Federal Circuit Courts of Appeal Class Action Articles

The latest class action developments and trends in Federal Circuit Courts of Appeal, including news, key cases, and strategies.

Circuit Court Holds Comcast Does Not Foreclose Certification of Labor Law Class With Individualized Damages

In a class action brought under the Fair Labor Standard Act and New York Labor Law, the Second Circuit court of appeals reversed the district court’s denial of class certification and held that the Supreme Court’s 2013 decision in Comcast Corp. v. Behrend does not overrule the established principle that “the fact that damages may have to be ascertained on an individual basis is not sufficient to defeat class certification under Rule 23(b)(3).” Plaintiff alleged that ... Keep Reading »

Second Circuit Affirms Certification of Consumer Debt Collection Class, Distinguishing Comcast v. Behrend

These cases, on a consolidated appeal, involved three defendants: a company that purchased consumer debts, a debt collection law firm, and a process server. Plaintiffs had each been sued in various debt collection actions by defendants. Plaintiffs alleged that defendants obtained default judgments against them fraudulently by using a “default judgment mill,” whereby defendants would purchase the debt, issue summonses and complaints en masse, and automatically generate ... Keep Reading »

Sixth Circuit Rejects Rule 23(F) Petition: Comcast Not Necessarily Triggered By Antitrust Class’s Use Of A Single Damages Model For Multiple Theories Of Liability

In an antitrust class action lawsuit, multiple theories of liability often create separable anticompetitive effects that, when combined, can result in aggregated damages, but a plaintiff's model must measure damages attributable only to the liability theory (and resulting anticompetitive effects) accepted for class action treatment.  Thus, an antitrust lawsuit involving money damages cannot be certified to proceed as a class action unless the damages sought result from ... Keep Reading »

Eighth Circuit Decertifies Four FDCPA Classes Where District Court Failed to Conduct Rigorous Analysis Required by Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. v. Dukes

The Eighth Circuit recently held that a district court abused its discretion by certifying four classes of Nebraska consumers in an action against a debt collector and its attorneys for alleged violations of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (“FDCPA”) and the Nebraska Consumer Protection Act (“NCPA”) based on the defendants’ use of standard-form pleadings and discovery requests in state court collection actions.  In so holding, the Eighth Circuit emphasized that the ... Keep Reading »

Ninth Circuit Issues Companion Cases Addressing Evidence Required To Show That The Amount In Controversy Requirement Has Been Met When Challenged on Removal

Through a pair of opinions issued the same day, the Ninth Circuit attempted to clarify the evidence required for a defendant to meet its burden of showing that the amount in controversy exceeds CAFA’s $5 million threshold when a plaintiff moves to remand.  In the first opinion, Ibarra v. Manheim Investments, Inc., the plaintiff filed suit in state court seeking to represent a class of employees allegedly injured by the defendant’s "pattern and practice of failing to pay ... Keep Reading »

Third Circuit: Strict Ascertainability Optional for Rule 23(B)(2) Class

Although not explicitly set forth in Rule 23, an essential prerequisite of any action under Rule 23 is that there must be an identifiable "class" at the moment of certification. The shorthand term commonly used to refer to this requirement is "ascertainability." Last week the Third Circuit Court of Appeals issued a decision explicitly rejecting an ascertainability requirement for Rule 23(b)(2) classes seeking only injunctive or declaratory relief. The case before the ... Keep Reading »

Eleventh Circuit Affirms CAFA-Based Remand Order

Just two weeks after the Supreme Court's decision in Dart Cherokee Basin Operating Co., LLC v. Owens, the Eleventh Circuit affirmed a CAFA-based remand order where the defendant failed to establish by a preponderance of the evidence that the amount in controversy exceeded the jurisdictional threshold for a CAFA removal.  Plaintiff, a former Lilly employee, alleged that Lilly failed to make certain incentive payments due her and other similarly situated individuals who ... Keep Reading »

Third Circuit Weighs In On Burden of Proof and Evidentiary Standards Applicable to Cases Removed Under CAFA

Days before the Supreme Court’s decision addressing the requirements for CAFA notices of removal in Dart Cherokee Basin Operating Co., LLC v. Owens, the Third Circuit addressed the evidentiary requirements for surviving a motion to remand a case removed under CAFA for failure to satisfy CAFA’s numerosity and amount in controversy requirements.   Plaintiff in the case sought to represent a class of “hundreds” of individuals injured in common carrier motor vehicle ... Keep Reading »

Eleventh Circuit Holds Unaccepted Rule 68 Offer To Named Plaintiffs Does Not Moot A Class Action

The Eleventh Circuit recently held that a defendant may not moot a class action through an unaccepted Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 68 offer of complete relief to the named plaintiffs—but not to class members—before the named plaintiffs move to certify the class.  In doing so, the Eleventh Circuit joined the majority of circuits that have addressed the same issue. Named plaintiffs filed a class action in state court against Buccaneers Limited Partnership (“BLP”) ... Keep Reading »

Seventh Circuit Rejects Another Settlement With Disproportionate Attorney Fees Compared to Class Member Benefits

The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals rejected a class action settlement because class counsel would have received generous attorney fees for conferring only meager benefits to the class.  Writing for the Court, just as he did a few months earlier in Eubank v. Pella Corp., 753 F.3d 718 (7th Cir. 2014), Judge Posner described this settlement as “a selfish deal between class counsel and defendant” that “disserves the class.” Plaintiffs sued NBTY and Rexall Sundown for ... Keep Reading »