March 15, 2019 Top Story

Appeals Court Embraces An “Issues Class”

Broad view suggests trend toward more class actions

By Andrew J. Kennedy

A federal appellate court has endorsed the certification of an “issues class” for a case involving alleged contamination of groundwater for 540 properties.

defendants filed suit for contaminated groundwater with known and suspected carcinogens

defendants filed suit for contaminated groundwater with known and suspected carcinogens

iStockphoto by Getty Images

By taking a broad view of class certification based solely on certain issues, the decision paves the way for plaintiffs to obtain class certification even where issues of actual injury, causation, and damages will have to be tried separately. With this ruling, the Sixth Circuit joins four other circuits in embracing the broad view of class certification. The decision may pave the way for wider use of class actions.

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