Justia Class Action Opinion Summaries

Articles Posted in North Carolina Supreme Court
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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against Defendants, Orange County and the Town of Chapel Hill, seeking to recover impact fees assessed under a now-repealed statute that had been enacted to allow certain counties and municipalities to defray the costs for constructing, among other public services, public schools.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