Eversheds Sutherland 11th Circuit Business Blog
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Restaurant’s Mandatory Service Charge is Not a “Tip” Under FLSA

Tipped employees at Miami’s Nusr-et Steakhouse sued their employer, alleging that the restaurant violated the Fair Labor Standards Act by counting payments to employees from the restaurant’s mandatory 18% “service charge” as part of the employees’ “regular rate of pay,” rather than as tips. The district court rejected the employees’ claim and granted the restaurant’s motion for summary...

Dismissal of Complaint Against Universal Life Insurer Affirmed Under Georgia Law

The Eleventh Circuit affirmed the district court’s order in the defendant insurer’s favor, dismissing the complaint and rejecting a claim that the plaintiff’s universal life policy was ambiguous and thus had to be construed against the insurer, in Anderson v. Wilco Life Insurance Co., 2021 U.S. App. LEXIS 33846 (11th Cir. Nov. 15, 2021). Vanessa Anderson brought a putative class action...

“Pinnacle” Trademark Dispute Offers Lessons in Trademark Trial Procedure

The court vacated a $550,000 jury verdict in a trademark dispute teeming with procedural issues, Pinnacle Advertising & Marketing Group, Inc. v. Pinnacle Advertising & Marketing Group, LLC, 2021 U.S. App. LEXIS 22770 (11th Cir. Aug. 2, 2021), but kept alive the possibility of injunctive relief for the plaintiff on remand.  The case is a primer on the intersection of judge...

Public Accommodations Under ADA Limited to Actual, Physical Places, with Website Accessibility Claims Permitted Only for Intangible Barriers to Access

The fact that a website was incompatible with screen-reader software for visually impaired users was held insufficient (without more) to state a claim for public-accommodation discrimination under Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act, in Gil v. Winn-Dixie Stores. Inc., 2021 WL 1289906 (11th Cir. Apr. 7, 2021). The Eleventh Circuit held in a majority opinion by Judge Lisa...

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...

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