The year 2004 was an eventful one for the development of class action law in the Eleventh Circuit. In a series of decisions prior to 2004, the court consistently paid close attention to whether the individual issues raised by claims or defenses would predominate over any common issues and would thereby render a class action either unmanageable or unfair. For example, in Andrews v. American Telephone & Telegraph Co., the court reversed an order certifying a class of millions of telephone service customers who challenged their phone carriers' 900-number participation because of the impossibility of applying the gaming laws of all fifty states to hundreds of 900-number programs. In the related case of Sikes v. Teleline, Inc., the court reversed certification of a class of phone service consumers who asserted that one specific 900-number violated the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act ("RICO"), because individual issues of reliance and injuries predominated. In Jackson v. Motel 6 Multipurpose, Inc., the court reversed an order certifying a class of motel patrons who alleged race discrimination because plaintiffs' claims required "distinctly case-specific inquiries into the facts surrounding each alleged incident of discrimination." Finally, in Rutstein v. Avis Rent-A-Car Systems, Inc., the court reversed certification of a class of Jewish plaintiffs who were allegedly denied corporate accounts pursuant to a discriminatory policy because individual factual issues predominated. In these pre-2004 cases, the Eleventh Circuit applied the predominance requirements of Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23(b)(3) more consistently than some of its sister circuits.
Byrne, Thomas M. and Alford, Suzanne M.
Mercer Law Review: Vol. 56:
4, Article 8.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.law.mercer.edu/jour_mlr/vol56/iss4/8