Eversheds Sutherland 11th Circuit Business Blog
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Eleventh Circuit Affirms Approval of (Almost) All of Equifax Data Breach Settlement

In In re: Equifax, Inc. Customer Data Sec. Breach Litig. (Huang v. Equifax, Inc.), 2021 WL 2250845 (11th Cir. June 3, 2021), the Eleventh Circuit upheld the district court’s approval of a class settlement arising out of the Equifax data breach – except for the incentive awards to the class representatives, as to which the court reversed the district court in light of Johnson v. NPAS...

General Statistical Evidence of “Local Controversy” Held Insufficient for Jurisdiction Under Class Action Fairness Act

Can class-action plaintiffs avoid federal court by relying on general economic studies and  population statistics to prove that their case should be in state court? Not in the Eleventh Circuit. In Smith v. Marcus & Millichap, Inc., 2021 WL 939184 (11th Cir. Mar. 12, 2021), the court held that “studies, surveys, and census data—which do not directly involve the plaintiffs”—are...

Administrative Feasibility Not Separate Class Certification Requirement

The Eleventh Circuit aligned itself last week with the majority of circuits in holding that a threshold determination that identifying class members is administratively feasible is not a separate requirement for class certification. The ruling, in the closely-watched case of Cherry v. Dometic Corp., 2021 WL 346121 (11th Cir. Feb. 2, 2021), which attracted numerous amicus briefs,...

No Heightened Duty Owed to Class Representatives by Class Counsel

Counsel for a proposed class do not owe the named class representatives a heightened fiduciary duty relative to other class members. So held the Eleventh Circuit in Medical & Chiropractic Clinic, Inc. v. Oppenheim, 981 F.3d 983 (11th Cir. 2020), a decision which marked the court’s return to an unseemly controversy stemming from litigation against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers alleging...

End of Engle Cigarette Litigation in Eleventh Circuit?

Judge Kevin Newsom begins his opinion for the court in Harris v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., 2020 WL 6816965 (11th Cir. Nov. 20, 2020), with the auspicious observation that this Engle case is “one of the last that we’re likely to see.” Correct or not, the comment evokes the long history in the Eleventh Circuit of the progeny of the Florida Supreme Court’s landmark decision in Engle v....

Eleventh Circuit Bans Incentive Payments to Lead Plaintiffs in Class Actions

In what appears to be a first, the Eleventh Circuit recently held that federal law prohibits so-called “incentive payments” to class representatives, even as part of an agreed settlement. The court acknowledged that it was forging a new path in Johnson v. NPAS Solutions, LLC, 975 F.3d 1244, 1248–49 (11th Cir. 2020)—identifying errors that it said had “become commonplace in everyday...

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