Supreme Court won’t certify class action lawsuit against Comcast

In a 5-4 decision, the high court found the class was too diverse to accurately measure damages

It’s not a great era for class actions post-Dukes. The Supreme Court delivered another blow to consumers on Wednesday when it ruled that a class action lawsuit against Comcast Corp. did not adequately show how damages could be measured for the entire group.

This ruling is not terribly surprising in light of Wal-Mart Stores Inc. v. Dukes, a 2011 case in which the Supreme Court made it more difficult to certify a class action.

The suit, brought by 2 million subscribers in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware, accused Comcast of overcharging for its services and stifling competition by changing up coverage areas and buying off rival cable providers, resulting in tripled market share for Comcast.

Comcast argued that the plaintiffs comprised 649 different franchise areas, with different competitive conditions, and shouldn’t be allowed to pursue their claims together.

In a 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court agreed. In the majority opinion, Justice Antonin Scalia wrote that the class was too diverse, both in location and claims raised, and that it fell “far short” of showing damages could be measured for the whole group.

Read more at Thomson Reuters.

 

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