The Litigation Counsellor®

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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).

Estate of Actor Steve McQueen Sues Ferrari Over Use of McQueen Name

Elizabeth DiNardo, Esq. | Associate Counsel

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.”

Survivors of Tragic Duck Boat Tour File Suit Against Operator

Elizabeth DiNardo, Esq. | Associate Counsel

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.”

$91 Million Settlement Reached in Class Action against John Hancock

Elizabeth DiNardo, Esq. | Associate Counsel

John Hancock Life Insurance Company (U.S.A.) has entered into a preliminary settlement with certain owners of its universal and variable universal life insurance policies who have policies that contain a contractual promise that “Applied Monthly Rates will be based on [John Hancock’s] expectations of future mortality experience”—and nothing else.

On July 18, 2018, New Jersey federal court Judge Peter Sheridan granted preliminary approval to a $1.4 million settlement between iconic New York City department store Bloomingdale’s and a class of customers who allege that the store violated the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”) by sending members of Bloomingdale’s Loyalist Program unsolicited texts detailing store promotions.

Proposed Settlement Reached in GameStop Data Breach

Elizabeth DiNardo, Esq. | Associate Counsel

A proposed settlement has been submitted to Delaware federal court judge John E. Jones III for preliminary approval in the GameStop data breach class action.

The suit was originally filed in September 2017 by named plaintiffs Crystal Bray and Samuel Cook. Bray and Cook allege that class members had their personal and non-public information—including names, addresses and credit/ debit card numbers and expiration dates—compromised during a massive cyber data breach that the defendant company experienced between August 10, 2016 and February 9, 2017.

Ford Faces Class Claims over Defective Engines in Texas Ambulances

Elizabeth DiNardo, Esq. | Associate Counsel

On July 6, 2018, American automaker Ford Motor Company was served with proposed class claims filed by Texas ambulance company, TacMed Holdings Inc., which claims that Ford was aware of serious engine defects in its Transit Vans for years prior to issuing a safety recall.

On June 25, 2018, popular lifestyle and beauty website PopSugar was served with a proposed class action suit in California federal court alleging that the website copied postings of thousands of popular social media “influencer” Instagram accounts in an effort to draw in clicks.

Volkswagen Facing Age Discrimination Class Claims

Elizabeth DiNardo, Esq. | Associate Counsel

German automaker Volkswagen AG (“VW”) is facing yet another class action lawsuit, this time filed by an employee who claims that VW violated the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, as well as the Tennessee Human Rights Act.

$1.8 Million Verdict Awarded in Wage Suit Against Miami Strip Club

Elizabeth DiNardo, Esq. | Associate Counsel

On June 26, 2018, a jury in Florida federal court awarded $1.8 million to a class of eight exotic dancers who alleged that their employer had willfully violated the Fair Labor Standards Act. 

Plaintiffs originally filed suit in October 2014. The plaintiffs alleged that they were classified as independent contractors by the various executives and managers of the Miami-area gentlemen’s club, King of Diamonds, despite having to adhere strict rules set in place by the club. King of Diamonds is owned by parent companies Galardi South Enterprises Inc. and Fly Low Inc.

Popular superstore Target Corp and toddler product manufacturer Prince Lionheart are facing punitive class claims in Florida federal court filed by angry parents who allege that a potty-training seat sold by Target and produced by Lionheart poses a serious threat to toddlers.

Named plaintiffs, Natalie and Yosef Belkin, purchased a Prince Lionheart toilet-training product called the weePOD Basix in May 2018 at a Target store located in Boca Raton, Florida. The weePOD is a plastic seat that is placed on top of a toilet to better enable a toddler to sit. The product also features a higher plastic area in the front that allegedly reduces mess and back splash, and is known as the pee shield.

On June 18, 2018, The Walt Disney Co. and its subsidiary animation studio, Pixar, were served with a copyright infringement lawsuit in the Northern District of California, because, Plaintiff claimed, defendants stole the idea behind its mega hit movie “Inside Out” from him.

On June 15, 2018, well-known television personality Dr. Mehmet Oz, along with the producers of his hit television show, ZoCo Productions LLC and Harpo Productions Inc., agreed to a $5.25 million settlement to end class claims alleging that Dr. Oz made misrepresentations regarding the quality, effectiveness and sponsorship of weight-loss supplements featured on The Doctor Oz Show.