Helpful opinion limiting Comcast

We've written before about the potential effects on class actions of the Supreme Court's decision this Term in Comcast v. Behrend: see here, here, and here.

Yesterday's Ninth Circuit opinion in Levya v. Medaline Industries is a welcome development in the growing body of post-Comcast jurisprudence in the lower courts. The opinion, written by the indomitable Judge Harry Pregerson, reverses the denial of class certification to a group of plaintiffs alleging wage/hour violations, and confirms that Comcast does not foreclose certification where damages must be calculated on an individual basis. Rather, Comcast stands for the proposition that "the plaintiffs must be able to show that their damages stemmed from the defendant’s actions that created the legal liability." It does not change the rule that "the presence of individualized damages cannot, by itself, defeat class certification." Indeed, as the Ninth Circuit noted, "damages determinations are individual in nearly all wage-and-hour class actions."

Let's hope to see other circuits following suit in the coming months.


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