Robert Lisk of Alabama was building a fence. So he bought some fence lumber from Lumber One. Three years later (he alleged) he discovered that his lumber was rotting prematurely. He filed a class action against Lumber One, asserting, among other claims, that it had violated Alabama’s Deceptive Trade Practices Act (the ADTPA).

Lumber One moved to dismiss the ADTPA claim, arguing that the statute specifically prohibited class actions. A court in the Northern District of Alabama agreed, and dismissed the case in Lisk v. Lumber One Wood Preserving, LLC, No. 3:13-cv–01402-AKK, 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 1784 (N.D. Ala. … Continue Reading

Chesapeake Energy Corporation produces natural gas. As gas royalty class actions have become more popular in the last decade, it has also been a defendant in a number of cases alleging that it underpaid mineral royalties to various landowners. One of these cases recently resulted in a denial of class certification that is worth some attention.

In Williams v. Chesapeake Lousiana, Inc., No. 10-1906, 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 34778 (W.D. La. Mar. 11, 2013), which alleged that Chesapeake had violated the Louisiana Mineral Code by underpaying class members for gas royalties, the plaintiff moved for class certification at the … Continue Reading

 On Monday, I reported on the passing of Vanderbilt Professor Richard Nagareda. Given the widespread recognition of his contributions to studying aggregated litigation, it seemed appropriate to revisit one of his better articles: Aggregation and Its Discontents: Class Settlement Pressure, Class-Wide Arbitration, and CAFA, which originally appeared in the Columbia Law Review in 2006. 

In this article, Professor Nagareda took three debates over class-action practice — (1) do class actions create undue settlement pressure? (2) can arbitration clauses override the use of the class-action device?; and (3) did the passage of CAFA threaten to abrogate the Supreme Court’s … Continue Reading

The Supreme Court issued an opinion in Shady Grove Orthopedic Associates v. Allstate Insurance Company yesterday.

The case stemmed from a class action that had been filed in New York state. The class action arose after a woman was injured in a car accident. She was treated by Shady Grove Orthopedic Associates (the plaintiff). To pay for the treatment, the woman assigned her insurance benefits to Sahdy Grove. Shady Grove submitted the claim, but Allstate paid it late, and did not pay the required 2% interest on the overdue benefits. So Shady Grove filed a class action on behalf of … Continue Reading