Recent Class Action Decisions

The California Court of Appeal held that plaintiffs in an age discrimination class action were entitled to take discovery regarding the personal biographical and employment information of class members in order to establish a pattern of employment discrimination.

Alch v. Superior Court, 165 Cal. App. 4th 1412

(August 14, 2008)

This case deals with California’s statute, Civil Code Section 1747.08, prohibiting a business from requiring a customer to provide personal identification information as part of “any credit card transaction.” The Court held that this prohibition does not apply to a transaction in which the customer returns a purchase in exchange for a reversal of the original credit card charge.

Absher v. AutoZone, Inc., 164 Cal. App. 4th 332

(June 26, 2008)

In this case the defendant allegedly was an unlicensed seller of insurance protection for cellular telephones. The California Court of Appeal held that plaintiffs did not have standing to sue the defendant under Business and Professions Code Section 17204 because plaintiff suffered no “injury in fact” or “loss of money or property” by virtue of defendant’s status as an unlicensed insurer.

Peterson v. Cellco Partnership, 164 Cal. App. 4th 1583

(June 26, 2008)

In this case, the Court of Appeal affirmed the trial court’s exercise of discretion in granting a defendant’s motion to strike the class allegations from a wage and hour complaint. The Court of Appeal was influenced by the trial court’s long history with the case and the evidence submitted by the defendant on the issue of class certification.

In re BCBG Overtime Cases, 163 Cal. App. 4th 1293

(June 13, 2008)

The California Court of Appeal upheld the City of Hayward’s “living wage” ordinance which requires employers with city contracts to provide employees with minimum wages over above those mandated by state or federal law.

Amaral v. Cintas Corp. No. 2, 163 Cal. App. 4th 1157

(June 11, 2008)

The California Court of Appeal held that an employee who works on a holiday and is already being paid a holiday rate of pay equal to the time and one-half overtime rate is not also entitled to receive additional pay for the overtime hours worked on the holiday.

Advanced-Tech Sec. Services, Inc. v. Superior Court, 163 Cal. App. 4th 700

(June 3, 2008)

Lawyers for plaintiffs in a wage and hour class action could not be disqualified because of their representation of a labor union for members of the class, where the plaintiffs waived any actual or potential conflicts of interest from such joint representation.

Sharp v. Next Entertainment, Inc., 163 Cal. App. 4th 410

(May 28, 2008)

The California Court of Appeal affirmed the trial court’s approval of a settlement in a consumer class action based on allegedly false advertising.

Chavez v. Netflix, Inc., 162 Cal. App. 4th 43

(April 21, 2008)

The California Court of Appeal upheld certification of a class that was a subset of a larger class that was denied certification in a previous action against the same employer. The Court held that collateral estoppel did not prevent the subsequent certification of a newly defined class that was different from the earlier action.

Bulfil v. Dollar Financial Group, Inc., 162 Cal. App. 4th 1193

(April 17, 2008)

The California Court of Appeal denied a petition for a writ of mandate challenging the trial court’s grant of discovery to plaintiff who lacked standing to maintain the action. In this case, the defendant was accused of secretly recording the telephone calls of customers without their permission. When it was determined that plaintiffs had not been recorded, the trial court granted plaintiffs the right to take discovery to identify new plaintiffs who had in fact been recorded without their knowledge or consent.

Cashcall v. Superior Court, 159 Cal. App. 4th 273

(January 24, 2008)