The Gig is Up for California Car WashSacramento, CA
MobileWash Inc. is the first gig company hit with a misclassification lawsuit under Assembly Bill 5 – a law making it illegal for companies to hire independent contractors and has violated the California labor code. The California Labor Commissioner’s Office targeted Mobile Wash because it allegedly “made a calculated business decision to misclassify” car washers who perform services arranged through the company’s app as independent contractors, rather than employees.
PAGA Claims Survive Dismissal of California Labor Code ViolationsSan Francisco, CA
On June 26, the California Court of Appeals held that an employee could continue his state Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA) claim even after settling his California Labor Code lawsuit. Linehan-Clodfelter v. Vivint, Inc.
closely follows the reasoning of the recent California Supreme Court decision in Kim v. Reins Internat. California, Inc. Kim
was widely seen as strengthening employee efforts to curb employer wage and hour abuse through PAGA, especially for workers who, daunted by the risks of arbitrating wage claims, have taken a settlement offer instead. Linehan-Clodfelter
affirms the availability of that important legal tool.
Under Pressure, Elmiron Manufacturer Updates its LabelHarrisburg, PA
Only after pressure from scientists and consumers and mounting Elmiron vision loss lawsuits, Janssen Pharmaceuticals has finally updated its Elmiron interstitial cystitis drug label, adding the risk of developing permanent eye damage to its side effects. But a quick scan online shows that numerous health sites and pharmacies have not received the memo.
Meat Packing Giant JBS Souderton under Fire for Covid-19 DeathPhiladelphia, PA
Enock Benjamin, a meat packer at JBS Souderton Inc., died of Covid-19 on April 3, four days after the plant shut down to stop the spread of the virus. His family has filed a wrongful death and survivor lawsuit, claiming that his death was the predictable and preventable result of the JBS’s decisions to ignore worker safety. In fact, rather than protect workers, JBS increased production, implementing a “Saturday kill” to capitalize on panic buying of ground meat.
Victory for Women with Ovarian Cancer linked to Johnson & Johnson’s Talc in Missouri Court of AppealsSt. Louis, MO
A panel of three judges with the Missouri Appeals Court has found Johnson & Johnson “Outrageous because of Evil Motive or Reckless Indifference” and upheld an award of over $2 billion in damages: $500 million in compensatory damages, plus another $1.62 billion in punitive damages. This group of 22 ovarian cancer victims-- all of whom developed ovarian cancer from J&J’s baby powder-- has now received the sixth largest award in U.S. legal history.
California Supreme Court Clarifies Reach of California Labor CodeSan Francisco, CA
On June 29, the California Supreme Court handed down a pair of opinions that clarify the application of the California labor code to employees who work both within and outside of the state. Ward v. United Airlines, Inc.
stands broadly for the proposition that the California labor code applies to employees if the employee works a majority of the time in California or has his or her base of operations in California. Oman v. Delta Airlines, Inc.
states the rule in the negative. The California labor code does not apply to workers who work only episodically and for less than a day at a time in California unless the employee works primarily in California during the pay period, or for those who do not work primarily in any state, if the worker has a base of operations in California.
New Jersey Allergan Biocell Textured Breast Implant Lawsuits Consolidated in New Jersey Superior CourtHackensack, NJ
On July 7, the initial case management conference for In Re: Allergan Biocell Textured Breast Implant Products Liability Litigation
(the “MCL”) was held before Judge Rachelle Harz in New Jersey Superior Court in Bergen County. The consolidation of state law actions is intended to permit speedy, cost-effective and consistent management of the common issues that the breast implant side effects lawsuits are expected to share. This multicounty litigation will proceed in parallel with the multidistrict federal lawsuits (the “MDL”) that have been consolidated in Newark.
TD Bank Hit with Excessive Bank Overdraft Fees LawsuitCamden, NJ
On June 24, Judith Jimenez filed a class action bank overdraft fees lawsuit claiming that TD Bank, NA re-opened her checking account, which the bank had previously closed, for the express purpose of charging her an overdraft fee. Mission accomplished, the bank then closed her account again – all without her authorization. The lawsuit further claims that TD Bank had a routine practice of opening accounts in the names of consumers without lawful authority. If this sounds familiar, it should.
California Court Rejects Dignity Health Settlement AgainOakland, CA
The long-awaited settlement in Rollins v. Dignity Health
, a class action ERISA lawsuit, that has been moving through the legal system since 2013, continues to be just that – long awaited. On June 12, the District Court for the Northern District of California refused to approve a proposed settlement for the second time since 2019.
FDA Pulls Zantac off ShelvesWashington, DC
On April 1, the federal Food and Drug Administration asked manufacturers to withdraw Zantac and all other prescription and over-the-counter ranitidine drugs from the market immediately. It has also advised those who use OTC ranitidine medications to stop taking them immediately and patients with ranitidine prescriptions to speak with their health care providers. Zantac cancer lawsuits that cite the link between heartburn medications that contain ranitidine and various forms of cancer have been forming for months. The FDA has now finally taken affirmative steps to protect consumers.