Ohio Supreme Court

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Ohio Supreme Court clarifies that Ohio courts must rigorously scrutinize proposed class actions before certifying, aligning state and federal class certification rules

November 05, 2013

Citing the U.S. Supreme Court's decisions in Wal-Mart Stores v. Duke and Comcast v. Behrend, the Ohio Supreme Court reiterated that Ohio law “requires [an Ohio] court to resolve factual disputes relative to each [class certification] requirement and to find, based upon these determinations, other relevant facts, and the applicable legal standard, that the requirement is met.” In its ruling, the Court identified several failures in the appellate court's certification analysis, and instead found that there were significant individual questions that mitigate against certifying a class action. According to the Court, “Review of the certification of a class action requires the appellate court to determine whether the trial court conducted a rigorous analysis that resolved all relevant factual disputes and found by a preponderance of the evidence that the requirements of Civ. R. 23 have been satisfied. In making this determination, some consideration of the underlying merits of the cause of action may be necessary.”

Decided 11/5/13.

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