Articles Posted in Antitrust

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This interlocutory appeal arose from the district court's order certifying a class in Plaintiff's class action against Defendant, Allstate Insurance Company. Plaintiff's class action claim arose out of the Supreme Court's remand of his initial non-class third-party claim against Allstate in Jacobsen I. In Jacobsen I, Plaintiff filed a complaint against Allstate for, among other causes of action, violations of the Montana Unfair Trade Practices Act. Plaintiff sought both compensatory and punitive damages. The Supreme Court ultimately remanded the case for a new trial. On remand, Plaintiff filed a motion for class certification, proposing a class definition encompassing all unrepresented individuals who had either third- or first-party claims against Allstate and whose claims were adjusted by Allstate using its Claim Core Process Redesign program. The district court certified the class. The Supreme Court affirmed the class certification but modified the certified class on remand, holding that the district court did not abuse its discretion by certifying the Mont. R. Civ. P. 23(a)(2) class action but that the certification of class-wide punitive damages was inappropriate in the context of a Rule 23(b)(2) class. Remanded. View "Jacobsen v. Allstate Ins. Co." on Justia Law

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Plaintiffs filed a class action complaint against a check advance company, asserting claims based on numerous Florida statutes. Plaintiffs later amended the complaint to add Tiffany Kelly as an additional plaintiff and named class member. Because Kelly had signed the version of Defendant's arbitration agreement that contained a class action waiver, this case focused on her contracts with Defendant. The trial court eventually denied Defendant's motion to compel arbitration, ruling that the class action waiver was unenforceable because it was void as against public policy. The court of appeal affirmed, finding that no other reasonable avenue for relief would be available if it enforced the class action waiver. After the court of appeal decided this case, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its decision in AT&T Mobility, LLC v. Concepcion. Applying the rationale of Concepcion to the facts set forth in this case, the Supreme Court quashed the court of appeal's decision, holding that the Federal Arbitration Act preempted invalidating the class action waiver in this case on the basis of the waiver being void as against public policy.View "McKenzie Check Advance of Fla., LLC v. Betts" on Justia Law

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State Farm filed a complaint for negligence against Appellant, alleging that Appellant was at fault in an automobile accident with State Farm's insured. Appellant counterclaimed, alleging that State Farm was unjustly enriched as a result of having engaged in the deceptive and unlawful business practice of causing collection-style letters to be mailed in an attempt to collect unadjudicated, potential subrogation claims as debts. Appellant's counterclaim identified two putative classes. State Farm filed a motion to strike the class allegations. Rather than granting the motion to strike class allegations, the circuit court denied class certification "for the reasons stated in State Farm's motion." The Supreme Court reversed, holding that the circuit court acted without due consideration of the Court's foregoing case law on typicality, commonality, and predominance and therefore abused its discretion in prematurely denying class certification at the early pleading stage of this case. Remanded.View "Kersten v. State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co." on Justia Law

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Petitioner filed a complaint against Respondent for unfair and deceptive trade practices and for common law fraud. Petitioner's complaint was based on an automobile warranty he purchased from Respondent that expired more than two years earlier than he had been led to believe. Petitioner purported to bring his action on behalf of others similarly situated. Before Petitioner filed a motion to certify the class, however, Respondent paid to extend Petitioner's warranty. The circuit court (1) denied Petitioner's motion for class certification, finding that because he had been made whole, Petitioner was no longer a member of any class; (2) granted in part Respondent's motion for summary judgment, finding Petitioner's claim moot; and (3) granted Petitioner attorney's fees for the period before and after Respondent tendered Petitioner individual relief. The Court of Appeals affirmed in part and reversed in part, holding (1) Respondent's tender of individual compensatory relief to Petitioner did not require the court to deny class certification; (2) an award of punitive damages is not foreclosed by the tender of individual compensatory damages; and (3) an award of attorney's fees to Petitioner under a fee-shifting provision of the Consumer Protection Act is not limited to fees incurred before the tender. View "Frazier v. Castle Ford, Ltd." on Justia Law