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  Class Action - Legal News


The Supreme Court has agreed to review the settlement of a class action lawsuit involving Google, where the settlement agreement largely directed money to organizations rather than search engine users.

The court agreed Monday to take the case. The lawsuit involves Google users who sued saying Google violated privacy rights by disclosing to websites the search terms users entered to get there.

Google agreed to an $8.5 million settlement. Attorneys were awarded about $2 million. Most of the remaining money was allocated to six groups that agreed to use the money to promote privacy protection on the internet. The groups included AARP, Carnegie Mellon University and centers associated with Harvard, the Illinois Institute of Technology and Stanford.




A South Korean court sentenced the former head of Oxy Reckitt Benckiser to seven years in prison Friday after the company's disinfectant for humidifiers killed scores of people and left hundreds with permanent lung damage.

The Seoul Central District Court ruled that Shin Hyun-woo, Oxy chief from 1991-2005, was guilty of accidental homicide and falsely advertising the deadly product as being safe even for children. Seven years is the maximum prison term the court could issue.

Choi Chang-young, chief judge of the case, said the disaster could have been prevented if Shin and others in the company, a subsidiary of British consumer goods company Reckitt Benckiser Group Plc, had tried to ensure the chemicals' safety.



The Supreme Court won't hear an appeal from Google over a class action lawsuit filed by advertisers who claim the internet company displayed their ads on "low quality" web sites.
 
The justices on Monday let stand a lower court ruling that said the lawsuit representing hundreds of thousands of advertisers using Google's AdWords program could go forward.

Google argued that a federal appeals court in San Francisco should not have approved the class action because damages must be calculated individually for each company advertiser. The appeals court rejected that argument and approved use of a formula that would calculate harm based on the average advertiser's experience.

Google runs what is by far the world's largest digital ad network. It generated $67 billion in revenue last year.



A state appeals court approved class action status on Monday for thousands of motorists fined for speeding in a southwest Ohio village with citations issued from automatic camera enforcement.

The 12th district appeals court ruling comes as New Miami's police have just launched use of hand-held speed cameras meant to comply with state legislation.

Attorneys for the drivers plan to ask a judge to order New Miami to pay back more than $1 million collected in the less than two years the cameras operated in the village of some 2,200 people. A Butler County judge ruled in 2014 that they violated motorists' rights to due process and ordered them shut off.


Kansas Constitution protects abortion rights

  Class Action  -   POSTED: 2016/01/23 16:50

The Kansas Court of Appeals refused Friday to implement the state's first-in-the-nation ban on a common second-trimester abortion method, ruling in a split but groundbreaking decision that the conservative state's constitution protects abortion rights independently from the U.S. Constitution.

The 7-7 ruling — released on the anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court's Roe v. Wade decision — could be used by abortion rights supporters to challenge other state laws restricting abortion. If the decision is upheld, it would allow state courts to protect a woman's right to end her pregnancy beyond federal court rulings.

Tie votes uphold the ruling being appealed, meaning Friday's ruling sides with a Shawnee County judge who put the 2015 law on hold while he considers a lawsuit challenging the ban. The lawsuit has yet to go to trial, but the judge said the Kansas Constitution's general language about personal liberties extends to abortion rights — which the appeals court also supported, indicating how it may rule if it gets the full case.

"The rights of Kansas women in 2016 are not limited to those specifically intended by the men who drafted our state's constitution in 1859," Judge Steve Leben wrote on behalf of the seven judges who sided with the lower court.

The state will appeal to the Kansas Supreme Court, Attorney General Derek Schmidt said, adding that the split decision offered little clarity on the constitutional questions.




Marion "Suge" Knight is scheduled to return to court Tuesday morning for a hearing in which prosecutors will lay out some of their evidence to support a robbery case filed against the former rap music mogul.

Knight's lawyers have requested a delay in the hearing, but Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Ronald Coen has previously told them he intends to proceed with the hearing.

Knight is charged with robbery after a celebrity photographer accused him and comedian Katt Williams of taking her camera in Beverly Hills in September. The incident occurred days after the 50-year-old Knight was wounded in a nightclub shooting.

The Death Row Records co-founder is also charged in a separate murder case. He has pleaded not guilty to all charges. Williams has also pleaded not guilty.


The Illinois Supreme Court has heard oral arguments about whether to let a $10 billion class-action verdict against a major cigarette maker stand.

Former Illinois Gov. Jim Thompson and another Phillip Morris lawyer asked the court Tuesday to strike that verdict.

The verdict that Phillip Morris fraudulently marketed "light" and "low-tar" cigarettes as safer than others came in 2003. The state's high court subsequently threw it out. But an appellate court last year reinstated the 12-year-old verdict.

The core dispute is whether regulators allowed cigarette makers to label cigarettes "light" and "low-tar."

Phillip Morris attorneys argued they were given permission to label cigarettes that way. But a plaintiff attorney said regulators didn't OK that labeling practice and so Phillip Morris engaged in a "massive fraud" by do so.


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