Class Actions -- 2015

Carpenter Co. v. ACE Foam, Inc.   (U.S. Supreme Court)

Class certification

The NAM and Chamber filed a brief in support this appeal to the Supreme Court. Our brief argued that the Sixth Circuit improperly relaxed the requirements for class certification in at least two respects. First, the Sixth Circuit affirmed the district court’s certification decision, even though the certified class included a non-de minimis number of individuals who were not injured by any defendant’s conduct and, therefore, did not have standing under Article III of the U.S. Constitution. Second, the Sixth Circuit approved class certification on the theory that an aggregate damages model—one that calculates average damages for the class as a whole—satisfies Rule 23’s predominance requirement.

The lower courts' decisions in this case not only violate this Court’s precedents, including its recent decision in Comcast, but they also deepen entrenched divisions in lower court authority over the requirements for class certification. The class certification requirements of Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23 are not mere conveniences for streamlining litigation, but crucial safeguards grounded in fundamental notions of due process, and U.S. manufacturing needs reliable and transparent application of this legal principle.

Unfortunately, the Supreme Court declined to hear this appeal on 3/2/2015.

Related Documents:
NAM brief  (December 19, 2014)


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