Justia Class Action Opinion Summaries

Articles Posted in North Carolina Supreme Court
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The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the trial court granting Plaintiffs' motion to certify three classes for a class action lawsuit, holding that the trial court did not abuse its discretion.Plaintiffs were former tenants of residential apartments owned and managed by Defendant. Plaintiffs brought a class action lawsuit alleging violations of the North Carolina Residential Rental Agreements Act and the North Carolina Debt Collection Act. Plaintiffs moved to certify three class of certain fellow tenants, and the trial court granted the motion as to all three classes. Defendant appealed, pointing to three alleged errors in the trial court's class certification order. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the trial court did not abuse its discretion in certifying the three classes for a class action lawsuit. View "McMillan v. Blue Ridge Cos." on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the trial court granting a motion for class certification filed after a summary judgment motion had been granted in favor of the plaintiff in this case, Plantation Building of Wilmington, Inc., holding that no reversible error occurred.The defendant, the Town of Leland, consented to and joined a motion for continuance filed by Plaintiff. The trial court granted the motion. Thereafter, the trial court granted Plaintiff's motion for summary judgment and denied Defendant's competing motion. Thereafter, Plaintiff filed a motion for class certification. The trial court granted the motion. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that because the motion for continuance identified that the issue of class certification would be resolved after addressing the cross-motions for summary judgment and the parties did not follow the sequence, Defendant waived any objection it may have had to the court granting Plaintiff's motion for class certification after granting Plaintiff's summary judgment motion. View "Plantation Building of Wilmington, Inc. v. Town of Leland" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the trial court's order regarding class certification in this case and dismissed Defendants' interlocutory appeal regarding portions of the trial court's order that pertained to discovery matters, holding that the superior court did not abuse its discretion in certifying two classes of plaintiffs.Plaintiffs commenced a putative class action by asserting claims against Defendants, Orange County and the Town of Chapel Hill, seeking to recover impact fees assessed under a now-repealed statute that had been enacted to allow certain counties and municipalities to defray the costs for constructing, among other public services, public schools. The trial court certified two classes of plaintiffs. Defendants appealed, challenging the class certification and a discovery order concerning Plaintiffs' motion to compel discovery responses. The Supreme Court affirmed in part and dismissed in part, holding (1) the trial court did not err in certifying the classes; and (2) Defendants' effort to appeal the contested discovery ruling was premature and hence must be dismissed for lack of appellate jurisdiction. View "Zander v. Orange County" on Justia Law

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In this class action, the Supreme Court recognized a narrow exception to the doctrine of mootness when a named plaintiff's individual claim becomes moot before the plaintiff has had a fair opportunity to pursue class certification and has otherwise acted without undue delay regarding class certification.The Moses H. Cone Memorial Hospital Operating Corporation sued Christopher Chambers and his wife seeking collection of $14,358 plus interest allegedly owed for emergency room services. At the same time, Chambers filed a class action complaint against Moses Cone seeking a declaratory judgment that the contract he signed as an uninsured patient needing emergency medical treatment entitled Moses Cone to recover no more than the reasonable value of the services it provided. Prior to certification of the class in Chambers's declaratory judgment action, Moses Cone dismissed its claims against Chambers and his wife and ceased all other attempts to collect the debt. At issue on appeal was whether the class action was moot. The Supreme Court held that, under these circumstances, the named plaintiff's claim relates back to the filing of the complaint for mootness purposes, and even though his individual claim may have been satisfied, the named plaintiff retains the legal capacity to pursue class certification and class-wide relief. View "Chambers v. Moses H. Cone Memorial Hospital" on Justia Law