Week Adjourned: 9.29.17 – Herbalife, Snap-On Logistics, Medical Malpractice

Top Class Action Lawsuits

Not the Great Pyramid? Now here’s something with huge potential: Herbalife is facing a potential consumer fraud class action lawsuit alleging it operates as a pyramid scheme to bait consumers with the “promise of riches.” The Herbalife lawsuit, filed in Miami by eight former Herbalife distributors, also names 44 top Herbalife distributors as defendants.

The allegations center on Herbalife’s “Circle of Success” event cycle. These events allegedly consist of a series of expensive seminars held across the US. The seminars are allegedly a sales tool used by Herbalife representatives and inner circle top distributors, to create enthusiasm among the network’s hundreds of thousands of members and to convince them that success depends on attending as many of the “Circle of Success” events as possible.

According to the complaint, these events are systematic and scripted in nature, divided into separate tiers of semi-local Success Training Seminars, semi-annual Leadership Development Weekends, and “Extravaganza” and “January Spectacular” events run by Herbalife itself.

It’s quite the story. Allegedly, attendees are frequently required to travel in order to attend the events, for which ticket prices range between $30 and $200 per person. Further, once at the events, attendees are incentivized to make thousands of dollars in product purchases to achieve VIP status and other perks.

“With these acts, defendants have collectively persuaded hundreds of thousands of victims to invest substantial sums into attending events which are held out as the secret to becoming financially successful in a fraudulent scheme to which defendants know financial success is not possible,” the lawsuit states.

The lawsuit alleges violations of the federal Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act for conducting a racketeering enterprise, for deceptive and unfair trade practices under the Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act and for unjust enrichment and negligent misrepresentation.

The lawsuit also claims separate violations of wire fraud, stating that the defendants’ acts of wire fraud are related because they share the same or similar purpose and target the same victims and have the same result: “hundreds of millions of dollars flowing from the plaintiff class into the coffers of Herbalife and its top few President’s Team distributors.”

The lawsuit is seeking certification of a class consisting of all people who purchased tickets and attended at least two “Circle of Success” events from 2009 to the present “in pursuit of Herbalife’s business opportunity.” The lawsuit states that this could involve hundreds of thousands plaintiffs.

Named plaintiffs Jeff and Patricia Rodgers, Michael and Jennifer Lavigne, Cody Pyle, Jennifer Ribalta, and Izaar and Felix Valdez, describe their losses as ranging from a few thousand dollars to over $100,000.

The defendants include Los Angeles-based Herbalife Ltd. and its wholly owned subsidiaries Herbalife International Inc. and Herbalife International of America Inc. Individual named defendants include top distributors, current and former members of the company’s board of directors, and members of its so-called President’s Team.

The case is Rodgers et al. v. Herbalife Ltd. et al., case number 1:17-cv-23429, in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida. 

Top Settlements

Snap Judgment? Here’s a good news story –well – a happy ending at least. A $15 million settlement has been awarded to a manufacturing plant supervisor injured while at work and later demoted, then fired.

The plaintiff, 50-year old Cesar Astorga, alleged defamation, discrimination, and violations of California labor law against the defendant, Snap-On Logistics, a power tool manufacturer.

The trial took three weeks and the jury just a day and a half to reach its verdict. According to court documents, the plaintiff had worked for 15 years with the defendant as a supervisory employee.

The back story is that during the course of Astorga’s employment he suffered work-related injuries which required multiple surgeries and leaves of absence. The injuries were to both knees caused by falling off a scissor lift, and which were later aggravated when a 100-pound motor fell on top of him. He has had seven total knee surgeries (4 right-knee surgeries, 3 left-knee surgeries) to treat ongoing pain. From the beginning of 2002 through mid-2003, plaintiff was absent from work a total of nine and a half months. His next period of leaves of absence occurred from the beginning of April 2009 through February 2011, totaling 13 and a half months, according to court reports.

At one point, Snap-On provided Astorga with a golf cart so he could get around the 100,000 plus square foot facility. However, the defendant changed its policy in the 2009-2011 timeframe and told the plaintiff it no longer allowed employees to return to work with doctor-imposed work restrictions.

Astorga was demoted from his supervisor position during his most recent leave of absence, and fired on April 21, 2011. His medical bills, which were paid by Snap-On, exceeded $275,000. 

