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“Camp Fire” Class Action Lawsuit Filed Against PG&E Corporation

By | Class Action Lawsuits

A class action lawsuit was filed against PG&E Corporation in the Superior Court of the State of California County of San Francisco on December 5, 2018 alleging that it is responsbile for the devastation cause by the “Camp Fire” during November 2018.

The class action complaint alleges the November 2018 Camp Fire was the deadliest and most destructive wildfire in modern California history that razed more than 150,000 acres across parts of Butte and Plumas Counties, destroying homes, businesses, and lives. The Camp Fire started just before sunrise on November 8th near the town of Pulga and moved rapidly west, virtually leveling the town of Paradise, with at least 88 lives lost, countless others injured, and 25 people still missing. The Camp Fire completely destroyed nearly 14,000 homes and hundreds of commercial buildings, along with everything in them.

The Camp Fire class action complaint further alleges that tens of thousands of people are now displaced from their homes, and many are now forced to live in shelters, tents, or their cars. They are left not knowing where they will sleep, when they will have a roof over their heads again, or whether they will be able to rebuild their lives.

The plaintiffs contend that the Camp Fire was caused by unsafe electrical infrastructure owned, operated, and (improperly) maintained by PG&E Corporation, and that PG&E had a duty to properly maintain its electrical infrastructure to ensure its safe operation, including by adequately designing, constructing, monitoring, maintaining, operating, repairing, replacing, and/or improving its power lines, poles, transformers, conductors, insulators, reclosers, and/or other electrical equipment.

The plaintiffs allege that PG&E Corporation’s duty included inspecting and managing vegetation around its power lines and/or other electrical equipment given the foreseeable risk of such vegetation coming into contact with this equipment and starting fires. Even though PG&E knew that its infrastructure was aging, unsafe, and vulnerable to weather and environmental conditions, it failed to fulfill these duties, and failed to take preventative measures in the face of known high-risk weather conditions, such as de-energizing its electrical equipment. The plaintiffs state that PG&E’s failures ultimately resulted in the deadliest and most destructive wildfire in California history.

The plaintiffs contend that the catastrophic damage and loss of life was preventable: PG&E’s failing infrastructure and its inadequate efforts to maintain its equipment and mitigate risk have caused tragedy before, and PG&E has been sanctioned a number of times for virtually identical misconduct. Despite notice of its past failures and even public reprimand, PG&E has continued to cut corners and put profits over safety, and continued to operate dangerous equipment without adequate risk management controls in place.

The plaintiffs seek the costs of repair, depreciation, and/or replacement of damaged, destroyed, and/or lost personal and/or real property;
loss of use, benefit, goodwill, and enjoyment of the plaintiffs’ real and/or personal property, and/or alternative living expenses; loss of wages, earning capacity, and/or business profits or proceeds and/or any related displacement expenses; attorneys’ fees, expert fees, consultant fees, and litigation costs and expense, as allowed under California Code of Civil Procedure § 1021.9; treble or double damages for wrongful injuries to timber, trees, or underwood on their property, as allowed under California Civil Code § 3346; general damages for fear, worry, annoyance, disturbance, inconvenience, mental anguish, emotional distress, and loss of quiet enjoyment of property; and, punitive/exemplary damages, inter alia.


If your business is presently or may soon be involved in class action litigation in the United States, email us at or telephone us toll-free in the United States at 800-756-2143 to find class action lawyers who may handle your class action litigation matter on a contingency basis. – The Practical Solution For Business Litigation

Class Action Lawsuit Filed Against Walmart And Drug Companies Regarding Adulterated High Blood Pressure Medication

By | Class Action Lawsuits, product liability lawsuits

On December 1, 2018, a proposed class action  lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida Tampa Division (“federal court”) regarding Walmart and the other defendants’ (Aurobindo Pharma Ltd., ScieGen Pharmaceuticals, Inc., and Westminster Pharmaceuticals, LLC)  “manufacturing, distribution, and sale of generic irbesartan prescription medications containing an active pharmaceutical ingredient (“API”) adulterated with N-nitrosodiethylamine (“NDEA”), a probable human carcinogen.” Irbesartan is a prescription medication mainly used to treat high blood pressure and diabetic nephropathy.

