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U.S. Supreme Court

Supreme Court Dismisses Case that Could Have Affected Consumer Class Actions

Posted Jun 28, 2012 9:50 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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The U.S. Supreme Court has dismissed a case involving the right to sue for statutory injuries that had been billed as "the big sleeper of the term."

At issue was whether consumers who suffer no financial injuries have standing to sue for statutory violations under Article III of the Constitution. The court dismissed the case as improvidently granted (PDF). The action leaves undisturbed a ruling upholding standing by the San Francisco-based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, SCOTUSblog reports.

The plaintiff is Cleveland homebuyer Denise Edwards. She had sued First American Title Insurance for paying an alleged kickback to a title agency that agreed to sell First American policies exclusively. Edwards did not suffer any financial injury, however, because an Ohio law required uniform pricing for title insurance.

Companies that had filed amicus briefs in the case had argued companies could be hit with class actions any time they violate a rule or regulation if standing were allowed. Mayer Brown lawyer Donald Falk, who filed an amicus brief on behalf of automakers arguing against standing, has called the case “the big sleeper of the term.”

Acording to SCOTUSblog, "The case was regarded as quite a big deal when it was argued, with massive potential implications for Congress's power to define injury."

The case is First American Financial Corp. v. Edwards.

Prior coverage:

ABAJournal.com: “‘Sleeper’ Supreme Court Case Asks Whether Constitution Bars Suits by Uninjured Consumers”

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