Dec 1, 2014

The Eleventh Circuit Rejects A Strategy For Mooting A Class Action

In recent years, defendants facing a consumer class action have attempted to moot the class action by making an offer of judgment that would give complete relief to the individually-named plaintiffs. The Eleventh Circuit rejected that strategy in Jeffrey Stein, D.D.S., M.S.D., P.A. v. Buccaneers Ltd. Partnership, Case No. 13-15417 (decided Dec. 1, 2014). In the Stein case, six plaintiffs filed a proposed class action alleging that they had received unsolicited faxes from the defendant in violation of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act. That statute imposes statutory damages of $500 per violation, which can be trebled. After removing the case… Read more

Jul 11, 2014

Comcast and Dukes Come to Georgia

In Comcast Corp. v. Behrend, 133 S. Ct. 1426 (2013), and Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. v. Dukes, 133 S. Ct. 2541 (2011), the United States Supreme Court issued two opinions that instructed federal trial courts to rigorously apply the standards for deciding whether or not to certify a class action.  In Georgia-Pacific Consumer Products, L.P. v. Ratner, Case No. S13G1723 (decided July 11, 2014), the Georgia Supreme Court cited Comcast and Dukes in issuing its own call for the rigorous application of the standards for certifying a class action. The plaintiffs in Ratner had sought the certification of a class of… Read more

Apr 2, 2014

Comcast Corp. v. Behrend Comes To The Eleventh Circuit

This blog previously reported on the decision of the United States Supreme Court in Comcast Corp. v. Behrend, 133 S. Ct. 1427 (2013). See “The United States Supreme Court Takes Another Look at Class Actions” (posted March 28, 2013). That decision required lower courts to take a hard look at class certifications, and particularly at the issue of whether or not damages could be proven on a class-wide basis. The Eleventh Circuit relied upon that decision to order a district court to reconsider the certification of class in Williams v. Multimedia Games, Inc., Case No. 13-12733 (decided April 2, 2014)…. Read more

Mar 27, 2014

A Fresh Look At Class Actions in Georgia

In two recent cases, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. v. Dukes, 131 S. Ct. 2541 (2011), and Comcast v. Behrend, 133 S. Ct. 1426 (2013), the United States Supreme Court established precedents that require federal district courts to rigorously examine proposed class actions to determine whether the standards for certifying class actions have been met. Those precedents are now having an impact on Georgia state courts. In MCG Health, Inc. v. Perry, Case No. A13A1996 (decided March 20, 2014), the Georgia Court of Appeals reversed the certification of a class. The plaintiffs in the case were patients who had received treatment at… Read more

Mar 28, 2013

The United States Supreme Court Takes Another Look at Class Actions

Because the United States Supreme Court decides so few cases in a year, it cannot rule on every case in which the Court might perceive error.  Instead, the Court will focus its attention on particular areas of law and periodically change that focus.  The United States Supreme Court is going through a phase of focusing its attention on class action litigation.  The Supreme Court appears to not like what it sees going on in the lower courts and is issuing decisions intended to require the lower courts to more rigorously apply the requirements of certifying a class.  In Comcast Corp…. Read more

Sep 20, 2010

SGR Obtains Dismissal of Toxic Tort Lawsuit, Victory for Client

Last Friday, SGR environmental attorneys Andy Thompson and Steve O’Day achieved victory for SGR’s client, Alcoa, in a large toxic tort lawsuit. The case was first filed in 2004 and after defeating the plaintiffs’ efforts at class certification, the case was limited to twelve plaintiffs alleging that they developed beryllium sensitization and chronic beryllium disease as a result of alleged exposures during the manufacture of military aircraft at Lockheed Martin in Marietta, Georgia. Plaintiffs offered the testimony of an industrial hygienist to attempt to establish causation and exposure to the defendants’ products. SGR moved to exclude the testimony of the… Read more