In a class action for breach of warranty against a car manufacturer relating to a defective airbag-deployment device, the U.S. Fifth Circuit rejected the defendant’s argument that there was no Article III standing, unless and until a plaintiff had suffered an actual “injury” due to improper deployment. “Although plaintiffs do not assert physical injuries (either their own or those of other persons), they do assert their own actual economic injuries. Plaintiffs allege that each plaintiff suffered economic injury at the moment she purchased a DeVille because each DeVille was defective. Plaintiffs further allege that each plaintiff suffered economic injury arising from GM’s unreasonable delay in replacing their defective SISMs. Plaintiffs seek recovery for their actual economic harm (e.g., overpayment, loss in value, or loss of usefulness) emanating from the loss of their benefit of the bargain.” The Court, however, reversed class certification due to lack of predominance, given what the Court found to be a conflict in the laws of the various states on express and implied warranty. “Many of the variations in state law raise the potential for the application of multiple and diverse legal standards and a related need for multiple jury instructions. For some issues, variations in state law also multiply the individualized factual determinations that the court would be required to undertake in individualized hearings. Specifically, the laws of the jurisdictions vary with regards to (1) whether plaintiffs must demonstrate reliance, (2) whether plaintiffs must provide notice of breach, (3) whether there must be privity of contract, (4) whether plaintiffs may recover for unmanifested vehicle defects, (5) whether merchantability may be presumed and (6) whether warranty protections extend to used vehicles. Plaintiffs failed to articulate adequately how these variations in state law would not preclude predominance in this case.” See Cole v. General Motors Corp.,484 F.3d 717 (5th Cir. 2007).
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