Seventh Circuit Provides Guidance on Certifying Class Definition and Claims Differing from Those Proposed in Complaint

Seventh Circuit Provides Guidance on Certifying Class Definition and Claims Differing from Those Proposed in Complaint

This week we discuss the Seventh Circuit’s opinion in Beaton v. SpeedyPC Software, which weighed in on the propriety of certifying a class narrower than the definition proposed in the complaint and upon claims not specifically identified in the complaint. We also briefly look at eight other appellate decisions from the past two weeks that include: (i) holding that the misuse defense under Indiana’s Products Liability Act can be a complete defense; (ii) a party’s complete about-face can be a basis for surprise to obtain relief from a judgment under Trial Rule 60(B)(1); (iii) multi-year assertion that a defendant is subject to the Indiana Medical Malpractice Act and numerous delays to await a medical review panel determination can be sufficient to estop a plaintiff from arguing that the defendant is not subject to the Medical Malpractice Act; (iv) contracts attached to complaints are admissible as evidence at trial even if not specifically identified in final exhibits list; (v) a claim for unjust enrichment can be made even if the benefits are provided by a third-party; (vi) courts may commit reversible error when elevating formality over substantial justice with overly rigid application of procedure at trial; (vii) illustrating considerations in applying the doctrines of apparent authority and apparent agency; and (viii) citations to the record along with other citations count toward the word limit in federal appellate filings despite no rule specifically stating that citations are included in the word count.

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Seventh Circuit Affirms Piercing Corporate Veil to Attach $7.5m Judgment

Seventh Circuit Affirms Piercing Corporate Veil to Attach $7.5m Judgment

Today’s discussion looks at numerous recent cases ranging from the use of unsigned depositions at summary judgment, the possible need to provide details in support of damages calculations for actions sounding in breach of contract, whether Goodwin and Rogers apply to duty analyses beyond premises liability, the grounds for awarding class-action attorney fees, the scope of specific personal jurisdiction under Indiana law, and then take a deeper dive into the Seventh Circuit’s opinion affirming a bankruptcy court’s decision to pierce a corporate veil in order to attach a $7.5m judgment held by a former shareholder against the lone remaining shareholder.

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Seventh Circuit: Rule 67 is Not Viable Path to Pick Off Class Action Plaintiff

Seventh Circuit: Rule 67 is Not Viable Path to Pick Off Class Action Plaintiff

This discussion looks to the Seventh Circuit's decision in Fulton Dental, LLC v. Bisco, Inc., which rejected a defendant's attempt to use Rule 67 to deposit funds with the court's registry as a way to force a putative class representative to involuntarily settle its claim. Fulton Dental builds on the Supreme Court's decision, last year, in Campbell-Ewald Co. v. Gomez, which held that an unaccepted Rule 68 offer of judgment could not moot a plaintiff's claims.

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7th Circuit Rejects Heightened Ascertainability Requirement in Consumer Class Actions Signaled in Carrera v. Bayer Corp. (3d Cir. 2013)

7th Circuit Rejects Heightened Ascertainability Requirement in Consumer Class Actions Signaled in Carrera v. Bayer Corp. (3d Cir. 2013)

In a major decision, the Seventh Circuit rejected the heightened ascertainability requirement for class certification that has been recently adopted in the Third Circuit. As a result, the Seventh Circuit not only rejected adoption of the Third Circuit's interpretation, but also dissected and found lacking each of the proffered underlying policies. Thus, the Seventh Circuit still recognizes the utility of affidavits in identifying class members. Perhaps the best line: "When it comes to protecting the interests of absent class members, courts should not let the perfect become the enemy of the good."

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7th Circuit Weighs in on Crucial Standing Issue in Cyberattack Cases

7th Circuit Weighs in on Crucial Standing Issue in Cyberattack Cases

Today's discussion focuses on this week's Seventh Circuit decision in Remijas v. Neiman Marcus Grp., LLC, in which the court found standing for a putative class action following a cyberattack causing credit card information for 350,000 customers to be accessed.

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SCOTUS Resolves Circuit Split on CAFA Amount in Controversy Burden

SCOTUS Resolves Circuit Split on CAFA Amount in Controversy Burden

This installment of the Hoosier Litigation Blog looks at the Class Action Fairness Act's amount in controversy requirement and this week's Supreme Court decision in Dart Cherokee Basin Operating Company, LLC v. Owens in which the Court resolved a circuit split, but not without controversy. In an unfamiliar (5-4) split, Justice Ginsburg authored the majority opinion joined by Chief Justice Roberts, and Justices Alito, Sotomayor, and Breyer. The dissent, authored by Justice Scalia and joined by Justices Kennedy, Thomas, and Kagan sought to undue the mistakes of the past in Standard Fire Insurance Company v. Knowles.

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7th Circuit (Posner) Examines CAFA Amount in Controversy in Light of Knowles & Rooker-Feldman Doctrine

7th Circuit (Posner) Examines CAFA Amount in Controversy in Light of Knowles & Rooker-Feldman Doctrine

This week we look at the Seventh Circuit (Posner) decision in Johnson v. Pushpin Holdings, LLC that examined whether a named plaintiff in a class action could stipulate to limit damages recovery to below the $5 million threshold requirement for federal jurisdiction under the Class Action Fairness Act (CAFA). The case also, briefly, stepped into the realm of examining the Rooker-Feldman doctrine that bars review of a state court decision by a federal court other than the Supreme Court and how that might apply to removal under the CAFA.

