Justia Class Action Opinion Summaries

Articles Posted in Arkansas Supreme Court
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The Supreme Court affirmed the order of the circuit court granting summary judgment in favor of Municipal Health Benefit Fund and dismissing this class action complaint challenging the Fund's decision to deny payment for portions of Plaintiff's daughter's medical bills based on its interpretation of the uniform, customary, and reasonable charges (UCR) exclusion in the Fund's policy booklet, holding that there was no error.Through his employment with a municipal police department, Plaintiff obtained health benefits coverage through the Fund. After Plaintiff's daughter was injured in a car accident the Fund denied payment for portions of her medical bills based on its interpretation of the UCR exclusion. Plaintiff then brought this class action against the Fund challenging the enforcement of the UCR term. The circuit court granted class certification and later granted summary judgment in favor of the Fund. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the circuit court did not err in granting summary judgment in favor of the Fund. View "Hendrix v. Municipal Health Benefit Fund" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed in part and dismissed in part the order of the circuit court certifying the City of Gurdon's class-action lawsuit alleging that Suddenlink Communications unlawfully charged Gurdon and other cities in the state three fees for the cities' use of Suddenlink's services, holding that there was no error.Suddenlink, which provided telephone, internet, and cable services to Gurdon, assessed a 911 fee, an Arkansas High-Cost Fund Fee, and a franchise fee. Gurdon brought this action alleging that the imposition of the fees against the City was unlawful. Gurdon then filed a motion for class certification. The circuit court granted the motion. Suddenlink appealed the certification as well as the circuit court's refusal to first address Suddenlink's pending motion to compel arbitration before certifying the class. The Supreme Court dismissed in part and affirmed in part, holding (1) the arbitration issue was not appealable on an interlocutory basis; and (2) the circuit court did not abuse its discretion by certifying the class. View "Altic USA, Inc. v. City of Gurdon ex rel. Honorable Kelley" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court remanded this case after Appellant appealed a circuit court order granting in part and denying in part its motion to enforce arbitration agreements and to compel class members with arbitration agreements to submit their claims to binding arbitration, holding that remand was required.In this case involving several claims against a nursing home, Plaintiff moved to enforce arbitration agreements and to compel other class members with arbitration agreements to submit their claims to binding arbitration, a motion that involved arbitration agreements signed by thirty-three residents at admission. The circuit court granted the motion with respect to fifteen residents and denied it with respect to eighteen residents. The Supreme Court remanded the case with instructions for the circuit court to make findings regarding its order denying Plaintiffs motion to compel arbitration, holding that, in order to conduct a proper appellate review, this Court must know the circuit court's rationale for its decision. View "Robinson Nursing & Rehabilitation Center, LLC v. Phillips" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the order of the circuit court granting class certification in this class action alleging that Mid-South Adjustment Co., Inc. violated provisions of the Arkansas Fair Debt Collection Practices Act when attempting to collect debt on behalf of Jacksonville Water Works, holding that there was no error.On appeal, Mid-South argued, among other things, that the class definition was unworkable because it required individualized inquiry into when each potential member made his or her last payment and when the statute of limitations period expired. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) the class definition properly identified class members by objective criteria; (2) the circuit court did not err in finding that a class action is a superior method for adjudication; and (3) Brittany Smith was an adequate class representative. View "Mid-South Adjustment Co., Inc. v. Smith" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the circuit court certifying this class action against an auto insurance company brought by Plaintiffs, insureds who incurred medical expenses because of car accidents, holding that the circuit court did not abuse its discretion in concluding that the prerequisites of a class action had been satisfied.Instead of paying Plaintiffs for the full amount of billed medical expenses Defendant instead simply reimbursed them for the actual amount they owed their medical providers after all discounts had been applied. Plaintiffs brought this action that this practice constituted breach of contract and unjust enrichment. The court certified a class action, from which Defendant appealed. