We have a longer one for you this time, so let’s get right into the latest headlines in class action news.
MoviePass Adds Class Action Lawsuit to its Long List of Troubles
MoviePass’ parent company Helios and Matheson (HMNY) is facing a proposed class action brought by the company’s shareholders. According to the lawsuit, the MoviePass business model was flawed from the beginning and could never realistically be sustained.
We knew things weren’t looking good for MoviePass when they went back on their initial policy of allowing subscribers to get one movie a day in favor of only three per month at the same price point. Now, investors claim they were “misled and lied to” about MoviePass’s general outlook, with it becoming more and more obvious that the company may inevitably run out of money.
It’s safe to say that with this class action being filed, things don’t look good for the ambitious ticketing service. And, as movie-lovers ourselves, we can only imagine how MoviePass subscribers must feel. It did, in fact, seem too good to be true.
For more on the case, head over to ComicBook.com.
Brad Pitt’s Make It Right Foundation Sued Over Allegedly Defective Homes
The Make It Right foundation is a housing charity that actor Brad Pitt founded during the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Unfortunately, a newly filed class action is claiming that the foundation’s generous ventures were poorly executed.
According to the lawsuit, many of the homes built in New Orleans’ Lower Ninth Ward suffered serious structural problems and mechanical system failures, including leaky roofs and mold growth. Worse, the suit claims Make It Right was aware of the supposed defects, yet did nothing to notify homeowners.
The attorney who filed the case said that the charity’s recipients were thankful for having somewhere to live after their homes were claimed by Katrina, but that they houses they were sold were “defectively and improperly constructed.”
For more on the story, check out The Architect’s Newspaper.
CBS Sued for Failing to Disclose CEO’s Sexual Harassment Allegations
CBS shareholders aren’t pleased that they were kept in the dark when it came to the sexual harassment allegations against former chairman-CEO Leslie Moonves – as evidenced by a newly filed lawsuit. Back in August, Moonves was accused by six women of making unwanted sexual advances and retaliating against them professionally when his advances were refused. (He has since stepped down as CEO.)
The lawsuit claims that CBS shareholders were harmed by the alleged incidents (stock prices do tend to drop when something like this comes up) and that CBS made a material omission by failing to disclose the allegations brought against Moonves. The case is also looking to hit CBS for supposedly failing to uphold a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to sexual harassment.
Variety has the rest of the story here.
General Mills Faces Ramifications of Monsanto Verdict
There’s one thing to be sure of – it was only a matter of time before heavyweights in the food industry began to feel the ripple effect of the Monsanto verdict. Back in August, Monsanto was ordered to pay $289 million to a man who claimed his cancer was caused by the company’s glyphosate-based herbicides – and now, some are concerned about food treated with this same type of chemical. General Mills is the first to feel the extent of this worry, as it is now facing legal action that challenges the quality and safety of its products.
Six days after the Monsanto verdict, a lawsuit was filed in Florida claiming that General Mills had an obligation to disclose the presence of glyphosate residues in its Cheerios products – yet failed to adhere to this obligation. The suit, which was covered by Food Navigator-USA, argues that even trace amounts of glyphosate can be harmful and, according to the International Agency for Research on Cancer, “probably carcinogenic.”
This lawsuit could be the start of a new trend – before the Monsanto verdict, lawsuits targeted the “all-natural” claims made by companies that used similar herbicides. To our knowledge, this is one of the first to take issue with the potential health ramifications of herbicide-treated food.
Relatedly, General Mills has agreed to settle a separate class action suit by changing the labeling of its Nature Valley granola bars to no longer advertise that the oats they use are 100 percent natural. While this case was filed before the Monsanto verdict, it wasn’t long after the trial that General Mills decided to settle. You can find the whole story over at Reuters.
Uber Agrees to Settlements Over Wage, Harassment Claims
Uber is on the verge of wrapping up two class actions attacking different alleged flaws in the company’s corporate culture.
If approved, the first settlement will pay out $345,622 to drivers who were allegedly underpaid as a result of how Uber calculates wages. According to the suit, which was filed in February 2017, drivers are supposed to be paid 80 percent of a fare – but Uber has reportedly failed to pay the full amount per ride. Ars Technica writes that around 4,500 Uber drivers may be covered by the settlement.
The second settlement was announced several months ago, but we haven’t had much in the way of details until now. While still awaiting final approval, the settlement will put an end to a class action filed over harassment and discrimination claims. If the deal is approved as it currently stands, $10 million will be split among more than 500 workers who claim they were discriminated against because of their gender, race or national origin. A hearing on final approval of the settlement is scheduled for November 6.
Full coverage can be found over on NPR.
Nike Faces Gender Discrimination Lawsuit
Four women who worked in Nike’s corporate headquarters have filed a proposed class action claiming that the sports apparel company discriminates against women when it comes to how much they’re paid. The lawsuit cites alleged violations of the Equal Pay Act and claims that women at Nike are paid less for doing the same job as their male counterparts. As Vox points out, the lawsuit is the first crack by former female employees at hitting Nike where it hurts since an April 2018 New York Times report shed light on the allegedly “abusive and demeaning” workplace culture at the company.
Equally as serious, the suit further claims that Nike systematically ignores sexual harassment complaints. Since the allegations have come to light, nearly a dozen top executives have left the company, and Nike’s CEO announced sweeping policy changes regarding hiring and compensation. The lawsuit acknowledges these changes, but wants them to take place under the supervision of a monitor appointed by the court.
Vox has an article covering the finer points of the lawsuit, which you can find here.
Anthem Data Breach Settlement Granted Final Approval for $115 Million
The class action settlement over the Anthem data breach – which, in 2015, exposed the personal information of 79 million people – has been granted final approval.
According to the terms of the settlement, Anthem will be required to improve its information security practices, as well as provide victims a minimum of two years of credit monitoring and reimbursements for costs related to the breach. The plaintiffs’ lawyers claim the $115 million agreement is the largest ever for a data breach.
Health IT Security has more information on the case here.