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Wal-Mart v. Dukes: A Giant Win for Wal-Mart; Smaller Steps for Everyone Else
20 June 2011
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The Supreme Court unanimously held that the Ninth Circuit was wrong to have certified a sex discrimination class comprising 1.5 million current and former Wal-Mart employees. The injunctive-class provisions of Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23(b)(2) cannot be used to litigate individualized claims for money damages.
A five-justice majority went further, holding that plaintiffs must affirmatively demonstrate (and not just allege) satisfaction of all Rule 23 elements, and tightening the "commonality" requirement of Rule 23(a)(2).
Going forward, class plaintiffs now must allege that putative class members suffered the same injury and that the question they raise truly is capable of resolution on a classwide basis.
Anne E. Cohen
Mary Beth Hogan
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