Ca. Litig. Rev. 2016

Class Actions

By Michael Geibelson and Jill Casselman

2016 presented numerous developments in class action law as courts grappled with the interplay between state and federal law and thorny issues of standing, arbitrability, and Labor Code Private Attorneys General Act of 2004 ("PAGA") actions, and navigated emerging litigation trends, such as deceptive pricing suits. As a result, the 2016 class action decisions touched upon a wide range of topics that continue to refine and redefine the bounds of claims that can be brought as class actions.

Standing Under Article III (and the UCL) – Spokeo v. Robins

After enactment of the Class Action Fairness Act of 2005,1 an increasing number of class actions have been brought in or removed to federal court. That trend has been stymied somewhat by a recent United States Supreme Court decision interpreting Article III injury. In Spokeo, Inc. v. Robins,2 the Court held that a plaintiff cannot satisfy Article III’s injury requirement by alleging a "bare procedural violation" of a statute unless the violation of the statute itself results in concrete and particularized harm.3As a result, federal courts have begun looking to state law to determine what an injury looks and feels like.

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