A Las Vegas jury awarded $3 billion in punitive damages and $89.75 million in compensatory damages Friday to a group of children and adults who experienced severe liver problems after drinking toxin-adulterated "alkaline water," adding to the product maker's legal woes.
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MONDAY, JUNE 17, 2024 Law360 iOS App Law360 Android App Follow Law360 on Facebook Follow Law360 on LinkedIn Follow Law360 on Twitter

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'Alkaline Water' Co. Owes Another $3.1B For Liver Failures

By Cara Salvatore

A Las Vegas jury awarded $3 billion in punitive damages and $89.75 million in compensatory damages Friday to a group of children and adults who experienced severe liver problems after drinking toxin-adulterated "alkaline water," adding to the product maker's legal woes.

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'Cockamamie' Live Nation Arbitration Rules Perplex 9th Circ.

By Craig Clough

An attorney for Live Nation Entertainment Inc. argued to skeptical Ninth Circuit judges on Friday that a California district judge was wrong to remove ticket buyers' antitrust class claims from arbitration by finding the arbitration agreements unconscionable, with one judge calling the language in the agreements "drafting malpractice," "cockamamie" and "just nuts."

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9th Circ. Won't Recharge Energizer Battery False Ad Suit

By Gina Kim

Energizer defeated a proposed class action accusing it of fraudulently touting its AA Max batteries are "up to 50% longer lasting," after the Ninth Circuit said Friday reasonable consumers wouldn't be misled by the statement since it doesn't promise they'll always last 50% longer than competing products in all applications.

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Burford Bound To Sysco And Pilgrim's Unsigned Chicken Deal

By Lauraann Wood

An Illinois federal judge on Friday rejected a Burford subsidiary's bid to block a global protein price-fixing settlement that Pilgrim's Pride and Sysco memorialized through email but never signed on paper, saying it's clear the parties reached a material agreement.

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Elon Musk's Court Cases Remain A Live Issue In Delaware

By Jeff Montgomery

Delaware's courts will continue to assert control over a multibillion-dollar Tesla Inc. legal fee dispute despite the company's rushed effort to reincorporate in Texas and potentially put CEO Elon Musk's massive, multiyear compensation plan beyond the state's reach, those familiar with the case said Friday.

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9th Circ. Revives Union Pacific Workers' Disability Bias Suits

By Bonnie Eslinger

The Ninth Circuit on Friday reversed Union Pacific Railroad's wins in three worker disability discrimination lawsuits involving plaintiffs with color-vision concerns, saying the lower court incorrectly determined that their individual claims were time-barred after an Eighth Circuit decision decertifying a thousands-strong class in similar litigation against the company.

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Analysis

4 Big ERISA Decisions From The 1st Half Of 2024

By Kellie Mejdrich

A California federal court allowed a novel type of 401(k) mismanagement suit to advance to discovery, the Ninth Circuit elaborated on the pleading standard for mental health parity claims, and workers beat back an attempt to force their federal benefits suit into arbitration at the Second Circuit. Here, attorneys discuss four consequential ERISA decisions in 2024's first half.

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SECURITIES

Potato Co.'s Software Rollout Fried Its Revenue, Suit Says

By Sydney Price

Potato product manufacturer Lamb Weston has been hit with a proposed shareholder class action in Idaho federal court alleging that it concealed from investors information about the botched implementation of software that had been intended to improve the efficiency of the company's operations but ended up costing the company millions in lost sales.

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Chinese Delivery Co. To Settle IPO Class Action For $4.9M

By Sydney Price

Chinese grocery vendor Missfresh Ltd. has agreed to settle an investor class action accusing it of making several misleading statements in the months leading up to its initial public offering, including in regulatory filings and to the media, for $4.9 million.

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COMPETITION

Electronics Cos. Fight 'Drastic' $2B Price-Fixing Default

By Bonnie Eslinger

Irico Group and a subsidiary on Thursday opposed a special masters report recommending the Chinese electronics companies should be on the hook for over $2 billion in default judgment in litigation alleging they participated in a cathode ray tube price-fixing conspiracy, telling a California federal court the remedy is "drastic" and unwarranted.

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Amazon Sued For Locking Up Audiobooks, Charging Up To 75%

By Bryan Koenig

A romance novelist challenged Amazon.com Inc.'s control of up to 80% of the U.S. audiobook market Thursday in a Washington federal court proposed class action accusing the retail giant of using exclusivity restrictions to lock in independent authors, extracting up to 75% of the sales price on Audible.