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7th Circuit: Impact of Defendant’s Exposure on Rule 23(f) Class Cert Appeal & Novel Issues of the TCPA

7th Circuit: Impact of Defendant’s Exposure on Rule 23(f) Class Cert Appeal & Novel Issues of the TCPA

This week's discussion focuses on a decision out of the Seventh Circuit by noted jurist Hon. Richard Posner that examines the impact of the magnitude of a defendant's liability on the determination of whether to exercise Rule 23(f) to permit an interlocutory appeal of class certification. The case also discusses numerous novel issues of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA).

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Seventh Circuit Examines Standing for Class Rep and Departs from 3rd 8th Circuits on FDCPA Interpretation

Seventh Circuit Examines Standing for Class Rep and Departs from 3rd 8th Circuits on FDCPA Interpretation

This second installment on the day addresses the Seventh Circuit decision in McMahon v. LVNV Funding, LLC, which held for the first time – in direct opposition to the Third and Eighth Circuits – that a letter attempting to collect a time-barred debt does not need to threaten litigation to be actionable under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). The case also examined the issue of when a named-plaintiff in a putative class action case has his individual claim rendered moot by offer of settlement.

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7th Cir. (Posner) Examines Interlocutory Appeals of Class Certification Decisions Under 23(f)

7th Cir. (Posner) Examines Interlocutory Appeals of Class Certification Decisions Under 23(f)

This week we look primarily at interlocutory appeals of class certification decisions under Rule 23(f) through the Seventh Circuit case Driver v. AppleIllinois, LLC authored by Judge Richard Posner. We also take a brief look at another Posner decision in Parko v. Shell Oil Co. addressing certification issues on predominance and numerosity grounds.

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Seventh Circuit (Posner) Examines Role of Class Action Representative

Seventh Circuit (Posner) Examines Role of Class Action Representative

In this installment we look at the role of a class action representative through the 7th Circuit case Phillips v. Asset Acceptance, LLC authored by Judge Richard Posner in which the court of appeals reversed the denial of class certification stemming from the impermissible attempt to collect debts after the expiration of the applicable statute of limitation.

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Pavlack Law Scores Appellate Victory in Putative Class Action Case: Bell v. The Bryant Company

Pavlack Law Scores Appellate Victory in Putative Class Action Case: Bell v. The Bryant Company

This week's discussion focuses on the recent Indiana Court of Appeals case that found: (1) a Rule 12(C) motion in appropriate to determine class action allegations, (2) collection of late-fees are part of the "usual leasing services" of a property manager, and (3) that a property manager expressly acting as the agent of a property owner does not collect rent and fees for its own behalf.

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7th Circuit Examines Boundaries of Class Action Fairness Act

7th Circuit Examines Boundaries of Class Action Fairness Act

This week's post takes a look at the Seventh Circuit's recent decision in Addison Automatics, Inc. v. Hartford Casualty. Ins. Co. that sheds some light on the boundaries of the Class Action Fairness Act (CAFA), but does so by utilizing a mechanism that left your author questioning the wisdom of the specific procedural result.

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Indiana Court Addresses the Enforceability of Arbitration

Indiana Court Addresses the Enforceability of Arbitration

This week's discussion focuses on the recent Indiana Court of Appeals decision Anyonymous, M.D. v. Hendricks that found an arbitration provision enforceable despite the unavailability of the designated forum for arbitration. The discussion also examines the concept of unconscionability to defeat application of an arbitration provision under Indiana law.

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7th Circuit: Posner Explains Notice Requirements & Utility of Cy Pres Decrees in Small Class Actions

7th Circuit: Posner Explains Notice Requirements & Utility of Cy Pres Decrees in Small Class Actions

This week we examine the recent Judge Posner authored decision in Hughes v. Kore of Indiana Enterprise, Inc. that discusses class action notice requirements and the utility of cy pres decrees. We also examine the bombshell that the Judge drops at the end of the case that could have a substantial impact on the class action landscape going forward.

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7th Circuit Again Certifies Butler v. Sears, Roebuck, & Co. Classes

7th Circuit Again Certifies Butler v. Sears, Roebuck, & Co. Classes

This week we discuss the Seventh Circuit's decision to once more certify the class action cases in Butler v. Sears, Roebuck, & Co. after the case was remanded by the Supreme Court in light of Comcast Corp. v. Behrend.

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7th Circuit Certifies ERISA Breach of Fiduciary Duty Class in Defined-Contribution Plan

7th Circuit Certifies ERISA Breach of Fiduciary Duty Class in Defined-Contribution Plan

This week we take a look at the recent Seventh Circuit decision in Abbott v. Lockheed Martin Corp., in which the court order the certification of a class action based upon breach of fidcuiary duty under ERISA for a defined-contribution plan. The decision finally answered the question left open by Spano v. Boeing Co.: when can a defined-contribution plan ERISA class action be brought.

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