Anne Shaver to Speak at 35th Annual National Continuing Legal Education Conference

Anne Shaver to Speak at 35th Annual National Continuing Legal Education Conference

Lieff Cabraser partner Anne B. Shaver will be speaking at the 35th Annual National CLE Labor and Employment Conference from January 3-7, 2018 at the Vail Mountain Marriott Resort in Colorado. Ms. Shaver will be featured as a distinguished panelist, presenting on “Telecommuting as a Reasonable Accommodation” from 7:30-8:00am on Saturday, January 6. [Read more…]

Seeking an End to Forced Arbitration in Sexual Harassment Cases

Seeking an End to Forced Arbitration in Sexual Harassment Cases

On December 6, sexual harassment survivor and former Fox News host Gretchen Carlson joined several members of Congress in unveiling new legislation restoring the rights of sexual harassment survivors to hold their workplace abusers publicly accountable in court. Although workplace sexual harassment violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, corporations use forced arbitration provisions in employment contracts and handbooks to silence women and cover-up the illegal behavior of abusers. This bipartisan, bicameral legislation aims to restore workers’ rights by putting an end to the abusive practice of forced arbitration in workplace sex discrimination claims and ensuring every survivor of sexual harassment has a chance to fight for justice in court. [Read more…]

California Utilities Commission Rules That Customers Will Not Pay Uninsured Costs of 2007 San Diego Fires

Northern California Wine Country Fires

The California Public Utilities Commission has unanimously ruled that the San Diego Gas & Electric Company and not its customers will have to pay $379+ million in uninsured costs relating to the 2007 fires in Witch, Guejito, and Rice that killed two people and destroyed over 1,300 homes. As reported by the Ventura County Star, “Investigators found SDG&E failed to properly maintain its equipment and trim tree branches and chaparral growing near power lines, which arced and sparked as those infernos began.” San Diego Gas and its insurers did pay over $2 billion for filed claims, but the utility had sought to get its customers to pay for all remaining costs via rate hikes and other charges. [Read more…]

Nearly 350 Pelvic Mesh Lawsuits Against Boston Scientific Settled

Nearly 350 Pelvic Mesh Lawsuits Against Boston Scientific Settled

Nearly 350 lawsuits included in multidistrict litigation against Boston Scientific Corp. over defective pelvic mesh implants have been settled by a West Virginia federal judge. The case involves seven MDLs composed of 28,000 individual cases against Boston Scientific and other makers of mesh implants, such as American Medical Systems, C.R. Bard Inc., and Johnson & Johnson. [Read more…]

Judge Orders Partial Lift on Trump Administration Ban on Refugee Immigration

Immigration ban partially suspended

U.S. District Court Judge James Robart (Western District of Washington) has issued a preliminary injunction suspending the Trump administration’s directive that was operating to stop the unification of refugees with their families (“following to join” refugees) already located in the United States and also operating to suspend the admission of other refugees from 11 specific countries (including 7 identified in the administration’s original “Muslim ban” executive order) to the extent those refugees already have a relationship to a person or entity in the U.S. Lieff Cabraser has been working to assist the Washington American Civil Liberties Union in organizing arguments from the extensive amicus briefing, a project that is expected to continue on appeal. [Read more…]

Rollaway Injuries Prompt Fiat Chrysler Ram Truck Recall

U.S. Vehicle Safety Officials Investigating Fiat Chrysler Roll-Away Crashes

Company will recall 1.8 million Ram trucks that can dangerously shift out of park without warning

The New York Times reports that Fiat Chrysler has announced a recall of 1.8 million Ram trucks after receiving reports of 7 people suffering injuries after crashes the company admits “might be linked to the problem.” The company has linked the issue to the vehicles’ brake transmission shift interlock, “a device that normally prevents a vehicle from shifting out of park until the brake pedal is depressed.” Heat can apparently build up around the gearshift in a way that can cause the shift interlock device to fail. [Read more…]

Lieff Cabraser Files Lawsuit to Recover Taxpayer Monies from Prescription Opioid Manufacturers on Behalf of Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County, Tennessee

