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June 2018 Archives

Class Certification Granted In Canada Dry Ginger Ale False Advertising Suit

U.S. Magistrate Judge Nathanael M. Cousins of the Northern District of California granted class certification to consumers in a case against Dr Pepper Snapple Group Inc. ("Dr Pepper") on June 26, 2018. Consumers successfully proved a sufficient number of people relied on the claim that Dr Pepper's Canada Dry ginger ale ("Canada Dry") is "made from real ginger," which Dr Pepper's own internal marketing research confirmed.

How a business can smartly respond to an employment law concern

Some areas of American law are comparatively accessible and easy to understand. Their subject matter does not spill forth from thousands of legal tomes and entail dense judicial opinions spanning virtually every aspect of human behavior and interaction.

Instagram Model Files Class Action against PopSugar

Instagram influencer Nita Mann ("Mann") filed a proposed class action suit in the Northen District of California on June 25, 2018, against lifestyle and media company PopSugar, Inc. ("PopSugar"). Mann, who graduated with a law degree from the Dedman School of Law at Southern Methodist University and boasts over 200,000 Instagram followers, accused PopSugar of copying and reposting thousands of her pictures without her consent and profiting off them through an online shopping platform.

Merrill Lynch to Pay $42 Million Penalty for Obscuring Trade Locations

The brokerage firm, Merrill Lynch Pierce Fenner & Smith Inc. ("Merrill Lynch"), agreed on June 19, 2018 to pay a $42 million fine to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC") for misleading its customers as to where their trades actually occurred. This agreement follows a previous $42 million fine in March settling identical allegations from the office of the New York Attorney General.

Cruise Control Malfunction Causes a Recall of Over 4.8 Million Vehicles

On May 25, 2018, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles ("FCA") recalled 4.8 million vehicles due to a possible cruise control malfunction, including various models of Chryslers, Dodges, Jeeps, and Ram pickups. The recall is to resolve the "unlikely" possibility that the cruise control system fails to turn off upon driver command.

Three key things to understand about workplace sexual harassment

In the last year, the #metoo movement has had a powerful impact on the employment landscape. Thousands of courageous sexual harassment victims around the country have come forward and spoken out against this pervasive problem. More than ever, society is sending a strong message that sexual harassment will have consequences.

Former Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader Files Class Action Seeking Equal Pay and Overtime Pay

On June 12, 2018, Erica Wilkins ("Wilkins"), a former cheerleader for the Dallas Cowboys ("Cowboys"), filed a lawsuit against the team in Texas federal court on behalf of herself and other Cowboys' cheerleaders. Wilkins, who worked for the Cowboys from May 2014 until August 2017, accused the team of paying its cheerleaders less than "Rowdy," the team mascot and neglecting to pay them overtime, violating the Equal Pay Act and Fair Labor Standards Act ("FLSA").

Ferrara Candy Co. Agrees to $2.5M Settlement

Ferrara Candy Co. ("Ferrara"), maker of Jujyfruits, Now and Later, Lemonheads, and other candies, has agreed to a $2.5 million settlement to end a proposed class action suit filed in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California. In the complaint, plaintiff, Thomas Iglesias ("Plaintiff"), alleged that 41% of Ferrara's candy boxes are slack-filled i.e. filled with empty space. As part of the settlement, Ferrara must ensure that, going forward, all of its boxes are composed of at least 75% candy.

Volkswagen Agrees to $8.5 Million Settlement to End False Advertising Suit

On June 6, 2018, Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter ("Hunter") announced an $8.5 million settlement has been reached with Volkswagen AG, Volkswagen Group of America Inc., Audi AG, and Audi of America LLC ("Volkswagen"). The payment will end the lawsuit Oklahoma brought against Volkswagen after an investigation revealed the company purposely installed deceptive software to its diesel vehicles in order to allow them to score better on emissions tests.

Majority of Heart Rate Tracking Lawsuit against Fitbit to Proceed

Northern District of California Judge James Donato maintained the majority of a false advertising lawsuit against Fitbit Inc. ("Fitbit") on June 5, 2018, dismissing only plaintiffs' claim for unjust enrichment, finding that it could not be asserted as a standalone claim.