Ninth Circuit holds that a showing of “administratve feasibility” is not a prerequisite to class certification

In an opinion issued yesterday, the Ninth Circuit held that a named plaintiff need not demonstrate, to support a motion for class certification, an "administratively feasible" way of identifying individual class members.

In Briseno v. ConAgra, the plaintiffs argued that Wesson Oil's “100% Natural” label was false or misleading because Wesson oils are made from bioengineered ingredients. The district court granted class certification, and ConAgra, which manufactures Wesson Oil, appealed. ConAgra that the court erred in certifying the class because the court did not require the named plaintiffs to proffer an administratively feasible way to identify members of the class. The Ninth Circuit held that the language of Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23 neither provides nor implies that demonstrating an administratively feasible way to identify class members is a prerequisite to class certification. The Ninth Circuit joined the Sixth, Seventh, and Eighth Circuits in declining to adopt an administrative feasibility requirement.

The opinion also emphasizes that the Ninth Circuit has not adopted an “ascertainability” requirement. "Instead, we have addressed the types of alleged definitional deficiencies other courts have referred to as “ascertainability” issues through analysis of Rule  23’s  enumerated  requirements."

The opinion is here.

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