The federal class-action lawsuit alleges: “Due to manufacturing defects originating in Defendant Aurobindo Pharma Ltd.’s (“Aurobindo”) facility in India, certain batches of irbesartan active pharmaceutical ingredient were supplied to Defendant ScieGen Pharmaceuticals, LLC (“ScieGen”), and thus introduced to the United States market, that were adulterated with the probable human carcinogen, NDEA (the “Adulterated Irbesartan”). After ScieGen used the Adulterated Irbesartan to manufacture and produce finished generic prescription irbesartan tablets, ScieGen shipped the tablets containing Adulterated Irbesartan to Defendant Westminster Pharmaceuticals (“Westminster”) in or about Tampa, Hillsborough County, Florida. Westminster, in turn, further manufactured, labeled, packaged, and
distributed the tablets containing Adulterated Irbesartan to pharmaceutical retailers nationwide, including Defendant Walmart Inc. (“Walmart”).”

The federal class action lawsuit further alleges: “Plaintiff and the putative class members were injured by paying the full purchase price of their medications containing Adulterated Irbesartan and by paying for incidental medical expenses. These medications are worthless because they are contaminated with carcinogenic and harmful NDEA and are thus not fit for human consumption.”

What Is Irbesartan?

Irbesartan is a generic drug generally used to treat high blood pressure and diabetic nephropathy, a complication of type 2 diabetes which affects the kidneys. Irbesartan is the generic form of the brand-name drug Avapro. Avapro was initially approved by the FDA and marketed in the United States in 1997.

The federal class action lawsuit alleges: “As a result of Aurobindo’s poor quality-control measures and failure to comply with cGMPs [current Good Manufacturing Practices], its irbesartan API became adulterated and contaminated by NDEA. NDEA is not an FDA-approved ingredient for branded Avapro or generic irbesartan. None of Defendants’ irbesartan products (or any irbesartan product, for that
matter) identify NDEA as an ingredient on their products’ labels or elsewhere … By introducing their irbesartan products into the United States market under the name “irbesartan” as a therapeutic equivalent to Avapro and with the FDA-approved label that is the same as that of Avapro, Defendants represented and warranted to end users that their products are in fact the same as and are therapeutically
interchangeable with Avapro … The presence of NDEA in the Adulterated Irbesartan: (1) renders Defendants’ irbesartan products non-bioequivalent (i.e., not the same) to Avapro and thus non-therapeutically interchangeable with Avapro, thus breaching Defendants’ express
warranties of sameness; (2) was the result of gross deviations from cGMPs thus rendering Defendants’ irbesartan products non-therapeutically equivalent to Avapro, and thus breaching Defendants’ warranties of sameness; and (3) results in Defendants’ irbesartan
containing an ingredient that is not also contained in Avapro, also breaching Defendants’ warranty of sameness (and warranty that the products contained the ingredients listed on each Defendants’ FDA-approved label) … Due to its status as a probable human carcinogen as listed by both the International Agency for Research on Cancer (“IARC”) and as determined by pharmaceutical regulators such as the European Medicines Agency and the FDA, NDEA is not an FDA-approved ingredient in irbesartan. The presence of NDEA in the
Adulterated Irbesartan results in Defendants’ irbesartan products being non-merchantable and not fit for its ordinary purposes (i.e., as a therapeutically interchangeable generic version of Avapro), breaching Defendants’ implied warranties of merchantability and/or
fitness for ordinary purposes.”

The FDA announced on October 26, 2018 that Aurobindo had recalled several  batches of irbesartan API that it had dispatched to ScieGen.  Aurobindo recalled 22 Batches of its irbesartan API, all supplied to ScieGen, and all contaminated with NDEA. The FDA announced that on October 30, 2018, ScieGen had issued its own recall of irbesartan that it supplied to Westminster as well as Golden State Medical Supply, Inc.


If your business is presently or may soon be involved in class action litigation in the United States, email us at or telephone us toll-free in the United States at 800-756-2143 to find class action lawyers who may handle your class action litigation matter on a contingency basis. – The Practical Solution For Business Litigation

Data Breach Class Action Lawsuit Filed Against Marriott International, Inc.

By | Class Action Lawsuits, Data Breach

A class-action lawsuit was filed on November 30, 2018 against Marriott International, Inc. (“Marriott) on behalf of over 500 million consumers whose personal information, including their names, birthdates, addresses, locations, gender information, email addresses, payment card information, and passport information were stolen.

Bethesda, Maryland-based Marriott is a leading global lodging company with more than 6,700 properties across 130 countries and territories, reporting revenues of more than $22 billion in fiscal year 2017. Founded by J. Willard and Alice Marriott and guided by family leadership for more than 90 years, the company is headquartered outside of Washington, D.C. Marriott’s hotel brands include W Hotels, St. Regis, Sheraton Hotels, and Westin Hotels. Source

The class action lawsuit alleges that cybercriminals broke into Marriott’s servers in 2014 and obtained the personal information of approximately 500 million Marriott customers, and continued to have access throughout Marriott’s system, with unfettered and undetected access, for four years. The lawsuit alleges that Marriott did not discover the breach until September 8, 2018 yet did not notify its consumers until November 30, 2018. Marriott allegedly does not know the origin or identity of the hackers and has not fully assessed the scope of the attack.