Malpractice Win. Victory for the family who filed a medical malpractice lawsuit. They’ve been awarded a $3.2 million verdict by the jury hearing their case – the circumstances surrounding the death of a husband and father who died after receiving a vein implant designed to stop blood clots. The lawsuit claimed medical malpractice against three doctors at Mercy Suburban Hospital in Montgomery County, PA.

The Montgomery County jury reached their verdict after finding the doctors and Mercy Suburban Hospital negligent in their care of Ernest Lucchesi, who collapsed while refereeing a lacrosse game, was rushed to hospital and received the implant but later died.

The jury took seven hours to reach their verdict, after hearing evidence over the course of the nine day trial, which included, according to the Lucchesi family’s lawyer, two of the doctors admitting negligence: one before trial and one during trial. The third doctor took the stand to defend himself however, the jury didn’t like his excuses and assigned the majority of the negligence to him, the family attorney said.

According to the Lucchesi family’s pretrial memorandum, the doctors at Mercy implanted the vein filter in Lucchesi six months before he died. When Lucchesi was admitted to the emergency room, Bolden failed to note that the filter had migrated to his atrial valve, court papers said. He died three days after his discharge from Mercy.

The jury found Dr. John J. Flanagan 44 percent negligent, Dr. Hugh Lipshutz 31 percent negligent and Dr. David Bolden 25 percent negligent. The award was broken down into $1.5 million for wrongful death and just over $1.7 million under the Survival Act. 

Ok – That’s a wrap for this week. See you at the bar!

Week Adjourned: 9.22.17 – Defibrillators, Aggrenox, TGI Friday’s

Top Class Action Lawsuits

New Defibrillator Lawsuit. A new defective products class action lawsuit was just filed alleging Abbott and St. Jude Medical were aware of a battery-depletion defect in some of its cardiac defibrillators, as early as 2011. However, the lawsuit asserts, the defendants failed to adequately report the risk and waited almost five years before issuing the recall.

In the October 2016 defibrillator recall, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and St. Jude state they had received reports “of rapid battery failure caused by deposits of lithium (known as “lithium clusters”), forming within the battery, and causing a short circuit. If the battery unexpectedly runs out before the patient is aware of the rapid battery drain and able to have it replaced, the ICD or CRT-D will be unable to deliver life-saving pacing or shocks, which could lead to patient death.”

The defibrillator lawsuit was filed September 18, 2017 in northern Illinois and centers on several ICD and CRT-D device models powered by lithium-based batteries, including the Fortify, Fortify Assura, Quadra Assura, Unify, Unify Assura, and Unify Quadra.

“On November 11 and 12, 2014, St Jude Medical’s management review and medical advisory boards were given two separate presentations on premature battery depletion,” the complaint alleges. “During these meetings, St Jude failed to tell its own boards about the full scope of the battery issue, presented false or incomplete evidence of the defect, and concealed from the boards evidence of a known death related to this battery defect, stating instead that there were no serious injuries or deaths directly related to lithium cluster bridging.”

Filed on behalf of ASEA/AFSCME Local 52 Health Benefits Trust and a collection of other third-party payers, the plaintiffs are seeking $9,999,000 in damages and medical costs related to their coverage of the defective implantable cardiac defibrillator (ICD) and cardiac resynchronization therapy defibrillator (CRT-D) devices from 2011 to the 2016 recall.

Top Settlements

Aggrenox Settlement. An almost heart-stopping settlement to report this week, coming in at $146 million, the proposed settlement has received preliminary approval potentially ending an antitrust class action lawsuit between direct purchasers of the stroke prevention drug Aggrenox and various pharmaceutical companies. The lawsuit claims that the defendants deliberately blocked generic alternatives to Aggrenox from reaching the market, in an attempt to own market share.

The lawsuit names Barr Pharmaceuticals Inc., which was acquired by Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. in 2008; Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals Inc.; and the drugmakers’ affiliates as defendants. If approved, the deal would resolve claims brought forward in a lawsuit in 2013 made by direct buyers. It represents just a part of a massive multidistrict litigation accusing Barr Pharmaceuticals of agreeing to delay marketing its generic version of Aggrenox in exchange for a portion of Boehringer’s profits from the blockbuster drug.

