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Anne Wallace

Anne WallaceAnne Wallace is a New York lawyer, currently living in the metropolitan Washington, DC area. She writes on legal and business issues and teaches at the college and professional level. Anne graduated from Fordham Law School and Wellesley College.


What’s Next for Ethicon Hernia Mesh Lawsuits?

September 12, 2019.
Atlanta, GA Judge Richard W. Story has now identified ten bellwether Ethicon Physiomesh lawsuits that will likely shape the multidistrict litigation pending in the U.S. District Court, Northern District of Georgia. Trials in these hernia mesh lawsuits are now scheduled to begin in April 2020. But there will be plenty to watch even before opening statements begin.
Read [ What’s Next for Ethicon Hernia Mesh Lawsuits? ]

Fiduciaries’ Desperate Drive to Fund Benefits Backfires

September 11, 2019.
Santa Ana, CA Aaron Kushner and Eric Spitz, who mismanaged the investments of the Retirement Plan of Freedom Communications, Inc. (the Pension Plan) have offered to settle an ERISA lawsuit brought by the federal Pension Benefits Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) for $7.8 million.
Read [ Fiduciaries’ Desperate Drive to Fund Benefits Backfires ]

California In-Home Supportive Services Workers get New Wage Protections under Federal Law

September 9, 2019.
Los Angeles, CA Household workers, including those who care for the elderly or people with disabilities, are among the most vulnerable to wage theft and other forms of employment abuse. They work in isolation, behind closed doors and sometimes in fear of deportation. Ray v. County of Los Angeles cuts through the fog and fear to make clear that private litigants may recover unpaid overtime under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The bigger picture is that the change in federal protection fills a gap in the legal safety net left under California’s Domestic Workers’ Bill of Rights, Wage Order 15 and other provisions of California labor employment law.
Read [ California In-Home Supportive Services Workers get New Wage Protections under Federal Law ]

ERISA Lawsuit Charges Plan with Mismanaging Both High and Low Yield Investment Choices

August 23, 2019.
Birmingham, AL In an ERISA lawsuit filed in the Northern District of Alabama, participants in the Compass SmartInvestor 401(k) Plan claim that Plan fiduciaries failed in their legal duty to act prudently for the benefit of plan participants and beneficiaries. The Plan offered only one poorly performing short-term bond investment option and failed to monitor the investment performance of higher cost funds, ostensibly selected to produce higher yields.
Read [ ERISA Lawsuit Charges Plan with Mismanaging Both High and Low Yield Investment Choices ]

California Labor Lawsuit Targets Meal Break Violations

August 21, 2019.
Oakland, CA A former Payless Car Rental Inc. employee has asked a California court to grant class action status to a lawsuit that focuses on meal break waivers that were allegedly illegal under California labor employment law. Judge Michael Markman seemed doubtful, but set the next hearing date for November 5. A denial of class action status would likely put an end to the lawsuit, at least with regard to classes of plaintiffs not certified.
Read [ California Labor Lawsuit Targets Meal Break Violations ]

Department of Justice Probe Continues as Ford Fuel Economy Lawsuits Heat Up

August 12, 2019.
Washington, DC It was buried on page 70 of Ford Motor Co.’s March 31 SEC Form 10-Q, just before the last of many charts. The bland and reassuring words with which Ford disclosed a Department of Justice criminal investigation into Ford fuel economy representations belies the potential importance of that investigation to Ford class action lawsuits that now target both the Ford Ranger and F-150 truck models.
Read [ Department of Justice Probe Continues as Ford Fuel Economy Lawsuits Heat Up ]

VyStar Credit Union Accused of Assessing NSF Fees Multiple Times for Same Transaction

August 8, 2019.
Jacksonville, FL A class action lawsuit filed in Jacksonville Circuit Court claims that VyStar Credit Union routinely assessed multiple insufficient funds charges on the same transaction without authorization by the customer. In her excessive overdraft fee lawsuit, Heather Washington alleges that VyStar charged three separate $32 overdraft fees on a single transaction, in violation of the terms of her Deposit Agreement with the credit union.
Read [ VyStar Credit Union Accused of Assessing NSF Fees Multiple Times for Same Transaction ]

Fidelity 401k Fiduciary Lawsuits Consolidated in Massachusetts

August 7, 2019.
Boston, MA Since the beginning of 2019, a collection of class action ERISA lawsuits has worked to expose a secret pay-to-play scheme that arguably benefited Fidelity Management and Research Company and related companies (“Fidelity”) at the expense of 401k retirement savers.
Read [ Fidelity 401k Fiduciary Lawsuits Consolidated in Massachusetts ]

Uber to Settle Class Action Contract Lawsuit for $395,000

August 5, 2019.
San Francisco, CA The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California appears ready to approve a settlement in Dulberg v. Uber Technologies Inc. that will net nearly a quarter of the drivers only $20. The class action lawsuit is notable for two reasons. It was brought as a contract lawsuit, not under the provisions of California labor employment law. Secondly, the payouts are very small for many of those included in the class. Even Judge William Alsup, who presided over the case, described the settlement as “a low-end recovery for the class.”
Read [ Uber to Settle Class Action Contract Lawsuit for $395,000 ]

Dignity Health Poised to Settle ERISA Lawsuit for $100 Million

July 30, 2019.
San Francisco, CA Dignity Health has agreed to pay $100 million to settle a proposed class action ERISA lawsuit that accused it of using a undeserved religious exemption to justify underfunding its pension plan by $1.5 billion. The proposed settlement would require Dignity Health to add $50 million in retirement plan funding in 2020 and at least $50 million in 2021. In addition, the settlement requires Dignity Health to refrain from reducing participants’ accrued benefits because of a plan merger or amendment for 10 years. Dignity Health has also promised to fund the plan until 2024, making the minimum contribution recommended by actuaries to the plan.
Read [ Dignity Health Poised to Settle ERISA Lawsuit for $100 Million ]

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