The Marriott class action lawsuit alleges that Marriott failed to ensure the integrity of its servers and to properly safeguard consumers’ highly sensitive and confidential information, knowing that it had an obligation to protect the personal and financial data of its guests and customers and being aware of the significant repercussions to its customers if it failed to do so.  The class-action lawsuit alleges that Marriott  violated consumer protection statutes, breached confidence, and was reckless and grossly negligent.


On November 30, 2018, Marriott issued the following statement (in part):

Marriott has taken measures to investigate and address a data security incident involving the Starwood guest reservation database.  On November 19, 2018, the investigation determined that there was unauthorized access to the database, which contained guest information relating to reservations at Starwood properties* on or before September 10, 2018.

On September 8, 2018, Marriott received an alert from an internal security tool regarding an attempt to access the Starwood guest reservation database in the United States.  Marriott quickly engaged leading security experts to help determine what occurred.  Marriott learned during the investigation that there had been unauthorized access to the Starwood network since 2014.  The company recently discovered that an unauthorized party had copied and encrypted information, and took steps towards removing it.  On November 19, 2018, Marriott was able to decrypt the information and determined that the contents were from the Starwood guest reservation database.

The company has not finished identifying duplicate information in the database, but believes it contains information on up to approximately 500 million guests who made a reservation at a Starwood property.  For approximately 327 million of these guests, the information includes some combination of name, mailing address, phone number, email address, passport number, Starwood Preferred Guest (“SPG”) account information, date of birth, gender, arrival and departure information, reservation date, and communication preferences.  For some, the information also includes payment card numbers and payment card expiration dates, but the payment card numbers were encrypted using Advanced Encryption Standard encryption (AES-128).  There are two components needed to decrypt the payment card numbers, and at this point, Marriott has not been able to rule out the possibility that both were taken.  For the remaining guests, the information was limited to name and sometimes other data such as mailing address, email address, or other information.


If your business is presently or may soon be involved in class action litigation in the United States, email us at or telephone us toll-free in the United States at 800-756-2143 to find class action lawyers who may handle your class action litigation matter on a contingency basis. – The Practical Solution For Business Litigation

Maryland Class Action Lawsuit Contends Pharmaceutical Company Unlawfully Barred Generic Version Of Its Drug

By | Business Litigation, Class Action Lawsuits

On November 20, 2018, a proposed federal class action lawsuit was filed in the United States District Court for the District of Maryland against Actelion Pharmaceuticals Ltd., Actelion Clinical Research, Inc., and Actelion Pharmaceuticals US, Inc. (“Actelion”) alleging that Actelion engaged in an “illegal scheme to maintain its monopoly over the prescription drug bosentan.”

Bosentan is a dual endothelin receptor antagonist that Actelion sells as a treatment for pulmonary artery hypertension (“PAH”) under the brand name “Tracleer.” PAH is a relatively rare, but chronic, and potentially fatal disorder in which elevated blood pressure in the arteries of the lungs causes the heart to work harder than normal. It affects between 10,000 and 20,000 people in the U.S. — most of them women. PAH is a progressive condition. Without treatment, only about 70% of patients survive a year after diagnosis. PAH is also an extremely expensive condition to treat. In 2016, America’s Health Insurance Plans, an industry organization of health insurers, estimated that average drug spending for PAH patients was between $103,464 and $196,560 per year.

The proposed class action lawsuit alleges that while Tracleer is a highly profitable drug (billions in sales for Actelion) and Actelion’s regulatory and patent exclusivity over the use of bosentan to treat PAH expired by November 20, 2008 and November 20, 2015, respectively, no generic manufacturer has brought a generic bosentan to market. At least four manufacturers started the process of bringing a generic bosentan to market, but Actelion allegedly unlawfully blockaded the regulatory process for generic manufacturers to proceed and, thereby, illegally maintained its monopoly over bosentan.

The proposed class action lawsuit alleges that Actelion blocked would-be generic bosentan manufacturers from obtaining samples of Tracleer. This prevented a generic version of bosenten coming to market because in order to obtain FDA approval of a generic drug application, a generic manufacturer must run comparison tests to establish that the brand and the generic are bioequivalent — that is, that the generic is absorbed in the body at the same rate and to the same extent as the brand. Doing so requires samples of the brand product. Without these samples, generic manufacturers cannot complete the regulatory process and cannot bring a competing generic to market.

