Norton Rose Fulbright: Courts Disagree Whether Attacks On Expert Damage Models Defeat Class Certification In The Wake Of Comcast

By Joshua Lichtman

Federal courts continue to be split on whether the Supreme Court’s 2013 ruling in Comcast Corp. v. Behrend  [enhanced opinion available to lexis subscribers]  [ subscribers may access Supreme Court briefs for this case].

requires plaintiffs seeking class certification to present viable, common methodologies to prove class-wide injury and damages. Two recent federal decisions highlight these competing views of Comcast. Uncertainty over the standards for the use of expert damages testimony to establish predominance of common issues is likely to remain until the Supreme Court further clarifies Comcast and what it means for class actions.

Denial of Class Certification in In re Optical Disk Drive 

On Oct. 3, 2014, Northern District of California Judge Richard Seeborg denied certification of a class of purchasers of optical disk drives (or products containing them, like computers and video game consoles) who allege that manufacturers conspired to fix disk drive prices.

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