U.S. top court rejects Wal-Mart, Wells Fargo class action appeals

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday rejected two corporate challenges in class action cases, refusing to hear bids by Wal-Mart Stores Inc and Wells Fargo & Co to throw out large judgments against them.

Wal-Mart had sought to get rid of a $187 million class action judgment over the retailer’s treatment of workers in Pennsylvania. Wells Fargo & Co wanted the justices to toss a $203 million judgment over allegations the bank had imposed excessive overdraft fees.

The court’s decisions on whether to hear the cases had been on hold pending its action in a separate class action case involving Tyson Foods Inc.

On March 22, the court in that case backed workers at a pork facility in Iowa who said they were entitled to overtime pay and damages because they were not paid for the time spent putting on and taking off protective equipment and walking to work stations.

Entering the court’s current term, which began in October, the justices had issued a series of rulings in recent years clamping down on class action litigation, a goal of big business.


But that trend has not continued. The court has heard three important class action cases this term. In January, it ruled against advertising firm Campbell-Ewald and in March ruled against Tyson Foods.

The justices have yet to issue a ruling in a case argued in November in which online people-search service Spokeo Inc sought to avoid a class action lawsuit for including incorrect information in its database.