In an action against defendant corporations

In an action against defendant corporations for fraud and deceit, negligent misrepresentation, unlawful, unfair or fraudulent business practice, violation of the Consumers Legal Remedies Act, Cal. Civ. Code § 1750 et seq., plaintiff appealed the denial by the Superior Court of San Diego County (California) of his motion for class certification under Cal. Civ. Proc. Code § 382.

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Overview

Plaintiff sued defendant corporations for fraud and deceit, negligent misrepresentation, unlawful, unfair or fraudulent business practice, violation of the Consumers Legal Remedies Act, Cal. Civ. Code § 1750 et seq., and other causes. Plaintiff claimed defendants falsely represented their “Citrus Hill” products to be fresh orange juice. Plaintiff filed a motion for class certification under Cal. Civ. Proc. Code § 382, which the trial court denied. On appeal, plaintiff argued the trial court applied improper legal criteria, impermissibly weighed the lawsuit’s merits, and made unsupported findings about the atypicality of his claims and the predominance of individual questions over common issues. The court affirmed the order. The trial court properly determined class treatment would not substantially benefit the litigants and the court. Plaintiff’s claims were not typical and individual issues predominated. Class members were unlikely to receive substantial benefit from the lawsuit because any potential recovery to the individual would be small. Plaintiff did not meet his burden to establish that his claims were typical of the class he sought to represent.

Outcome

The court affirmed the order that denied plaintiff’s motion for class certification because plaintiff did not meet his burden to establish that his claims were typical of the class he sought to represent and the trial court properly determined class treatment would not substantially benefit the litigants and the court.