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Weil Wins for Dometic Again by Defeating Class Certification in Consumer Class Action

On July 24, 2019—two years after winning summary judgment in a predecessor case—Weil achieved another significant victory on behalf of Dometic Corporation in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida, after U.S. District Court Judge Robert N. Scola denied Plaintiffs’ motion for class certification and dismissed the consumer class action in its entirety.

Dometic is a leading manufacturer of gas absorption refrigerators, which are uniquely suited for use in recreational vehicles. The lawsuit, like its predecessor, alleged that the cooling units in various models of the company’s gas absorption refrigerators purportedly contained a latent defect. Plaintiffs’ motion for class certification proposed ascertaining a class through Dometic’s “sales and warranty registration records,” notifications that were sent in connection with a product recall years ago, and self-identification through affidavits. The Court rejected each and every one of these arguments, ruling that Plaintiffs’ proposed classes are not ascertainable and therefore cannot be certified under Rule 23. The Court specifically noted Plaintiffs’ failure to describe how any of their proposed methods would work, contrasting this lack of evidence with the proof put forward by Dometic to the effect that none of these methods would be feasible.

The Court’s ruling in favor of Dometic issued minutes before a major evidentiary hearing on cross Daubert motions, rendering those and all other pending motions moot. Judge Scola closed the case, and Magistrate Judge Alicia M. Otazo-Reyes cancelled the evidentiary hearing, citing a lack of jurisdiction to proceed.

Weil earlier secured a summary judgment win for Dometic in a similar class action also filed in the Southern District of Florida. Read more about that victory here.

The Weil team was based in Miami and was led by partner Edward Soto, Co-Head of Weil’s global Complex Commercial Litigation practice and Managing Partner of the Firm’s Miami office, and included associates Pravin Patel, Corey Brady, Lara Bach, and Brian Liegel. Weil’s co-counsel on this case included former Weil colleague and Lash & Goldberg partner Erica Rutner.

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