Class Certification Granted in Class Action against Payday America

On Wednesday, April 26, Hennepin County District Court Judge Daniel H. Mabley issued an order granting Plaintiffs’ motion for class certification. Teske Katz Kitzer & Rochel represents a class of Minnesota consumers who took out payday loans from Payday America, Inc. between October 2, 2013 and December 31, 2016. The named plaintiff and class representative, Randy Holte, filed this lawsuit in 2015 challenging several of Payday America’s practices: (1) charging fees on payday loans in excess of the maximum rates allowed for closed-end loans, (2) failing to properly disclose the annual percentage rate, and (3) engaging in prohibited debt collection practices.

The Court’s order granting class certification is available here.

Teske Katz Kitzer & Rochel attorneys, Vildan Teske and Marisa Katz, have been appointed Class Counsel in this litigation. Marisa Katz, who briefed and argued the motion, noted, “Today’s certification order is a critical next step in our ongoing effort to stop the predatory business practice in which this defendant lends money to Minnesota’s most cash-strapped and vulnerable consumers.”

Teske Katz Kitzer & Rochel looks forward to its continued role in advocating for consumer lender compliance under the law and marketplace fairness.

If you have questions about the Holte v. Payday America, Inc. litigation, or believe that your consumer rights have been violated, contact us today for a confidential consultation.

Teske Katz Kitzer & Rochel Brings Class Action Employment Lawsuit against City of Minneapolis

On January 6, 2017, Teske Katz Kitzer & Rochel initiated Stewart, et al. v. The City of Minneapolis, a class action employment lawsuit. The suit is brought in Minnesota District Court, Fourth District–Hennepin County.

Laurence Stewart, the named plaintiff, is a former employee of Minneapolis in its Public Works Department. Stewart seeks classwide relief for himself and all other similar employees. The Complaint alleges that the City’s return to work policy violates the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Minnesota Human Rights Act (MHRA) because it fails to provide reasonable accommodation for disabled workers.

Mr. Stewart is represented by Brian Rochel, Marisa Katz and Douglas Micko, of Teske Katz Kitzer & Rochel, PLLP. Teske Katz Kitzer & Rochel is a class action and employment law firm with decades of experience around the country.

For more information, or if you have been terminated by the City of Minneapolis and have questions about this lawsuit, contact Brian Rochel here or via email at rochel@tkkrlaw.com.

A full press release and copy of the Complaint that has been served are available here:

Press Release

Stewart v. Minneapolis Complaint

Payday Lending Class Action, Filed by Teske Katz Kitzer & Rochel, Gets Green Light to Proceed in Favorable Court Order

On Monday, May 16, Hennepin County District Court Judge Thomas M. Sipkins, issued an order denying defendant payday lender, PayDay America, Inc.’s motion to dismiss a class action filed by Teske Katz Kitzer & Rochel on behalf of a class of consumers who allege that PayDay America sold them high-cost loans in violation of Minnesota law governing consumer credit and regulated lending. The Court’s order is available here

In particular, the Plaintiffs’ Class Complaint alleges that Payday America, Inc. charged certain fees for payday loans in excess of the maximum rates allowed for closed-end loans under state law, failed to meet certain disclosure requirements with respect to the calculated annual percentage rate, and engaged in prohibited debt collection practices in connection with the subject loans. 

Teske Katz Kitzer & Rochel attorney Marisa Katz briefed and argued the case in opposition to Payday America Inc.’s motion to dismiss. Ms. Katz noted, “This victory is significant for consumers across the state of Minnesota, who are all-too-often trapped in cycles of debt, often as a result of predatory payday lending practices.” 

The firm looks forward to prosecuting this case forward and its continued representation of Minnesota consumers. If you have questions about the Payday America case, or believe that your consumer rights have been violated contact us today for a confidential consultation. 

Judge Rules in Favor of Employees in Background Check Class Action

Teske Katz Kitzer & Rochel, along with co-counsel Nichols Kaster, represents a group of employees and prospective employees who were provided illegal background check disclosures by iQor. The case, Shoots, et al. v. iQor, is filed in the District of Minnesota and alleges that iQor’s authorization and disclosure forms violated the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). In a ruling today by Judge Susan Richard Nelson, the Court denied iQor’s motion to dismiss the suit and allowed the class plaintiffs’ claims to move forward. The complete decision is available here

Brian Rochel, partner at Teske Katz Kitzer & Rochel, argued the case on behalf of the plaintiffs. Doug Micko, one of the lead attorneys in the suit, remarked, “Judge Nelson’s order is a win to employees and consumers nationwide. Her ruling reaffirms what the majority of courts have held, that including extra information in disclosure forms violates the FCRA and infringes on the rights of employees and prospective employees to know what they are giving up.” 