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9th Circ. Balks At Gas Buyers' Price-Fix Fight Over Trump Pact

By Dorothy Atkins

A Ninth Circuit panel appeared skeptical Friday of efforts to revive a proposed antitrust class action alleging that Chevron, Exxon Mobil and others fixed gasoline prices following the Trump administration's 2020 oil production deal with Russia and Saudi Arabia, with each judge doubting that federal courts have jurisdiction over the dispute.

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EMPLOYMENT & BENEFITS

Healthcare Worker's Solo PAGA Claim Heads To Arbitration

By Abby Wargo

A California state appeals court ruled an employee's individual wage claims under the state's Private Attorneys General Act should be heard in arbitration, overturning a lower court's decision to keep the lawsuit in state court and finding the arbitration agreement encompassed the worker's claims.

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PRODUCT LIABILITY

Whole Foods Uses Tiny Label Font To Hide Costs, Suit Says

By Elliot Weld

Whole Foods has been accused of hiding deposit fees and other costs with a barely perceptible font size on its labels, according to a proposed class action removed to Brooklyn federal court Friday.

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CYBERSECURITY & PRIVACY

Political Speech Groups Challenge NJ Judicial Privacy Case

By Jake Maher

Two voting-integrity groups moved Friday to dismiss federal claims brought against them under New Jersey's Daniel's Law on the grounds that their business of publishing voter registration information is political speech protected by the First Amendment and federal voting rights laws.

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CONSUMER PROTECTION

Popeyes Accused Of Skimping On Breaks And Wages

By Rae Ann Varona

Popeyes made employees in California work through lunch and rest breaks without appropriate pay and provided them with "confusing" wage statements, according to a putative class action lodged in a Los Angeles court.

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IP & TECHNOLOGY

X Dodges Porn Filter BIPA Suit For Now

By Celeste Bott

An Illinois federal judge has thrown out a proposed class action accusing X Corp. of violating the state's biometric privacy law through its use of software to police pornographic images, saying the lead plaintiff failed to allege that the tool can be used to identify specific individuals. 

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Ga. Woman Wants 'Illegal' Online Gambling Suit In State Court

By Elaine Briseño

A Georgia woman wants her suit accusing an online operator of hosting illegal gambling on sites disguised as game arcades sent back to state court, arguing she cannot verify without discovery whether the case meets the $5 million, 100-member class threshold required for federal cases.

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BANKING

Global Payments Inks $3.6M Deal Over Fee Disclosure Fallout

By Emilie Ruscoe

Atlanta-based payment tech company Global Payments Inc. has agreed to pay $3.6 million as part of a deal to resolve a proposed investor class action tied to allegations that its summer camp payment processor subsidiary allegedly "tricked" consumers into signing up for a program that had fees it didn't properly disclose.

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SPORTS & BETTING

Off The Bench

Off The Bench: Ex-Players Claim NIL, Loss For Trans Swimmer

By David Steele

In this week's Off The Bench, the 1983 men's college basketball champions want a piece of the loot the NCAA made off of their names, swimmer Lia Thomas loses in her bid to overturn an international trans athlete ban, and the House gets a bill through committee that would keep college athletes from becoming employees.

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LEGAL INDUSTRY

All The World's A Stage For Tony-Nominated Dechert Co-Chair

By Tracey Read

Mark Thierfelder is not only a Dechert LLP co-chair and partner; he’s also a Tony-nominated Broadway producer up for an award this June 16. Here, Law360 Pulse talks to Thierfelder on how he balances his legal work with his creative pursuits.

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Littler Aims To End Theft Suit After $1M Deal With Ex-Firm Atty

By Lynn LaRowe

Littler Mendelson PC this week moved to drop a lawsuit accusing a former associate of stealing confidential documents following a settlement in which the firm agreed to pay her nearly $1 million, though a separate, newer case in which the lawyer accuses Littler of violating that deal remains open.

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McDermott Says Financial Firm Owes $800K In Atty Fees

By Madison Arnold

McDermott Will & Emery LLP says it is owed more than $800,000 in legal fees for representing a financial firm's employee in a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission investigation and a lawsuit by his former employer.

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Real Estate Broker Claims Lewis Brisbois Breached Deal

By Madison Arnold

A real estate broker who had exclusive rights to represent Lewis Brisbois Bisgaard & Smith LLP has slammed the firm with a breach of contract suit in California state court, alleging its abrupt termination of their deal will cost him millions in commissions.

