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Consumers are misled by some mass tort drug injury ads: new academic study

Advertising by personal injury lawyers – or by legal marketing firms working on their behalf – is a perennial grievance of the tort reform crowd. This week, the American Tort Reform Association issued a report claiming that trial lawyers and legal marketing firms trolling for mass torts clients spent about $186 million on broadcast ads just in the second quarter of 2018. Since much of the advertising targets pharmaceutical products with allegedly dire side effects, you frequently hea

Judge Rakoff hits Petrobras objectors where it hurts: In the pocketbook and their reputations

If you’re going to object to a $3 billion class action settlement in the courtroom of U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff of Manhattan, you’d better be prepared to suffer some dire consequences: equitable sanctions; a hefty fine; and, even if you’re not on the hook for money sanctions, some pretty harsh words and a sizable bond if you insist on appealing. Judge Rakoff, it’s clear from a Sept. 19 opinion in the gigantic Petrobras securities class action, has flat-out had enough of maneuver

Surprise twist in landmark Neiman Marcus data breach case: Judge dissolves settlement class

The year 2015 was a dicey time for data breach class actions attempting to hold companies accountable for leaving customers’ personal information vulnerable to computer hackers. Data breach defendants, as you may recall, had seized upon the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2013 ruling in Clapper v. Amnesty International (133 S.Ct. 1138), which tightened the test for whether plaintiffs have constitutional standing to sue in federal court. Trial courts overwhelmingly agreed with defense arguments

Chief Justice Roberts stays ruling that would have forced GOP-backing nonprofit to disclose donors

The District of Columbia U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals issued a potentially groundbreaking decision on Saturday, refusing to stay a trial court ruling (316 F.Supp.3d 349) that required the right-leaning non-profit Crossroads GPS to disclose a broad swath of contributors who donated money to impact particular campaigns. Crossroads moved at the D.C. Circuit for an emergency stay, arguing that the lower court ruling upended a nearly 40-year-old Federal Election Commission regulation, sowing uncerta

GM ignition judge: Owners of unaffected cars can sue for economic loss (in 27 states)

How often does this happen? In an exhaustive, 113-page opinion on Wednesday, U.S. District Judge Jesse Furman of Manhattan, who is overseeing consolidated litigation over faulty GM ignition switches, ruled that under the laws of 27 states, the owners of cars without the defect can nevertheless sue over the value their cars allegedly lost when the flaw was revealed. Judge Furman also admitted that his previous ruling (257 F.Supp.3d 372) on economic loss claims, in June 2017, was wrong

L.A. judge tosses Aetna suit against plaintiffs' firms

Aetna’s quest to pin the blame on someone else for exposing the HIV status of thousands of its health insurance customers ran into a cul-de-sac on Friday. Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Richard Rico dismissed Aetna’s case against Whatley Kallas and Consumer Watchdog, holding that the insurer’s claims failed under California’s anti-SLAPP prohibition on suits intended to silence or intimidate critics. Aetna still has a parallel suit against the plaintiffs' firms under way in federal

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