Tyson Foods, Inc. v. Bouaphakeo
- Case Date: 4/20/2015
- Project Name: Class Action Reform
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.
More Information and Downloads:
8/14/2015: Download the Brief
4/20/2015: Download Brief