Last week, Judge Rakoff held that a class action of transgender individuals challenging the coverage of gender dysphoria treatments under New York’s Medicaid program will proceed to trial.  Specifically, the class challenged the New York Department of Health (“DOH”)’s exclusion of coverage for gender reassignment and hormone therapy for individuals under 18, and a blanket ban on “cosmetic” procedures (even if deemed medically necessary).
Continue Reading Gender Dysphoria Class Action Will Proceed to Trial Before Judge Rakoff

Last week, Judge Rakoff denied a request from the defendants in a group of Petrobras securities cases to stay a September trial date pending the Second Circuit’s consideration of an interlocutory appeal of class certification.  The defendants argued that the Second Circuit appeal was on an expedited schedule, and that significant expense could be saved in the event the case had to be re-tried.  The plaintiffs opposed the stay, arguing that a delay amid Brazilian political upheaval (including issues of Petrobras’ viability) would only serve to prejudice the plaintiffs.
Continue Reading Judge Rakoff Won’t Stay Petrobras Securities Trial, Calls Delay “Bane” of U.S. Legal System

Today, the New York Taxi Workers Alliance filed a class action complaint on behalf roughly 5,000 New York City Uber drivers against Uber Technologies and its related entities.  The complaint alleges that Uber’s drivers are misclassified as independent contractors and that Uber’s compensation scheme falls far below statutory minimum wage and overtime requirements.
Continue Reading NYC Uber Drivers File Labor Class Action, Claiming Employee Status

In an opinion today, Judge Furman largely denied a motion to dismiss the city of Perry, Iowa’s putative class action (first covered here) against the makers of so-called “flushable” wipes that allegedly are not flushable at all and allegedly damage the city’s sewer systems.
Continue Reading Judge Furman Allows City’s Case Against “Flushable” Wipe Makers to Proceed

A putative class action filed last week alleges that Starbucks’ espresso beverages contain fewer fluid ounces than advertised due to an alleged company-wide policy of under-filling beverage cups.  According to the complaint, two representative beverages purchased at a Manhattan Starbucks included roughly 15% less volume than advertised.  The proposed class includes all persons or entities

The Second Circuit today held, in a shareholder class action accusing Pfizer of concealing the cardiovascular risks of two drugs, that Judge Swain should not have excluded entirely the testimony of the plaintiffs’ damages expert — a decision which had effectively ended the case (see our prior posts here and here).  The Second

In an opinion today, Judge Oetken allowed portions of securities class action against the asset management firm Och-Ziff Capital Management to proceed past a motion to dismiss.  Och-Ziff had said in a series of public filings: “We are not currently subject to any pending regulatory, administrative or arbitration proceedings that we expect to have a material impact on our results of operations or financial condition.”  In an amended 10-K following a Wall Street Journal story, however, the company admitted that the DOJ and SEC had been investigating potential FCPA violations and that an “adverse outcome could have a material effect on our business, financial condition or results of operations.”

Judge Oetken concluded that these facts amounted to a “plausible” claim of securities fraud because the company chose to speak on the subject of government investigations, but did so in an incomplete and inaccurate manner:
Continue Reading Judge Oetken Denies Motion to Dismiss Securities Case Accusing Och-Ziff of Incomplete Statements Regarding Government Investigations

In an opinion Friday, Judge Koeltl dismissed a shareholder class action against the movie studio Lions Gate.  The case concerned how the company disclosed an SEC enforcement action over how Lions Gate handled various transactions designed to ward off efforts by investor Carl Icahn for control.  The SEC action was ultimately settled for $7.5 million, and the plaintiffs alleged that the company should have disclosed the SEC investigation when it received “Wells” notices. Judge Koeltl disagreed:
Continue Reading Judge Koeltl: Movie Studio Had No Duty to Disclose “Wells” Notices Regarding Control Fight With Carl Icahn

In an opinion yesterday, Judge Scheindlin denied class certification in a proposed class action accusing the New York City Housing Authority of systematically under-compensating employees based on their race.  Among other reasons for the ruling, Judge Scheindlin found that class counsel was not up to the task:
Continue Reading Judge Scheindlin Denies Class Certification Based On Ineffective Class Counsel