Earlier this year we posted about the Fairness in Class Action Litigation Act when it was approved by the House Judiciary Committee.
Our readers know that this type of bill generally is aimed at the so-called no injury class actions in which not all of the class members are injured, sometimes even most of the class is not injured — for example purchasers of a consumer product with an alleged design defect that has not manifested itself in most of the units. Such classes create issues for defendants, plaintiffs, and the courts. The bill’s sponsors argue that when classes are certified that include members who do not have the same type and scope of injury as the class representatives, those members siphon off limited compensatory resources. Classes including uninjured parties can also artificially inflate the size of the class to command a larger settlement value.
Now comes word the bill is tentatively scheduled for consideration by the full House of Representatives early in 2016.
If enacted, the law would require the moving party to affirmatively demonstrates that each proposed class member suffered the same type and scope of injury as the named class representative or representatives. And any certification decision in a class action regarding personal injury or economic loss must include a determination, based on a rigorous analysis of the evidence presented, that the requirement was satisfied.