According to the MDL, which includes 11 proposed antitrust class actions, Boehringer allegedly organized a $120 million pay-for-delay deal to keep generic versions of Aggrenox off the market.

According to the allegations, the US Food and Drug Administration approved Boehringer’s Aggrenox in 1998, and it proved a massive success, netting $366 million in US sales by 2008. Then, in 2007, when Barr Pharmaceuticals allegedly sought regulatory approval for its generic version of Aggrenox, Boehringer immediately filed a patent infringement lawsuit.

To settle the patent infringement lawsuit, Boehringer allegedly agreed to pay Barr Pharmaceuticals $120 million over a period of seven years and delay the introduction of a generic version of Aggrenox until 2015, according to court documents. Meanwhile, Boehringer granted Barr Pharmaceuticals a license to sell an authorized generic version of Aggrenox immediately, allegedly further suppressing the market for the generic drug, according to the allegations.

According to the terms of the proposed deal, each of the direct buyers will receive a pro rata share of the settlement. The proposed class includes at least 35 members, in 14 states and Puerto Rico. A final fairness hearing is scheduled for December 2017.

The MDL is In re: Aggrenox Antitrust Litigation, case number 3:14-md-02516, in the U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut. 

TGIF indeed!! Here’s a nice note to head into the weekend with…

Friday’s Tip Credits… A $19.1 million settlement has been reached in an employment class action lawsuit pending against TGI Friday’s. The putative class consists of some 28,800 TGI Friday’s workers who alleged the restaurant chain violated multiple state land federal labor laws.

According to the terms of the proposed agreement, the workers would get a pro rata share of the settlement based on the number of weeks they worked during the proposed class period.

The nationwide wage and hour class action lawsuit was brought by more than a dozen lead plaintiffs, alleging violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and claims brought under the labor or unfair competition laws of nine states: California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey and New York. According to the lawsuit, the restaurant owners took a “tip credit” from the workers’ paychecks and paid them a reduced minimum wage, in violation of the FLSA and state laws s in this case. The workers also claimed that the restaurant owners failed to pay them all owed overtime and uniform-related expenses, misappropriated tips and took unlawful deductions for customer walkouts.

If the settlement agreement is approved, two classes of plaintiffs would be certified: a class of tipped workers who filed a written consent to join the litigation, and a class of tipped workers who worked in one of the nine states at issue in the suit and who did not file a timely consent to join the case. All eligible class members who submit a claims form will be paid a pro-rata portion of the net settlement based on the number of weeks they worked during the relevant period, court documents state.

According to the settlement memo, the estimated value of the unpaid wages is between $16.5 million and $91 million, representing between 20 percent and 115 percent of the estimated unpaid wages.

A hearing on the settlement’s preliminary approval has not yet been scheduled. The case is Julio Zorrilla et al. v. Carlson Restaurants Inc. et al., case number 1:14-cv-02740, in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. 

Ok – That’s a wrap for this week. See you at the bar!

Week Adjourned: 9.15.17 – PepsiCo, LensCrafters, BofA

Top Class Action Lawsuits

PepsiCo losing credit on this one… A subsidiary of PepsiCo is facing a employment class action lawsuit filed by a job applicant who alleges violations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act.

Specifically, plaintiff Altareek Grice alleges that during the job application process he was engaged in with Bottling Group LLC in August 2016, the company accessed his consumer credit report via Carco Group Inc., without making the necessary disclosures required by the FCRA.

According to the PepsiCo lawsuit, employers must provide a disclosure “in a document that consists solely of the disclosure,” if they wish to access a potential employee’s consumer report.

“Pepsi either knew or recklessly failed to know the disclosure requirements of [the FCRA] and that its acts in procuring or causing to be procured a consumer report regarding plaintiff and other class members without providing the required disclosure to them was facially contrary to the express language of [the act] and all administrative guidance available and violated the law,” the complaint states.

Grice seeks to represent a nationwide class of all individuals whose consumer reports were procured by Bottling Group LLC for employment purposes in the last two years and to whom the company did not provide a clear disclosure. The estimated size of the class could exceed 1,000 people, according to the complaint.

The case is Grice v. Pepsi Beverages Co. et al., case number 3:17-cv-01842, in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California.

