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Will New Defense Strategy Spurred by Recent SCOTUS Decision Succeed in Limiting Class Actions?

The U.S. Supreme Court’s recent ruling in Campbell-Ewald Co. v. Gomez, wherein the majority held that a defendant’s mere offer to pay an individual plaintiff’s full claim for damages is not enough to prevent that plaintiff from leading a class-action, appears to be having an immediate impact on litigation strategy.

As we noted in a post here last week, the majority opinion in Campbell appeared to leave open the possibility that a defendant could stop a putative class action by actually paying a plaintiff’s claimed damages, if not by merely offering to do so.

Now, defending a similar Telephone Consumer Privacy Act (TCPA) case, Lifetime Entertainment has effectively asked a federal court in New York to force a would-be lead plaintiff to accept full payment on his individual claim, even though his lawyer wants him to refuse such payment so a more lucrative class action can be pursued.

Counsel for plaintiffs and defendants will surely keep a close on Leyse v. Lifetime Entertainment Services, LLC.  And whether the judge does or doesn’t oblige the plaintiff to accept payment in full and be on his way, an appeal is likely since the decision could have a significant impact on class action litgation.

Law360 offers additional coverage of this case here.

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