By Christina Grube
(MASS TORT NEWS) The JPML held their first 2023 hearing on January 26 at the Southern District of Florida Wilkie D. Ferguson, Jr. U.S. Courthouse in Miami, FL. Five of the eight cases with designated oral arguments have received centralization, creating five new MDLs. Full rundown on all JPML decisions below:
Decisions with Oral Arguments:
MDL No. 3055 − IN RE: SAMSUNG CUSTOMER DATA SECURITY BREACH LITIGATION
- The JPML granted the plaintiff request for consolidation and transferred nine actions to the District of New Jersey under Honorable Christine P. O’Hearn.
- Case summary: Plaintiffs file suit against Samsung for negligence in their safety procedures, resulting in customers having personal information compromised during a data breach. Samsung confirmed that hackers gained access to certain customer names, contact and demographic information, date of birth, and product registration information, but assured that social security and banking information remained safe. Court documents alleged Samsung failed to inform affected customers until weeks after the fact, making plaintiffs “subject to ongoing and continuing risk of identity theft and fraud.”
MDL No. 3056 − IN RE: KEYBANK CUSTOMER DATA SECURITY BREACH LITIGATION
- The JPML granted the plaintiff request to consolidate litigation and transferred six actions to the Northern District of Georgia under the Honorable Stephen D. Grimberg.
- Case summary: Plaintiffs file suit against KeyBank after a 2022 security breach. Court documents allege that the banks’ “insufficient and unreasonable data security practices caused, facilitated, and exacerbated the data breach.” During a month-long raid, hackers gained access to bank customer information, including name, property address and policy information, mortgage information and account number(s), phone numbers, 8-digits of Social Security numbers, and home insurance information.
MDL No. 3058 − IN RE: TRANSUNION LLC, BALANCE AFTER BANKRUPTCY DISCHARGE FAIR CREDIT REPORTING ACT (FCRA) LITIGATION
- The JPML denied the defendant’s request for consolidation.
- Case summary: Plaintiffs allege that the defendant, Trans Union LLC, violated the Fair Credit Reporting Act by delivering inaccurate credit information to consumers.
- The JPML granted the plaintiff and defendant request to consolidate litigation and transferred five actions to the Northern District of Illinois under the Honorable Sara L. Ellis.
- Case summary: Plaintiffs file suit against Beyond Meat for falsely marketing the protein content of nine plant-based meat substitute products as comparable to that of traditional meat-based products. Beyond Meat commonly referred to the meat substitutes as the “future of protein,” but independent testing showed the products to contain “significantly less protein than what was labeled on its front and back packaging.” Plaintiffs now allege that they overpaid for cheap products under false pretenses.
- The JPML granted the plaintiff’s request to consolidate litigation, transferring nine actions to the Northern District of Illinois to the Honorable Mary M. Rowland.
- Case summary: National Institutes of Health (NIH) released a 2022 study showing women who regularly used hair relaxer/straightener products were twice as likely to develop uterine cancer. This study led to dozens of lawsuits filed against beauty company L’Oreal, alleging the company knew its products contained dangerous chemicals and intentionally continued marketing them.
- The JPML granted the plaintiff request to consolidate litigation and transferred 10 actions to the Middle District of North Carolina under the Honorable Thomas D. Schroeder.
- Case summary: Plaintiff farmers file suit against pesticide manufacturers and wholesale distributors for colluding to monopolize the pesticide market. Defendant manufacturers paid wholesale distributors a “loyalty payment” to severely limit customer access to generic forms of their name-brand product after their patent and regulatory protection periods expired, creating a monopoly on pesticides and unlawfully suffocating competing business.
MDL No. 3064 − IN RE: HARLEY−DAVIDSON AFTERMARKET PARTS MARKETING SALES PRACTICES AND ANTITRUST LITIGATION
- The JPML granted the plaintiff request to consolidate litigation and transferred eight actions to the Eastern District of Wisconsin under the Honorable William C. Griesbach.
