Plaintiffs filed a class action complaint against defendants alleging, among other things, violations of California’s Consumer Protection Acts, and moved to certify a nationwide class action under Fed. R. Civ. P. 23(b).

Overview

Plaintiffs asserted that certification of a nationwide class was appropriate because the prospective class met the requirements of Fed. R. Civ. P. 23(a), and certification was warranted under Rule 23(b)(3). However, plaintiffs did not show that it was appropriate to apply California law to nonresidents. The proposed nationwide class did not provide superior means of adjudicating the proposed class members’ claims, as the proposed class was far too large to reasonably manage, and several different state laws applied to different subclasses. These concerns would have made a trial extremely complex. Thus, certifying a national class under Rule 23(b)(3) was not appropriate. Plaintiffs also asserted that certification of a nationwide class was appropriate under Rule 23(b)(1) or 23(b)(2). The case was primarily an action for damages, however. And individual adjudication would not have been dispositive of the interests of other class members. Thus, nationwide class certification under Rule 23(b)(1) was not appropriate. Furthermore, declaratory and injunctive relief was secondary to the damages request, making nationwide class certification under Rule 23(b)(2) inappropriate. Parties’ civil litigation attorney appeal.

Outcome

Certification of a nationwide class was denied without prejudice to certification of a California class.

Overview

An employer’s motion to compel arbitration of a class action suit alleging employment-related claims was granted because, inter alia, the employees had entered into an agreement providing for arbitration, and cited no law for their proposition that 29 U.S.C.S. § 157 preemptively rendered the arbitration agreement unenforceable. The employees’ argument that no claim under the Private Attorney General Act (PAGA), Cal. Lab. Code § 2698 was arbitrable was unsupported. The employees’ PAGA claim was a state-law claim, and states were not allowed to exempt claims from the Federal Arbitration Act.

Outcome

The court granted the employer’s motion to compel arbitration, stayed the action pending arbitration, and denied the employer’s motion to strike and the employees’ motion for leave to file an amended complaint.