Monthly Archives: July 2015

Judge Cogburn Issues Order Discussing Communications to Class Members During Pendency of Class Proceedings

View David Wright's Complete Bio at RBH.com We previously reported on Judge Cogburn’s decision to certify a class in an employee misclassification case, Rehberg v. Flowers Baking Co of Jamestown, LLC, No. 3:12-cv-596 (W.D.N.C. March 23, 2015). In May, the Fourth Circuit denied Defendants’ Rule 23(f) appeal, and so the case is proceeding in the district court. The class members have distributorship agreements with the Defendants that condition payments (in the event of any sale, conveyance or assignment) upon execution of a release. Class counsel apparently became irritated with the effect of these releases (and the communications accompanying them) and asked the Court to supervise this process, something a district court has broad authority to do. See generally Gulf Oil Co. v. Bernard, 452 U.S. 89, 100 (1981). Defendants agreed to send certain “curative notices” and to inform class members of their right to petition the court to seek invalidation of the release, and the Court agreed this was reasonable. Judge Cogburn also sided with Defendants’ view that claims under the North Carolina Wage and Hour Act can be released by private agreement, and therefore declined generally to invalidate the general releases signed by class members.

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Recent Filings – June Digest

View Susan Huber's Complete Bio at RBH.com Not every class action court filing in North and South Carolina becomes a full-length post on our blog. Here is a recap of June’s filings:

Watson v. McDonald, No. 15-1715 (4th Cir. June 30, 2015) (docketing appeal from Order dismissing putative class action alleging that the Department of Veterans Affairs mishandled patient records; district court held that the putative class’s alleged injury—an increased risk of identity theft—was too speculative to confer standing).

Romano v. 3D Systems Corporation, No. 0:15-cv-2518 (D.S.C. June 23, 2015) (asserting class action on behalf of certain 3D Systems Corporation stockholders for alleged violations of the Securities Exchange Act). As with the related City of Bristol Pension Fund case, this action was assigned to Judge Mary Lewis.

DeBennedetto v. Thaxton Investment Corporation, No. 6:15-cv-2475 (D.S.C. June 19, 2015) (asserting collective action under the Fair Labor Standards Act and class action under the South Carolina Payment of Wages Act on behalf of defendants’ Assistant Managers for unpaid overtime wages).

Carrion v. American Concrete Service, Inc., No. 7:15-cv-2447 (D.S.C. June 17, 2015) (removing lawsuit asserting Fair Labor Standards Act collective action and South Carolina Payment of Wages Act class action for unpaid wages and overtime).

Drouillard v. Vesuvio LLC, No. 2:15-cv-2444 (D.S.C. June 17, 2015) (asserting collective action under the Fair Labor Standards Act and class action under the South Carolina Payment of Wages Act on behalf of Charleston Bagel Company employees regarding defendants’ alleged “time shaving” and tip-withholding practices).

Govan v. Whiting-Turner Contracting Company, No. 2:15-cv-2443 (D.S.C. June 17, 2015) (asserting collective action under the Fair Labor Standards Act for unpaid overtime wages).

Ross v. Hilton Head Island Development Company, LLC, No. 9:15-cv-2446 (D.S.C. June 16, 2016) (asserting multiple tort claims — including under RICO and the South Carolina Vacation Timeshare Act — in a class action against various timeshare entities).

Andrews v. America’s Living Centers, LLC, No. 15-1658 (4th Cir. June 15, 2015) (docketing appeal from Order dismissing putative Fair Labor Standards Act collective action for unpaid wages and overtime arising from defendants’ alleged misclassification of employees; the district court dismissed this action for failure to pay an attorney’s fees award).

Peters v. Aetna Inc., No. 1:15-cv-109 (June 12, 2015 W.D.N.C.) (ERISA and RICO class action alleging improper charging of administrative fees to self-insured health benefit plans by Aetna and various alleged subcontractors of Aetna).

City of Bristol Pension Fund v. 3D Systems Corporation, No. 0:15-cv-2393 (D.S.C. June 12, 2015) (asserting class action on behalf of certain 3D Systems Corporation stockholders for alleged violations of the Securities Exchange Act).

Vincent v. Lumber Liquidators, Inc., No. 2:15-cv-2333 (D.S.C. June 9, 2015) (asserting nationwide class action regarding purported defects in Lumber Liquidators’ Chinese wood flooring). This case was initially assigned to Judge Harwell, who was handling the related Green v. Lumber Liquidators, White v. Lumber Liquidators, Sahn v. Lumber Liquidators, Watson v. Lumber Liquidators, and Bolling-Owen v. Lumber Liquidators cases. On June 12, 2015, the MDL Panel issued an Order centralizing ten Lumber Liquidators cases in the Eastern District of Virginia before Judge Anthony Trenga. Through a June 16th Conditional Transfer Order, the MDL Panel transferred 110 additional cases to the E.D.V.A., including Green, White, Sahn, Watson, Bolling-Owen, and Western District of North Carolina’s Duckworth v. Lumber Liquidators case. Vincent and three other cases were similarly transferred on June 29, 2015.

Lemieux v. Horizon, Inc., No. 2:15-cv-2332 (D.S.C. June 9, 2015) (asserting collective action under the Fair Labor Standards Act on behalf of defendants’ Field Superintendents for unpaid overtime wages).

Rodriguez v. Finan, No. 2:15-cv-2317 (D.S.C. June 8, 2015) (asserting statewide class action under the Fourteenth Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause regarding defendants’ classification of certain first-generation American citizens as nonresidents for college admission and scholarship purposes).

Powell v. The Huntington National Bank, No. 15-1618 (4th Cir. June 8, 2015) (having granted Huntington’s 28 U.S.C. § 1292(b) petition to appeal, the Fourth Circuit docketed Huntington’s appeal from the denial of its motion for judgment on the pleadings in putative statewide class action regarding allegedly improper imposition of late fees).

Mingrone v. TD Bank, N.A., No. 6:15-cv-2293 (D.S.C. June 8, 2015) (asserting putative nationwide and state-specific class action regarding TD Bank’s overdraft fees). This case was transferred from the Eastern District of New York for the reasons stated in the April 2, 2015 In re: TD Bank, N.A. MDL Order.

North v. Wyndham Worldwide Operations, Inc., 4:15-cv-2212 (D.S.C. June 1, 2015) (removing lawsuit asserting Fair Labor Standards Act collective action and South Carolina Payment of Wages Act class action for unpaid wages relating to defendants’ alleged practice of requiring “off the clock” work).

Childress v. Bank of America Corporation, 5:15-cv-231 (E.D.N.C. June 1, 2015) (asserting nationwide class action on behalf of certain military personnel regarding defendants’ alleged violations of the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act).

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