Attorneys Successfully Obtain Reversal of Class Action Certification


empty courtroom wood paneled, wood furniture, sunlight through windowOne result of the government ordered shutdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic involved the conversion of in-person college classes to online.  A university, represented by Jared L. Lefevre, Stephen E. Chappelear and Nicholas W. Bartlett, was sued by one of its students over the loss of market value from in-person classes and campus access.  Additionally, the student filed a motion for class certification for all students similarly affected, which was opposed by the university.  University enrollment numbers show over 15,000 students for that semester.

Regardless of what advertisements and movies may lead one to believe, class actions are not typical litigation.  In order for a case to be deemed a class action, it has to meet requirements set forth by court rules and laws.  One requirement is the trial court must conduct a thorough analysis of the factors involved.  The university argued, and the appellate court agreed, “the trial court failed to rigorously analyze” the damages claim.  Thus, the motion for class certification was reversed by the appellate court.

Eastman & Smith member Mr. Lefevre represents a broad and diverse range of clients in litigation and business matters.  Mr. Chappelear, an of counsel attorney, has over 45 years of experience handling complex litigation.  Associate Nicholas Bartlett’s practice includes general litigation as well as eminent domain matters.  For questions regarding class actions, please contact one of these attorneys.