Not exactly crystal clear… LensCrafters got hit with a proposed consumer fraud class action lawsuit alleging it falsely claimed that its prescription eyeglasses are made with pupillary distance measurements that are five times more precise than traditional measurements.

According to the LensCrafters complaint, filed by Kathleen Infante, LensCrafters, advertises its Accufit Digital Measurement System measures the distance between pupils to the tenth of a millimeter. Infante states that the defendant claims this system allows it to produce prescription glasses with more accurate lenses that put “the prescription exactly where you need it to see your best.” However, she asserts that this technology doesn’t, in fact, result in more accurate eye wear products.

“Because LensCrafters’ manufacturing process uses the same decades-old traditional methods, the end-product sold to customers cannot and does not have PD measurements that are ‘five times’ more accurate than traditional methods,” the complaint states.

According to the proposed lawsuit, the manufacturing equipment that LensCrafters uses doesn’t measure more precisely than 1 millimeter, which is the same precision as a standard ruler. Even if the Accufit system measures within a tenth of a millimeter, the manufacturing technology is incapable of actually producing glasses with that much accuracy, the complaint states.

“Even assuming the Accufit technology is, as advertised, five times more accurate than manual measurements, LensCrafters cannot and does not translate the measurements taken from the Accufit system into its manufacturing process,” the lawsuit asserts.

According to the complaint, while LensCrafters employees allegedly were aware of the equipment’s shortcomings, they were discouraged from discussing the manufacturing process with customers.

Infante seeks to represent a class of California residents who purchased prescription glasses from LensCrafters since September 5, 2011. The complaint states that LensCrafters introduced the Accufit system around 2011.

The case is Kathleen Infante v. Luxottica Retail North America, case number 3:17-cv-05145 in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.Top Settlements

Top Settlements

BofA Interest & Fees for Military Servicemembers… No stranger to lawsuits, Bank of America (BoFA) has had a $41.9 million class action settlement preliminarily approval – without admitting any wrongdoing – (surprised?) potentially ending a consumer banking class action brought by military families who alleged that BoFA overcharged them on interest and fees related largely to mortgage and credit card accounts and then tried to conceal those violations. Seriously.

If final approval is granted, restitution will be made to more than 125,000 military members who alleged BoFA’s actions are in violation of the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act.

Under the terms of the settlement BoFA would, for a five year period, refrain from using a method for calculating interest subsidy that the service members contend could lead to higher costs for class members.

According to the deal, Class members will be divided into four groups, depending on the types of accounts they held. They will receive payments accordingly, with the first $15.4 million going to class members who did not previously receive or deposit payouts from Bank of America.

“After the class wide distribution, the value of any uncashed distribution checks will be redistributed further to the class, if the value is sufficient to make it economically feasible, or else such residual funds will be distributed as cy pres to a non-profit organization providing services to military service members and veterans,” court documents state.

The case is Childress et al. v. Bank of America Corporation et al., case number 5:15-cv-00231, in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina.

Ok – That’s a wrap for this week. See you at the bar!

Week Adjourned: 9.8.17 – Ford, Victoza, Honda Airbags

Top Class Action Lawsuits 

Got a Ford? How are your lug nuts? The automaker got hit with a defective automotive class action lawsuit this week, alleging it sold vehicles with defective lug nuts that swell and delaminate to such an extent that drivers cannot remove them with a lug wrench provided by Ford. This results in drivers being forced to pay a professional to replace the parts.

The Ford vehicles involved include the Ford Fusion, Escape, Flex, Focus, F-150 and F-350. According to the complaint, while the drivers might reasonably expect to be able to replace a flat tire using the wrench that is supplied by Ford with these vehicles, in practice, they cannot because the wrench no longer fits over the lug nuts if they swell or delaminate.

Here’s the skinny: according to the Ford lug nut complaint, filed by Ford drivers from seven states, the lug nuts that secure the wheels to Ford’s Fusion, Escape, Flex, Focus, F-150 and F-350 vehicles are made with a steel core and a chrome, aluminum or stainless steel cap that improves the product’s appearance but swells and delaminates. This purported defect renders the Ford-provided wrench useless, making drivers pay more than $30 per wheel, plus labor, to replace the parts and often stranding the drivers on the side of the road with a flat tire.

