U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit

Case Status


Docket Number

13-90023, 15-11455

Oral Argument Date

December 18, 2015


Case Updates


March 21, 2016

The Eleventh Circuit held that the district court abused its discretion in determining the predominance requirement of Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23(b)(3). The opinion explains that the lower court misstated the law when articulating the standard for class certification and the associated burden of proof. The Circuit Court also concludes that the district court abused its discretion in assessing whether the common questions predominate over the individual ones. The class certification is remanded and the case is remanded for further proceedings.

U.S. Chamber urges Eleventh Circuit to vacate class action certification decision

June 22, 2015

The U.S. Chamber filed a coalition amicus brief in a Rule 23(f) appeal before the Eleventh Circuit. The court is reviewing an order certifying a class of plaintiffs who allege that front-loading clothes washers share a defect that make them more likely than top-loading washers to develop mold and odors. In opposing class certification, the defendant provided evidence that (i) the vast majority of class members would be unable to assert or prevail on any claim because more than 99 percent never reported any mold or odor problem, (ii) many buyers knew of the widely publicized potential for odors before purchase, and (iii) among those buyers who did have a problem, many received a free warranty replacement of the allegedly defective part. Nevertheless, the district court certified the class, reasoning that it should “resolve[] doubts related to class certification in favor of certifying the class.”

In its brief, the Chamber argues that the district court’s decision substantially lowers the bar for class certification in direct contravention of the U.S. Supreme Court’s pronouncements in Comcast Corp. v. Behrend and Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. v. Dukes, which require a "rigorous" analysis of plaintiffs' evidentiary proof.

Michael T. Williams of Wheeler Trigg O'Donnell LLP represented the U.S. Chamber as co-counsel to the U.S. Chamber Litigation Center, Inc.

Permission to appeal granted

April 07, 2015

U.S. Chamber files amicus brief

November 01, 2013

The U.S. Chamber asked the Eleventh Circuit to review the district court’s decision to certify a class in a lawsuit involving allegedly defective washing machines. In granting plaintiffs' class certification motion, the district court dramatically lowered the bar for class certification and departed from controlling Supreme Court precedent. Wrongly presuming that all doubts should be resolved in favor of class certification, the district court “vaulted over outcome-determinative differences among the facts and laws underlying Plaintiffs’ claims and certified a Rule 23(b)(3) class of tens of thousands of mostly unharmed purchasers of washing machines.”

In its brief, the Chamber argued that this decision permits courts to certify massive consumer classes “even if most buyers never experience the alleged problem, or received free repairs to replace the allegedly defective component, or knew of the potential for problems before making their purchase decision.” Such a result does not comport with controlling precedent and would increase business’ exposure to massively over-broad class actions.

Michael T. Williams of Wheeler Trigg O'Donnell LLP represented the U.S. Chamber as co-counsel to the National Chamber Litigation Center, Inc.

Case Documents