Did the Third Circuit Just Impose a Proof-of-Purchase Requirement in Consumer Product Class Actions?

6 August 2013
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  • Last Friday, for the second time in a year, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals decertified a consumer class because the defendant lacked purchase records showing who the class members would have been and consumers’ receipts would not have shown the key information.
  • In both decisions, the court said even sworn affidavits from putative class members would not necessarily work as a substitute because accepting such affidavits could violate the defendant’s rights.
  • Although neither case involved small-dollar consumer products where consumers no longer have the products they bought or receipts evidencing the purchase, defendants in those cases may be able to use these decisions to argue that those classes are equally unascertainable and thus cannot be certified.