Consequently, drivers who have a flat tire can become stuck on the side of the road they are unable to fix themselves, putting them in a “precarious and dangerous place,” the lawsuit states. When drivers do make it to a repair facility, they typically have to pay for the labor of removing the defective lug nuts as well as new parts, the complaint states.

Further, the drivers claim that Ford doesn’t replace the faulty lug nuts, even if the parts fail within the new vehicle warranty period. This forces the affected vehicles owners to “spend hundreds of dollars for new lug nuts and the labor to install them,” the lawsuit states.

Ford customers have submitted “numerous complaints” to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which Ford monitors, the complaint states. Therefore, the automaker is aware of the problem, according to the lawsuit.

The drivers seek to represent a nationwide class of consumers who purchased or leased an affected vehicle as well as classes of drivers in each of the 50 states. It is estimated that millions of vehicles have been affected.

The drivers are represented by Steve W. Berman and Thomas E. Loeser of Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP and E. Powell Miller and Sharon S. Almonrode of The Miller Law Firm PC.

The case is Josh Wozniak et al. vs. Ford Motor Company, case number 2:17-cv-12794 in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan. 

Top Settlements 

Victoza Settlement… Sitting down? Good, now strap yourselves in. A $60 million deal has been agreed between Novo Nordisk Inc., and federal agencies who alleged the pharmaceutical company engaged in misleading marketing practices concerning its best selling type 2 diabetes drug Victoza.

The US Department of Justice (DOJ) charged that the company misled physicians and insurers about the associated risk of cancer associated with Victoza, specifically that the drug has been linked to a rare cancer called medullary thyroid carcinoma. 

According to the DOJ, the allegations go back to 2010, when the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) initially approved the drug. The FDA had required Novo Nordisk to modify its FDA-mandated risk evaluation and mitigation strategies, or REMS, after a 2011 survey revealed that half of primary care doctors polled were unaware of the potential cancer risks associated with the drug, according to the DOJ. The drug has been linked to a rare cancer called medullary thyroid carcinoma, the DOJ said.

According to the terms of the deal, Novo Nordisk will pay over $43 million to the federal government and about $3.3 million to state Medicaid programs. The deal will resolve claims made the by agencies under the False Claims Act. Additionally, Novo Nordisk has agreed to turn over $12.15 million in profits to resolve claims made that it knowingly violated the federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act from 2010 to 2012.

The deal also resolved seven whistleblower lawsuits filed between 2010 and 2016. Eleven whistleblowers were involved in bringing the lawsuits, and at least one, made by Peter Dastous, a Novo Nordisk sales representative who was responsible for selling Victoza to endocrinologists in South Carolina and northern Georgia, alleged Medicaid fraud against private commercial health insurers, and the deal brings the aggregate settlement amount the company will pay to $60 million.

You couldn’t make this stuff up – even if you wanted to.

The federal lawsuit is United States et al. v. Novo Nordisk Inc., case number 1:17-cv-01820, in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. The whistleblower suit filed by Dastous is United States et al. ex rel. Dastous v. Novo Nordisk Inc., case number 1:11-cv-01662, in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.

More About Airbags… Here’s another whopper. Honda has agreed to pay $603 million to exit the defective Takata air bag multidistrict litigation. This will hasten the removal of the exploding airbags from about 16.5 million Honda vehicles.

According to Honda, a $200 million fund will be established to expand the Takata air bag inflator recall in an effort to reach owners of affected Honda vehicles who have not been located or have not responded to recall notices.

If approved, the preliminary Honda airbag settlement would make Honda the sixth automaker to be exit the litigation, following Toyota, Subaru, Mazda and BMW who agreed to pay a combined $553.6 million. Nissan has also settled for $98 million. If Honda’s deal is approved, Ford would be the only remaining automaker in the lawsuit.

According to the terms of the deal, class members will be provided with rental or loaner vehicles while they deal with fixing their cars. Remaining funds will be distributed to class members in amounts up to $250.

The lawsuit was originally filed in 2014, claiming that Takata air bags contained volatile ammonium nitrate that when inflated, can misfire, especially in humid conditions, blasting chemicals and shrapnel at passengers and drivers. Takata’s air bag inflators have been linked to at least 11 deaths in the US and the company has faced massive global recalls.

