Class Action Lawsuit Defense

Class Action Defense News, Developments and Commentary

By: Robert J. Tucker and Katherine R. Johnston* Judge Kavanaugh has had very few occasions to address the procedural mechanism of Rule 23. This is not surprising given that few class-action cases end up in the D.C. Circuit. But where he has, Judge Kavanaugh’s commentary suggests that he may be mindful of the realities and difficulties class-action defendants face. Some insight into Judge Kavanaugh’s views on class actions can be inferred from his dissenting opinion…
Last month, the Sixth Circuit in Macy et al v. GC Services Ltd Partnership unanimously upheld certification of a class under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), despite arguments that the named plaintiffs failed to establish Article III standing. The court held the plaintiffs established a concrete injury in fact, without alleging any additional harm beyond a procedural violation of the FDCPA, because they demonstrated that the allegedly incomplete disclosures in debt collection letters…
On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court decided China AgriTech, Inc. v. Resh, No. 17-432, 584 U.S. __ (2018) and held that the American Pipe doctrine, which tolls the statute of limitations to permit members of a putative class to bring individual claims in the event class certification is denied, does not toll the statute of limitation for putative class actions. The case provides greater certainty to class action exposure for companies by preventing plaintiffs from…
In Comcast v. Behrend, 569 U.S. 27 (2013), the United States Supreme Court clarified the requirements for establishing that classwide injury and damages predominate over individual issues for the purposes of FRCP 23(b)(3). In particular, where a party relies on a damages model to establish predominance, the model must be consistent with the theory of liability and “measure those damages attributable to that theory.” Id. at 35. A defendant may challenge the damages model to…
In 2016, the Supreme Court issued a landmark decision in Campbell-Ewald Co. v. Gomez, resolving a circuit split on whether an unaccepted offer of judgment pursuant to Rule 68 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure could moot a named plaintiff’s individual claim, thus dooming the class claims. The decision – which held that an unaccepted Rule 68 offer cannot moot such claims – left class defendants a glimmer of hope by suggesting the result “might…
Proposed amendments to the class action settlement process in Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23(e) are scheduled to take effect on Dec. 1, 2018. One of the proposed amendments requires that “[t]he parties must provide the court with information sufficient to enable it to determine whether to give notice of the proposal to the class.” Proposed Rule 23(e)(1)(A). Under the new rule, the court must direct notice if the parties show the court that it…
Officials at the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and Federal Trade Commission (FTC) continue to scrutinize class settlements to ensure that neither defendants nor class action counsel are improperly benefiting at the expense of class members. As discussed below, at minimum, parties to class actions in federal court can expect federal authorities to increasingly monitor and review class actions and file amicus briefs or statements of interest in appropriate cases.…