CALIFORNIA CLASS ACTION LAW

MDL Panel Centralizes Facebook Internet Tracking Litigation

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Plaintiffs in the Northern District of California moved to centralize litigation consisting of eleven actions pending in ten districts in the Northern District of California.  In Re Facebook Internet Tracking Litigation, — F.Supp.2d —-, 2012 WL 432607 (U.S. Jud. Pan. Mult. Lit. Feb. 8, 2012).  The MDL Panel transferred ten actions to the Northern District of California and, assigned to the Judge Edward J. Davila for coordinated or consolidated pretrial proceedings.  Id.

 

Background

No party opposed centralization.  Id.  The Panel found that six actions shared factual allegations that “Facebook improperly tracked users’ internet activity after users had logged out of their Facebook accounts.” Id. Plaintiffs in all actions brought claims under the federal Wiretap Act, 18 U.S.C. section 2511. Additional claims include violation of the Stored Electronic Communications Act, 18 U.S.C. section 2701, the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, 18 U.S.C. section 1030, as well as common law claims for intrusion upon seclusion/invasion of privacy, unjust enrichment, and trespass to chattels.  Id.

The Panel concluded that “Centralization will eliminate duplicative discovery; prevent inconsistent pretrial rulings, including with respect to class certification; and conserve the resources of the parties, their counsel, and the judiciary.”  Id.

Judges

Before John G. Heyburn II, Chairman, Kathryn H. Vratil, Barbara S. Jones, Paul J. Barbadoro, Marjorie O. Rendell, and Charles R. Breyer.

By CHARLES JUNG

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MDL Panel Centralizes Horizon Organic Milk Plus DHA Omega 3 Marketing and Sales Practices Litigation in the Southern District of Florida

Horizon organic milk

Horizon organic milk (Photo credit: Nicole Lee)

Defendants Dean Foods Co. and WhiteWave Foods Co. sought centralization of five actions based in Arkansas, California, Illinois and Florida.  Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. s 1407, the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation transferred the cases to the Southern District of Florida and assigned them to Hon. Joan A. Lenard for centralized pretrial proceedings.  In re Horizon Organic Milk Plus DHA Omega 3 Marketing And Sales Practices Litigation, — F.Supp.2d —-, 2012 WL 432621, MDL No. 2324 (U.S. Jud. Pan. Mult. Lit. Feb. 9, 2012).

Background

No party opposed centralization.  Plaintiffs in the Western District of Arkansas, Middle District of Florida and Southern District of Florida actions supported centralization in the Southern District of Florida.  Plaintiffs in the Southern District of California and the Northern District of Illinois actions supported centralization in the Northern District of Illinois.

The MDL Panel found that the actions shared factual questions arising out of allegations that defendants’ representations regarding certain milk products fortified with DHA Omega-3 FN1 under the brand name “Horizon Organic Milk” FN2 were misleading insofar as they claimed that the milk supports “brain health” in children and adults.

The Panel decided to order centralization in the Southern District of Florida because several plaintiffs supported centralization there, and that district “is presiding over fewer MDL dockets than other proposed districts.” Id.

Judges

Before John G. Heyburn, II, Chairman, Barbara S. Jones, Paul J. Barbadoro, Marjorie O. Rendell, Charles R. Breyer.

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