Minding Your Business

Proskauer’s perspective on developments and trends in commercial litigation.

California Defendants Beware: Failing to Compel Arbitration Against Named Plaintiff Could Have Far-Reaching Consequences

California defendants in class actions should be wary of seeking a strategic advantage by litigating before seeking to compel arbitration. The Court of Appeal held recently in Sprunk v. Prisma LLC  that a defendant in class action litigation can waive its right to seek arbitration against absent, unnamed class members by deciding not to compel arbitration against the named plaintiff within a reasonable timeframe. Continue Reading

Concrete Enough to Stand: Ninth Circuit Upholds FCRA Claims in Spokeo

On August 15, 2017, the Ninth Circuit delivered the latest episode in the Robins v. Spokeo saga, reaffirming on remand from the Supreme Court that plaintiff Robins had alleged an injury in fact sufficient for Article III standing to bring claims under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA).

Robins had brought a putative class action against Spokeo, which operates a “people search engine” that compiles consumer data into online reports of individuals’ personal information.  Robins alleged that Spokeo had willfully violated the FCRA’s procedural requirements, including that consumer reporting agencies must “follow reasonable procedures to assure maximum possible accuracy of the information” in consumer reports, because Spokeo’s report on Robins allegedly listed the wrong age, marital status, wealth, education level, and profession, and included a photo of a different person.  According to Robins, the inaccuracies in the report about him harmed his employment prospects and caused him emotional distress. Continue Reading

The Eighth Circuit Reignites Claims of Continuing Conduct in Propane Tank Conspiracy

A split Eighth Circuit recently reversed a prior panel ruling and reignited antitrust claims against distributors of pre-filled propane tanks. The 5-4 majority cited the 1997 Supreme Court decision Klehr v. A.O. Smith Corp. to rule that for allegations of a price-fixing conspiracy under the Sherman Antitrust Act, each sale at an artificially inflated price restarts the statute of limitations. Continue Reading

LinkedOut: Court finds Ex-Employee Likely Violated Non-Solicitation Provision with LinkedIn Post

The use of social media sites, like LinkedIn, can be a helpful tool to reach a customer base. But a recent district court case out of Minnesota exemplifies the need to ensure that LinkedIn usage complies with the user’s employment agreement. Specifically, in late July 2017, a Minnesota court in Mobile Mini, Inc. v. Vevea granted a preliminary injunction preventing a LinkedIn user from soliciting customers through the website in violation of non-solicitation clause in the employment agreement of her prior employer. The opinion differentiates between posting mere status updates and posting solicitations, the latter of which can trigger violations of non-solicitation clauses.

Continue Reading

Putative Class Complains that Annie’s “Strawberry Fruit Snacks” Lack Strawberries

On August 1, 2017, plaintiff Raymond Alvandi filed a putative class action in California federal court against Annie’s, Inc., seeking damages and injunctive and declaratory relief. Alvandi alleges that Annie’s misrepresented the strawberry content and nutritional and health qualities of its “Summer Strawberry” Organic Bunny Fruit Snacks. Alvandi seeks to represent a nationwide class of all consumers of Annie’s Strawberry Fruit Snacks in the last six years, as well as a subclass of those who purchased the fruit snacks in California. He claims that the court has jurisdiction pursuant to the Class Action Fairness Act, alleging that there are at least several thousand putative class members and that the amount in controversy exceeds $5,000,000. Alvandi alleges that over the last six years, Annie’s marketing practices have been deceptive, trying to convince consumers that its Strawberry Fruit Snacks actually contain strawberries and are a nutritious and healthful option. Instead, the only fruit-related byproduct in the Strawberry Fruit Snacks is “Pear Juice From Concentrate,” which is essentially a neutral tasting form of sugar. Continue Reading

You Want to Review ESI that the Other Side has Deemed Nonresponsive? That’ll Be Extra

Have you ever thought your adversary was withholding relevant ESI from document production? Have you wanted to look at the withheld documents to show that some are indeed relevant? Well, you might be able to – but it’ll cost you. In Nachurs Alpine Solutions, Corp. v. Banks, an Iowa District Court recently ordered that documents deemed nonresponsive by Defendants and withheld from production be produced to Plaintiff, but that Plaintiff would have to bear its own costs of reviewing them. Continue Reading

Hide and Seek: Plaintiff Permitted to Subpoena Internet Service Provider to Identify Alleged Infringers

Recently, E.D.N.Y. Magistrate Judge Steven M. Gold ordered that a third-party subpoena may be served upon an internet service provider (“ISP”) to identify information about network users who allegedly infringed copyrighted material. Continue Reading

LexBlog