Thursday, July 01, 2010

Class Action Denial State Cheat Sheet

Last week we gave you our federal class action denial cheat sheet. This week we’re posting a similar list of class action denials from state courts.  It took some work, but we’ve been able to dig up certification denials from eleven different states.  If you’ve got others, send them along.


With the Class Action Fairness Act moving most class action litigation to federal court, there may not be very many new entries on this list.

As with the federal cases, we’ve only included decisions that deny certification of everything.  No split decisions on this list.

  1. Rosenfeld v. A.H. Robins Co., 407 N.Y.S.2d 196 (N.Y.A.D. July 3, 1978) (Dalkon Shield – personal injury).  Denial of statewide class certification affirmed.  No predominance due to plaintiff-specific variations.
  2. Morrissy v. Eli Lilly & Co., 394 N.E.2d 1369 (Ill. App. Sept. 18, 1979) (DES – increased risk of injury).  Denial of statewide class certification affirmed.  No predominance due to plaintiff-specific variations.
  3. Rose v. Medtronics, Inc., 166 Cal. Rptr. 16 (Cal. App. June 19, 1980) (pacemaker – personal injury).  Nationwide class certification denied.  No predominance due to plaintiff-specific variations and differences in state law.
  4. Arthur v. Zearley, 895 S.W.2d 928 (Ark. April 10, 1995) (Orthoblock – personal injury).  Certification of single hospital class reversed.  No superiority due to plaintiff-specific variations.
  5. McCaster v. Becton Dickinson & Co., 1999 WL 34842201 (Ill. Cir. Jan. 11, 1999) (needles – personal injury).  Statewide class certification denied.  No predominance due to multiple products and plaintiff-specific variations, particularly affirmative defenses.
  6. Baker v. Wyeth-Ayerst Laboratories, 992 S.W.2d 797 (Ark. June 24, 1999) (fen-phen – personal injury, medical monitoring).  Denial of statewide class certification affirmed.  No predominance due to plaintiff-specific variations.  No issue certification.
  7. Becton Dickinson & Co. v. Usrey, 57 S.W.3d 488 (Tex. App. Aug. 16, 2001) (needles – economic loss).  Statewide class certification reversed.  No predominance due to plaintiff-specific variations.
  8. In re PPA Cases, 2002 WL 35071721, slip op. (Cal. Super. Aug. 23, 2002) (PPA  – economic loss).  Statewide class certification denied.  No substantial benefit since defendant voluntarily removed product from market and provided refunds.  Not ascertainable due to lack of purchase records.  No community of interest or typicality due to individualized damages and causation.  No adequacy due to abandonment of claims held by class members.
  9. Grant v. Becton Dickinson & Co., 2003 WL 21267787 (Ohio App. June 3, 2003) (needles – personal injury).  Statewide class certification reversed.  No commonality and typicality due to multiple products.  No predominance due to plaintiff-specific variations.  Class certification was reversed again on substantially the same grounds in Grant v. Becton Dickinson & Co., 2006 WL 2808164 (Ohio App. Sept. 21, 2006).
  10. Barnes v. Muscletech Research & Development, Inc., 2004 WL 5140060 (Fla. Cir. Nov. 12, 2004) (steroids – economic loss/consumer fraud).  Statewide class certification denied.  No commonality typicality, and adequacy due to conflicting theories.  No predominance, manageability, and superiority due to plaintiff-specific variations.
  11. Howland v. Purdue Pharma L.P., 821 N.E.2d 141 (Ohio Dec. 15, 2004) (Oxycontin – personal injury).  Certification of statewide class reversed.  No commonality or predominance due to plaintiff-specific variations, particularly learned intermediary.
  12. Johnson v. Abbott Laboratories, 2004 WL 3245947 (Ind. Cir. Dec. 31, 2004) (Oxycontin – personal injury).  Statewide class certification denied.  No proper class definition and no numerosity due to plaintiff-specific variations.  No commonality typicality, and predominance due to plaintiff-specific variations, particularly learned intermediary.  No adequacy.  No superiority.  No medical monitoring injunctive class due to monetary damages.
  13. Hurtado v. Purdue Pharma Co., 2005 WL 192351 (N.Y. Sup. Jan. 24, 2005) (unpublished, in table at 800 N.Y.S.2d 347) (Oxycontin – personal injury).  Statewide class certification reversed.  No commonality due to plaintiff-specific variations.  No typicality.
  14. Albertson v. Wyeth, Inc., 2005 WL 3782970 (Pa. C.P. May 3, 2005) (hormone replacement therapy – medical monitoring).  Statewide class certification denied.  No commonality and typicality due to plaintiff-specific variations, particularly causation.
