Top Class Actions: The Week of the Biggies
Hotel Costco: You can clock in, but you can never leave? It appears to have been another busy week in law firms and courthouses across North America. Let’s start with Costco—last week Costco was in the news for having settled an unfair business practices class action and this week they’re in the news for “falsely imprisoning” employees in its California warehouses. Whaaat?
When I first read this my mind reeled, “what new business venture is this?”
Turns out it’s yet another unpaid overtime and wages class action centered in California. What is it about California? (I’m referring to the endless labor law violations).
The class action centers on employees who were and are forced to remain in the warehouses after closing while store managers make goods secure and lock up. This has been going on for years, apparently. But now there is a lawsuit, of course, and the lawyers are seeking US $50 million in damages.
O Canada!—who was standing on guard at Guidant? Across the border in Canada, not a land well-known for class action lawsuits—something large is taking place. Earlier this month a national class action was certified against Guidant Corp, alleging that the company knowingly sold defective pacemakers. The class so far represents more than 28,000 people, and the lawyers are seeking CD$525 million in damages.
Highway Robbery? And a class action that’s been getting a lot of media this week is the Massachusetts Turnpike lawsuit, whose plaintiffs are being represented by a lawyer made famous in the 1998 film “A Civil Action“, Jan R. Schlichtmann.