In its noteworthy 2004 decision in Klay v. Humana, Inc., the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit appeared to veer from its own precedents in affirming certification of a nationwide class asserting a claim under the federal Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO). During 2009 the court returned to RICO class actions in Williams v. Mohawk Industries, Inc. , and this time the Eleventh Circuit vacated a district court's refusal to certify a RICO class. The proposed class consisted of Mohawk Industries employees who complained that Mohawk engaged in racketeering activity violating the federal and Georgia RICO statutes by hiring illegal aliens and depressing the employees' wages. The employees sought class certification under subsections (b)(2) and (b)(3) of Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23. The district court concluded that the commonality and typicality requirements of subsections (a)(2) and (a)(3) of Rule 23 were not satisfied by the employees. As to commonality, the district court found that Mohawk's operations were extremely decentralized, including its use of temporary employment agencies and its wage-setting practices." The district court deemed the class representatives' claims atypical because they only "worked at ... a handful of [Mohawk's] facilities." The district court also held that the proposed class did not meet the requirements of subsections (b)(2) or (b)(3) of Rule 23.
Byrne, Thomas M. and McGavin, Stacey A.
Mercer Law Review: Vol. 61:
4, Article 5.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.law.mercer.edu/jour_mlr/vol61/iss4/5