Class action lawsuits are appropriate when a large number of people have been harmed by the action or conduct of an individual or a company. A class (or collective) action allows the entire group of victims to sue the wrongdoer for the same type of damages so that all members of the class can receive compensation for their injuries. Trief & Olk has represented plaintiffs in various types of class actions, including:
- Claims on behalf of consumers who believe they were defrauded or harmed when they purchased a product or service; and
- Claims on behalf of employees who believe they were deprived of wages they were entitled to receive.
CONSUMER CLASS ACTIONS
The consumer class action lawyers at Trief & Olk have pursued class action lawsuits against large companies based on consumer fraud and deception. Some examples include:
- Litigation against dozens of the country’s largest banks concerning deceptive overdraft fee practices, whereby an accounting scheme forced millions of consumers to incur excessive overdraft fees. Trief & Olk serves on the plaintiffs’ executive committee in the nationwide litigation and co-led the action against Citizens Financial Group, a unit of the Royal Bank of Scotland, resulting in the second largest bank overdraft settlement to date; $137.5 million. Learn more at our overdraft fee page.
- Multi-district litigation against Bank of America arising out of the same overdraft fee scheme resulting in a settlement of $410 million.
- A $110 million settlement against JPMorgan Chase for obtaining fraudulent overdraft fees from consumers. As part of the settlement, the bank also agreed not to charge overdraft fees on transactions of $5 or less.
- A lawsuit against one of the largest owners of shopping malls in the country. The mall sold gift cards to consumers without informing them that if the card was not used for seven months after being issued, the mall would apply a monthly “administrative fee” to the gift card’s balance until the balance was zero. Although a lower court dismissed the class action on the grounds that it was preempted under federal law, Trief & Olk successfully had the action reinstated on appeal. Thereafter, the case was successfully resolved.
- A $9.7 million settlement in litigation against a large phone card company that deducted minutes from its phone cards at higher rates than what was expressly stated on the cards.
- An action against a vocational school for its failure to provide the educational training promised. The vocational school filed bankruptcy after class certification was obtained.
- A case against a wireless cell phone company resulting in $49 million settlement related to its refusal to allow cancellation during the billing month after the contract period expired.
If you believe that you were harmed or defrauded when you purchased a consumer product or service and that there may be a large number of other people who have been deceived in the same way, feel free to contact us for a consultation. Our experienced attorneys will investigate your claim to determine if it justifies a class action lawsuit.
EMPLOYMENT CLASS ACTIONS
The employment attorneys at Trief & Olk have brought class and collective action lawsuits against numerous employers for depriving their employees of wages, including:
- Trief & Olk represented plaintiffs in a class action brought against Dispensing Dynamics International and staffing agencies whose employees worked at Dispensing Dynamics International’s California facility, including Staffing Network Holdings, LLC, Cornerstone Staffing Solutions, Inc., Dream Team Services, Inc., Aerotek Inc., Manufacturing Pros, LLC, and Priority Business Services, alleging violations of California’s state laws regarding mandatory meal and rest breaks. This matter, captioned Janet Williams v. Dispensing Dynamics International and Staffing Network LLC, Case No. BC 580335, was brought in 2015 in Los Angeles Superior Court in the State of California, and settled for $4 million, with payments benefiting approximately 3,400 class members.
- A collective action against the world’s largest full-service restaurant group, Darden Restaurants, whose chains include Red Lobster, Olive Garden, Longhorn Steakhouse, Bahama Breeze, and Seasons 52. The lawsuit alleged violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), specifically off-the-clock work, inappropriate payment of the sub-minimum tip credit wage, and unpaid overtime. Thousands of claims are currently proceeding through the American Arbitration Association (“AAA”) on behalf of servers and bartenders employed at Darden Restaurants. Compensation for some of the claims has already been paid. For more information, see http://dardenlawsuit.com/.
- A collective action filed against Carrabba’s, a subsidiary of Bloomin’ Brands, Inc. (the corporate parent of Outback Steakhouse, as well as Carrabba’s), alleging violations of the FLSA for failure to pay for time spent at home performing on-line training and inappropriate payment of the sub-minimum tip credit wage. For more information, see http://www.carrabbasclassaction.com.
- Collective actions against franchise owned Buffalo Wild Wings were recently settled by Trief & Olk for the full value of our clients’ damages. The lawsuits alleged that franchised owned Buffalo Wild Wings restaurants throughout the tristate area were violating the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) and New York Labor Law (“NYLL”) by routinely requiring tipped-employees to perform non-tipped tasks in excess of 20% of their time, and to perform kitchen duties completely unrelated to their tipped occupation.
If you believe that your employer has wrongfully deprived you of wages feel free to contact Trief & Olk for a consultation. Our experienced attorneys will investigate your claim to determine if it justifies a class action lawsuit. For further information regarding the type of employer misconduct our cases address, please go to our Employment Litigation page.