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Starbucks Background Check FCRA Class Action Lawsuit


A class action lawsuit has been filed against Starbucks by a Georgian mans Named Kevin Willis. The plaintiff claims Starbucks did not properly handle its responsibilities under the Fair Credit Reporting Act. The man had applied for employment but was denied due to issues found during his background check. It turns out that the report was about a different man with a similar name in a different state.

Starbucks allegedly failed to supply Mr. Willis with a copy of the report, thereby denying him his right to refute and correct the inaccuracies. This suit could have wider implications for other applicants who were not hired based on potentially inaccurate background checks.

The suit claims that a background check constitutes a consumer report which would be regulated under the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act. The FCRA gives specific guidelines for how consumer reports are to be used for employment purposes. One of these requirements is that potential employees are entitled to a copy of the report.

These requirements are specifically meant to give applicants a chance to explain their contents in cases just like this.

Willis had applied for the job at Starbucks in Buford, Georgia in September of 2015. Starbucks requests their background checks from Accurate Background Inc. When Willis informed the hiring manager of the mistake, he was told to speak with Accurate Background Inc.

Kevin Willis seeks statutory damages which range between $100 to $1000 per violation of the Fair Credit Reporting Act.

Hamilton Township School District Retired Employees Settlement


Who is a Class Member

  • Any retired employees formerly employed by the Hamilton Township Board of Education or any of its Board members who retired prior to July 1, 2011.
  • Members of the Hamilton Township Education Association who were contracted to receive prescription drug copayments by the School Employees’ Health Benefits Program and $500 per year
  • Members of the Hamilton Township School Secretaries Association who were contracted to receive prescription drug copayments by the School Employees’ Health Benefits Program and $500 per year

Preliminary Settlement Approval Granted

  • $17,000,000, plus $4,000,000 representing past due payments.

Proof Of Purchase

  • N/A

Claim Documents

Important Dates

  • 10/24/17 – Objection claims can be filed through counsel
  • 10/24/17 – Exclusion from settlement can be requested by mail or
  • 12/18/17 – Final Approval Hearing

Settlement Notes

Joan Gray, et al v. Board of Education of the Township of Hamilton, Mercer County Case No. MER-L-747-14

Joan Gray, et al v. Board of Education of the Township of Hamilton, Mercer County focuses on breached promises to pay for prescription drug to retirees of the Hamilton Township Board of Education and its subsequent board members. In some instances, payments to class members were also abruptly stopped. In the case’s conclusion, entities have agreed to settle and reimburse all payments including past due payments. The Settlement, however, does not cover liability to any party therein.

Class Counsel: Richard A. Friedman, Esq. Zazzali, Fagella, Nowak, Kleinbaum & Friedman, P.C

Defense Counsel: Patrick F. Carrigg, Esq. Lenox, Socey, Formidoni, Giordano, Cooley, Lang & Casey, LLC

Contact Information: Website: http://www.hamiltonretirees.com/ Mailing address: Clerk of the Superior Court Mercer County Courthouse P.O. Box 8068 Trenton, NJ 08650-0068

Class Counsel: 609-392-8172

Defense Counsel: 609 896-2000

Settlement Website

  1. www.hamiltonretirees.com

Zacks Investment Research Class Action Settlement


Class members contend that Zacks Investment Research Inc. and the marketing company Response North LLP violated the Telephone Consumer Protection Act by making unsolicited phone calls to consumers.  Mr. John Kerr (lead plaintiff) states he started received unsolicited phone calls on his cellphone from the Utah-based marketing company Response North after he bought a book sold by the Illinois-based investment research firm, Zacks.  The TCPA protects consumers from receiving bothersome phone calls form an auto-dialing device without express consent.  The class action lawsuit is entitled Kerr v. Zacks Investment Research Inc. et al., and is under review in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California.

U.S. District Judge Gonzalo P. Curiel preliminary approved the settlement on 9/27/17.  Experts close to the case predict this settlement will affect more than 260,000 Zaks members.  It this time is appears there will be three settlement classes as follows:

  1. Nationwide class of consumers who received calls from Zacks or its affiliates between May 6, 2012, and June 30, 2017
  2. Nationwide class who received a call from Response North as part of its Zacks Book Campaign or the Options Trading Campaign
  3. California class of consumers who received recorded calls from Response North

Zacks Investment Research Inc. and the marketing company Response North LLP have agreed to a $5.48 million dollar settlement in order to avoid any further litigation.

Expect settlement payments?

  • Zacks class members $17 each
  • Response North TCPA class would receive $12.57
  • Response North privacy class would receive $41.90 each

Class members who file timely claims will be represented by James T. Hannink and Zach P. Dostart from the law firm of Dostart Hannink & Coveney LLP.

Zacks is represented by Shannon Z. Petersen and Lisa S. Yun of Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton LLP and Danielle J. Gould and Joshua J. Cauhorn of Burke Warren Mackay & Serritella PC. Response North is represented by Blair R. Jackson of Invictus Law PLLC and Stephen Turner and Patrik Johansson of Lewis Brisbois Bisgaard & Smith LLP.

Class members can reach Dostart Hannink & Coveney LLP

  • Telephone: 858-623-4200
  • Address: 4180 La Jolla Village Drive, Suite 530, La Jolla, California 92037
  • sdlaw.com

StarKist Underfilled Tuna Cans Class Action


StarKist is again in the news as the company famous for its tuna is now involved with yet another class action lawsuit. The latest filing comes following allegations that the fish provider underfills its 12-ounce cans. It was only recently that StarKist paid $12 million to settle a similar class action suit surrounding actions that caused their buyers to overpay for underfilled cans of tuna. The latest claims stem from plaintiff Donald Pluckett  who claims that StarKist Co. regularly shorts customers for various tuna products. Some of the more notable products include: Solid White Albacore Tuna in Water, Chunk Light Tuna in Water, Solid White Albacore Tuna in Vegetable Oil, and Chunk Light Tuna in Vegetable Oil.

There is no argument against the idea that StarKist does not serve 12 ounces of tuna. The company labels the products as containing nine ounces of fish in the referred can in a cake form. Basis for the class action suit comes following independent testing which produces results showing the company offers well less than the listed nine ounces. These studies were called upon after the aforementioned lawsuit for StarKist was focused around the company’s five ounce options.

Puckett contends that the FDA’s standard regulations yielded clear results that the amounts tested were under the required yield. The StarKist class action cites FDA regulations, simply stating “Packages and their labels should enable consumers to obtain accurate information as to the quantity of the contents and should facilitate value comparisons.”

The suit is still in the early stages and no apparent settlement appears in site at the moment. Puckett wishes to represent consumers across the nations who have purchased StarKist products in addition to a subclass based in Oregon. Claiming that StarKist has committed fraud, he points to a potential violation in the Oregon Unlawful Trade Practices Act. Puckett is asking for a court order to prevent the company from selling the allegedly mislabeled products. His initial contention is only that the current practice ends. If there is no stoppage in 30 days, he will actively pursue damages and fair reparations from the company.