I did not previously cover a class certification opinion handed down last spring. Ramirez v. Balboa Thrift and Loan, 215 Cal.App.4th 765 (2013), was filed on March 21, 2013, and was ordered published on April 21, 2013.
In Ramirez, the Court of Appeal (Fourth Appellate District, Division One) reversed an order denying class certification of UCL and Rees-Levering Act claims. After determining that the trial court had misconstrued the Rees-Levering Act, the Court went on to reconfirm the rule that class certification should not be denied based on hypothetical arguments unsupported by evidence:
Equally important for class certification purposes, even assuming the [trial court had correctly interpreted the Act], Balboa did not proffer any facts showing that [its proposed defense would] apply to any of the other class members. Instead, it merely stated that individual issues would predominate because it should be provided the right to “investigate” each class member to determine whether it could find any facts showing the applicability of any of the statutory exceptions. Without any foundational basis showing that such evidence could or would be discovered, this possibility does not raise a likelihood that individual issues would predominate over common issues in the litigation. (See Brinker, supra, 53 Cal.4th at p. 1025 [in deciding certification question court must examine the plaintiff's theory of recovery and “assess the nature of the legal and factual disputes likely to be presented,” italics added].)
Id. at 782-83. The Court remanded for class certification to be determined anew, under the correct legal standards.
The publication request filed by Public Good, Consumers for Auto Reliability and Safety, and the National Consumer Law Center is available at this link.