Prior to filing for bankruptcy in June of this year, Takata pled guilty to wire fraud, agreed to pay $1 billion in fines and restitution, and acknowledged that it ran a scheme to use false reports and other misrepresentations to convince automakers to buy air bag systems that contained faulty, inferior or otherwise defective inflators.

The case is In re: Takata Airbag Products Liability Litigation, case number 1:15-md-02599, in the US District Court for the Southern District of Florida.

Ok – That’s a wrap for this week. See you at the bar!

Week Adjourned: 9.1.17 – Wells Fargo, TD Bank, Wild Planet Tuna

Top Class Action Lawsuits

Does the term “Rate Lock Fees“ mean anything to you? Well, read on. Wells Fargo is facing a consumer banking class action lawsuit over charging improper mortgage-related fees to its customers. Specifically, the Wells Fargo mortgage loan lawsuit claims that home loan borrowers were being charged extra fees when their applications were delayed, even if the bank was the cause of the delay. Your first clue.

Filed in federal court in San Francisco, the lawsuit centers around fees known as rate-lock extension fees. These fees are charged, according to the allegations, when a borrower applies for a mortgage for which the lender promises a set interest rate, as long as the loan is approved within a certain time period, typically between 30 and 45 days. If the loan takes longer to approve, the borrower must pay a fee to keep the previously promised rate. Seriously.

As with most lenders, Wells Fargo is supposed to waive the fee if it is responsible for holdups. Borrowers only pay the fee if they are responsible for the delays by, for instance, failing to submit documents on time.

According to the allegations in the lawsuit, Victor Muniz, a Las Vegas security guard, was charged a rate lock extension fee by Wells Fargo of $287.50, despite the delays in his mortgage approval being caused by the bank and despite Muniz being told by a Wells Fargo banker that he would not have to pay the fee.

Muniz asserts that Wells Fargo was responsible for the delays approving his application partially because they hired an appraiser who was out of the country while Muniz’s mortgage application was being processed. Muniz has brought the suit on behalf of himself and all other borrowers who may have paid improper fees. 

Top Settlements 

TD Bank Penny Arcade Update… There’s a settlement – it’s received preliminary approval. So get your pencils out – time to file a claim. Of course, TD Bank denies any liability or wrongdoing, and the Court has not decided which side is right. However, to settle the case and avoid the costs and risks of litigation, TD Bank has agreed to a settlement.

Here’s the skinny: consumers who used a Penny Arcade machine at a TD Bank store between April 11, 2010 and July 12, 2017, may be entitled to a cash payment from the class action settlement.

Reportedly, TD Bank will calculate the amount each TD Bank customer would receive by using its records to determine the amount of Penny Arcade usage by those consumers. TD would multiply that sum by 0.26 percent to determine a customer’s distribution, or payment.

If you conducted a Penny Arcade transaction during the Class Period at a time when you did not hold a TD Bank Account, you must submit a Claim Form by October 27, 2017 to be eligible to receive a Settlement Payment based on such transaction(s).

If you conducted a Penny Arcade transaction during the Class Period at a time when you held a TD Bank checking, savings, personal loan, or business loan account (“Account”), you do not have to do anything to receive any Settlement Payment to which you are entitled.

Got Wild Planet and Sustainable Seas tins of Tuna? Well, heads up folks – a settlement has been reached in a consumer fraud class action lawsuit pending against Wild Planet and Sustainable Seas alleging their tinned tuna products were deliberately under-filled to below the 5-ounce weight stated on the product labels.

Under terms of the tuna settlement, Wild Planet will create a settlement fund of $1.7 million, part of which will be distributed to Class Members eligible to claim benefits, which include all US residents who between November 5, 2011 and May 12, 2017 who purchased a can of tuna under the Wild Planet or Sustainable Seas brands.

Eligible class members can claim a cash payment of up to $29. This amount could be lower depending on the number of timely and valid claims received. The settlement payout could also be reduced if the cost of the claims administration is more than $350,000.

The case is Ehder Soto v. Wild Planet Foods Inc., Case No. 5:15-cv-05082, and Heney Shihad v. Wild Planet Foods Inc., Case No. 1:16-cv-01478, in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. 

Ok – That’s a wrap for this week. See you at the bar!