The proposed class action lawsuit alleges that Actelion prevented would-be generic bosentan competitors from purchasing samples of Tracleer by forbidding its distributors from selling Tracleer to those generic manufacturers and refusing to sell Tracleer directly to the manufacturers as well. By doing both, Actelion allegedly blocked every path generic manufacturers had to obtain samples of Tracleer.

The proposed class action lawsuit alleges that, unable to get samples of Tracleer from distributors as they usually would, at least
four generic manufacturers requested samples directly from Actelion, offering to pay the market price for the samples. Actelion refused, allegedly offering subterfuge for its reason. Tracleer carries risks of serious liver damage and birth defects if taken during pregnancy. Therefore, the FDA approved Actelion’s New Drug Application (“NDA”) for Tracleer subject to two restrictions: (1) a “black box” warning on Tracleer’s packaging, and (2) Actelion’s implementation of a Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy (“REMS”) for Tracleer. Actelion cited its REMS as the reason it would not sell to would-be generic competitors.

The proposed class action lawsuit alleges that Actelion cited the safety protocols imposed by FDA as the reason it refused to sell Tracleer samples to generic manufacturers (and the reason it prevented its distributors from selling them as well). Congress has specified however, that REMS may not be used to delay generic competition. The FDA has also expressly indicated that REMs do not prevent distributors from selling samples to generics nor empower the NDA holder to veto such sales. Indeed, the FDA has repeatedly confirmed that allowing the generics to buy samples does not run afoul of the FDA’s required safety protocols, both generally and with respect to Tracleer specifically.

The proposed class action lawsuit alleges that Actelion wanted to keep its competitors out of the market in order to prevent competition and prolong its monopoly well past its period of legitimate exclusivity, and this is the only logical explanation for Actelion foregoing potential sales, but it is allegedly illegal: the FTC, the FDA, courts, and commentators all agree that the antitrust laws do not tolerate such exclusionary conduct.

The proposed class action lawsuit alleges that Actelion’s anticompetitive scheme has been 100% effective. To date, no generic Tracleer is available in the U.S. nearly three years after the expiration of the Tracleer patent. Actelion’s alleged scheme has forced Plaintiff and other purchasers to pay higher prices for bosentan for far longer than they otherwise would have. Absent Actelion’s years-long blockade, one or more generics would have been available at or around the expiration of Tracleer’s patent protection in November 2015. Actelion’s alleged unlawful conduct has prevented generic manufacturers from entering the market with competing generic bosentan products and has cost purchasers hundreds of millions of dollars in overcharge damages.


If your business is presently or may soon be involved in class action litigation in the United States, email us at or telephone us toll-free in the United States at 800-756-2143 to find class action lawyers who may handle your class action litigation matter on a contingency basis. – The Practical Solution For Business Litigation

California Supreme Court Rules Law Firm’s Fee Arbitration Clause With Its Client Unenforceable

By | Attorney Fee Request, Business Arbitration, Business Litigation

The Supreme Court of California (“California Supreme Court”), in its opinion filed on August 30, 2018, decided a case in which a large law firm agreed to represent a manufacturing company in a federal qui tam action brought on behalf of a number of public entities. During the same time period, the same law firm represented one of these public entities in matters unrelated to the qui tam suit. Both clients had executed engagement agreements that purported to waive all such conflicts of interest, current or future, but the agreements did not specifically refer to any conflict and the law firm did not tell either client about its representation of the other. This arrangement fell apart when the public entity discovered the conflict and successfully moved to have the law firm disqualified in the qui tam action. A fight over the manufacturer’s outstanding law firm bills followed, and the dispute was sent to arbitration in accordance with an arbitration clause in the parties’ engagement agreement.

The engagement agreement’s arbitration clause provided that any dispute over fees or charges that was not resolved through voluntary arbitration under the auspices of the California State Bar, and any other type of dispute between the parties, would be settled by “mandatory binding arbitration” conducted in accordance with the California Arbitration Act (CAA; Code Civ. Proc., § 1282 et seq.). The arbitration clause also stated the agreement would be governed by California law.

