In a favorable decision for retailers, a California federal court judge scaled back a proposed class action seeking to bring nationwide class claims. Plaintiff Todd Carpenter alleged that he bought a rodent habitat at a California PetSmart and that the habitat was defective in such a way that his rodents were able to chew through and escape. He filed a class action in the US District Court for the Southern District of California for violations of California consumer protection laws, violation of the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act and common law fraud. The plaintiff sought to represent a nationwide class consisting of all purchasers of the rodent habitat along with a California subclass. PetSmart moved to strike the nationwide class on the grounds that the court lacked personal jurisdiction over PetSmart with respect to the nationwide class.
Continue Reading Federal Judge Scales Back Nationwide Class Claims in Case of Escaping Gerbils

As reported on the Hunton Insurance Recovery Blog on January 18, 2019, policyholders facing any type of products liability scored a win in a recent decision from the District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. The court found that an insurance company must defend its insured against claims arising out of a recall while simultaneously funding the insured’s affirmative claims for recovery.
Continue Reading Defense owed for Product Recall and Insured’s Related Affirmative Claims

As reported on Hunton Andrews Kurth’s Privacy & Information Security Law Blog on January 25, 2019, the Illinois Supreme Court ruled that an allegation of “actual injury or adverse effect” is not required to establish standing to sue under the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act.
Continue Reading Illinois Supreme Court Says Biometric-Data Protection Law Does Not Require Allegation of Actual Injury

Last month, the solar eclipse captivated the United States and many consumers flocked to purchase solar eclipse glasses to safely observe the astronomical phenomenon. We previously reported how NASA issued a safety alert advising consumers on the proper eye protection they should seek. Now, some consumers have filed a class action lawsuit against a major online retailer for allegedly selling “unfit, extremely dangerous, and/or defective” solar eclipse glasses. As a result, the consumers allege “varying degrees of eye injury ranging from temporary discomfort to permanent blindness.”

Continue Reading Recall Roundup: September

On June 13, 2017, Judge Andrea R. Wood of the Northern District of Illinois dismissed with prejudice a putative consumer class action filed against Barnes and Noble. The case was first filed after Barnes and Noble’s September 2012 announcement that skimmers had tampered with PIN pad terminals in 63 of its stores and exposed payment card information.
Continue Reading Putative Data Breach Class Action Dismissed for the Third Time

On April 18, 2017, the state of Washington passed House Bill 1493, which sets forth requirements for businesses who collect and use biometric identifiers for commercial purposes. Under HB 1493, a biometric identifier includes a fingerprint, voiceprint, retina, iris or other unique biological patterns or characteristic used to identify a specific individual.
Continue Reading Washington State Passes New Legislation on Collection and Use of Biometric Identifiers