MDLs Established for Contact Lens and Lenova Adware Litigation, But Not California Wine Lawsuits
Following oral arguments presented last month, the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) has decided to centralize pretrial proceedings for lawsuits involving problems with certain disposable contact lenses, as well as complaints filed over adware installed on certain Lenovo laptop computers. However, the panel rejected a request to establish a similar multidistriction litigation (MDL) for class action lawsuits over arsenic levels in California wines.
On June 5, the U.S. JPML issued an order denying transfer (PDF) for two California wine arsenic lawsuits pending before one judge in the Middle District of Louisiana, indicating that the creation of a California wine MDL would not serve the convenience of parties, witnesses or the court.
The complaints have been filed against companies like Arrow Creek, Beringer, Charles Shaw, Franzia, Sutter Home and others, alleging that consumers were exposed to wine with arsenic levels that exceed California limits by as much as 500%.
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In 2013, the Wine Institute estimated that 215 million cases of California wine were shipped within the United States alone, representing more than 2.5 billion bottles with an estimated retail value of $23.1 billion. However, the U.S. JPML noted that there were only two filed actions, and that both the defendants and some of the counsel in both cases were the same, determining that official consolidation was unnecessary.
Lenovo Adware Lawsuits Consolidated
In a transfer order (PDF) on June 8, the U.S. JPML agreed to centralize all Lenovo adware lawsuiits in the Northern District of California, resulting in the transfer of at least three pending class action cases, as well as any future complaints filed in the coming months or years.
All of the complaints involve similar allegations, indicating that some Lenovo laptops were sold with harmful adware software, known as Superfish Visual Discovery.
Lenova had agreed that centralization of the cases was appropriate, and the main issue before the U.S. JPML was determining where the cases should be consolidated. The court noted that most plaintiffs, Lenovo and Superfish all supported consolidation in California and Superfish is headquartered there.
Disposable Contact Lens Litigation Centralized
The JMPL also filed a transfer order (PDF) on June 8 centralizing a number of class action lawsuits against disposable contact lens manufacturers and distributors for alleged price-fixing.
No parties opposed the consolidation and the panel decided that the contact lens lawsuits should be centralized in the Middle District of Florida.
The antitrust lawsuits accuse Bausch & Lomb, Inc., Johnson & Johnson, Vision Care, Inc. Coopervision, Inc., Alcon Laboratories, Inc. and Abb Optical Group of creating an illegal “price floor policy” that prevents retailers from selling contact lenses below a certain price.
The class actions claim that the companies, which control 97% of the contact lens market, have threatened retailers that they will cease to supply them with lenses if they sell below their price floor policy (PFP).
According to the complaints, the PFP was initiated in June 2013, eliminating benefits consumers saw from price competition among contact lens retailers. The lawsuits claim this is stifling price competition between independent eye care professional retailers and discount retailers such as Wal-Mart, Costco and 1-800 CONTACTS.
shahbazJune 10, 2019 at 4:30 am
Meds for acid reflux for more years than I can remember. I have memory problems, severe leg pain, 2 colon Test years apart that came back with pre-cancer polyps 2 removed on each test done, blood clot removed from bowels, kidneys always shows blood in urinalysis, pain in all joints, hernia, arthritis in neck, back, hands. Carpel Tunnel in hands. Feet burn and hurt so bad I have a hard time getting[Show More]Meds for acid reflux for more years than I can remember. I have memory problems, severe leg pain, 2 colon Test years apart that came back with pre-cancer polyps 2 removed on each test done, blood clot removed from bowels, kidneys always shows blood in urinalysis, pain in all joints, hernia, arthritis in neck, back, hands. Carpel Tunnel in hands. Feet burn and hurt so bad I have a hard time getting started in the AM hours. Could some of this be from taking this drug? I would like to be added to this claim.
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