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Goetz Fitzpatrick To Merge With Platzer Swergold Next Year

By Tracey Read

Goetz Fitzpatrick LLP and Platzer Swergold Goldberg Katz & Jaslow LLP will combine forces next year to create a single New York City firm.

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Update On Ex-George Mason Prof's Suits Over Sex Allegations

By Aebra Coe

After two women came forward last August accusing former BigLaw partner, FTC commissioner and George Mason University law professor Joshua D. Wright of sexual improprieties with students and direct reports, a number of additional accusations and lawsuits followed. Here are updates on the litigation and everything else surrounding the allegations.

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Analysis

Blistering Dissents Belie Justices' Penchant For Consensus

By Katie Buehler

Thirteen days into June, the U.S. Supreme Court had recorded one of the highest rates of unanimous decisions in the past four decades. But the era of historic consensus was tarnished a bit Friday when the court issued three split decisions and two scathing dissents highlighting how much the nine justices differ.

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DOJ Declines To Prosecute AG Garland For Contempt

By Courtney Bublé

The U.S. Department of Justice is declining to prosecute Attorney General Merrick Garland after the House voted earlier this week to hold him in contempt for not turning over audio recordings of the president and his ghostwriter speaking with special counsel Robert Hur for his investigation into President Joe Biden's handling of classified documents.

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Senate Passes Bill For State, Local Judge Security

By Courtney Bublé

The U.S. Senate has passed a bill unanimously to better protect state and local judges from threats amid "unacceptable attacks" on the judiciary.

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Hunter Biden Axes Data Privacy Suit Against Giuliani, For Now

By Emily Sawicki

Hunter Biden has tentatively agreed to drop a federal computer fraud and digital privacy suit against Rudy Giuliani and various other defendants relating to alleged data theft from his infamous laptop, after the case was partially stalled due to Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings Giuliani commenced in December.

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Mistrial Declared In Florida Student Debtor Lawsuit

By David Minsky

A Florida federal judge on Friday declared a mistrial in the lawsuit against a Boca Raton-based law firm accused of falsely promising to eliminate student loan debts in exchange for a fee following testimony from a former client.

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Law360's Legal Lions Of The Week

By Kevin Penton

Williams & Connolly LLP and Littler Mendelson PC lead this week's edition of Law360's Legal Lions, after the U.S. Supreme Court made it tougher for the National Labor Relations Board to win injunctions against employers.

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GC Cheat Sheet: The Hottest Corporate News Of The Week

By Michele Gorman

The governor of Vermont vetoed a legislative proposal that would have given consumers not only new data privacy rights but also the rare opportunity to sue large businesses for certain violations, and a multipart Delaware General Corporation Law amendment that would let boards cede some governance rights to big stockholders sailed through the state's Senate without debate or an opposing vote. These are among the stories in corporate legal news you may have missed in the past week.

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UK Litigation Roundup: Here's What You Missed In London

By Laura Stewart Liberty

This past week in London has seen toy company Jellycat hit supermarket Aldi with an intellectual property claim, AIG start proceedings against firefighting foam company Angus International Safety Group, and the Solicitors Regulation Authority file a legal claim against the Post Office amid the ongoing Horizon IT scandal. Here, Law360 looks at these and other new claims in the U.K.

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In Case You Missed It: Hottest Firms And Stories On Law360

For those who missed out, here's a look back at the law firms, stories and expert analyses that generated the most buzz on Law360 last week.

