Articles Posted in Class Action

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The Supreme Court held that the circuit court’s order certifying a class action filed by Employees failed to comply with Ark. R. Civ. P. 23(b). In their complaint, Employees alleged claims of breach of contract and unjust enrichment based on Employer’s failure to compensate Employees for earned but unused vacation time. The circuit court granted Employees’ motion for class certification. Appellants filed this interlocutory appeal arguing that Employees failed to demonstrate commonality, predominance, and superiority as to their breach of contract claim. The Supreme Court remanded the case, holding that the circuit court’s bare conclusion that “Plaintiffs have satisfied all elements of Rule 23 of the Arkansas Rules of Civil Procedure and class certification is appropriate in this case” was clearly insufficient for the Supreme Court to conduct a meaningful review. View "Industrial Welding Supplies of Hattiesburg, LLC v. Pinson" on Justia Law

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In this complaint filed against Robinson Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, LLC and related entities (collectively, Robinson), the Supreme Court affirmed the circuit court’s order granting class certification in part and reversed it in part. Andrew Phillips filed a first amended class-action complaint challenging Robinson’s business practice of chronic understaffing. Robinson appealed the order granting class certification, arguing that Phillips did not meet his burden of proving commonality, predominance, typicality, and superiority, and that the class definition was overbroad. The Supreme Court held that the circuit court (1) properly granted class certification as to Phillips’s claims of breach of contract, Arkansas Deceptive Trade Practices Act (ADTPA), and unjust enrichment; and (2) abused its discretion in certifying the class action as to Phillips’s negligence claim. View "Robinson Nursing & Rehabilitation Center, LLC v. Phillips" on Justia Law

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Appellees, class representatives of property owners located in a subdivision, sought declaratory judgment that certain “tie-in rights” were unenforceable. During the suit, Appellant filed an interlocutory appeal of the circuit court’s denial of its motion to compel arbitration with the unnamed class members. The Supreme Court reversed and remanded case number CV 14-618 to rule on whether there was a valid agreement to arbitrate between Appellant and the unnamed class members. The mandate issued pursuant to an opinion that ordered Appellees to pay Appellant $5,091 for costs in the appeal. Appellees subsequently filed a motion regarding costs and a motion to recall and amend the mandate. Both motions were denied. The Supreme Court recalled the mandate in case number CV-14-618 and directed the clerk to amend the mandate to reflect that each party is to bear its own costs, holding that the circuit court was without jurisdiction to award judgment for costs. View "Dye v. Diamante, a Private Membership Golf Club, LLC" on Justia Law

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Appellants in this case were class representatives of a group of property owners located in Hot Springs Village. Appellants filed suit against a private golf club associated with the development seeking a declaratory judgment that the provisions contained in supplemental declarations were unenforceable. The circuit court declared that the supplemental provisions were valid and enforceable and that there had been no breach of the declarations. The court also denied the disgorgement of any dues paid during the suit. Appellants raised eight points of appeal. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that there was no error in the circuit court’s decision. View "Dye v. Diamante, a Private Membership Golf Club, LLC" on Justia Law

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A class of police officers and firefighters employed by the City of Conway brought a class-action complaint alleging that the City breached its employment contract with them when it failed to allocate sales tax revenues to fund salary increases. The circuit court certified the class action, finding that there were overarching, common questions that could efficiently be determined on a class-wide basis. The Supreme Court affirmed the circuit court’s class-certification order, holding that the circuit court did not abuse its discretion when if found the prerequisites of a class action. View "City of Conway v. Shumate" on Justia Law

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CACH, LLC filed a complaint against William Echols alleging that Echols breached his contract with a bank when he defaulted on his obligation to pay for charges incurred on a credit card and that, as current owner of the account, CACH was entitled to payment of the balance due on the credit card. Echols filed a class action counterclaim alleging that CACH violated the Arkansas Deceptive Trade Practices Act and the common law when it demanded payment from and filed suit against Echols and other Arkansas residents. The circuit court entered an order granting class certification. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the circuit court did not err in granting class certification. View "CACH, LLC v. Echols" on Justia Law

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Edward Snow, individually and as putative class representative on behalf of all similarly situated people, filed a complaint against SEECO, Inc. alleging that SEECO had underpaid royalties to plaintiffs, a group of landowners who had entered into natural gas leases with SEECO. Snow subsequently filed a motion for class certification. The circuit court granted Snow’s motion to present a class of Arkansas citizens who entered into lease agreements with SEECO for the production of natural gas on their property in the Fayetteville Shale. SEECO appealed. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the circuit court did not abuse its discretion in certifying the class. View "SEECO Inc. v. Snow" on Justia Law

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In this class action case, the circuit court granted class certification to a group of landowners who entered into natural gas leases with SEECO, Inc., DeSoto Gathering Company, and Southwestern Midstream Services Company (collectively, SEECO). After the court certified the class and the class certification was pending on appeal, the class representative died. The circuit court judge entered an order finding that Stephanie DeVazier was a qualified class representative and approved her as a substitute. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) the prior filing of a competing class action lawsuit did not preclude this case from going forward; (2) the circuit court properly certified the class; and (3) DeVazier was properly substituted as lead plaintiff. View "SEECO Inc. v. Stewmon" on Justia Law

Posted in: Class Action

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Convent Corporation brought an interlocutory appeal of a circuit court’s order denying Convent’s motion for class certification; dismissing without prejudice Convent’s trespass claim and its federal and state statutory claims; and denying Convent’s motion for judgment on the pleadings or, in the alternative, motion for summary judgment, after concluding that there remained genuine issues of material fact. Of these findings, however, only the circuit court’s denial of Convent’s motion for class certification was appealable on an interlocutory basis. On that issue, the circuit court found that because Convent did not present any evidence at a hearing, there was no basis on which to determine whether Convent met the requirements set forth by Rule 23 of the Arkansas Rules of Civil Procedure for class certification. The Supreme Court reversed the circuit court’s decision and remanded for further proceedings. The Court found that the circuit court abused its discretion in denying Convent’s motion solely on Convent’s failure to present evidence at the hearing without considering the evidence in the record, which would have included any admissible evidence submitted as exhibits by the parties in support of their contentions that the motion for class certification should have been granted or denied. View "Convent Corp. v. City of N. Little Rock" on Justia Law

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Appellants, property owners and holders of oil and gas leases, filed a class-action complaint against Appellee, the circuit court clerk, alleging that Appellee and two of her deputies falsely and fraudulently notarized oil and gas leases. On remand and following a hearing, the trial court granted summary judgment in favor of Appellee, concluding that Appellants had failed to show any damages as a result of Appellee’s purportedly unlawful act in recording the leases. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the grant of summary judgment was not in error, as none of the evidence relied upon by Appellants created a factual question as to whether they sustained damages as a result of the actions alleged in the complaint. View "Lipsey v. Cox" on Justia Law