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Class Action Roundup – February 24, 2017

Federal Judge Says Government Was Wrong Not to Pay Workers During 2013 Shutdown

U.S. Court of Federal Claims Chief Judge Patricia Campbell-Smith said last week that the government goofed by not paying employees on time for work conducted during the first week of October 2013’s shutdown, FederalNewsRadio.com reports. In her February 13 decision, Campbell-Smith ruled favorably for more than 24,000 class members covered by a class action lawsuit citing Fair Labor Standards Act violations.

At the heart of the lawsuit – besides the FLSA – was the Anti-Deficiency Act (ADA), which keeps the government from spending money when “specific appropriations are not in place.” The plaintiffs in the lawsuit, author Meredith Somers wrote, argued that the FLSA took precedent over the ADA, and that the government was still obligated to pay them for October 1 through October 16, 2013. According to Campbell-Smith, however, the case was more complicated than simply debating which law held firmer than the other.

Want to learn more about the details of the case? Check out Meredith Somers’ extensive write up over at FederalNewsRadio.com.

Unsatisfied Plaintiffs Appeal Dismissal of Subway TCPA Class Action

Plaintiffs involved in a proposed class action against Subway over its alleged practice of sending unwanted text messages plan to appeal a judge’s ruling that dismissed the case and ordered all claims be sent to arbitration. According to a Forbes Legal Newsline report, the lawsuit initially named T-Mobile as a defendant alongside Subway, but two days after the case was filed, plaintiffs removed T-Mobile from the complaint. Forbes writes that the complaint was never amended, and thus all claims against T-Mobile and Subway remained only against Subway. The judge overseeing the suit essentially held that T-Mobile’s arbitration provision applied to Subway because, as one legal expert Forbes spoke to put it, “even though it was a joint promotion, it was sent by, through, and for T-Mobile customers.”

Dive deeper into the litigation with Jireh Gibson’s Legal Newsline piece over at Forbes.com.

Monsanto Facing Legal Action Over Herbicide Drift Farmland Damage

A proposed class action lawsuit reported on by AGWeb.com claims Monsanto is responsible for damage caused by its Xtend seed system and the company’s use of dicamba, a “drift-prone” herbicide that “wiped out hundreds of thousands of acres of farmland” across the U.S. Farmers across 10 states—Alabama, Arkansas, Illinois, Kentucky, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas—allege in the suit that more than 200,000 acres were affected by Monsanto’s conduct, with one attorney for the plaintiffs estimating that several hundred farmers will join the litigation.

Find more details on the case with Sonja Begemann’s post over on AGWeb.com.

CPSC Levies $5.8M Civil Penalty on Keurig Green Mountain for Not Reporting Dangerous Defect

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) announced this week that Keurig Green Mountain, Inc. will shell out a $5.8 million civil fine to settle a lawsuit that claimed the company failed to report a defect in its Keurig MINI Plus Brewing Systems. The settlement does not constitute an admission of guilt to the CPSC’s claims, VermontBiz.com says.

Keurig reportedly received hundreds of complaints of hot water, coffee, and coffee grounds spraying out of its machines, with many consumers claiming they sustained mild to severe burn injuries. The company recalled roughly 6.6 million of its brewers in December 2014.

Check out the CPSC’s statement on the civil penalty on VermontBiz.com.

Oracle Corp. Owes Millions in Stolen Sales Commissions, Class Action Lawsuit Claims

According to a proposed class action complaint filed in California, Oracle Corp. stole millions of dollars in employee commissions when it “retroactively increased sales quotas or decreased commission rates on past sales” so it could pay workers less than what is outlined in their compensation plans.

The plaintiffs allege that after Oracle “re-planned” already paid commissions, the company “clawed back” employees’ payments by withholding new commissions until the workers had reimbursed the company. This was done, the suit claims, in an effort to “align commissions with” Oracle’s financial goals and violated numerous California labor laws:

“Oracle coerces employees into accepting re-plans by threatening that if they fail to accept the new commission plans within 24 hours, they will not be paid pending commissions at all,” the lawsuit alleges.

Read more with Gina Hall’s BizJournals.com article.

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