Lieff Cabraser Files Opioid Harm Lawsuit

Lawsuit seeks justice and restitution for Nashville’s ongoing battle against opioid crisis that has killed over 200 residents in 2017 alone

Nashville, TN—Mark P. Chalos of the national plaintiffs’ law firm Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, LLP announces that the Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County, Tennessee (“Nashville”), has filed a lawsuit against the manufacturers and distributors of prescription opioid drugs to recover taxpayer money and resources spent to combat the opioid epidemic wreaking havoc on the Nashville community. [Read more…]

Jonathan Selbin on the Future of Class Actions in Bloomberg Law

Jonathan Selbin on the Future of Class Actions in Bloomberg Law

The Supreme Court’s recent decision in Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. v. Superior Court on jurisdictional limits to lawsuits may have a significant impact on the size and location of class action lawsuits

Bloomberg News is wrapping up 2017 with an examination of the future of class action law in light of Bristol-Myers Squibb v. Superior Court (“BMS”), a case focusing on jurisdictional limits on cases against corporations. “It’s too early to tell how the courts will apply BMS to class actions, but class action litigators are preparing to go to war over where class suits, particularly nationwide suits, can now be filed.” With overweening corporations as the target of most class suits, it seems clear the defense bar will push for a reduction in the scope and size of aggregate actions via what they see as BMS’s proscription of expanded jurisdiction, while plaintiffs will seek to convince courts that BMS is inapposite and should not be held to constrict use of the class action mechanism to obtain judgments for the fraudulent misconduct of the corporate world. [Read more…]

Connecticut Jury Finds Tech Support Workers Were “Willfully” Underpaid By Computer Sciences Corporation

Tech Support Workers Willfully Underpaid By Computer Sciences Corporation

Class Action Lawsuit Accused Leading Multinational IT Provider of Failing to Pay Overtime to Systems Administrators

NEW HAVEN, CT – A federal jury ruled late Wednesday that Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC), which recently merged with Hewlett Packard Enterprise Services to form DXC Technology (NYSE: DXC), wrongly and willfully denied overtime pay to approximately 1,000 current and former technology support workers around the country. After deliberating over two days, the Connecticut jury unanimously rejected CSC’s claim that its System Administrators in the “Associate Professional” and “Professional” job titles are exempt under federal, Connecticut and California law, ruling instead that the workers should have been classified as nonexempt and paid overtime. The jury found CSC’s violations to be willful, triggering additional damages. The misclassifications were made despite the fact that, in 2005, CSC paid $24 million to settle similar claims from a previous group of technical support workers. [Read more…]

Honda Reports 20th Death from Takata Airbag Explosion

Takata Airbag Injuries

As reported by the Associated Press and the LA Times, among others, Honda has indicated that exploding Takata vehicle airbags, the subject of widespread lawsuits and the largest auto recall in history, have claimed another life. The most recent airbag death occurred in Baton Rouge, Louisiana in July. The airbag’s role in the tragic death was only confirmed recently by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which indicated the airbag’s inflator exploded and caused the death. Honda indicated that the airbag had previously been salvaged from another vehicle, a 2002 model Civic. [Read more…]

Wendy Fleishman to Speak at PLI Women Lawyers in Leadership Program

Wendy Fleishman to Speak at PLI Women Lawyers in Leadership Program

Lieff Cabraser partner Wendy R. Fleishman will be speaking at the Practising Law Institute’s “Women Lawyers in Leadership” seminar on January 26, 2018 at the PLI New York Center in New York City. As PLI describes the program, “Although the glass ceiling has cracks, there are still obstacles to its complete shatter. More women are needed in leadership positions in the legal profession. Despite equal numbers of women entering the legal profession, female attorneys still lag in equity partnerships and leadership positions.” [Read more…]

Lieff Cabraser Files Lawsuit on Behalf of Smith County TN Against Prescription Opioid Manufacturers

Opioid Litigation

Lawsuit Seeks to Recover Taxpayer Monies Spent Combating the Opioid Epidemic Ravaging the Smith County Community; Believed to be the First Tennessee County to File Opioids Lawsuit in Federal Court

