Ohio Supreme Court

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Ohio Supreme Court rules class that includes uninjured members may not be certified

August 27, 2015

The Ohio Supreme Court ruled that a class action may not be certified if the class includes uninjured members. Where a class includes uninjured members, the “commonality” element for class certification cannot be satisfied.

U.S. Chamber files amicus brief

April 11, 2014

In the coalition brief, the U.S. Chamber, the Ohio Chamber, and other business groups urged the Ohio Supreme Court to reject a class action where the overwhelming majority of the class members suffered no injury from the alleged violation of the Ohio Consumer Sales Practices Act (“Ohio CSPA”). In this case, a lower Ohio court ruled that the inclusion of a mandatory arbitration agreement in an auto sales contract is “unconscionable” and violates the Ohio CSPA. Based on this decision, the court subsequently certified a proposed class action including all of the defendant auto dealership’s customers whose sales contracts included an arbitration provision, regardless of whether the customers were fully satisfied with their purchases. The court then awarded every class member $200.

According to the coalition amicus brief, Ohio law prohibits class actions to be certified where, as in this case, some (or, as in this case, the overwhelming majority) of the class members have suffered no injury from the alleged statutory violations. The coalition also argued that the Ohio CSPA prohibits any relief except “actual damages” in class action cases, which the lower court ignored when it arbitrarily awarded each class member $200 irrespective of whether their sales contracts actually harmed them.

Victor E. Schwartz and Cary Silverman of Shook Hardy & Bacon LLP represented the U.S. Chamber as co-counsel to the National Chamber Litigation Center.

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