Justia Class Action Opinion SummariesArticles Posted in Kansas Supreme Court
L. Ruth Fawcett Trust v. Oil Producers Inc. of Kansas
In this second appeal in a class action case alleging a breach of the implied duty to market gas and underpaid royalties the Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the district court denying a class's motion to amend its petition and granting partial summary judgment for Oil Producers Inc. of Kansas (OPIK) on the class's breach of duty to market gas as it related to the marketable condition rule, holding that there was no error.In the first appeal in this case, the Supreme Court listed the conditions under which a well operator may satisfy its duty to market raw gas production. On remand, the class of royalty owners moved to amend the petition to clarify that its original claim of breach of implied duty to market implicated the implied duty of good faith and fair dealing. The district court denied the motion and granted summary judgment for OPIK. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) the law of the case doctrine precluded thecClass from relitigating its claim that OPIK breached its implied duty of faith and fair dealing as alleged in the motion to amend the petition; (2) the class was not entitled to prejudgment interest; and (3) the lower courts appropriately denied OPIK's statute of limitations defense to the class's conservation fee claim. View "L. Ruth Fawcett Trust v. Oil Producers Inc. of Kansas" on Justia Law
O’Brien v. Leegin Creative Leather Prods., Inc.
Named plaintiff Sue O'Brien and a class of similarly situated consumers (O'Brien) sued the maker of Brighton handbags, other accessories, and luggage, defendant Leegin Creative Leather Products (Brighton), alleging violations of the Kansas Restraint of Trade Act. O'Brien contended that Brighton's practices as a wholesale supplier and retailer constituted illegal price-fixing, entitling her and other class members to recovery. The district judge granted Brighton's motion for summary judgment and motion for partial summary judgment in part. The Supreme Court reversed in part, holding, inter alia, (1) the district judge erred in his demand for proof of a "concrete injury," which required reversal of summary judgment; (2) Brighton was not entitled to summary judgment under a "rule of reason," which is not applied in a price-fixing action brought under the relevant statutes; (3) the district judge erred in ruling that the claims of the plaintiff class did not involve horizontal price-fixing; and (4) the district judge correctly determined that a genuine issue of material fact remained for trial on the issue of whether there was an unlawful combination or arrangement between Brighton and its retailers who had no express agreements as Heart Stores or luggage sellers. View "O'Brien v. Leegin Creative Leather Prods., Inc." on Justia Law
State v. Roberts
Leslie Roberts pleaded no contest to one count of rape and was found guilty by the district court. Roberts' crimes subjected him to a life sentence with a mandatory minimum of twenty-five years in prison under Jessica's Law. The district court denied Roberts' motion for a departure and sentenced him to a life sentence with a mandatory minimum of twenty-five years in prison along with lifetime postrelease supervision. For the first time on appeal, Roberts argued that both aspects of his sentence violated his constitutional rights against cruel and unusual punishment. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) the cruel and unusual punishment claim was not preserved for appellate review; and (2) the district court did not abuse its discretion by denying the departure motion. View "State v. Roberts" on Justia Law
Critchfield Physical Therapy v. The Taranto Group, Inc.
The Taranto Group contracted with two outside vendors to send out advertising via facsimile transmissions on its behalf. It was later calculated that at least 5,000 transmissions were made in violation of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA). A doctor brought an action individually and as a class representative against the Taranto Group, seeking damages and injunction relief under the TCPA and tort damages for conversion. A professional corporation then sought to intervene as an additional class representative. The district court issued an order certifying the proposed class and, in an amended order, certified the order for interlocutory appeal. The Supreme Court affirmed the district court's determination that class certification was appropriate in this case, holding, among other things, that the district court (1) correctly found the plaintiffs met their burden of demonstrating that they met the statutory requirements for class certification, (2) properly determined that a class action in this case was superior to individual small claims actions, and (3) properly concluded that a class action would avoid inconsistent adjudications.