The arbitrators ruled in the law firm’s favor and the superior court confirmed the award, but the Court of Appeal reversed. That court concluded that the matter should never have been arbitrated because, notwithstanding the broad conflict waiver in the engagement agreement, the law firm’s undisclosed conflict of interest violated rule 3-310(C)(3) of the Rules of Professional Conduct (i.e., an attorney “shall not, without the informed written consent of each client . . . [¶] . . . [¶] . . . [r]epresent a client in a matter and at the same time in a separate matter accept as a client a person or entity whose interest in the first matter is adverse to the client in the first matter.”). This ethical violation, the court ruled, rendered the parties’ agreement, including the arbitration clause, unenforceable in its entirety. The Court of Appeal further held that the conflict of interest disentitled the law firm from receiving any compensation for the work it performed for the manufacturer while also representing the utility district in other matters.

The California Supreme Court held: “We agree with the Court of Appeal that, under the framework established in Loving & Evans v. Blick (1949) 33 Cal.2d 603, the law firm’s conflict of interest rendered the agreement with the manufacturer, including its arbitration clause, unenforceable as against public policy. Although the manufacturer signed a conflicts waiver, the waiver was not effective because the law firm failed to disclose a known conflict with a current client. But we conclude, contrary to the Court of Appeal, that the ethical violation does not categorically disentitle the law firm from recovering the value of the services it rendered to the manufacturer; whether principles of equity entitle the law firm to some measure of compensation is a matter for the trial court to address in the first instance.”

In Loving & Evans v. Blick, the California Supreme Court had held that the excess-of-authority exception applies, and an arbitral award must be vacated, when a court determines that the arbitration has been undertaken to enforce a contract that is “illegal and against the public policy of the state.” In the present case, the California Supreme Court held that “an attorney contract that has as its object conduct constituting a violation of the Rules of Professional Conduct is contrary to the public policy of this state and is therefore unenforceable” (“California law holds that a contract may be held invalid and unenforceable on public policy grounds even though the public policy is not enshrined in a legislative enactment” – “violation of a Rule of Professional Conduct in the formation of a contract can render the contract unenforceable as against public policy”).

The California Supreme Court stated in the present case: “We conclude that Sheppard Mullin’s concurrent representation of J-M and South Tahoe violated rule 3-310(C)(3) and rendered the engagement agreement between Sheppard Mullin and J-M unenforceable. Our conclusion rests on three subsidiary points: First, at the time Sheppard Mullin agreed to represent J-M in the qui tam action, the law firm also represented a client with conflicting interests, South Tahoe; second, because Sheppard Mullin knew of that conflicting interest and failed to inform J-M of it, J-M’s consent was not “informed” within the meaning of the Rules of Professional Conduct; and third, Sheppard Mullin’s unconsented-to conflict of interest affected the whole of its engagement agreement with J-M, rendering it unenforceable in its entirety.”

The California Supreme Court further stated that “[a]n attorney or law firm that knowingly withholds material information about a conflict has not earned the confidence and trust the rule is designed to protect.” In the case it was deciding, the California Supreme Court stated: “Assessed by this standard, the conflicts waiver here was inadequate. By asking J-M to waive current conflicts as well as future ones, Sheppard Mullin did put J-M on notice that a current conflict might exist. But by failing to disclose to J-M the fact that a current conflict actually existed, the law firm failed to disclose to its client all the “relevant circumstances” within its knowledge relating to its representation of J-M. (Rules Prof. Conduct, rule 3-310(A)(1).)”

The California Supreme Court went on to state: “Whether the client is an individual or a multinational corporation with a large law department, the duty of loyalty demands an attorney or law firm provide the client all material information in the attorney or firm’s possession. No matter how large and sophisticated, a prospective client does not have access to a law firm’s list of other clients, and cannot check for itself whether the firm represents adverse parties. Nor can it evaluate for itself the risk that it may be deprived, via motion for disqualification, of its counsel of choice, as happened here. In any event, clients should not have to investigate their attorneys. Simply put, withholding available information about a known, existing conflict is not consistent with informed consent … We conclude, rather, that without full disclosure of existing conflicts known to the attorney, the client’s consent is not informed for purposes of our ethics rules. Sheppard Mullin failed to make such full disclosure here.”

The California Supreme Court held: “Because Sheppard Mullin’s ethical breach renders the engagement agreement unenforceable in its entirety, the rule of Loving & Evans means that Sheppard Mullin is not entitled to the benefit of the arbitrators’ decision awarding it unpaid contractual fees. The final question before us is whether Sheppard Mullin may receive any compensation for its services at all …  contrary to the Court of Appeal, [ ] California law does not establish a bright-line rule barring all compensation for services performed subject to an improperly waived conflict of interest, no matter the circumstances surrounding the violation.”

