Eversheds Sutherland 11th Circuit Business Blog
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Eleventh Circuit Affirms Individual’s $41 Million Verdict Against Tobacco Companies

In yet another opinion applying the Florida Supreme Court’s landmark decision in Engle v. Liggett Group, Inc., 945 So. 2d 1246 (Fla. 2006), the Eleventh Circuit affirmed denial of motions for judgment as a matter of law against R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company and Philip Morris USA Inc. in a published opinion upholding multi-million dollar jury verdicts against both defendants. Kerrivan...

Alleged Economic Loss from Purchasing Illegal Dietary Supplements Is Sufficient to Establish Standing

Allegations that plaintiffs suffered an economic loss when they bought dietary supplements prohibited by a federal statute are sufficient to establish standing to bring a class action against the supplement manufacturer and distributor, according to the Eleventh Circuit. In Debernardis v. IQ Formulations, LLC, 2019 WL 5996589 (11th Cir. Nov. 14, 2019), two individual plaintiffs brought...

Bankruptcy Preemption/Preclusion Defense Does Not Preclude Class Certification in FDCPA/FCCPA Case

In an opinion vacating a district court order denying class certification, the Eleventh Circuit held that whether the Bankruptcy Code precludes and/or preempts the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (“FDCPA”), 15 U.S.C. § 1962 et seq., and the Florida Consumer Collection Practices Act (“FCCPA”), Fla. Stat. § 559.55 et seq., raised issues common to all class members.  Sellers v....

Court Revives Claim Challenging Use of “Available Balance” Rather than “Ledger Balance” to Assess Overdraft Fees, Finding Contracts Ambiguous

Carol Tims filed a putative class action against LGE Community Credit Union, claiming that the bank breached its contract with her, and violated the federal Electronic Fund Transfer Act (“EFTA”), when it charged overdraft fees based on Tims’s “available balance”—which took into account pending debits—rather than her “ledger balance,” which did not.  The district court dismissed Tims’s...

Court Upholds Injunction Against FINRA Arbitration of Claims Against Member’s Affiliate

The Eleventh Circuit recently upheld a permanent injunction against arbitration of claims by investors against a FINRA member and its overseas affiliates on the basis that the arbitration did not concern the affiliates’ relevant business activities.  Pictet Overseas, Inc. v. Helvetia Trust, 2018 WL 4560685 (11th Cir. Sept. 24th, 2018). In Pictet, two trusts had opened custodial...

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