- Case summary: Plaintiffs file suit against Harley Davidson for forcing customers to buy only Harley parts for their bikes to maintain access to their warranty and in so doing, capitalizing on their monopoly by charging supracompetitive rates on parts. By barring customers from using quality aftermarket parts widely available for Harley’s, the company violated both the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act and the Federal Trade Commission Act.
MDL No. 3065 − IN RE: THE LITIGATION PRACTICE GROUP, PC, CREDIT REPAIR ORGANIZATIONS ACT (CROA) CONTRACT LITIGATION
- The JPML denied the defendant’s request to centralize litigation.
- Case Summary: Plaintiffs allege that The Litigation Practice Group, PC violated the Credit Repair Organizations Act by taking payment before performing services, making false promises to clients, failing to provide written disclosures, failing to include a cancellation clause and attempting to obtain a waiver of rights from clients.
Decisions without Oral Arguments:
MDL No. 2566 − IN RE: TELEXFREE SECURITIES LITIGATION
- The JPML denied the defendant’s motion to vacate a temporary consolidation order and officially transferred one action to the Massachusetts-based MDL under the Honorable Timothy S. Hillman.
MDL No. 2666 − IN RE: BAIR HUGGER FORCED AIR WARMING DEVICES PRODUCTS LIABILITY LITIGATION
- The JPML granted a joint Plaintiff and Defendant request to transfer one action to the Minnesota-based MDL under the Honorable Joan N. Ericksen.
MDL No. 2846 − IN RE: DAVOL, INC./C.R. BARD, INC., POLYPROPYLENE HERNIA MESH PRODUCTS LIABILITY LITIGATION
- The JPML denied the plaintiff’s motion to vacate a temporary consolidation order and officially transferred one action to the Ohio-based MDL under the Honorable Edmund A. Sargus, Jr..
MDL No. 2924 − IN RE: ZANTAC (RANITIDINE) PRODUCTS LIABILITY LITIGATION
- The JPML denied the plaintiff’s motion to vacate a temporary consolidation order and officially transferred one action to the Florida-based MDL under the Honorable Robin L. Rosenberg.
MDL No. 2996 − IN RE: MCKINSEY & COMPANY, INC., NATIONAL PRESCRIPTION OPIATE CONSULTANT LITIGATION
- The JPML granted the plaintiff request to vacate a temporary consolidation order, which officially removed 15 actions from the California-based MDL with no opposition from defendants.
MDL No. 3010 − IN RE: GOOGLE DIGITAL ADVERTISING ANTITRUST LITIGATION
- The JPML denied both a plaintiff request and a defendant request to vacate two separate temporary consolidation orders, transferring both actions to the New York-based antitrust MDL under the Honorable P. Kevin Castel.
MDL No. 3014 − IN RE: PHILIPS RECALLED CPAP, BI−LEVEL PAP, AND MECHANICAL VENTILATOR PRODUCTS LIABILITY LITIGATION
- The JPML denied the plaintiff’s motion to vacate a temporary consolidation order and officially transferred one action to the Pennsylvania-based MDL under the Honorable Joy Flowers Conti.
MDL No. 3044 − IN RE: EXACTECH POLYETHYLENE ORTHOPEDIC PRODUCTS LIABILITY LITIGATION
- The JPML denied a request by defendants and some plaintiffs to vacate a conditional transfer and officially transferred one action to the New York-based MDL under the Honorable Nicholas G. Garaufis, with the support of the plaintiff MSP Recovery.
MDL No. 3047 − IN RE: SOCIAL MEDIA ADOLESCENT ADDICTION/PERSONAL INJURY PRODUCTS LIABILITY LITIGATION
- The JPML denied the plaintiff’s motion to vacate the temporary consolidation order and officially transferred one action to the California-based MDL under the Honorable Yvonne Gonzalez Roger.