The California Supreme Court continued: “When a law firm seeks compensation in quantum meruit for legal services performed under the cloud of an unwaived (or improperly waived) conflict, the firm may, in some circumstances, be able to show that the conduct was not willful, and its departure from ethical rules was not so severe or harmful as to render its legal services of little or no value to the client. Where some value remains, the attorney or law firm may attempt to show what that value is in light of the harm done to the client and to the relationship of trust between attorney and client. Apprised of these facts, the trial court must then exercise its discretion to fashion a remedy that awards the attorney as much, or as little, as equity warrants, while preserving incentives to scrupulously adhere to the Rules of Professional Conduct … When a law firm seeks fees in quantum meruit that it is unable to recover under the contract because it has breached an ethical duty to its client, the burden of proof on these or other factors lies with the firm. To be entitled to a measure of recovery, the firm must show that the violation was neither willful nor egregious, and it must show that its conduct was not so potentially damaging to the client as to warrant a complete denial of compensation. And before the trial court may award compensation, it must be satisfied that the award does not undermine incentives for compliance with the Rules of Professional Conduct. For this reason, at least absent exceptional circumstances, the contractual fee will not serve as an appropriate measure of quantum meruit recovery … Although the law firm may be entitled to some compensation for its work, its ethical breach will ordinarily require it to relinquish some or all of the profits for which it negotiated … By leaving open the possibility of quantum meruit compensation for the 10,000 hours that Sheppard Mullin worked on J-M’s behalf, we in no way condone the practice of failing to inform a client of a known, existing conflict of interest before asking the client to sign a blanket conflicts waiver. Trust and confidence are central to the attorney-client relationship, and maintaining them requires an ethical attorney to display all possible candor in his or her disclosure of circumstances that may affect the client’s interests. Sheppard Mullin’s failure to exhibit the necessary candor in this case has rendered its contract with J-M unenforceable and has thus disentitled it to the benefit of the unpaid contract fees awarded by the arbitrators in this case. Whether Sheppard Mullin is nevertheless entitled to a measure of compensation for its work is, along with the other unresolved noncontract issues raised by the pleadings, a matter for the trial court to consider in the first instance.”

Source Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hamilton, LLP v. J-M Manufacturing Company, Inc., S232946.

If your business is presently or may soon be involved in business litigation in the United States, email us at or telephone us toll-free in the United States at 800-756-2143 to find business litigation contingency fee lawyers who may handle your business litigation matter on a contingency basis. – The Practical Solution For Business Litigation

Airbnb Faces Class-Action Lawsuit In Israel After Dropping West Bank Listings

By | Class Action Lawsuits
The Irish Times reported on November 24, 2018 that an Airbnb host who lives in the West Bank outpost of Kida, between Ramallah and Nablus in the West Bank, has filed a class action lawsuit against Airbnb in the Jerusalem district court regarding Airbnb’s decision to remove listings in West Bank settlements from its website.  The class action lawsuit filed in Israel alleges that Israeli law forbids discrimination based on the place where you live, “and what Airbnb has done is by all means discrimination based on the place where you live.” The lawsuit contends that Airbnb’s removing or restricting the listings solely in the West Bank constitutes extreme, offensive and outrageous discrimination.
The Airbnb class action lawsuit, in which more than two hundred plaintiffs are expected to join, according to the plaintiff’s class action lawyer, alleges, in part: “As far as Airbnb is concerned, their clients can deny women or minorities to rent apartments from them, offer listings in war zones or in regions where tens of thousands of people have been expelled from their homes. The only thing that is prohibited is to be a settler in Israel.”

Airbnb’s global head of policy and communications stated in response to a call to boycott Airbnb in Israel, “Israel is a special place and our over 22,000 hosts are special people who have welcomed hundreds of thousands of guests to Israel. We understand that this is a hard and complicated issue and we appreciate everyone’s perspective.”

In announcing the removal of West Bank listings from its website, Airbnb stated, “We are certainly not experts when it comes to historic conflicts in this region. Our team is struggling with this problem and we have been working hard to reach the right approach. We concluded that we should remove listings in Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank that are at the core of the dispute between Israelis and Palestinians.”

If your business is presently or may soon be involved in class action litigation in the United States, email us at or telephone us toll-free in the United States at 800-756-2143 to find class action lawyers who may handle your class action litigation matter on a contingency basis. – The Practical Solution For Business Litigation

Class Action Lawsuit Filed Against Catholic Church Alleging Clergy Sexual Abuse

By | Class Action Lawsuits

The Catholic News Agency announced on November 15, 2018 that the U.S. bishops’ conference and the Holy See are named in a class action lawsuit filed on November 13, 2018 in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia by six men who claim they were sexually abused by Catholic clergy during their childhoods. The class action lawsuit seeks compensatory damages as well as public contrition and reparation from the Church.

