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Class Action Roundup – April 10, 2017

LA Times Piece Informs Consumers How to Claim Part of $110 Million Wells Fargo Settlement

On the last day of March, the Los Angeles Times published an informative piece on how consumers can claim a part of the still-to-be-approved $110 million settlement.

What do you have to do to claim your part of the settlement? Well, before we get ahead of ourselves, it’s important to remember that as with all settlements in class action litigation, the deal must be given final approval by the judge overseeing the lawsuit. Once the deal is given the OK, a settlement plan—in which the criteria for inclusion in the class will be explained—will be submitted by Wells Fargo and the attorneys who filed the lawsuit.

According to the LA Times, the disgraced bank has identified around 2.1 million accounts that may have been opened without permission, and to date has paid out refunds for approximately 130,000 of those accounts.

All in all, though it seems very likely that an approved, on-the-books settlement is imminent, we’re not quite at the finish line just yet.

Los Angeles Times writer James Rufus Koren has the latest details.

Federal Judge Wraps Up Unpaid Overtime Class Action in Chipotle’s Favor

Chipotle Mexican Grill’s wish to toss a proposed class action over claims that it failed to pay overtime wages to manager trainees in six states has been granted by a Manhattan federal judge. According to a Reuter’s report published last Thursday by CNBC, the sticking point that swayed U.S. District Judge Andrew Carter was the plaintiffs’ counsel’s inability to prove each potential class member should have been eligible for overtime pay. The lawsuit alleged that although proposed class members had purportedly managerial job titles, they were required to perform “basic tasks” akin to the work done by non-managerial, hourly workers.

CNBC’s re-published report notes that although the dismissal is a small victory for Chipotle, the company is still staring down a much larger case filed in 2014 in Colorado claiming roughly 10,000 employees were required to work off the clock without pay.

CNBC.com has more on the ruling.

Report: San Diego Judge Gives Nod to $25 Million Trump University Settlement

Florida Today reports a judge has given approval to a $25 million settlement that will end nearly seven years of litigation involving President Donald Trump’s shuttered Trump University. The ruling, which was stamped by San Diego District Judge Gonzalo Curiel, marks the end of two class action cases and one civil suit filed in New York.

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said the agreement will provide relief and closure to individuals who “waited years for compensation while President Trump refused to settle” the litigation.

Until recently, concerns persisted that a Florida litigant’s objection to the settlement could wipe out the progress long-sought by thousands of former Trump University students, who claimed the “seminars” offered by Trump U were “more like infomercials, pressuring customers to spend more,” Florida Today writes. The settlement objector’s motives reportedly stemmed from a pursuit of treble damages, as well as the possible filing of an individual lawsuit against Trump separate from the class action.

Writers Doug Stanglin and Neck Penzenstadler have all you need to know over at FloridaToday.com.

Disability Rights Groups’ Lawsuit: San Fran’s BART Conditions Violate Civil Rights

Senior and Disability Action and the Independent Living Resource Center of San Francisco are behind a proposed class action over the apparently unsanitary condition of the city’s Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) system. MercuryNews.com reports the action claims BART’s “filthy, urine-soaked and feces-ridden” elevators, specifically, are prone to frequent break downs, just one of the issues the groups allege amount to violations of passengers’ civil rights.

The lawsuit summarily alleges BART’s shortcomings—which reportedly range from failing to maintain sanitary conditions in its elevators, to “communication lapses,” to a lack of having an emergency plan for individuals in wheelchairs—violate both state and federal laws.

As MercuryNews.com writer Erin Baldassari puts it, BART officials don’t necessarily disagree with the suit’s allegations:

“We share in their endeavor to ensure accessible public services, and understand as both users and operators of the system the hardships that can occur within and around stations,” BART officials said in a statement.

Learn more about the allegations here.

Privacy Class Action Against Instagram, Twitter, Others Yields $5.3 Million Settlement

Eight social media heavyweights—Instagram, Foursquare, Kik, Gowalla, Footspotting, Yelp, Twitter and Path—have agreed to pay a proposed $5.3 million settlement to resolve claims that the “Find Friends” feature in the companies’ apps violated users’ privacy. Fortune writes the $5.3 million deal will begin to be distributed to consumers via Amazon.com credits or by check later this year. When the settlement gets a judge’s final approval, Apple and LinkedIn will be the only two of the original 18 defendants still fighting the lawsuit.

The “Find Friends” feature reportedly allows users to discover if people in their contacts are using a particular app. The case claimed that the app makers unlawfully failed to inform users that the “Find Friends” feature transfers individual contact lists to the companies’ servers.

Writer Jeff John Roberts has more over at Fortune.com.

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