Parker v. J.M. Smucker Co.

Filing 74

ORDER STAYING CASE. Signed by Judge Samuel Conti on December 18, 2014. (sclc2, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 12/18/2014).

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1 2 3 4 5 6 IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 7 FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 8 United States District Court For the Northern District of California 9 10 11 DIANA PARKER, individually and on behalf of all others similarly situated, Plaintiff, 12 13 14 15 v. J.M. SMUCKER CO., Defendant. 16 ) Case No. 13-0690 SC ) ) ORDER STAYING CASE ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) 17 18 Now pending before the Court is a motion for class 19 certification filed by Plaintiff Diana Parker ("Plaintiff"), ECF 20 No. 53 ("Mot."), and opposed by Defendant J.M. Smucker Co. 21 ("Defendant"). 22 filed, the Ninth Circuit has docketed an appeal in Jones v. ConAgra 23 Foods, Inc., No. 12-01633 CRB, 2014 WL 2702726 (N.D. Cal. June 13, 24 2014) appeal docketed, No. 14-16327 (9th Cir. 2014), raising three 25 questions central to this motion. 26 the Court determine whether a "precise, objective, and presently 27 ascertainable" class exists? 28 184 F.R.D. 311, 319 (C.D. Cal. 1998). ECF No. 57-3 ("Opp'n"). Since the motion was First, by what standard should See O'Connor v. Boeing N. Am. Inc., Second, what is the impact 1 of Comcast Corp. v. Behrend, 133 S. Ct. 1426 (2013) on Plaintiff's 2 alleged damage? 3 injunctive relief for products she has not expressed intent to 4 purchase in the future? 5 Third, does Plaintiff lack standing to seek The Court has the inherent power to stay proceedings. See 6 Fuller v. Amerigas Propane, Inc., C 09-2493 THE, 2009 WL 2390358, 7 at *1 (N.D. Cal. Aug. 3, 2009). 8 proceedings, the Court considers "'(1) the possible damage which 9 may result from granting a stay, (2) the hardship or inequity which In deciding whether to stay United States District Court For the Northern District of California 10 a party may suffer in being required to go forward, and (3) the 11 orderly course of justice measured in terms of the simplifying or 12 complicating of issues, proof, and questions of law which could be 13 expected to result from a stay.'" 14 cv-04537-LHK, 2014 WL 6986421, at *2 (N.D. Cal. Dec. 10, 2014) 15 (quoting Fuller, at *1). 16 Gustavson v. Mars, Inc., No. 13- Here, these factors weigh in favor of staying proceedings 17 pending the result in Jones. 18 staying proceedings in Gustavson in light of Jones is instructive. 19 As Judge Koh found, regardless of the outcome in Jones, Plaintiff 20 will suffer only relatively slight damage if the stay is granted 21 because the propriety of damages or an injunction is a merits 22 question, unlikely to be resolved prior to the Ninth Circuit's 23 decision. 24 litigation proceeds because, regardless of the outcome in Jones, 25 further discovery and briefing on class certification or 26 decertification will likely be necessary. 27 particularly true because the issues identified above -- 28 ascertainability, predominance, and standing -- are central to both Id. at *3. On this point, Judge Koh's order Both parties may suffer hardship if the 2 See id. This is 1 sides' arguments on class certification. 2 which considers judicial economy, weighs heavily in favor of a 3 stay. 4 certification regardless of the outcome in Jones, and Jones will 5 likely provide the Court with "substantial guidance, if not new 6 law, that will materially impact the Court's decisions in the 7 instant case." 8 favor of a stay. 9 Finally, the last factor, The Court will likely have to revisit its decision on class Id. As a result, these factors weigh heavily in Accordingly, the Court STAYS proceedings pending the decision United States District Court For the Northern District of California 10 in Jones. 11 decision in Jones, the parties shall file notice of the decision 12 with the Court. 13 statement outlining their future plans with respect to the motion 14 for class certification. 15 supplemental briefing on the motion, terminate the motion in favor 16 of fully briefing a new motion for class certification, or consider 17 proposals for additional discovery necessary for the parties to 18 address a second motion for class certification. 19 Within fourteen (14) days of the Ninth Circuit's With that notice the parties shall file a joint If necessary, the Court will order If the parties do not file notice and a joint status report 20 following the decision in Jones, the stay will be lifted, and the 21 Court will decide the motion for class certification. 22 23 IT IS SO ORDERED. 24 25 Dated: December 18, 2014 26 UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE 27 28 3

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