On Thursday, April 15, 2020 at 12:00 p.m. Central, Seyfarth attorneys Robert Milligan, Josh Salinas and Darren Dummit presented Hot Topics and Trends in California Consumer Class Actions.

They reviewed the latest consumer class action law developments affecting companies that do business in California. It is no secret that resourceful plaintiff’s attorneys target companies conducting business in California with expensive and time-consuming putative class actions alleging violations of federal or state consumer statutes. Specifically, Seyfarth attorneys provided a summary of recent key decisions, identified trends for companies to watch for in 2021 and beyond, and provided practical “best practices” and risk management advice for the future.

As a conclusion to this webinar, we developed a summary of key takeaways:

  • California Supreme Court recently ruled that calls recorded without consent by parties and non-parties are a violation of Penal Code Section 632.7, which could result in significant class action exposure.
  • For purposes of consumer arbitration and class action waivers, unlike many states, California state and federal case law currently require that consumers not be precluded from seeking a public injunction. Arbitration provisions should be drafted to make clear that consumer arbitration provisions do not preclude such relief.
  • Covid-related “refund” class action suits have put a spotlight on the importance of clear policies within terms and conditions, as well as the changing market effects underlying these policies, but going forward we should expect to see class action activity around diminished value of the offerings, failure to provide redemptive credits of in-kind value, and failure to accommodate individual health and safety issues.
  • Perhaps one of the hottest trends over the past year-plus has been the explosion of TCPA law suits and verdicts, particularly targeting the nascent cannabis industry, and while the US Supreme Court’s recent decision will no doubt reduce the TCPA activity from the plaintiffs bar, it will by no means end it.
  • Reduce the risk of potential false advertisement class actions by ensuring marketing materials and labels comply with relevant regulations, are not misleading, and any representations or implied claims have adequate scientific support or can otherwise be substantiated.
  • Sensitive employee and customer data can be compromised not only by outside attackers but also by carelessness, mistake, and inadequate information security practices.