CALIFORNIA CLASS ACTION LAW

Tag: Betty B. Fletcher

Ninth Circuit Reverses Denial of Class Certification, Holding that Disproportionality of Actual Harm Suffered, Enormity of the Potential Liability, and Good Faith Compliance Fail to Justify Denial of Certification on Superiority Grounds

AMC at Easton Town Center
Image via Wikipedia

The Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit reversed a denial of class certification in a Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (“FACTA”) case, Bateman v. American Multi-Cinema, Inc., No. 09-55108, — F.3d —-, 2010 WL 3733555 (9th Cir. Sept. 27, 2010).  Plaintiff Bateman brought a class action against American Multi-Cinema, Inc. (“AMC”) alleging that AMC violated FACTA by printing more than the last five digits of consumers’ credit or debit card numbers on electronically printed receipts in December 2006 and January 2007.  Id. *1 (citing 15 U.S.C. § 1681c(g) (2005)).  Plaintiff sought to recover statutory damages ranging from $100 to $1,000 for each willful violation of FACTA. Id. The district court denied class certification under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23(b)(3), finding that a class action was not the superior method of litigating the case because AMC had made a good faith effort to comply with FACTA after this lawsuit was filed and the magnitude of AMC’s potential liability–$29 million to $290 million–was enormous and out of proportion to any harm suffered by the class.  Id. (citing Bateman v. Am. Multi-Cinema, Inc., 252 F.R.D 647, 648, 650-51 (C.D. Cal. 2008) (order)). The Ninth Circuit reversed, holding that “none of these three grounds–the disproportionality between the potential liability and the actual harm suffered, the enormity of the potential damages, or AMC’s good faith compliance–justified the denial of class certification on superiority grounds and that the district court abused its discretion in relying on them.” Read the rest of this entry »

Ninth Circuit Holds Fraud and Consumer Protection Claims Preempted by Medicare Modernization Act

Medicare: Forward NOT Backward
Image by Grant Neufeld via Flickr

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in Uhm v. Humana, Inc., No. 06-35672,  — F.3d —-, 2010 WL 3385546 (9th Cir. Aug. 30, 2010) held that the trial court lacked jurisdiction to consider plaintiffs’ breach of contract and unjust enrichment claims because they were not properly exhausted through the administrative remedial scheme established under the Medicare Prescription Drug Improvement and Modernization Act of 2003.  The court further held that plaintiff’s fraud and consumer protection act claims were not subject to the Act’s exhaustion provisions, but that they are expressly preempted.

Circuit Judge Betty Fletcher wrote a pointed concurrence chastising plaintiff’s counsel for filing the class action “all for the recovery of two months’ prescriptions” where a “bit of common sense and attention to the available administrative remedies should have been applied”:

Read the rest of this entry »