Class Certification Victory in Building Products Case

In a case that should be of interest to manufacturers and distributors, and especially to suppliers of building products, Pierce Atwood’s class action defense team defeated class certification in a building products case in the District of Massachusetts. Plaintiffs alleged defective design and manufacture of decking sold by our client. After extensive fact and expert discovery, Plaintiffs filed a motion for class certification, and a hearing was held. On September 21, 2015, District Judge Denise Casper issued her decision denying Plaintiffs’ motion, ruling that individualized issues of causation and injury precluded findings of commonality, typicality and adequacy under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23(a). The judge based her ruling, in part, on evidence that only a small percentage of purchasers had reported problems with the decking, and that almost all of the warranty claims those purchasers submitted had been honored.