  15. Johnson v. Ethicon, Inc., 2005 WL 3968820 (W. Va. Cir. May 17, 2005) (suture – personal injury).  Statewide class action decertified.  No proper class definition, no numerosity due to plaintiff-specific variations.  No commonality, typicality, adequacy, and predominance due to conflicting theories and plaintiff-specific variations, particularly causation.  No superiority.  No punitive damages class.
  16. Wyeth, Inc. v. Gottlieb, 930 So.2d 635 (Fla. App. Feb. 15, 2006) (hormone replacement therapy – medical monitoring).  Certification of statewide class reversed.  No commonality, typicality, and adequacy due to conflicting theories and plaintiff-specific variations.
  17. Arons v. Rite-Aid, 2005 WL 975462 (N.J. Super. Law Div. March 23, 2005) (counterfeit Lipitor – economic loss).  Nationwide class action denied.  No commonality and predominance due to plaintiff-specific variations.  No superiority due to multiple state laws.
  18. Dimich v. Med-Pro, Inc., 826 N.Y.S.2d 3 (N.Y.A.D. Nov 16, 2006) (counterfeit Lipitor – economic loss).  Denial of nationwide and statewide class certification affirmed.  No predominance due to plaintiff-specific variations.  Affirming: Dimich v. Med-Pro Inc., 2005 WL 5960153 (N.Y..Sup. Nov. 18, 2005), reargument denied, 2005 WL 6062132 (N.Y. Sup. Nov. 18, 2005).
  19. International Union of Operating Engineers Local No. 68 Welfare Fund v. Merck & Co., 929 A.2d 1076 (N.J. Sept. 6, 2007) (Vioxx – economic loss/consumer fraud).  Certification of nationwide class reversed.  No predominance due to plaintiff-specific variations, particularly causation.  No fraud on the market.  No superiority.
  20. Williams v . Nidek Co., 2009 WL 226024 (Cal. App. Feb. 2, 2009) (unpublished) (laser – economic loss).  Denial of certification of nationwide and state-wide classes affirmed.  No predominance due to plaintiff-specific variations.
  21. Kleinman v. Merck & Co., 2009 WL 699939 (N.J. Super. Law Div. March 17, 2009) (Vioxx – economic loss/consumer fraud).  Nationwide class certification denied.  No predominance and typicality due to plaintiff-specific variations, particularly causation.  No superiority.  Reconsideration denied, Kleinman v. Merck & Co., 2009 WL 2481925 (N.J. Super. Law Div. Aug. 13, 2009).
  22. In re Vioxx Class Cases, 103 Cal.Rptr.3d 83 (Cal. App. December 15, 2009) (Vioxx – economic loss/consumer fraud).  Denial of statewide class certification affirmed.  No typicality or predominance due to plaintiff-specific variations, particularly causation, materiality, and existence of injury.
  23. Clark v. Pfizer Inc., 990 A.2d 17 (Pa. Super. Jan 19, 2010) (Neurontin – economic loss).  Decertification of statewide class affirmed.  No commonality and typicality due to plaintiff-specific variations, particularly reliance and causation.  No fraud on the market.  Affirming, Clark v. Pfizer Inc., 2009 WL 1725953 (Pa. C.P. April 20, 2009).
  24. Judy v. Pfizer, Inc., 2010 WL 3001745, slip op. (Mo. Cir. St. Louis Co. July 27, 2010) (Neurontin – economic loss/consumer fraud).  Statewide class certification denied.  No proper class definition, and typicality, predominance, and superiority due to plaintiff-specific variations.
  25. Weiss v. Astrazeneca Pharmaceuticals, 2010 WL 3387220 (Cal. App. Aug. 30, 2010) (Nexium – economic loss/consumer fraud). Denial of statewide class certification affirmed.  No typicality or predominance due to plaintiff-specific variations, particularly causation, deception, materiality, and existence of injury.
  26. Merck & Co. v. Ratliff, ___ S.W.3d ___, 2012 WL 413522 (Ky. App. Feb. 10, 2012) (Vioxx – economic loss/consumer fraud).  Statewide class certification reversed as abuse of discretion.  No predominance due to plaintiff-specific variations, particularly causation, reliance and damages.  No fraud on the market.  The inequitable conduct element of unjust enrichment would require an individualized determination of risk/benefit for every user of the drug.
  27. Federman v. Qualitest, BC471059, slip op. (Cal. Super. L.A. Co. ??? 2012) (oral contraceptive – economic loss).  Statewide class certification denied.  Overly broad recalls should not be punished by class actions.  No numerosity due to lack of evidence of any significant number of actually defective products.  No commonality or typicality due to the plaintiff's peculiar circumstances.

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