Category: News

Order Granting Class Certification – Banks v R.C. Bigelow, Inc

See below for links to the Order Granting Class Certification, Denying Motions to Strike in Banks v R.C. Bigelow, Inc, and the Class Notice in Banks v R.C. Bigelow, Inc.

California Court of Appeal Rejects Gilead Sciences Claim that It Is Immune From Suits For Its Decision to Withhold A Safer Drug To Treat HIV In TDF Litigation

On Tuesday, January 9, 2024, in a unanimous decision, the First District Court of Appeal of California made clear that drug manufacturers like Gilead cannot escape liability for alleged negligent decision-making – in this instance Gilead’s decision to withhold the safer HIV anti-viral drug (TAF) in order to maximize profits.

Schneider Wallace Adds A New Partner: James Bloom

Schneider Wallace Cottrell Konecky LLP, a national plaintiff side law firm, is pleased to announce the promotion of James Bloom to a partner at the firm. Mr. Bloom practices as a member of the firm’s consumer rights team, primarily representing plaintiffs, consumers and employees in class action and consumer cases. Mr. Bloom practices at the Emeryville firm headquarters in the Bay Area, California. 

Mr. Bloom has represented the trustees, fiduciaries and participants of ERISA covered plans, including defined contribution plans, 401(k) plans, pension plans, employee stock ownership plans (ESOPs) and welfare plans in a wide variety of ERISA claims related to the plan management, fees and benefits. Mr. Bloom has also represented clients ranging from businesses like banks and hedge funds to employees, shareholders, consumers and property owners as plaintiffs and defendants in commercial cases of many kinds, including securities, bankruptcy, real estate, corporate and contractual disputes.

California Labor Laws – Upcoming 2024 Changes

Starting January 1st, 2024 California employers will be required to offer increased sick hours, increase availability of sick pay to newer workers, allow additional roll-over or carry over of hours, and allow a higher cap on total sick time accrued. The new rules are contained in SB 616, signed into law on October 4th, 2023.

Two laws, SB 699 and AB 1076, amend existing California law limiting the enforcement of non-compete agreements and non-compete clauses. California employment law has maintained a dim view of non-compete agreements, and the new laws further cement this position. 

SB 848 adds a new type of protected leave after a California workers experiences a loss of pregnancy or other reproductive loss event.  The law allows for up to 5 days of leave for events covered under the new law. 

Binance and CEO Plead Guilty to Federal Charges, Agree to Pay $4.3 Billion

Binance Holdings Limited, the company that operates, pleaded guilty to multiple violations of the Bank Secrecy Act and agreed to pay a total of $4.3 billion in penalties. The settlement is to resolve ongoing investigations regarding allegations Binance failed to register as a money transmitting business and for violations of the Bank Secrecy Act and International Emergency Economic Powers Act.

False Claims Act and State Tax Liability – New York Adds False Claims for Failure to File

New York Governor Kathy Hochul signed legislation that broadened the scope of the New York False Claims Act (NYFCA). This expansion targets entities that fail to file tax returns in New York state. This is different from the federal False Claims Act, and most False Claims Acts in other states, where tax-based claims are excluded. It also separates New York from States that allow tax-related claims, but only for false claims within submitted documents. States maintaining tax-related False Claim Act matters include Illinois, Indiana, the District of Columbia and New York. 

Ninth Circuit Reverses AT&T ERISA Summary Judgement

On August 4th, 2023, the Ninth Circuit reversed a district court summary judgement in favor of the defendant AT&T Benefit Plan Investment Committee (AT&T), regarding a class action alleging Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) violations from prohibited fees. The Plaintiffs are being represented by Schneider Wallace Cottrell Konecky LLP.

California Labor Department – Wage Theft Claims and Judgments – 3rd Quarter 2023

The California Department of Industrial Relations maintains a database of wage theft claims presented to the office by employees, and wage claim judgments against individuals and corporations. We have reviewed this database for judgments from July 1st through September 30th, the third quarter of 2023. California reported 678 judgments for the 3rd quarter of 2023, data as of September 14th, 2023. The total value of all judgments was $19,124,997. 

The Cost of a Serious Injury

Serious injuries bring more than immediate physical and emotional distress, they also lead to financial challenges that can last a lifetime. The initial impact is felt through substantial medical bills for immediate treatment and ongoing healthcare needs, often compounded by the loss of income if the injured individual is unable to return to work for an extended period, if at all. The situation becomes even more challenging when considering long-term implications such as the need for rehabilitation, home modifications, and continuous medical care. Non-economic costs like emotional and psychological support further add to financial burdens. The injured person and their family might require counseling and other mental health services to cope with the trauma and temporary or permanent changes to their life and lifestyle. For families, this scenario creates a pressing need to secure financial stability, not just for the immediate expenses but also for unforeseen costs that will arise over time. 

Caltrans and Municipal Transportation Agency – Injury Liability

California is the largest state in the country by population, and has an equally large and diverse set of transportation infrastructure. Given their vast responsibility, each year there are numerous lawsuits regarding failures of Caltrans or local MTAs to adhere to their own guidelines, local law, or state law regarding the maintenance and operation of shared infrastructure. While data on total Caltrans settlements and verdicts is not readily publicly available, the California State Controller maintains a list of MTA budgets including their total yearly expenses for “Casualty and Liability Expenses” (lawsuits and injuries). Across two fiscal years, 2021 and 2022, the state MTAs collectively had total casualty and liability expenses of $436,275,000.