The 80-page suit alleges that the Vatican and the bishops knew about and covered up the “endemic, systemic, rampant, and pervasive rape and sexual abuse” of the plaintiffs and others at the hands of active members of the clergy, religious orders, and other Church representatives. The class action lawsuit alleges that Church leaders protected and promoted the offenders.

The lawsuit charges that the “wrongful actions, inaction, omissions, cover-up, deception, and concealment” created a “conspiracy of silence to their financial and reputational benefit and to Plaintiffs’ and Class Members’ personal, mental, psychological, and financial detriment,” which actions are “ongoing and continuous.”

The class-action lawsuit alleges that the bishops and the Vatican violated the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (“RICO”)  because the bishops engaged in federal mail fraud and wire fraud in the cover-up of abuse. The lawsuit alleges that because the Catholic Church in the U.S. is an “unincorporated association,” it qualifies as an organization that can be held to RICO standards.

The lawsuit seeks to compel the Vatican and the bishops to “comply with various state statutes requiring them to report the abusive Clergy to law enforcement or other responsible authorities, terminate the abusive Clergy, identify the abusive Clergy to the general public so that parents may protect their children going forward, release documents evidencing such Clergy abuse to achieve transparency, and such other relief the Court deems just and proper.”


If your business is presently or may soon be involved in class action litigation in the United States, email us at or telephone us toll-free in the United States at 800-756-2143 to find class action lawyers who may handle your class action litigation matter on a contingency basis. – The Practical Solution For Business Litigation

Class-Action Lawsuit Filed By Mentally Ill Veterans Certified

By | Class Action Lawsuits

The AP reports that on November 15, 2018, Senior U.S. District Judge Charles Haight Jr. in New Haven, Connecticut certified a class-action lawsuit against Navy Secretary Richard Spencer by veterans who say they were unfairly given less-than-honorable discharges for minor infractions linked to their untreated mental health problems. As a result of certification of the class, thousands of Navy and Marine Corps veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan who developed post-traumatic stress disorder but were denied Veterans Affairs health benefits may seek those benefits in the lawsuit.

The class action lawsuit alleges that veterans with less-than-honorable discharges prevents them from getting VA benefits including mental health treatment.

The lead plaintiff’s attorney stated after the class action was certified, “This decision is a victory for the tens of thousands of military veterans suffering from service-connected PTSD and TBI (traumatic brain injury). The fact that the Court has now recognized this class of veterans is further evidence of the Department of Defense’s disgraceful violation of the legal rights of the men and women who have served their country.”

The named plaintiff in the class action lawsuit alleges that he had developed PTSD after serving in the 2003 invasion of Iraq and received an other-than-honorable discharge for a single incident of self-medicating himself with an illegal drug. The Naval Discharge Review Board rejected his request for a discharge upgrade, as it has done with similar applications by thousands of other veterans.

The Yale Law School students who are representing the veterans in the certified class-action lawsuit have filed a similar lawsuit against the Army in which they allege that nearly one-third of the more than 2 million Americans who served in Iraq or Afghanistan suffer from PTSD and related mental health conditions, and that the military is issuing less-than-honorable discharges at historically high rates, often for minor infractions attributable to undiagnosed mental illness.

According to reports, the discharge review boards for the Army and Air Force granted about 51 percent of discharge upgrade applications involving PTSD, while the Navy board granted only 16 percent.


If your business is presently or may soon be involved in class action litigation in the United States, email us at or telephone us toll-free in the United States at 800-756-2143 to find class action lawyers who may handle your class action litigation matter on a contingency basis. – The Practical Solution For Business Litigation

$25.5M Verdict Against Aetna For Bad Faith Denial Of Cancer Treatment

By | Business Litigation

A jury in Oklahoma awarded $25.5 million ($15.5 million in compensatory damages and $10 million in punitive damages) to the family of a woman who died from brain cancer, for Aetna’s bad faith in denying her health insurance coverage for cancer treatment, finding that Aetna acted recklessly in denying her proton beam therapy to treat her Stage 4 nasopharyngeal cancer that was near her brain stem. Aetna had denied the treatment that her doctors at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Texas ordered because Aetna considered proton beam therapy to be experimental and investigational.

