The Supreme Court ruled today in Campbell-Ewold Co. v Gomez, one of several major class action cases that will be decided during the Court’s current term. The issue in this case is whether a putative class action case becomes moot when the defendant offers complete relief to the named plaintiff, even if the plaintiff rejects that individual offer in order to protect the interests of the entire class of persons represented. In a 6-3 decision, Justice Ginsberg, writing for the Court’s majority, held that “[a]n unaccepted settlement offer or offer of judgment does not moot a plaintiff’s case, so the District Court retained jurisdiction to adjudicate Gomez’s complaint.”
This is a great result for class representatives who, all too often, after filing class action lawsuits on behalf of others who were similarly subjected to unlawful business practices, face “bribes” by defendants in attempts to “pick off” the class representatives. These bribes come in the form of offering to pay the class representative much more than what his or her individual damages are worth as a way to kill off the class action lawsuit so that a company is not held liable to the many hundreds or thousands of people who were subjected to the same wrongful treatment.
If you feel that you have been the victim of unfair business practices or have questions about consumer class action lawsuits, contact us today.