Tagged: Nationwide Class

Third Circuit Clarifies Apparent Confusion Regarding Rule 23(b)(3) Ascertainability Requirement

In Byrd v. Aaron’s Inc., the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit added to, and clarified, its “quartet” of ascertainability cases to resolve the “apparent confusion in the invocation and application of ascertainability in this Circuit.” The plaintiffs in Byrd brought a class action claiming violations of the Electronic Communications Privacy Act of 1986 because laptop computers had “spyware” installed, which had captured a wide array of personal information from the users including photographs and screenshots of websites visited. Adopting the recommendation of the Magistrate Judge, the District Court denied class certification for failure to establish ascertainability, finding that the proposed classes were both “underinclusive” (i.e., did not include all individuals whose information was gathered) and overinclusive (not every computer user had data intercepted), and that it was insufficient to propose that “household members” be identified by public records. “Because the District Court confused ascertainability with other relevant inquiries under Rule 23,” it “erred in determining that the Byrds’ proposed classes were not ascertainable.”

Rejecting Tele Aid, the Third Circuit in Maniscalco v. Brother Holds that the Laws of Consumers’ Home States Apply in Nationwide Class Actions

On March 8, 2013, the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit issued its precedential decision in Maniscalco v. Brother International Corp., which significantly restricts the ability of out-of state plaintiffs to use the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act (“NJCFA”) to pursue nationwide class actions in New Jersey against New Jersey based companies.