Tag Archives: Supreme Court

American Express v. Italian Colors Restaurant Supreme Court Decision: Potential Insurance Industry Impact

The U.S. Supreme Court recently issued its opinion in American Express Company v. Italian Colors Restaurant, No. 12-133, addressing whether an arbitration clause prohibiting class-action arbitrations is enforceable when the cost of arbitrating a federal statutory claim on an individual basis exceeds the potential recovery.  The Court held, 5-3, that such prohibitions on class arbitrations … Continue Reading

Oxford Health Plans v. Sutter: Supreme Court Largely Sidesteps Class Arbitration Issues

Yesterday, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its opinion in Oxford Health Plans LLC v. Sutter, No. 12-135, addressing whether an arbitrator exceeded his powers in deciding that a contract provided for class arbitration (i.e., a class action arbitration proceeding).  The Court held that the arbitrator did not exceed his powers in making that ruling, although … Continue Reading

Supreme Court To Decide Whether State Attorney General’s Parens Patriae Action Is A “Mass Action” Under the Class Action Fairness Act

Next Term, the U.S. Supreme Court will decide whether, or under what circumstances, a lawsuit brought by a state attorney general as a parens patriae action is removable as a “mass action” under the Class Action Fairness Act (CAFA).  This week the Supreme Court granted certiorari in Mississippi ex rel. Hood v. AU Optronics Corp., … Continue Reading

Supreme Court’s Vacate Orders Suggest Breadth of New Comcast v. Behrend Opinion

On April 1, the Supreme Court issued “GVR” (grant, vacate and remand) orders in two cases, summarily instructing the courts of appeals to reconsider their prior decisions in light of the Court’s recent Comcast Corp. v. Behrend decision.   The opinions that were vacated and remanded were Ross v. RBS Citizens, NA, 667 F.3d 900 (7th … Continue Reading

Comcast v. Behrend Supreme Court Opinion: Raising The Bar for Plaintiffs in Class Actions

Today the U.S. Supreme Court decided Comcast Corp. v. Behrend, No. 11-864 (slip opinion), which presented the question of whether a class action can be certified in federal court without admissible evidence that damages are susceptible to proof on a class-wide basis.  The Court’s answer was that, under Rule 23(b)(3)’s predominance requirement, the plaintiffs had … Continue Reading

U.S. Supreme Court Decision in Standard Fire Insurance Company v. Knowles — Class Action Fairness Act Case

Yesterday, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its opinion in The Standard Fire Insurance Company v. Knowles, No. 11-1450 (slip opinion), which involves the Class Action Fairness Act of 2005 (CAFA).  In a unanimous opinion authored by Justice Breyer, the Court overturned the district court’s decision remanding a putative class action to state court.  The Court … Continue Reading

Supreme Court Oral Argument on Arbitration Clauses With Class Action Waivers: American Express v. Italian Colors Restaurant

What restrictions are there, if any, on companies’ use of arbitration clauses that prohibit class action arbitrations?  On February 27, the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral argument in a case that may address that question.  American Express Company v. Italian Colors Restaurant, No. 12-133 (transcript) is a sequel to the Supreme Court’s 2011 decision in … Continue Reading

Amgen v. Connecticut Retirement Plans Supreme Court Opinion: Potential Impact Beyond the Securities Realm

Earlier this week, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its opinion in Amgen Inc. v. Connecticut Retirement Plans and Trust Funds, No. 11-1085 (slip opinion).  In a 6-3 decision, the Court held that, in a securities fraud class action under Section 10(b) and Rule 10b-5, the plaintiff need not prove materiality as a prerequisite to class … Continue Reading

Standard Fire Ins. Co. v. Knowles: U.S. Supreme Court Hears Oral Argument in First Class Action Fairness Act (CAFA) Case

Yesterday the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral argument in Standard Fire Insurance Co. v. Knowles, its first case involving the Class Action Fairness Act of 2005 (CAFA).  The case involves whether a named plaintiff can evade federal jurisdiction under CAFA by stipulating that he will not seek more than $5 million on behalf of the … Continue Reading

Supreme Court Grants Certiorari in American Express Case Involving Arbitration Provisions That Prohibit Class Action Arbitrations

On November 9, the U.S. Supreme Court granted certiorari in American Express Co. v. Italian Colors Restaurant, No. 12-133 (order granting certiorari; docket).  The question presented is “Whether the Federal Arbitration Act permits courts, invoking the ‘federal substantive law of arbitrability,’ to invalidate arbitration agreements on the ground that they do not permit class arbitration … Continue Reading

