Categories & Search

Industry: Other Consumer Products

Class Damages Models After Comcast: Rigorous Proof or Expert’s Promise?

In Comcast v. Behrend, 569 U.S. 27 (2013), the Supreme Court held that a plaintiff cannot obtain class certification with an inadequate damages model.  In the years since, courts have diverged over how much a plaintiff must do to satisfy this requirement.  Often, plaintiffs seek class certification with nothing more than a skeletal proposal to develop and perform an analysis at some future point, using information they do not—and might never—possess.  While some courts have found such adumbrative “models” sufficient at the class certification stage, the better decisions require more.  As Comcast recognizes, Rule 23 “does not set forth a mere pleading standard.”  Rather, a plaintiff “must affirmatively demonstrate” through “evidentiary proof” that damages are measurable on a class-wide basis through a common methodology.  Faithful application of that principle obligates plaintiffs and their experts to offer a detailed methodology that is tailored to the facts of the case, and to show that any data that the model requires in fact exists and can be obtained.

Go

Compelled Product Disclosures After NIFLA – First Impressions

This is an exciting time for manufacturers on guard against compelled disclosures in their product labeling or advertising.  Late last June, the Supreme Court decided  National Institute of Family & Life Advocates v. Becerra, 138 S. Ct. 2361 (2018) (“NIFLA”), an abortion case with potentially far-reaching effects on the law of compelled commercial speech more generally.  However, as lower courts begin to interpret and apply NIFLA in the context of product disclosures, major uncertainties remain.

Go

Consumers Who Seek Injunctive Relief: The Limited Scope of Davidson v. Kimberly-Clark

In consumer cases alleging product mislabeling, one frequently litigated question is whether the plaintiff has standing to seek an injunction of the labeling practice that he or she claims is misleading.  Over the past decade, consumer protection defendants have often won on this issue by demonstrating that the plaintiff is at no risk of future injury.   But last year, in Davidson v. Kimberly-Clark Corp., 889 F.3d 956 (9th Cir. 2018), the Ninth Circuit made this issue tougher for defendants, adopting an exceptionally broad view of plaintiffs’ standing to seek injunctive relief in mislabeling cases.  Below, we discuss the aberrant holding in Davidson, and how Ninth Circuit defendants may still be able to distinguish its facts to defeat a claim for injunctive relief.

Go