Seeger Weiss Blog
Seeger Weiss Blog: Legal News and Analysis

Archives : 2009 : July

Is Rule 23(f) Appellate Review of Class Certification Rulings Becoming at Long Last a Reality for Plaintiffs?

July 29th, 2009

In 1998, the Supreme Court adopted subdivision (f) to Rule 23 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, permitting interlocutory review by a court of appeals of a district court’s decision granting or denying a motion for class certification under Rule 23.  The adoption of the rule came after years of agitation, primarily from the defense bar and business interests, which had complained that class certification rulings often had a coercive effect  on class action defendants by placing “insurmountable pressure” on them to settle, even where a plaintiff’s case was weak on the merits, and that it was therefore necessary to provide immediate appellate review so that defendants aren’t coerced by faulty class certification rulings into settling meritless claims. 

Read the rest of this entry »


Courts Breathing New Life into Consumer-Oriented Tobacco Claims

July 29th, 2009
Supreme Court Overturns $79.5 Million Damage Award Against Philip Morris


In recent years, while many favorable outcomes had been reported in personal injury cases stemming from smoking-related ailments, e.g., Boeken v. Philip Morris Inc.,  127 Cal. App. 4th 1640, 26 Cal. Rptr. 3d 638 (2d Dist. 2005) (award of $5.5 million compensatory damages and $50 million punitive damages to smoker who developed lung cancer that metastasized to his brain), consumer fraud claims against “Big Tobacco” had experienced rough sledding in both the federal and state courts.  By “consumer fraud,” we can broadly categorize those claims that don’t entail personal injuries for smoking-related ailments.

Read the rest of this entry »