Friday, January 7, 2011

8th Circuit’s Disapproval of Tobacco II Deemed Unpersuasive by a Second California District Court: Chavez v. Blue Sky Natural Bev. Co.

On November 22, 2010, a second Northern District Court declined a request to follow the 8th Circuit’s recent decision in Avritt v. Reliastar Life Ins. Co., 615 F.3d 1023 (8th Cir. 2010) as a basis for decertification of a UCL deceptive advertising class. As previously discussed here, Avritt disapproved of Tobacco II’s holding that absent class members are excused from establishing individual reliance on misrepresentations which form the basis of a UCL claim.

In Chavez v. Blue Sky Natural Bev. Co, 2010 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 138696 (N.D. Cal. Nov. 22, 2010), Judge Vaughn R. Walker denied defendant’s motion for leave to reconsider the Court’s order certifying a UCL deceptive advertising class (268 F.R.D. 365) based on Avritt, which defendant claimed constituted “new law” on the issue of “whether unnamed plaintiffs pursuing section 17200 claims must have independent Article III standing….” See id, at 4. The Court disagreed, citing to analysis contained in the Court’s certification order concluding that only the named plaintiff is required to establish standing. Id.

As previously discussed here, Judge Claudia Wilken similarly declined to follow Avritt in Greenwood v. Compucredit Corp., 2010 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 127719 (N.D. Cal. Nov. 19, 2010).

Further discussion of the Chavez Court’s certification order may be found at the UCL Practitioner here.

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