Supreme Court's Comcast Decision Reduces Threat Of Abusive Class Actions
The United States Supreme Court's decision last week in Comcast Corp. v. Behrend, No. 11-864, was a profoundly significant and positive development for companies facing class actions. In holding that a plaintiff seeking certification of a damages class under Rule 23(b)(3) must establish, through "evidentiary proof," that damages can be measured on a classwide basis, Comcast imposes a bar to certification in cases where individual damage calculations are required. Comcast also makes clear that the trial court must probe the merits of the claim at the certification stage to ensure that the method for measuring damages fits the underlying substantive legal theories remaining in the case and is not arbitrary.