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For many hundreds of years since old English common law, a public nuisance cause of action allowed the government to stop, quite literally, a public nuisance that threatened the welfare of a community. The most common public nuisance cause of action involved real property—for example, pollution of the air, water, or land. But public nuisance causes of action also have involved other threats to the welfare of a community, such as storing fireworks or explosives,…

It appears that courts have found a way to try to keep class actions alive even where traditional damages claims do not satisfy the stringent standard for class certification. Specifically, recent California federal court decisions in class action litigation reflect a seeming willingness to certify classes for purposes of injunctive relief when damages claims do not qualify for class treatment. While it used to be that a defendant could escape financial exposure by showing that…

Once a darling of the class action plaintiffs’ bar, food labeling class actions are becoming tough nuts to crack for plaintiffs in US District Courts. Recent decisions demonstrate a progressive unwillingness on the part of federal courts to accept arguments that consumers can be misled by food products’ labels where the ingredient list on packaging expressly discloses information to the consumer about what is in the product. The courts are also more and more unwilling…

UNITED STATES – In a 5-4 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court recently held that classwide arbitration must be explicitly called for in an arbitration agreement to be enforceable. Specifically, the Court held that ambiguity as to whether the parties agreed to arbitration on a classwide basis cannot provide a “contractual basis” sufficient to compel class arbitration. Plaintiff Frank Varela filed the underlying lawsuit against his employer, Lamps Plus Inc., after a hacker gained access to…