Nashville, Tennessee–(BUSINESSWIRE)–Mark P. Chalos of the national plaintiffs’ law firm Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, LLP announces that Smith County has filed a lawsuit against prescription opioid manufacturers and distributors to recover taxpayer money spent to combat the opioid epidemic wreaking havoc on the Smith County community. The complaint, which is believed to be the first by a Tennessee county to be filed in federal court, alleges that the defendants in the suit, which include Purdue Pharma, Cephalon, Teva Pharmaceutical, Johnson & Johnson, Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Ortho-McNeil-Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Noramco Inc., Endo Health Solutions, Mallinckrodt, Allergan, Actavis, Watson Pharmaceuticals, Insys Therapeutics, AmerisourceBergen Drug Corporation, Cardinal Health, and additional affiliated businesses and entities (the “Defendants”), violated the law by falsely promoting highly addictive opioids as safe and necessary, while concealing the true risks of the drugs. [Read more…]

National Association of Women Judges Profiles Kelly Dermody

NAWJ Profiles Kelly Dermody

The National Association of Women Judges (NAWJ) has published a profile of Kelly Dermody, Managing Partner of Lieff Cabraser’s San Francisco office and Chair of the firm’s employment practice group. Serving on the NAWJ’s Resource Board since 2005 and co-chair from 2009 to 2011, Kelly also served as co-chair of NAWJ’s 2010 Annual Conference Friends Committee. At the 2012 NAWJ Annual Conference, she moderated a panel discussion on judicial independence entitled “We Can Do It! Fighting Back to Protect Judicial Independence.” [Read more…]

Wendy Fleishman in Law360 on NY Court’s Thoughtful Resolution of Challenging Legal Issue in Newborn Injury Case

Wendy Fleishman on Birth Claims Timing

As reported by Law360, New York’s highest court has issued a ruling in favor of two couples whose children were born with genetic defects that would have been avoided had the fertility clinic involved been forthcoming about the medical condition of the egg donor. The case’s progression hinged on a timing issue, that of when the statute of limitations should be held to run for the couples to take legal action. The clinic argued the couples’ window for a lawsuit should open at embryo implantation; the couples’ argument was that it should instead run from the time of birth — the point where the couples could reasonably have discovered the problem and when the extraordinary medical expenses for dealing with the problem would commence. [Read more…]

Documents Unsealed in Microsoft Gender Class Action Highlight Failing Struggle to Combat Sex Discrimination

Gender Discrimination

Docs shed new light on the company’s struggle to deal with reports of harassment and on internal debates over whether women are treated fairly in pay, promotions

The discovery and document review process in Lieff Cabraser’s ongoing gender discrimination lawsuit against Microsoft has led to the release of a trove of internal files providing detailed information on harassment reports within Microsoft, as well as the company’s actions in responding to such reports. Unsettlingly, the data includes an intern’s rape complaints that, despite formal police reports and a “prompt internal investigation,” led to the intern being required to keep working alongside her alleged rapist or lose a coveted position at the company. [Read more…]

Law360 Profiles Michael Sobol as a 2017 MVP for Cybersecurity and Privacy

Law360 Selects Michael Sobol as 2017 MVP for Cybersecurity and Privacy

Law360 has named Lieff Cabraser partner Michael W. Sobol a 2017 MVP for Cybersecurity and Privacy. Mr. Sobol is one of over 100 attorneys across 38 practice areas who have “distinguished themselves from their peers by securing hard-earned successes in high-stakes litigation, complex global matters and record-breaking deals.” [Read more…]

FCC Vote Reverses Network Neutrality Protections

FCC Vote Reverses Network Neutrality Protections

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has voted to repeal the net neutrality regulations that prohibited broadband providers from blocking websites or charging for higher-quality services and content. This action reverses 2015’s Open Internet Order set during the Obama administration. [Read more…]

AAJ Report: Worst Corporate Conduct of 2017

AAJ Report: Worst Corporate Conduct of 2017

The American Association for Justice (AAJ) has published “Worst Corporate Conduct of 2017,” a report detailing “this year’s worst corporate offenders, the aggressive corporate culture plaguing in the United States, and the need for a strong civil justice system to ensure consumers and workers can hold corporations accountable and deter corporate misconduct.” [Read more…]