Wednesday, September 7, 2011
Plaintiffs seek certification of two classes: (1) a class seeking medical monitoring for village residents exposed to the airborne vinyl chloride between 1968 and 2002; and (2) a liability-only issue class seeking compensation for property damage from the exposure. At issue is whether the District Court erred in finding individual issues barred certification of the proposed trial classes under Fed. R. Civ. P. 23(b)(2) or 23(b)(3). The Appeals Court affirmed the district court decision.
The Appeals Court explained further that, "Plaintiffs appear to rely on the same "common" evidence used for the medical monitoring class, but fail to explain how their estimates of exposure to residents over substantial periods of time corresponds to the level of contamination currently present at each home. It may prejudice absent class members whose properties may be shown to have suffered greater contamination. Given the inability to separate common issues from issues where individual characteristics may be determinative, the District Court did not abuse its discretion in refusing to certify a liability-only property damage class."
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