This week the U.S. Supreme Court rejected the certiorari petition in Pella v. Saltzman, in which DRI participated by filing an amicus brief, authored by DRI member Evan M. Tager of Mayer Brown in Washington, DC. Pella Corporation and Pella Windows and Doors, Inc., (Pella) appealed the lower court's certification of a class action against it, which alleges that certain of Pella's window products have a design defect that caused wood rot.It was further alleged that Pella committed consumer fraud by not declaring publicly the role of the purported defect in causing the rot. Pella fought the class-action certification, saying consumer fraud claims are inappropriate for class treatment.
The case raised multiple issues regarding federal class certification requirements, including whether a court may certify a class seeking non-final declaratory relief under Rule 23(b)(2); whether a court may certify a class to adjudicate certain issues that will not establish liability on a class-wide basis with class-wide proof under Rule 23(b)(3); and whether a court may certify a nationwide class raising state law claims without conducting a choice-of-law analysis. In its brief, DRI argued that "under the interpretation of Rule 23 by the court below, virtually all class actions would be certifiable," and that "such freewheeling certification of 'issue classes' invites a flood of vexatious litigation." While the Supreme Court failed to grant certiorari and address the issues requested, DRI is nevertheless proud to have participated in this important case, ever seeking the opportunity to advocate on behalf of the interests of the defense bar and its clients.