In keeping with the CAFA Law Blog’s commitment to poke around the blogosphere and bring you readers items of interest to the Class Action practitioner, here’s an interesting post from the Mass Tort Defense Blog regarding last week’s Seventh Circuit decision in the American Honda v. Allen case related to expert testimony as part of the certification decision and the need for the district court to take on the "tough questions." Enjoy.
American Honda Motor Co., Inc. v. Allen, 2010 WL 1332781 (7th Cir., April 7, 2010).
District Courts May Need to Conduct Full Daubert Inquiry Before Class Certification Decision
Posted on April 13, 2010 by Sean Wajert
The Seventh Circuit issued a very interesting opinion on the interplay of class certification and Daubert issues. American Honda Motor Co., Inc. v. Allen, 2010 WL 1332781 (7th Cir. April 7, 2010). Specifically, the defendant asked the court to resolve whether the district court must conclusively rule on the admissibility of an expert opinion prior to class certification when that opinion is essential to the certification decision. Since this is the type of question that Rule 23(f) was designed to address, the court of appeals took the appeal — and agreed with Honda.
Plaintiffs were purchasers of Honda’s Gold Wing GL1800 motorcycle; they alleged that the motorcycle has a design defect that prevents the adequate dampening of “wobble,” that is, side-to-side oscillation of the front steering assembly. Plaintiffs moved for class certification pursuant to Rule 23(b)(3). [Read the rest of the entry.]