Robinson Bradshaw

Jurisdiction: District of South Carolina

In ERISA Class Actions, Defendants Should Take a Close Look At Whether Article III Standing Issues Could Lead to Early Adjudication

As class action litigation under ERISA continues its upward trend across the country, could Article III standing serve as a means through which a Court can fairly assess claims before costly discovery is imposed on defendants and judicial resources are expended? Several recent federal court decisions suggest as much. ERISA, which provides protection to employees […]

What should be required to show that a party waived its right to arbitrate?

This post concerns a recurring topic in class-action practice: how a party—through its own litigation conduct—can waive its right to arbitrate. The topic warrants attention, or at least came to our attention, because of a recent decision from a federal appellate court. The case, called Morgan v. Sundance, Inc., is a putative nationwide collective action […]

South Carolina Court Enforces Class Action Waiver Provision and Compels Arbitration

Brumfield v. Kindred Healthcare, Inc. is a putative collective action brought under the Fair Labor Standards Act by home health licensed nurses and physical therapist assistants alleging defendants failed to pay them overtime for required work activities beyond the “in-home” visits, including travel time, time spent transporting samples to labs, and time spent delivering medical […]

Court Denies Attempt to Recast ERISA Class Action as a Derivative Claim

According to the Company website, “Piggly Wiggly has been bringing home the bacon for millions of American families for over 100 years.” But a putative class of former employees of Piggly Wiggly filed a class action complaint in the District of South Carolina, asserting various claims under ERISA pertaining to the Company’s employee stock ownership […]

Court Refuses to Certify Class in Product Defect Case

In February 2014, the Panel on Multidistrict Litigation transferred a series of cases against Pella Corporation, a window manufacturer, to the District of South Carolina. Judge Norton dismissed most of the claims, but preserved claims alleging breach of express warranty with respect to Pella’s failure to repair or replace windows under its limited warranty. The […]

Court Certifies State Wage and Hour Claims Alongside FLSA Collective Claims

We have reported recently in this space on the certification of state wage and hour claims. Judge Gergel recently continued with this trend, certifying a class of Jamaican workers at the Kiawah Island Golf Resort who contend they weren’t paid enough by the Resort. See Moodie v. Kiawah Island Inn Co., LLC, No. 2:15-cv-1097 (D.S.C. […]

A Window on Timeliness Issues

Late last year, we explained the tricky statute of limitations issues that can arise regarding “cross-jurisdictional class action tolling.” The issue arose in some of the many Pella window cases pending before Judge Norton in the District of South Carolina. Those cases have now raised several more interesting timeliness issues—when plaintiffs can consolidate pending cases […]

Settlement Approvals: Like Selling a Boat?

There is a well-known quip about the two best days for boat owners: the day when the owner buys it and the day when he sells it. We’ve previously referred to case law emphasizing the need for more active supervision of settlements, particularly with respect to commonality issues, but the fact remains that judges are […]

A New Twist on “Issue Certification” from the District of South Carolina

As we discussed last year, a bona fide circuit split exists with respect to “issue certification.” We observed that the Fourth Circuit’s guidance on this issue is foggy: As Judge Dever has noted, “although the Fourth Circuit appears to address this issue in Gunnells v. Healthplan Services, Inc., 348 F.3d 417 (4th Cir. 2003), its […]

Where State Law Is Silent, Cross-Jurisdictional Tolling Is Unavailable

Just before the holidays, Judge Norton considered the thorny issue of “cross-jurisdictional class action tolling” in a multidistrict litigation case involving allegedly defective windows. See Schwartz v. Pella Corp., No. 2:14-mn-00001, 2:14-cv-00556 (D.S.C. Dec. 18, 2014). As the name suggests, cross-jurisdictional class action tolling is an equitable doctrine that tolls the statute of limitations during […]