A selection of the need-to-know civil justice news for the week of January 16-22.


Yahoo Settles E-mail Privacy Class-Action: $4M for Lawyers, $0 for Users

Joe Mullin | Ars Technica

In late 2013, Yahoo was hit with six lawsuits over its practice of using automated scans of e-mail to produce targeted ads. The cases, which were consolidated in federal court, all argued that the privacy rights of non-Yahoo users, who “did not consent to Yahoo’s interception and scanning of their emails,” were being violated by a multi-billion dollar company.

Full story.


Guilty for Obeying the Feds

Wall Street Journal Opinion

Can a drug company be held liable for following the directions of federal regulators on warning labels?  Johnson & Johnson  did exactly that, only to be slapped with a $63 million jury verdict in Massachusetts for inadequate warnings. The Supreme Court is being asked to hear J&J’s appeal in a case with major implications for uniform national business regulation.

Full story.


No, America — Judge Judy does Not Sit on the Supreme Court

Andrea Morabito | New York Post

Nearly 10 percent of college graduates in the United States think that TV host Judith “Judge Judy” Sheindlin sits on the Supreme Court, according to a recent study.

Full story.


Super Bowl Ticket Class Action Punted: No Standing

Perry Cooper | Bloomberg BNA

A proposed class action alleging the National Football League inflated Super Bowl ticket prices fails because the plaintiffs have no standing to sue, the Third Circuit affirmed.

Full story. 


Food for Thought (and Litigation): FDA Thinks About Defining ‘Natural’

Amy P. Lally, Livia M. Kiser and Rachel Goldberg | Corporate Counsel

For years, many have asked the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to define the term “natural” for use in food labeling. Private citizens asked. Corporations asked. Even federal courts asked. But until recently, aside from an attempt at rulemaking in the early 1990s (an attempt that the FDA formally abandoned in 1993), the FDA had taken no steps to formally define the term. Rather, the FDA relied upon its policy regarding the use of “natural” as meaning that nothing artificial or synthetic (including all color additives, regardless of source) has been included in, or has been added to, a food.

Full story. 


Supreme Court Holds that an Unaccepted Offer of Judgment Doesn’t Moot a Class Action

Archis A. Parasharami, Brian Netter and Thomas Wolf | Mayer Brown’s Class Defense Blog

Article III of the Constitution limits the jurisdiction of federal courts to “cases” and “controversies.” As the Supreme Court recently explained in Genesis HealthCare Corp. v. Symczyk, a lawsuit does not present an Article III case or controversy and “must be dismissed as moot” when “an intervening circumstance deprives the plaintiff of a ‘personal stake in the outcome of the lawsuit,’ at any point during the litigation.” Today, in Campbell-Ewald Co. v. Gomez, the Supreme Court held that a defendant’s unaccepted offer to satisfy the claims of a named plaintiff in a putative class-action lawsuit is not sufficient to render the suit moot.

Full story.


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