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December 2015 Archives

Employment discrimination suit is certified against Farmers

Class action litigation in Connecticut and all other jurisdictions is well suited to achieving effective and widespread relief for large groups of employees who have been impacted similarly. Employee complaints against employers for matters dealing with wages, hours and discriminatory practices are in fact often pursued within the format of a class action. Where many employees suffer the same or similar effect from a discriminatory or improper employment practice, the class action can save substantial resources by obtaining relief for all affected employees in one representative action.

Popular hoverboards have defects, spur products liability suits

Consumers in Connecticut and nationwide have been purchasing a lot of hoverboards over the holiday shopping season. The product is a scooter that runs on batteries and can be used by children generally in the same manner as skateboards. Unfortunately, the news is emerging of a defect in many of these products that causes them to self-combust and start on fire. Instead of the expected gleeful enjoyment of the hoverboards over the holidays and afterwards, there may be a flood of products liability and class action lawsuits seeking injunctive action and damages against the manufacturers of the reportedly defective products.

High School Concussion Victims To Seek Class-Action Status

The continuing focus and research pertaining to the risks and long-term effects of brain injuries in professional athletes, also extends to sports involving elementary and high school students in Connecticut and elsewhere in the country. Many cases delve into the fact that current protective gear for some sports, such as football, isn't enough. Additionally, adequate warning labels aren't always contained on helmets, lending to several product liability cases.

The Dangers Associated With Lithium Batteries

It's nearly Christmas and among the most-popular toys on the lists of kids this year is the battery-operated skateboard known as a hoverboard. Like many of today's battery-operated high-tech gadgets, hoverboards use lithium batteries which last longer and pack a more powerful charge than normal batteries.

NLRB Rejects Voluntary Class Action Waiver

In a previous post, we discussed arbitration clauses that prevent consumers from joining in a class action lawsuit. This post will focus on arbitration agreements that prevent employees from joining in a class action against their employer.

HCA Settles $215M for Failure to Disclose Whistleblower Case

A company is obligated to disclose to shareholders anything within its knowledge that could affect its stock price. Failure to do so, could result in potential liability. For example, a class of shareholders filed a securities lawsuit against HCA Holdings Inc. ("HCA") alleging that prior to its $4.3 billion initial public offering ("IPO"), HCA failed to disclose an ongoing internal investigation of unnecessary cardiac procedures after a complaint made by a whistleblower. Schuh v. HCA Holdings, Inc., et al. No. 3:11-cv-01033 (M.D. Tn. 2011).

NLRB Refuses to Block Target Workers from Unionizing

In September 2015, pharmacists at Target Corp. ("Target") voted to unionize in a 7-2 vote, making them members of Target's first-ever union. Target contested the vote, claiming it cut ties with workers through a $1.9 billion acquisition deal with CVS Health Corp. ("CVS"). Target argued that once the deal with CVS closes, its pharmacists and other employees will no longer be employed by Target.

Contractor Settles with Amazon Workers in Wage-and-Hour Deal

Recently, in a multidistrict litigation, SMX LLC ("SMX"), one of the staffing agencies that was sued along with Amazon.com, LLC ("Amazon") as joint employers, agreed to settle its claims for $3.7 million that alleged that SMX failed to pay workers for time spent going through anti-theft screening. In re: Amazon.com Inc., Fulfillment Center Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and Wage and Hour Litigation, No. 3:14-md-02504 (W.D. Ky. 2014). The class includes employees who were hired by SMX and worked at an Amazon warehouse in California from October 1, 2012 until the present. Although the settlement will resolve most of the California workers' claims, some remain, including claims against Amazon affiliate, Golden State FC LLC.

Novartis Settles $390M for Kickback Scheme

Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation ("Novartis") currently faces several False Claims Act ("FCA") charges for its alleged kickback schemes. Recently, Novartis has agreed to pay out $390 million to settle one of its major cases, which claimed it incentivized specialty pharmacies to increase sales of Exjade, an iron-reducing drug, and Myfortic, an immunosuppressant.