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10-3847 In the Matter of Aqua Dots Products Liability Litigation

Civil Procedure
Class actions

Where a proposed class action seeks relief already available, class certification was properly denied.

“Although the district court’s rationale is mistaken, it does not follow that the court’s decision is wrong. Other parts of Rule 23 give a district judge ample authority to decide whether a class action is the best way to resolve a given dispute. Instead of departing from the text of Rule 23(b)(3), the district court should have relied on the text of Rule 23(a)(4), which says that a court may certify a class action only if ‘the representative parties will fairly and adequately protect the interests of the class.’ Plaintiffs want relief that duplicates a remedy that most buyers already have received, and that remains available to all members of the putative class. A representative who proposes that high transaction costs (notice and attorneys’ fees) be incurred at the class members’ expense to obtain a refund that already is on offer is not adequately protecting the class members’ interests. See Thorogood v. Sears, Roebuck & Co., 627 F.3d 289, 293–94 (7th Cir. 2010) (discussing a variety of ways that class actions may not protect the interests of the class). The judge cited the wrong subsection of Rule 23; so did Spin Master. But defendants did not forfeit their arguments; they made the essential contentions. No harm was done by the mis-citation. See Elder v. Holloway, 510 U.S. 510 (1994) (a court of appeals is entitled to apply the controlling law even if the litigants failed to cite the best authority).”


10-3847 In the Matter of Aqua Dots Products Liability Litigation

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Coar, J., Easterbrook, J.

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