There were several more settlements in the class action arena last month. Due to space limitations, however, I will only give a very brief summary of each settlement.
NATIONSTAR WILL PAY $76 MILLION TO SETTLE COLLUSION CLASS ACTION
A Florida federal judge has approved a $76 million settlement to end a class action accusing Nationstar Mortgage of colluding with force-placed insurance providers to make lucrative profits. Borrowers who filed the suit asked Magistrate Judge Jonathan Goodman to give final approval to a $54 million settlement of their class action, but the judge noted in the order last month that class counsel explained during the final fairness hearing, held in July that they now view the settlement as providing the potential of $76 million, plus the value of injunctive relief. The settlement will resolve claims by more than 380,000 borrowers who had mortgage loans with Nationstar Mortgage LLC and alleged they were overcharged for hazard, flood or wind coverage issued by Assurant Inc. or its subsidiaries between Jan. 1, 2008, and Jan. 30, 2015.
HSBC BANK PAYS $30 MILLION TO SETTLE CLASS ACTION LAWSUIT
A New York state judge gave preliminary approval last month to a $30 million settlement in a class action accusing HSBC Bank USA NA of charging unfair overdraft fees. New York Supreme Court Justice Eileen Bransten agreed to let the settlement proceed and gave initial certification to the class in an action alleging that HSBC rearranged the order of transactions in client accounts so that higher transactions came in first, increasing the number of overdraft fees charged.
NOVANT HEALTH TO PAY $32 MILLION TO SETTLE ERISA FEES LAWSUIT
Novant Health has agreed to pay $32 million to settle with a proposed class of employees who say the company wrongfully spent some of their retirement funds by paying millions of dollars in excessive administrative fees. The Plaintiffs, led by six current and former employees, agreed to dismiss their claims that Novant Health Inc. and its administrative and retirement plan committees had breached their duties under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act and shortchanged workers by paying millions of dollars in record-keeping and administrative services fees without even shopping around to see if the third-party vendors were charging them a fair price. The settlement calls for Novant to pay the funds in distributions directly into employees’ tax-deferred retirement accounts or, for those who have left the plan, in a check made out to the individual workers, according to court documents.
JC PENNEY TO PAY $50 MILLION TO SETTLE FALSE DISCOUNT CLAIMS
J.C. Penney Corp. has agreed to pay $50 million to settle a class action accusing the retailer of tricking customers into believing they were getting larger discounts on apparel than they actually were. It was clamed that the retailer advertised false “original” prices on sale merchandise to make it look like customers were getting discounts on items.
DIRECT PURCHASERS SETTLE OPTICAL DRIVE MDL FOR $37 MILLION
A class of direct purchasers has reached a $37 million settlement in a price-fixing lawsuit. This ends one part of an action accusing multiple electronics makers, including Sony Corp., Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. and Koninklijke Philips Electronics NV, of price-fixing optical disc drives. A total of seven defendant corporations — which also includes BenQ Corp., Pioneer Electronics Inc., Quanta Storage Inc., and TEAC Corp. — have agreed to pay a total of $37 million to settle claims that they conspired to fix prices on optical disc drives, products that read or write data on CDs, DVDs and Blu-rays and are found in computers, video game consoles and other devices.
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