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There have been some recent changes in the way that class action lawsuits are pursued.

In Shady Grove Orthopedic Associates, P.A., v. Allstate Insurance Company, the United States Supreme Court considered whether state law can prevent cases from proceeding as class actions in federal court. Plaintiff filed a class action in the Eastern District of New York to recover unpaid statutory interest that it alleged Allstate failed to pay in accordance with New York statutory law. The district court dismissed the case on the ground that New York law precludes the use of class actions to recover penalties such as statutory interest. The district court's holding was affirmed by the Second Circuit.

The Supreme Court determined that Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23 "creates a categorical rule entitling a plaintiff whose suit meets . . . specified criteria to pursue his claim as a class action." It reversed the lower courts' decisions, holding Rule 23, not state law, answers the question of whether a plaintiff's action can proceed on a class basis in federal court. Writing for the Court, Justice Scalia explained, "The short of the matter is that a Federal Rule governing procedure is valid whether or not it alters the outcome of the case in a way that induces forum shopping. To hold otherwise would be to disembowel either the Constitution's grant of power over federal procedure or Congress's exercise of it."

If you or a loved one belive that you are entitled to file a class action lawsuit, contact Robert Roselli, an experienced Florida attorney in Fort Lauderdale, FL.

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