Cases & Deals

PLAC files amicus brief addressing due process standards for state class actions

Clients Product Liability Advisory Council

On behalf of the Product Liability Advisory Council (PLAC), Jones Day submitted an amicus brief urging the United States Supreme Court to grant certiorari in a case addressing the applicable due process standards in state class actions. The Pennsylvania appellate courts had affirmed a jury award of over $150 million to a statewide class of approximately 187,000 Wal-Mart employees alleging they were unpaid for working through rest and lunch breaks. The jury based its findings on statistical extrapolation from evidence at a small number of stores and from incomplete records. PLAC argued that United States Supreme Court should review the decision in order to delineate a defendant's due process rights in state class action proceedings. Federal courts now increasingly urge caution with class certification and evidentiary burdens, but many states still use standards that date from broad decades-old law. PLAC argued that Supreme Court review would facilitate consistent treatment of class actions and ensure adequate safeguards of defendants’ due process rights in state court class actions.

Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. and Sam's East, Inc. v. Braun, Nos. 14-1123 & 14-1124 (U.S.)