber Products Co. (“Gerber”) was served with class claims in federal court in the District of New Jersey alleging that unbeknownst to consumers, and contrary to the representations made by Gerber, its baby food products contain heavy metals, including arsenic and cadmium.