Comcast v. Behrend Oral Argument in U.S. Supreme Court

The Supreme Court granted certiorari in Comcast Corp. v. Behrend, No. 11-864 (docket) to decide the following question, as reformulated by the Court: “[w]hether a district court may certify a class action without resolving whether the plaintiff class has introduced admissible evidence, including expert testimony, to show that the case is susceptible to awarding damages … Continue Reading

Standard Fire Insurance Company v. Knowles: Supreme Court Grants Certiorari

In my August 20, 2012 post, I noted that there were several petitions pending before the U.S. Supreme Court involving class action issues.  Today the U.S. Supreme Court granted certiorari in The Standard Fire Ins. Co. v. Knowles, an insurance class action case presenting the following question: Whether, after Smith v. Bayer, when a named … Continue Reading

Supreme Court Class Action Cases for October 2012 Term

The U.S. Supreme Court has already granted review on one class action law issue as described in my June 26, 2012 post.  In Comcast Corp. v. Behrend, No. 11-864, the Court granted certiorari on “[w]hether a district court may certify a class action without resolving whether the plaintiff class has introduced admissible evidence, including expert … Continue Reading

Comcast Corp. v. Behrend: Supreme Court Grants Certiorari Regarding Evidence Requirements at Class Certification

Yesterday, the U.S. Supreme Court granted certiorari in Comcast Corp. v. Behrend, No. 11-864 (docket), to address the question of “[w]hether a district court may certify a class action without resolving whether the plaintiff class has introduced admissible evidence, including expert testimony, to show that the case is susceptible to awarding damages on a class-wide … Continue Reading

Due Process Protections in State Class Actions: Louisiana Citizens Insurance Seeks Certiorari in U.S. Supreme Court

In an insurance class action, the U.S. Supreme Court now has another opportunity to take up the issue of federal due process protections in state court class actions.  The Court’s decisions last term in Wal-Mart v. Dukes and AT&T v. Concepcion are of limited help to defendants in state court because, while many state courts … Continue Reading

Will Concepcion End Class Actions? Law Professor Says “Yes”

There has been a lot written about what impact the Supreme Court’s decision in AT&T Mobility, LLC v. Concepcion will have on the future of class actions (if you haven’t followed this closely, see my prior posts about the Supreme Court’s decision, opinions by the Colorado federal court and Northern District of California applying Concepcion, … Continue Reading

Due Process Issues in State Court Insurance Class Action Are Raised By Petition for Certiorari in Farmers Insurance Company of Oregon v. Strawn

Back in June, I posted about the Oregon Supreme Court’s decision in Strawn v. Farmers Insurance Company of Oregon.  This class action involved payments for personal injury protection (PIP) coverage under auto insurance policies.  Farmers used software to analyze claimed medical expenses in comparison with a database of charges for particular medical services in the … Continue Reading

Consideration of the Merits on Class Certification: Certiorari Petition in Kartman v. State Farm Argues That Seventh Circuit Improperly Decided the Merits

I previously posted on the Seventh Circuit’s opinion reversing class certification in Kartman v. State Farm Mutual Auto. Ins. Co., where the plaintiffs claimed that State Farm improperly applied inconsistent standards in adjusting hail damage claims.  Law360 recently reported on the petition for certiorari in that case.  (I don’t have a link to the petition … Continue Reading

Supreme Court Opinion in Erica P. John Fund, Inc. v. Halliburton Co.: Will It Affect Insurance Class Actions Outside The Securities Context?

I haven’t posted about the Supreme Court’s decision in Erica P. John Fund, Inc. v. Halliburton Co. because I viewed it as limited to a narrow issue of securities law that would not affect insurers except to the extent that they are public companies occasionally subject to defending securities class actions like any other public … Continue Reading

Walmart Opinion by the Supreme Court: Impact on the Insurance Industry and Beyond

Class action law has changed.  Nearly every brief and decision on class certification will now cite the Supreme Court’s opinion in Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. v. Dukes, the Court’s most important decision on class actions in decades.  It substantially raises the bar for plaintiffs to obtain class certification in all types of class actions, and it … Continue Reading

Smith v. Bayer Corp. Opinion: Potential Impact on Insurance Class Actions

The Supreme Court failed to take the opportunity to resolve the pressing problem of relitigation in class actions, but suggested some potential solutions.  On June 16, the Supreme Court issued its opinion in Smith v. Bayer Corp., addressing whether a federal court, after denying class certification, can enjoin a state court from adjudicating a putative … Continue Reading

Supreme Court Decision In AT&T Mobility v. Concepcion: Potential Impact on Insurance Class Actions

The Supreme Court recently issued a decision in AT&T Mobility LLC v. Concepcion.  The majority upheld the use of a class action waiver in an arbitration provision in cell phone contracts.  The Court held that the Federal Arbitration Act preempted California state law on unconscionability.  The Ninth Circuit had held that under California law the … Continue Reading
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