Town Of Chester: An Answer On Class-Member Standing?

June 7, 2017

May a class be certified under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23 if some of its members lack Article III standing? This is one of the most hotly debated questions in contemporary class-action practice. And the U.S. Supreme Court may have just telegraphed the answer — in a case that, on its face, had nothing to do with Rule 23 or class actions. The unanimous decision in Town of Chester v. Laroe Estates Inc. strongly suggests that, before a damages class is certified under Rule 23(b)(3), the named plaintiff must demonstrate not only his or her own Article III standing, but that of all absent class members as well.

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