In Ortega v. Topa Ins. Co., ___ Cal.App.4th ___ (May 25, 2012), the Court of Appeal (Second Appellate District, Division Three) affirmed an order striking class allegations from the complaint.
Among other things, the Court affirmed the applicability of the "death knell" doctrine to such rulings:
While generally an order granting a motion to strike is not an appealable order, in this case, the trial court’s order is effectively a final judgment. The order at issue in this case struck all class allegations from the complaint. Such an order is appealable, even if made at the pleading stage. “Whatever its form, an order that has the effect of denying certification as a class action disposes of that action and is an appealable final judgment.” (Prince v. CLS Transportation, Inc. (2004) 118 Cal.App.4th 1320, 1322, fn. 2.)
Slip op. at 9.
On a related note, a recent unpublished opinion from the Fifth Appellate District, Barnes v. Bakersfield Dodge, Inc., No. F063370 (Cal. App. May 22, 2012), held that the "death knell" doctrine applies to an order granting a motion to compel arbitration in a putative class case if the arbitration clause bans class proceedings. At least one publication request has been filed there. The appellate court reversed the order, holding that the defendant had waived its right to seek to compel arbitration.
UPDATE: The publication requests in Barnes were denied.