Case Detail

Tyson Foods, Inc. v. Bouaphakeo
On March 22, 2016, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld an appeals court decision that authorized plaintiffs’ attorneys to conduct a class-wide “trial by formula”—that is, a class-action trial at which the defendant was not permitted to litigate its statutory defenses to individual claims. The decision was a setback for WLF, which filed a brief arguing that preventing a class-action defendant from raising otherwise available defenses to the claims of individual class members violates class-action rules. WLF noted that class actions are supposed to allow courts to increase efficiency by deciding identical claims in one fell swoop; it argued that that purpose does not justify barring defenses to claims that are not identical. The decision had a silver lining: it permitted the defendant on remand to argue that the class-action judgment should be overturned because it is impossible to determine how the award (involving claims for overtime pay) is supposed to be divvied up among employees.
Case Status:
More Information and Downloads:
8/14/2015: Download the Brief
4/20/2015: Download Brief

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