Wang v. Chinese Daily News

Summarized by:

  • Court: 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Archives
  • Area(s) of Law: Labor Law
  • Date Filed: 03-04-2013
  • Case #: 08-55483; 08-56740
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Circuit Judge W. Fletcher for the Court; Circuit Judges Trott and District Judge Breyer
  • Full Text Opinion

Following the United States Supreme Court's decision in Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. v. Dukes , the Court of Appeals determined that Plaintiffs' class certification must be reconsidered by the district court.

Plaintiffs are employees of Chinese Daily News who sought to have their labor claims certified as a class action. The district court certified the class and found for Plaintiffs, which the Ninth Circuit affirmed. However, in the year following the Ninth Circuit’s affirmation, the United States Supreme Court vacated and remanded as a result of its decision in Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. v. Dukes. Wal-Mart requires the district court to conduct “rigorous analysis” to ensure there is commonality. On remand, Chinese Daily News challenged the commonality requirement finding of the district court. Although the Chinese Daily News did not bring up this argument originally, it was allowed to raise it on remand, given the change in law that occurred with the Supreme Court’s decision. The Ninth Circuit found that there were “potentially significant differences among the class members,” and therefore Wal-Mart applied. As to the application of Fed. R. Civ. P. 23(b)(2), Plaintiffs conceded that their class certification could not stand after the decision in Wal-Mart. As such, the panel reversed the district court’s certification under Rule 23(b)(2). The panel also vacated and remanded the case on the issue of whether this class fits the requirements of Rule 23(b)(3), in light of the new standard set by Wal-Mart. The panel determined that should the district court certify the class on remand, damages must be determined in accordance with Wal-Mart, and therefore cannot be determined using “Trial by Formula.” REVERSED in part, VACATED in part, and REMANDED.

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