Week Adjourned: 8.26.16 – Nike, Hertz, Nesbitt Burns

indexTop Class Action Lawsuits

Unpaid Overtime? So File a Lawsuit – Just Do It. If indeed that proves to be the case. This week, a California overtime and labor law class action lawsuit was certified against Nike. The complaint is brought by employees who worked at Nike’s Gilroy store in California, who alleged the company failed to pay employees for the time they spent going through security inspection or bag checks at the end of every work shift.

According to the Nike lawsuit, Isaac Rodriguez is suing for himself and on behalf of a putative class of all current and former non-exempt retail store employees of defendant Nike Retail Services, Inc. (Nike) who worked in California during the period from February 25, 2010 to the present.

It is estimated that the class may consist of as many as 6,000 people who worked in 31 stores over the requested five-year period from February 25, 2010 to the present.

No Car Rental Returns? Here’s a crafty one. According to a couple of folks who rented cars from Regency Car Rentals and Hertz, they are owed their security deposits. Neither car rental agency has returned them, claiming charges against those deposits, so a consumer fraud class action has been filed.

Here’s the back story: filed by Nishil Patel and Gurraj Singh, the Hertz lawsuit asserts that in November 2015, Mr. Patel rented a vehicle from Regency for a two-day period. His Visa card was charged for the full amount of $3,254.25, while his American Express Card was charged $3,299.40 as a deposit, the lawsuit states. He alleges he was told it would be refunded upon return of the vehicle. He alleges that Regency assessed two unauthorized charges after the rental.

Similarly, Mr. Singh asserts that he also was assessed unauthorized charges against his security deposit, such that his security deposit was not refunded to his credit card. As a direct result, the plaintiffs and other class members allegedly have suffered injury, and have lost money or property.

The plaintiffs hold Regency Car Rentals LLC, Hertz Global Holdings Inc. and The Hertz Corp. responsible because the defendants allegedly deceived consumers by making false statements, misrepresented the cost of the rental of vehicles, double-billed and assessed unauthorized fees to consumers. Whoa!
The case is US District Court for the Central District of California case number 2:16-cv-05967.

Top Settlements

Meanwhile, in Canada…a $12 million settlement has been finalized in an unpaid overtime class action lawsuit pending against BMO Nesbitt Burns Inc, a Canadian finance company.

Filed in 2010, the lawsuit was certified as a class action in 2013. The settlement ends six years of litigation involving some 1,800 investment advisers who worked for Nesbitt between 2002 and 2016.

As part of the Nesbitt Burns settlement, Nesbitt will pay lead plaintiff Yegal Rosen, who worked as a Nesbitt investment adviser from 2002 to 2006, a $10,000 honorarium. As part of the settlement, $6.5 million is allocated for 705 trainee investment advisers and $1.3 million will go to 1,136 senior advisers.

Nesbitt cannot contest any class member’s entitlement to payment, and the amount each member will receive depends on the take-up rate.

Bet there’s gonna be some celebrating this weekend.

So folks, on that happy note, this week’s a wrap – see you at the bar!!

Week Adjourned: 5.24.13 – Nike, Apple, Wolfgang Puck, Penguin Books

The weekly wrap of top class action lawsuits and settlements, for the week ending May 24, 2013.

Nike FuelbandTop Class Action Lawsuits

Nike Calorie Tracker Can’t “Just Do It”? Nike and Apple are facing a consumer fraud class action lawsuit alleging the Nike+ FuelBand, which is supposed to track every step and calorie a wearer burns, doesn’t work as advertised. Now there’s a surprise. The device costs $150, which really is shocking.

Filed by Carolyn Levin of California, the Nike+ FuelBand lawsuit contends that both Apple and Nike knew that the Nike+ FuelBand is defective because it registers inaccurate readings. Nevertheless, they marketed and sold it, and made exaggerated claims about its capabilities.

Specifically, the lawsuit states “In truth, the Nike+ FuelBand cannot and does not track each calorie burned, and users experience wildly inaccurate calorie burn readings when using the FuelBand.” And, “As a result of defendants’ conduct, buyers of the FuelBand, including class members, were in fact misled into purchasing a device that defendants purported would track calories burned when in fact it cannot and does not track calories burned, misleading and damaging customers.”

The class action, entitled Carolyn Levin, et al. v. Nike Inc., et al., Case No. BC509363, in the Superior Court of the State of California, seeks to represent all consumers who purchased the wristband device since January 2012, when it was initially brought to market. The lawsuit alleges that the defendants have made negligent and fraudulent misrepresentations, and have violated California’s business and professions code.

Is Wolfgang Passing the Puck? Ah yes—at least according to an employment class action lawsuit just filed by two former servers who allege the company knowingly withheld their tips and failed to pay overtime. Filed in Manhattan by plaintiffs Kristin Noriega and Oliver Gummert, the Wolfgang Puck lawsuit contends that a Wolfgang Puck catering company was charging its client venues, such as Irving Plaza and the Gramercy Theater, with a 22 percent service charge and then denying its servers and bartenders their tips. “Any charge for ‘service’ or ‘food service,’ is a charge purported to be a gratuity and therefore must be paid over to service employees,” the lawsuit claims. Failing to pass on a service charge that clients have been charged, violates state and federal laws.

And…according to the lawsuit… Noriega, a waitress, and Gummert, a bartender, were paid between $10 and $18 an hour and were not compensated for up to 30 hours of overtime a week. Both Noriega and Gummert left Puck’s employment in 2012, after working for the company for two to three years. That’s not ok…

Top Settlements

Penguin is re-writing the antitrust book on ebook pricing settlements—having agreed to a $75 million payment this week. Penguin’s settlement with the consumers and 33 states is the largest to date.

HarperCollins, Simon & Schuster, Hachette and Macmillan have all settled with both the states and the Department of Justice (DOJ)—HarperCollins, Simon & Schuster, Hachette settled for—get this—a combined $69 million, while Macmillan agreed to pay $20 million.

The settlement is the last of the major publishers to settle. Penguin settled with the DOJ several months ago. Apple, also a defendant in the class action, is going to court in a few weeks and will face the DOJ over antitrust pricing allegations.

The settlement is pending court approval, and a fairness hearing is scheduled for late summer. We’ll keep you posted—so watch this space.

Okee dokee—that’s it for this week—happy weekend—see you at the bar!