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LAW FIRMS IN TODAY'S NEWS

Abrams Fensterman

Aegis Law Firm

Alioto Law Firm

Bailey & Glasser

Baute Crochetiere

Bernstein Litowitz

Binnall Law Group

Boies Schiller

Bradley Arant

Brown Rudnick

Bursor & Fisher

Call & Jensen

Capsticks Solicitors LLP

Cohen Milstein

Conrad & Scherer

Constangy Brooks

Covington & Burling

Cozen O'Connor

Cravath Swaine

Davidoff Hutcher

Dechert LLP

Dhillon Law Group

Early Sullivan Wright Gizer & McRae

Evangelista Worley

Finch McCranie

Freshfields

GM Law Firm LLC

Gibson Dunn

Goetz Fitzpatrick

Gordee Nowicki

Greenberg Traurig

Gupta Wessler

Hach Rose Schirripa

Hagens Berman

Hamlins LLP

Hancock Daniel

Hildebrand McLeod

Hilgers Graben

Hill Dickinson

Hirschler

Hogan Lovells

Jones Day

Joshua S. Horton Law Firm

K&L Gates

Keller Postman

Kellogg Hansen

Kemp Jones

King & Spalding

Kirkland & Ellis

Labaton Keller

Latham & Watkins

Law Office of Macy D. Hanson

Lewis Brisbois

Littler Mendelson

Loeb & Loeb

Lowey Dannenberg

Lynn Pinker

McCarter & English

McDermott Will & Emery

Morgan & Morgan

Morgan Lewis

Motley Rice

Munger Tolles

Napoli Shkolnik

Nevin Benjamin

Nichols Kaster

Norton Rose

O'Melveny & Myers

Orrick Herrington

Paul Weiss

Pearson Warshaw

Pillsbury & Coleman

Pinsent Masons

Platzer Swergold

Pomerantz LLP

Quinn Emanuel

Reed Smith

Robinson Bradshaw

Ropes & Gray

Rosen Law Firm PA

Ryan Law Partners

Sanford Heisler

Saveri & Saveri

Schall Law

Schubert Jonckheer

Searcy Denney

Seeger Weiss

Simmons Hanly

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP

Skadden Arps

Sperling & Slater

St John & St John

Trump Alioto

Vasseghi Law

Williams & Connolly

Willkie Farr

Wilson Browne Solicitors

Wilson Sonsini

Winston & Strawn

Wolf Haldenstein

Womble Bond

Wood Smith

Zaiwalla & Co

Zuckerman Spaeder

gunnercooke LLP

COMPANIES IN TODAY'S NEWS

3M Co.

Aldi GmbH & Co. KG

Amazon.com Inc.

American Express Co.

American International Group Inc.

American Petroleum Institute Inc.

Apple Inc.

Authentic Brands Group LLC

Bloomberg Industry Group

Bregal Investments Inc.

Chevron Corp.

Court of Arbitration for Sport

Delaware State Bar Association

Delta Air Lines Inc.

DraftKings Inc.

Energizer Holdings Inc.

Exxon Mobil Corp.

Ferrari SpA

Global Payments Inc.

Harvard University

Heathrow Airport Holdings Ltd.

JAMS Inc.

Jaguar Land Rover Ltd.

Johnson & Johnson

Johnson Controls International PLC

Kuwait Finance House KSC

LG Electronics Inc.

Lamb Weston Holdings Inc.

Lambda Legal Defense & Educational Fund

Live Nation Entertainment Inc.

London Stock Exchange Group PLC

Major League Soccer LLC

Marks & Spencer

Mattel Inc.

Mercedes-Benz USA LLC

Meta Platforms Inc.

Microsoft Corp.

NASDAQ Inc.

NFL Enterprises LLC

National Collegiate Athletic Association

National District Attorneys Association

National Rifle Association of America

New Era ADR Inc.

New York University

OSI Systems Inc.

Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development

Pearson PLC

Phillips 66

Pilgrim's Pride Corp.

PowerSchool Group LLC

Princeton University

QUALCOMM Inc.

Rapiscan Systems Inc.

RealPage Inc.

RedRidge Finance Group LLC

Rolls-Royce Motor Cars

Sanderson Farms Inc.

Solicitors Regulation Authority Ltd.

Southwest Airlines Co.

Starbucks Corp.

Sysco Corp.

Tesla Inc.

The Charles Schwab Corp.

The Procter & Gamble Co.

TransPerfect Global Inc.

Twitter Inc.

U.S. Chamber of Commerce

Union Pacific Corp.

UnitedHealth Group Inc.

Viking Cruises Inc.

Village Super Market Inc.

Volkswagen AG

WESCO International Inc.

Wells Fargo & Co.

Whole Foods Market Inc.

YouTube Inc.

Yves Saint Laurent SAS

GOVERNMENT AGENCIES IN TODAY'S NEWS

California Labor Commissioner's Office

California Public Employees' Retirement System

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Committee on Education and the Workforce

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

Dallas County, Texas

Delaware Court of Chancery

European Union

Federal Trade Commission

Food and Drug Administration

Internal Revenue Service

National Labor Relations Board

State Justice Institute

Superior Court of Fulton County

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit

U.S. Department of Commerce

U.S. Department of Justice

U.S. District Court for the Central District of California

U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware

U.S. District Court for the District of Idaho

U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey

U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York

U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia

U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California

U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia

U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois

U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California

U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida

U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York

U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington

U.S. Patent and Trademark Office

U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission

U.S. Senate

U.S. Supreme Court