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The post below was published on Friday, December 24th, 2010 at 1:35 PM.

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Fourth District: Class Actions

This decision involves a peculiar class action.

A plaintiff filed a class action complaint against an insurer who, five years ago, shorted a medical reimbursement by $2.38. The plaintiff did not send a statutorily required notice of intent to sue, thus foreclosing any claim to damages, but the plaintiff asserted it was seeking only a declaratory judgment as to the correct reimbursement formula. The defendant admitted it had made a miscalculation but fought the certification on grounds that, having failed to serve a notice of intent, the plaintiff was not an adequate representative.

The trial court certified the class and the defendant appealed. The defendant’s arguments seemed to center around its belief that certification must be an effort to obtain damages. The Fourth District affirmed the certification but emphasized it was holding the plaintiff to its representation that no damages would be sought in the class action, including supplementary relief.

Judge Warner wrote a concurrence questioning why the class action was being pursued at all. She explained that the plaintiff sought a declaration for a class but that “not one member of the class can collect based upon that declaration.” She further observed that any new claim by class members would be time-barred.

Perhaps there is more to the story.

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