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May 9, 2017

Class Action Ascertainability Case May Head to Supreme Court

Ascertainability has been a particularly hot controversy since 2015, when the 7th Circuit roundly rejected the 3rd Circuit’s conclusion that classes cannot be certified unless plaintiffs offer a “reliable and administratively feasible” way to determine who’s in the class, writes Reuters.

Now, the issue may head to the U.S. Supreme Court, as Conagra Brands is petitioning the justices to review a 9th Circuit opinion certifying a class of Wesson cooking oil purchasers who claimed they were deceived by the “all natural” labeling, as there is “no feasible way to figure out who bought low-cost Wesson cooking oil years ago.”

In the past, the Supreme Court has not reviewed the ascertainability issue, potentially because the Supreme Court wants to leave it to Congress to clarify class action rules. 

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