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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Indiana Court of Appeals: Developments in Litigation Can Allow Remand for Failure to Meet Amount in Controversy and Recovery in Excess of $75,000

Indiana Court of Appeals: Developments in Litigation Can Allow Remand for Failure to Meet Amount in Controversy and Recovery in Excess of $75,000

Today, we look at a case whose procedural posture may be almost impossible to replicate that resulted in a successful remand motion from federal court in which the plaintiff asserted that the amount in controversy did not exceed $75,000 and an appellate court affirming a subsequent state-court jury verdict for $187,500.

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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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Indiana Court Explains Meaningful Difference Between State & Federal Summary Judgment Standard

Indiana Court Explains Meaningful Difference Between State & Federal Summary Judgment Standard

This week's discussion looks at the often overlooked difference between Indiana and the federal summary judgment standard. We also look, briefly, at Indiana's retention of its 12(B)(6) standard after Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly.

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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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7th Circuit Holds Lack of OSHA Regulation Cannot Provide Negative Inference in FLSA Case

7th Circuit Holds Lack of OSHA Regulation Cannot Provide Negative Inference in FLSA Case

This week's discussion looks back at a Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals decision from the end of October that rejected the proposition that the absence of an OSHA regulation requiring showering and changing of clothing by foundry workers meant that it was not required by the nature of the work. The case also advances a position of the Seventh Circuit against courts trying to handle complexity through simplified means.

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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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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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6th Circuit Reaffirms Class Certification in Whirlpool II

6th Circuit Reaffirms Class Certification in Whirlpool II

This installment of the Hoosier Litigation Blog revisits the Supreme Court decision in Comcast Corp. v. Behrend in light of the 6th Circuit's recertification of the class in Whirlpool II.

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7th Circuit Determines Qui Tam False Claims Act Case Against ITT Should Go Forward

7th Circuit Determines Qui Tam False Claims Act Case Against ITT Should Go Forward

This week we look at the 7th Circuit's decision in Leveski v. ITT Educational Services, Inc., in which the court reinstated a False Claims Act qui tam action against ITT and removed the imposition of $395,000 in sanctions against plaintiff's attorneys.

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Doctrine of Successor Liability: 7th Circuit Expands Federal Standard to FLSA Claim Context

Doctrine of Successor Liability: 7th Circuit Expands Federal Standard to FLSA Claim Context

This week we examine the doctrine of successor liability through the 7th Circuit's decision to expand application of the federal standard to Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) cases through the Teed v. Thomas & Betts Power Solutions, L.L.C. decision.

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Perils of Ambiguity in Rule 68 Offer of Judgment

Perils of Ambiguity in Rule 68 Offer of Judgment

In this second post for the day, we examine the perils for defense attorneys in allowing an offer of judgment pursuant to Rule 68 to be ambiguous. Through the case Sanchez v. Prudential Pizza, we examine how the ambiguity allowed plaintiff to recover her attorney's fees and costs.

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7th Circuit Extends Bivens Civil Rights Actions to Brady Violations

7th Circuit Extends Bivens Civil Rights Actions to Brady Violations

This week we examine the hugely important 7th Circuit case Engel v. Buchan that found that the violations of the Brady v. Maryland right requiring a prosecutor to disclose potentially exculpatory evidence to a criminal defendant are subject to damage awards arising from Bivens civil rights actions.

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