SEARS V. BUTLER
Issue: Class Action Standards
Court: U.S. Supreme Court
Lower Court: U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
I. Whether the Rule 23(b)(3) predominance requirement can be satisfied based solely on a determination that it would be “efficient” to decide a
single common question at trial, without considering any of the individual issues that would also need to be tried, and without determining whether the aggregate of common issues predominates over the aggregate of individual issues.
II. Whether a class may be certified on breach of warranty claims where it is undisputed that most members did not experience the alleged product defect and where fact of injury would have to be litigated on a member-by-member basis.
The RLC joined other trade associations in asking the U.S. Supreme Court to grant cert in a case where the Seventh Circuit applied an overly simplistic standard for certifying a multi-state class, ignoring the precedent set in Wal-Mart v. Dukes.
The U.S. Supreme Court granted certiorari, vacated the underlying Circuit Court's decision, and remanded for reconsideration in light of the Court's recent decision in Comcast v. Behrend.
Procedural History and Case Documents:
- Certiorari petition filed February 2013