Background checks—also referred to as credit reports or consumer reports–have grown exponentially in recent years, especially in the employment context. Nearly half of all employers now require employees and job applicants to authorize background checks, and hundreds of new companies that provide background checks are popping up around the country. Meanwhile, many of these companies and employers do not follow the strict state and federal guidelines that govern background checks and consumer credit reports, including the FCRA. This has led to significant issues for millions of people across the US

Teske Katz Kitzer & Rochel is a fierce advocate for employees and consumers whose rights are violated during the background check process. The ruling in Shoots v. iQor is one more step in the process to even the playing field for employees in this growing area. 

If you believe your rights have been violated, or have questions about background checks, credit reports or consumer reports, contact us today.

District Court Grants Class Certification, Denies Defendant’s Motion to Dismiss in Wage Theft Case

Teske Katz Kitzer & Rochel, co-counseling with Nichols Kaster, defeated a motion to dismiss and won a motion to conditionally certify a class of current and former iQor employees. The case, Shoots, et al. v. iQor, is a class action lawsuit on behalf of iQor workers nationwide.

Judge Susan Richard Nelson of the U.S. District of Minnesota held that the plaintiff class had pled several claims that they were denied wages they were due under federal and Minnesota laws. The class includes all current and former iQor contact center agents who used TimeQey for timekeeping purposes between October 19, 2012 and December 31, 2014.

Click here to see the court’s order in its entirety. If you have questions about this lawsuit or wage and employment law generally, or if you believe your rights may have been violated, please contact Teske Katz Kitzer & Rochel today.

 

Vildan Teske, Doug Micko and Marisa Katz Present a CLE Update on the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2015 Term

On October 12, 2015, Teske Katz Kitzer & Rochel partners Vildan Teske, Doug Micko and Marisa Katz presented a continuing legal education (CLE) seminar on the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2015 term.

The presentation included an overview of the major employment law-related cases decided in the last term and the implications of such decisions in everyday practice. The seminar also touched on the Court’s current term and key cases that will be decided in 2016 both in the employment and consumer class action areas. The presentation was made as part of Minnesota CLE’s Employment Law Webcast Series.

Teske Katz Kitzer & Rochel Appointed as Co-Lead Counsel Representing Class of Auto Loan Borrowers

On August 26, 2015, the Hon. Gary Oxenhandler, state court judge  in Columbia, Missouri, granted a motion to certify a class of Missouri borrowers with consumer claims against Cavalry Investments, LLC, and appointed Teske Katz Kitzer & Rochel as Class Counsel.  Partners Vildan Teske and Marisa Katz are litigating this class action lawsuit along with the Missouri law firm of Angle Wilson Law LLC.

The class action lawsuit involves the sale of service contracts by certain auto dealers to consumers that require the consumers to use fluid additives before the protections of the contracts kick in.  The plaintiff class alleges that these contracts are insurance products that are being sold illegally, and that, as a result, the debt buyers that purchased these faulty loans are collecting on the loans illegally and taking advantage of consumers in violation of the law. 

Teske Katz Kitzer & Rochel Lawyers Attend MDL Panel in Minneapolis

Vildan Teske, Phillip Kitzer and Brian Rochel attended the Judicial Panel on Multi-district Litigation (“MDL”) held at the United States District Court for the District of Minnesota in Minneapolis on May 28, 2015.

Multi-district litigation (“MDL”) refers to a special federal legal procedure designed to speed the process of handling very complex civil cases. A portion of Teske Katz Kitzer & Rochel’s class action practice includes MDL. For instance, Teske Katz Kitzer & Rochel currently represents a client in In Re: Boston Scientific Corp. Pelvic Repair System Products Liability Litigation, MDL 2326, pending in the United States District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia. This case is one of several pelvic mesh lawsuits filed on behalf of women nationwide against manufacturers of transvaginal mesh (TVM) and sling devices. 

$82 Million Jury Verdict against Debt Collection Firm

This week a jury in Kansas City, Missouri awarded a consumer $251,000 in damages and $82 million in punitive damages in a case against the national debt collection firm, Portfolio Recovery Associates, LLC (“PRA”).   PRA pursued the plaintiff, a Kansas City woman, for a debt she repeatedly told them was not hers.  She was represented by the law firm of Slough, Connealy, Irwin & Madden, a firm with which Teske Katz Kitzer & Rochel has co-counseled on several consumer class actions over the years.  The Kansas City Star has a story about the verdict here

Teske Katz Kitzer & Rochel Settlement Proceeds Benefit Non-Profits Helping Servicemembers

Today, Fisher House Foundation and VeteransPlus each received $41,287.17 as part of a multi-million dollar class action settlement in a case that Teske Katz Kitzer & Rochel lawyers, Vildan Teske and Marisa Katz, and their retired partner Bill Crowder, litigated on behalf of thousands of servicemembers.  Under the settlement, the parties agreed that any unclaimed settlement funds would go to the two nonprofits to assist in their work for servicemembers rather than the funds remaining with the defendant.  Vildan Teske was the court-appointed lead counsel in the class action lawsuit.