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the circuit court did not abuse its discretion when it certified this case as a class action. View "Shelter Mutual Insurance Co. v. Baggett" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court reversed the circuit court's order granting class certification in this action brought by Letha's Pies, LLC and Rhonda and Timothy Glenn, on behalf of themselves and all others similarly situated (collectively, Letha's Pies), for alleged violations of the Arkansas Securities Act, holding that the circuit court abused its discretion by refusing to enforce a class-action waiver.Letha's Pies entered into a merchant agreement to sell Funding Metrics, LLC $21,900 of Letha's Pies' future receivables in exchange for an immediate payment of $15,000 by Funding Metrics. The agreement contained a class-action waiver provision. Letha's Pies subsequently brought a class-action complaint claiming that Funding Metrics promoted and sold securities in violation of Arkansas law. Funding Metrics moved to dismiss based on the class-action waiver. The circuit court denied the request, finding that the agreement lacked mutuality of obligation. The circuit court then certified two classes. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that the circuit court abused its discretion by refusing to enforce the class-action waiver in the merchant agreement as a bar to class certification. View "Funding Metrics, LLC v. Letha's Pies, LLC" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the circuit court denying Plaintiff's motion for class-action certification in her suit against Defendant, a car dealership, holding that the circuit court abused its discretion in denying the motion.Plaintiff filed a class action complaint against Defendant alleging that the "mandatory notice of private or public sale" sent by Defendant repossessing Plaintiff's vehicle and informing her that the vehicle would be sold at a public sale failed to comply with the Uniform Commercial Code and Arkansas law and that the accrued interest rate was unlawful. The circuit court denied Plaintiff's motion for class certification without holding a hearing. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that the circuit court abused its discretion in refusing to certify the class based on the record before it. View "Rivera-Ceren v. Presidential Limousine & Auto Sales, Inc." on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court dismissed this appeal for lack of a final or otherwise appealable order, holding that the orders Appellants were attempting to appeal were not appealable on an interlocutory basis.In this class-action dispute brought against certain online travel companies (the OTCs) Appellees alleged that the OTCs failed to remit the full amount of taxes imposed by the appellee government entities on hotel accommodations. The circuit court granted Appellees' motion for summary judgment. Appellees then filed an amended and supplemental complaint requesting, in light of the declaratory judgment determination, a judgment against the OTCs for all unpaid taxes from 1995 to the present, plus penalties and interest. The circuit court denied the OTCs' combined motion to dismiss and strike Plaintiffs' second amended complaint. The Supreme Court dismissed the appeal, holding that the order was not appealable. View "Hotels.com, L.P. v. Pine Bluff Advertising & Promotion Commission" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the order the circuit court certifying a class action against Defendants, holding that the circuit court did not err or abuse its discretion.Plaintiffs filed a class action complaint against Defendants, alleging, on their own behalf and on behalf of others similarly situated, that their water systems were contaminated with sewage due to Defendants' negligence. Plaintiffs moved for class certification. The circuit court certified the class as to their negligence and breach of contract claims. On appeal, Defendants argued that the circuit court erred in finding that class was ascertainable and that common issues predominated and erred in certifying the breach of contract claim. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the circuit court did not err in certifying the class. View "C.J. Mahan Construction Co. v. Betzner" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the order of the circuit court granting class certification of Plaintiffs' complaint, holding that the circuit court did not abuse its discretion in certifying the class.Plaintiffs were hourly employees of Koppers, Inc. Plaintiffs filed this action against Koppers alleging that Koppers did not pay them for working overtime in violation of the Arkansas Minimum Wage Act (AMWA), Ark. Code Ann. 11-4-211(a). Plaintiffs filed a motion to certify a class. The circuit court granted the motion. Koppers appealed, arguing that its liability could not be established on a classwide basis because whether a plaintiff could recover depended on individualized facts. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the circuit court's findings on commonality, predominance, and superiority were not in error. View "Koppers, Inc. v. Trotter" on Justia Law