D.C. Circuit's Rail Freight Decision Reflects Greater Scrutiny of Antitrust Class Certification in the Wake of Supreme Court's Comcast Ruling
Earlier this month, the influential U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit issued an important decision on the standards for certifying antitrust class actions. Taking its cue from the Supreme Court's decision this past March in Comcast Corp. v. Behrend, the D.C. Circuit vacated a lower court decision certifying a class of shippers in an antitrust case against railroads alleging collusion on fuel surcharges. The ruling in In re: Rail Freight Fuel Surcharge Antitrust Litigation is significant as the first known decision to apply Comcast to reject a proposed antitrust class. Companies facing overreaching class action suits may be able to take comfort that, after a few lower court decisions sidestepping Comcast, the principles set forth in that decision are now catching on in the lower courts.