Florida Teachers File Suit Against State Government Over Threatened School Openings
On July 20, 2020, the Florida Education Association filed suit in Miami-Dade Circuit Court against Florida state governor Ron DeSantis, Florida Commissioner of Education, Richard Corcoran, the Florida Department of Education, the Florida Board of Education and Miami-Dade County Mayor, Carlos Gimenez, alleging that the defendants are violating the Florida state constitution by attempting to recklessly reopen in-person schools in fall 2020.
FeganScott is nationwide class action law firm that specializes in litigation involving sexual abuse, discrimination, consumer fraud and antitrust cases, and describes itself as a powerful ally for consumers and small businesses. Attorney Beth Fegan, along with her husband, Timothy Scott, built the practice from the ground up in 2019. Beth recently spoke to us on the subject of start her own firm and managing employees spread out across the country.
On July 20, 2020, another class action suit was filed against an insurance company over the failure to provide business interruption coverage related to losses from the COVID-19 pandemic. In the suit, filed in federal court in the Southern District of Florida, the operators of the well-known South Florida theater, Miracle Theater, filed an action against General Security of Arizona (“General Security”) and SCOR SE (“SCOR”), alleging that the insurance carriers breached contractual obligations and failed to pay the plaintiff for losses and expenses caused by the coronavirus outbreak.
On July 11, 2020, class claims were filed against upscale grocery giant, Whole Foods Market Group, in federal court in the Southern District of New York, alleging that the grocery chain intentionally misled customers as to the true ingredients of its Unsweetened Organic Vanilla Coconut Milk beverage.
“Take care of yourself,” is a phrase we hear now more than ever, in this strange time of COVID-19. The global pandemic has escalated the notion, both physically and mentally. The word “pandemic” generally alludes to physical illness, but mental health repercussions can in some cases be felt just as strongly as the potential physical effects of illness, as people learn to live with this new sense of isolation from each other.
Organizations across the globe—from the World Health Organization to the CDC—have advised as to the importance of mental health during COVID-19, as people continue to be inundated day and night by an endless 24-hour news cycle and by constantly accessible social media surrounding the spread of the virus. The CDC has advised Americans to “be kind to your mind” during this unprecedented time and offers tips for coping with the resulting stress.
On July 10, 2020, putative class claims were filed in New Jersey federal court against RCN Telecom Services LLC (“RCN”), alleging that the telecom company engaged in a bait-and-switch and billing fraud scheme against its broadband internet customers.
At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, many in the legal community expressed concern over the possibility that it would result in a significant slowdown in the number of new cases filed, notably class action cases. However, as the country begins to move forward and a “new normal” emerges, legal experts report a significant increase in the number of newly filed-class action lawsuits.
Update from the Experts: A Panel Discussion on Domestic & International Mass Torts, Class Actions and COVID-19 Litigation
On July 1, 2020, the New York State Court Officers Association filed claims against Chief Judge of the State of New York, the Honorable Janet DiFiore, and the New York State Office of Court Administration, alleging that the New York State courthouses failed to provide a safe working location by properly cleaning and sterilizing the court officers’ work environment.
Class claims were filed in federal court in the Western District of Pennsylvania against the City of Pittsburgh and multiple other city officials, including Pittsburgh mayor William Peduto, by a group of protestors who alleged that Pittsburgh police responded to a peaceful protest with undue aggression.
Burns Charest LLP describes itself as a young firm with a dynamic and impressive pedigree. The firm was launched in 2015 and was the culmination of the combined efforts of experienced trial lawyers Warren Burns, Korey Nelson and Dan Charest. Founding member, Warren Burns, recently spoke to us about the challenging process of starting the firm and offered his advice to attorneys looking to take start their own firm.
Considerations Upon Returning to the Courtroom
As the United States court system attempts to slowly move towards pre-pandemic productivity, judiciaries must balance the need to progress pending litigation and keeping Americans safe amid the COVID-19 health crisis. Reopening is taking place in “stages” in many states, each with decreased restrictions as the courts strive to regain full operation. The expansive nature of the American judicial system equates to numerous different policies and precautions implemented, but the following are general measures courts across the country are putting in place as they process the backlog of matters postponed by the pandemic shutdowns.
The battle continues between aviation giant Boeing and a class of pilots who were trained and certified to fly the now grounded 737 MAX jet. Plaintiffs claim their careers have been seriously affected by Boeing’s fraudulent assurances to the aviation community that the jet was safe to fly.
On June 24, 2020, a settlement of over $10 billion was announced by Bayer AG, bringing an end to nearly 75% of the lawsuits involving its glyphosate-based weed killers, including the well-known Roundup® products. In the announcement, Bayer estimated that the settlement will cover all litigations headed by the plaintiff law firms leading the federal multidistrict litigation, in addition to the California state court bellwether cases.
On June 15, 2020, the campaign of former 2020 presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders, “Bernie 2020,” was served with class claims in Minnesota federal court, alleging that the campaign violated the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”) by sending unsolicited text messages from the Sanders campaign to individuals’ cell phones using an automatic telephone dialing system (“ATDS”).