The woman’s doctors had recommended proton beam therapy because the targeted cancer treatment was appropriate for her specific form and location of cancer without the significant risk of blindness associated with traditional radiation therapy. Aetna’s bad faith denial of coverage forced the 54-year-old woman and her husband to mortgage their home and to set up a GoFundMe page to raise the $92,082.19 cost of treatment. Tragically, the woman died in May 2015 due in part to a viral infection that reached her brain.

Aetna’s attorney reportedly told the jury in his closing arguments that Aetna was proud of the three medical directors employed by Aetna who had denied coverage for the woman’s proton beam therapy, even going so far as to turn to the three medical directors who were sitting in the front row in the courtroom to thank them.

The foreperson of the 12-person jury stated after the verdict that expert testimony during trial established that proton beam therapy was not experimental. She also stated that the jury took into consideration that one of Aetna’s medical directors testified about handling 80 cases per day and that the three medical directors spent more time in preparing for the trial than in reviewing the woman’s treatment requests. “No one was looking at her specific case. That’s where we decided that obviously they were in breach of contract and should’ve paid for that treatment. It was medically necessary in her situation.”

A radiation oncologist who testified during the trial stated after the jury’s verdict: “The thing I tried to illustrate to the jury is that proton therapy is not a new, experimental technique, like Aetna wants to claim. Proton therapy is a well-established treatment for cancer and has been for decades … Nobody in the oncology community considers proton therapy experimental for the treatment of cancer.” The radiation oncologist testified that standard radiation therapy to treat the woman’s cancer could have been used in her case but that the risks of such were “severe”: “She would go blind. She would lose a significant portion of her memory on the left side of her brain and still not have a very good chance at a cure. For her particular tumor, [proton therapy] was extremely valuable.” Before the woman died, scans showed that her tumor was shrinking and that the treatment was working.

Aetna’s lead defense attorney reportedly walked up to the woman’s husband after the jury’s verdict to congratulate him and then callously told him he would lose on appeal.


If your business is presently or may soon be involved in litigation in the United States, email us at or telephone us toll-free in the United States at 800-756-2143 to find business litigation lawyers who may handle your business litigation matter on a contingency basis. – The Practical Solution For Business Litigation

Class-Action Status Granted To Claims That Detroit Funeral Home Mishandled Remains Of Numerous Fetuses And Babies

By | Business Fraud, Class Action Lawsuits

On November 5, 2018, a judge granted class-action status for the claims against a Detroit funeral home, Wayne State University, and a local cemetery in which it is alleged that the defendants mishandled the remains of more than 200 babies and fetuses. On October 19, 2018, the Detroit Police Department reportedly removed 63 fetuses (36 fetuses in boxes and an additional 27 fetuses in freezers) from the defendant funeral home. Another Detroit funeral home was raided by Detroit police investigating similar allegations against that funeral home, where the remains of 10 fetuses and one infant were found hidden in a ceiling compartment on October 12, 2018, according to reports.

The Michigan  Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (“LARA”) had announced on November 1, 2018: “Due to an increase in complaints and case complexity seen by the Dept. of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs’ (LARA) mortuary science regulators, Gov. Rick Snyder has formed a new team of multiple state departments to address concerns regarding funeral homes across the state.”

LARA had previously announced on October 19, 2018 the suspension of the mortuary science licenses of the defendant funeral home after its inspectors found “heinous conditions and negligent conduct at the home that included:

  • Three unrefrigerated boxes containing the remains of a total of approximately 36 deceased bodies of fetuses or infants plus a deep freezer containing an unknown number of additional deceased bodies. Some of the deceased had dates of death in 2015.
  • Respondents failed to certify and file death certificates for the dead bodies of the fetuses and infants for whom they assumed custody with the appropriate governmental authority within 72 hours of death.
  • Absent any statutory exception, the failure or refusal to properly supervise the final disposition of a dead human body after agreeing to provide the services of a funeral director within 60 days of receiving the body is a criminal violation under Section 160c of the Michigan Penal Code.
  • Respondents failed to secure permits for removal or burial of dead human bodies before interment or disposal.
  • Respondents obtained possession or embalmed the dead human bodies of the fetuses and infants without first being expressly directed or authorized to do so by a relative of the deceased persons or a person entitled to custody.”

The Detroit funeral home class action lawsuit was filed by a mother who alleged that the remains of her daughter were not handled properly after she requested that her baby’s body be donated to Wayne State University School of Medical for research purposes.


If your business is presently or may soon be involved in class action litigation in the United States, email us at or telephone us toll-free in the United States at 800-756-2143 to find class action lawyers who may handle your class action litigation matter on a contingency basis. – The Practical Solution For Business Litigation