Robinson Bradshaw

Topic: Consumer Protection

The Now-Traditional Argument About Non-Traditional Harms—No Answer In Sight

Our colleague Erik Zimmerman reported in an earlier post the memorable declaration from defense counsel in TransUnion, LLC v. Ramirez, 594 U.S. 413 (2021): when a legal violation results in no harm, those involved should “break out the champagne,” not “break out a lawsuit.” In TransUnion, decided in 2021, the Supreme Court grappled with a […]

When can class members recover for non-traditional harms?

At oral argument in TransUnion, LLC v. Ramirez, TransUnion’s counsel told the U.S. Supreme Court that a lack of harm is a reason “to break out the champagne, not to break out a lawsuit.” The Court has now decided TransUnion, and its decision may make it harder for class-action plaintiffs to sue for non-traditional harms. […]

Special Master to Dish Out Unclaimed Judgment Proceeds

There is no shortage of consumer class actions these days, but most of these cases are settled or dismissed. If trials are rare, trials of class actions are rarer, if only because of the stakes.    In 2017, Dish Network tried its luck with a jury in the Middle District of North Carolina regarding claims […]

Supreme Court, over Thomas Dissent, Dodges Cy Pres Mechanism in Class Settlement

Last year in this space, we reported on the continuing debate concerning the use of cy pres awards in class action settlements.  Since 2013, Chief Justice Roberts has provided cautionary comments about this practice.  See Marek v. Lane, 134 S. Ct. 8 (2013).  We also reported on the Ninth Circuit’s approval of a cy pres […]

The Case of the $5 Footlong*

For what appears to have been a frivolous lawsuit, In re: Subway Footlong Sandwich Marketing and Sales Practices Litigation generated an interesting opinion from the Seventh Circuit full of class-action issues. The case originated when an Australian teenager posted a photo of an 11-inch Subway sandwich, with a tape measure, on his Facebook page. Coming in […]

Fourth Circuit Provides Guidance Concerning Proof of the Amount in Controversy under CAFA

We don’t often get appellate guidance after a federal trial judge remands a case to state court following removal because 28 U.S.C. Sect. 1447(d) generally makes such a ruling unreviewable. But the Class Action Fairness Act (“CAFA”), 28 U.S.C. Sect. 1332(d), permits a court of appeals to accept an appeal of a remand from a class […]

Fourth Circuit Uses Spokeo to Spike $11.7 Million Class Action Judgment

Standing to sue, a venerable piece of American jurisprudence for sure, continues to draw attention in recent class action cases, including in the Fourth Circuit. In its second decision this year evaluating last term’s Supreme Court decision, Spokeo v. Robins, 136 S. Ct. 1540 (2016), a unanimous panel of the Fourth Circuit found insufficient “an […]

Named Plaintiffs Can’t Voluntarily Dismiss Individual Claims in Order to Appeal Class Certification Denial

Earlier this year, we hazarded a guess that the Supreme Court was split 4-4 regarding a Ninth Circuit decision holding that a named plaintiff could achieve appellate review of a decision denying class certification by voluntarily dismissing his individual claims. It turns out, based upon the Supreme Court’s decision in Microsoft Corp. v. Baker [], that […]

Is a Class Representative Adequate if He Waives Viable Claims in Order to Preserve Commonality?

Class actions don’t work if the class representative has a conflict with the class he or she purportedly represents. As the United States Supreme Court noted over 70 years ago, “a selection of representatives for purposes of litigation, whose substantial interests are not necessarily or even probably the same as those whom they are deemed […]

Experian Petitions Fourth Circuit to Review Certification of 88,000-Member Class

Experian recently petitioned the Fourth Circuit to immediately review a district court’s order certifying an 88,000-member, nationwide class of consumers who requested Experian credit reports that listed accounts with the now-defunct Advanta Bank. In this case, Dreher v. Experian Information Solutions, Inc., No. 14-325 (4th Cir. July 3, 2014), Experian requested an interlocutory appeal under […]