On July 29, 2019, the California Supreme Court ruled that California lawsuits can proceed as class actions even when the plaintiff has not demonstrated a means of identifying members of the class. The decision was a setback for WLF, whose brief on behalf of the California Retailers Association argued that class actions are inappropriate under California rules (which are similar to the rule governing class actions in federal court) unless the members of the class are ascertainable. The court disagreed, holding that a class is “ascertainable” so long as its definition is clear. It held that trial courts should worry about how to identify (and thus notify) class members only after the class has been certified. The plaintiff urges certification of a class consisting of individuals who purchased inflatable swimming pools from a drug-store chain (she argues that the pools bore misleading labeling), but there are no records from which the identity of any other purchasers can be ascertained.


WLF Amicus Brief

WLF Legal Pulse Post: California Court Decision Offers Hope for Procedural Brake on Lawyer-Driven Class Actions