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May 19, 2019
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Latest Lawsuit News & Legal Information

President (of Yale) Can’t Dodge Deposition
President (of Yale) Can’t Dodge Deposition
New Haven, CT Peter Salovey, the president of Yale University, must submit to a deposition in a long-running class action ERISA lawsuit. Vellali v. Yale University claims that the university, as a fiduciary of the Yale University Retirement Account Plan (the “Plan”), mismanaged Plan assets and investment options in a way that harmed workers trying to save for retirement. It occurs in the context of several similar university ERISA lawsuits. The results of these have been very mixed – some wins, some losses for plan participants, with no clear trend developing. Yale University also has a long history of labor troubles.

Online Lender Settles with FTC for $3.85 Million
Online Lender Settles with FTC for $3.85 Million
Chicago, IL Avant LLC, the online lending phenomenon which had previously been hailed as a “breakout financial success story,” has agreed to settle a lawsuit brought by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) for $3.85 million. Although the lawsuit largely relied on a different federal statute, it shares much of the consumer financial protection zeal of the excessive overdraft fee lawsuits recently leveled against credit unions, banks and payday lenders. But it also reveals shortcomings in federal consumer protection laws.

Glasswerks L.A, Inc. to pay $1.3 Million to Settle California Unpaid Wages Lawsuit
Glasswerks L.A, Inc. to pay $1.3 Million to Settle California Unpaid Wages Lawsuit
Los Angeles, CA A Los Angeles commercial glass manufacturer has agreed to pay $1.3 million to resolve a class action California unpaid wages lawsuit brought on behalf of workers who claim they were shorted on overtime and meal and rest breaks between 2012 and 2018. Most of the more than 1,000 current and former employees affected will pocket about $800, although some will collect as much as $2,400.

Wal-Mart Breaks for California Employees
Wal-Mart Breaks for California Employees
Every time an employee at a Wal-Mart fulfillment center in Chino, California wanted to leave the building they were required to go through anti-theft metal detectors. This time-consuming process cut into 30-minute lunch breaks, unless of course you didn’t leave the building to eat lunch. And on April 12, 2019 a federal district court jury ruled that a violation of the California labor law, ordering Wal-Mart to shell out over $6 million.

Monsanto Trial: Fake Evidence or Phony Expert?
Monsanto Trial: Fake Evidence or Phony Expert?
Oakland, CA Pilliod v. Monsanto Co., the latest a Monsanto glyphosate lawsuit to go to trial, has focused squarely on the quality of the scientific evidence. Relying on expert testimony, counsel for Alberta and Alva Pilliod has accused Monsanto of outright fraud in securing regulatory approval for Roundup. Counsel for Monsanto has tried to undermine expert Charles Benbrook’s testimony by questioning his credentials.

Merchant Marine Asbestos Cases from 1989 Reinstated
Merchant Marine Asbestos Cases from 1989 Reinstated
Philadelphia, PA: Back in the late 1980s merchant mariners began filing asbestos mesothelioma lawsuits against ship owner and manufacturing defendants in the Northern District of Ohio. Most of the claims languished in the court system – until April 9, 2019 when a U.S. District Court Appeals for the Third Circuit reinstated two lawsuits filed by the estates of two merchant marines.

Latest ERISA Lawsuit News – 401k Mismanagement Lawsuits Going Strong, New Settlement in Treatment Denial Case
Latest ERISA Lawsuit News – 401k Mismanagement Lawsuits Going Strong, New Settlement in Treatment Denial Case
Los Angeles, CA Three ERISA lawsuits – two in the District Court for the Central District of California and two in the Northern District of California – show that ERISA can be a powerful tool to protect workers’ rights. Plan participants who claim that their 401k accounts were mismanaged are on a lawsuit hot streak, and patients who have had coverage denied for medical treatments deemed too “investigational” are beginning to see some success, as well.

$24.5 Million Settlement in Navy Federal Credit Union Excessive Overdraft Fees Lawsuit
$24.5 Million Settlement in Navy Federal Credit Union Excessive Overdraft Fees Lawsuit
San Diego, CA Navy Federal Credit Union has agreed to settle a class action excessive overdraft fee lawsuit for $24.5 million. Plaintiffs’ lawyers will reportedly seek fees of $6.1 million, approximately 25 percent of the total settlement amount. The settlement marks the end of a lawsuit filed in June 2017.

Sickening Stock Drop Prompts Boeing 737 ERISA Lawsuit
Sickening Stock Drop Prompts Boeing 737 ERISA Lawsuit
Chicago, IL On March 31, participants in the Boeing Voluntary Investment Plan (VIP Plan) filed a class action ERISA lawsuit in the Northern District of Illinois. The lawsuit alleges that Boeing knew about problems with its 737 MAX series of airplanes and hid the bad news, all while encouraging plan participants to invest in company stock though the VIP Stock Fund. When the planes dove out of the sky, the stock price dropped, too. Although it hardly compares to the terrible and tragic loss of life, plan participants were also injured when their retirement savings vanished.

Uber Settles Driver Lawsuit for $20 Million
Uber Settles Driver Lawsuit for $20 Million
San Francisco, CA The settlement in O’Connor v. Uber, if approved, will end a 6-year class action California labor lawsuit over worker misclassification. The affected drivers will receive approximately 37 cents per mile driven for Uber. Significantly, however, Uber has not agreed to re-classify drivers as employees for benefit, minimum wage and overtime protections under California labor law. The settlement occurs as Uber moves toward an initial public offering that could value the company at $100 billion.

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