By Frank Cruz-Alvarez, a Partner in the Miami, FL office of Shook, Hardy & Bacon L.L.P., with Melissa Madsen, Of Counsel to Shook, Hardy & Bacon L.L.P. in its Miami, FL office. Mr. Cruz-Alvarez is the WLF Legal Pulse’s Featured Expert Contributor on Civil Justice/Class Actions.

“The vista view of this case is not pretty.”  The United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit did not mince words when it vacated and remanded to the District Court a proposed class settlement between Google, Inc. and class members in an invasion of privacy action.  In re: Google Inc. Cookie Placement Consumer Privacy Litigation, No. 17-1480 (3d Cir. Aug. 6, 2019).

Although the Third Circuit concluded that it could not give the District Court’s order approving the settlement meaningful review based on a lack of findings, its message was clear:  the settlement terms are “troubling” and raise a “red flag,” and the District Court failed to give the Settlement Agreement “the ‘scrupulous’ examination required of a court acting as a fiduciary for absent class members.”