In the News Today - January 17, 2014

January 17, 2014

The Department of Justice recently announced it collected $8 billion in civil and criminal settlements in 2013. However, a former DOJ lawyer is concerned with the way the agency calculates False Claims Act settlements, given the high costs of defending against FCA cases and the potential for huge penalties could force companies to settle dubious claims. American Lawyer ($)

A California judge refused to certify a false advertising class action against Chipotle Mexican Grill after finding that there is no way to determine which customers belonged in the class. The restaurant says its products are naturally raised but, in some cases, it had to replace the natural ingredients with other ingredients. Chipotle put signs up alerting customers to the change but the court couldn't determine which customers saw the signs and which didn't, making it impossible to ascertain who belongs in the class. Mondaq

A U.S. Appeals Court dismissed a $10.2 million asbestos verdict after finding a lower court abused its discretion regarding expert testimony. The lower court refused to apply the Daubert standard to the expert testimony, despite defense contention that the plaintiff’s experts weren’t qualified to testify. Instead, the lower court allowed experts for both the plaintiff and defense to testify, thereby handing off its ‘gatekeeper’ responsibility to the jury. Legal Newsline