The UCL Practitioner
Wednesday, February 25, 2004
New UCL Class Certification Decision
In Frieman v. San Rafael Rock Quarry, Inc., ___ Cal.App.4th ___ (Feb. 24, 2004), the Court of Appeal affirmed a trial court's order denying class certification of a UCL claim because plaintiffs failed to show that "substantial benefits would accrue to the litigants or the courts from class treatment." In other words, the "superiority" prong was not met. Plaintiffs conceded that the only potential benefit from certifying the UCL claim was the possibility that under Kraus v. Trinity Management Servs., Inc., 23 Cal.4th 16 (2003), fluid recovery (aka nonrestitutionary disgorgement of profits) could be obtained in a "properly certified" UCL claim. That, the Court of Appeal held, was insufficient reason, by itself, to certify the UCL claim and substitute the potentially "burdensome" class action mechanism for the "streamlined" UCL process. Slip op. at 5-10.
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