Verde v. Stoneridge, Inc. et al
ORDER ADOPTING REPORT AND RECOMMENDATIONS for 237 Report and Recommendations and denying 166 Sealed Motion for Class Certification filed by Fernando Verde. Signed by Judge Robert W. Schroeder, III on 5/23/17. (mjc, )
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF TEXAS
STONERIDGE, INC., et al.
CASE NO. 6:14-CV-225
ORDER ADOPTING REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
OF THE UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
The Report and Recommendation of the Magistrate Judge (“the Report”), which contains
her findings, conclusions and recommendation for the disposition of this matter, has been
presented for consideration.
The Report recommends that Plaintiff’s Motion for Class
Certification (Docket No. 166) be denied. Plaintiff filed a written objection to the Report (Docket
No. 242), and Defendant Stoneridge, Inc. filed a limited written objection asserting
additional reasons that the motion for class certification should be denied (Docket No. 240).
In this case, Plaintiff seeks class certification pursuant to FED. R. CIV. P. 23(b)(3). Plaintiff
objects to the finding in the Report that he failed to meet his burden of establishing predominance.
Plaintiff additionally submits that a timeliness issue should not “overwhelm the vast majority of
common issues of law and fact.”1 In addition to establishing the class prerequisites found in FED.
See Plaintiff’s Objection to the Magistrate Judge’s Report and Recommendation Concerning Class Certification,
Docket No. 242, at *3.
R. CIV. P. 23(a), Plaintiff must establish that “the questions of law or fact common to class members
predominate over any questions affecting individual members and that a class action is superior to
other available methods for fairly and efficiently adjudicating the controversy.” FED. R. CIV. P.
23(b)(3). A predominance analysis is far more demanding than the commonality requirement of
Rule 23(a) “because it tests whether proposed classes are sufficiently cohesive to warrant
adjudication by representation.” Unger v. Amedisys, Inc., 401 F.3d 316, 320 (5th Cir. 2005)
(internal quotations omitted). “The standard for certification imposed by Rule 23(b)(3) . . .
mandates caution, particularly where ‘individual stakes are high and disparities among class
members are great.’ ” Bell Atlantic Corp. v. AT&T Corp., 339 F.3d 294, 302 (5th Cir. 2003)
(quoting Amchem Products, Inc. v. Windsor, 521 U.S. 591, 625 (1997)).
As set forth in the Magistrate Judge’s thorough Report, the statute of limitations and
statutory notice analysis for Plaintiff’s implied warranty of merchantability and breach of express
warranty claims require an individualized inquiry for each class member to determine when the
alleged defect was discovered or should have been discovered and whether each class member
exercised due diligence leading up to the discovery of the alleged breach.
This inquiry is not
susceptible to class-wide resolution. Moreover, Plaintiff failed to provide a trial plan that would
provide an opportunity to determine the individual class member timeliness issues without having
the class devolve into a series of individual trials. The Court must consider how a trial on the
merits would proceed and seek to prevent the class from “degenerating into a series of individual
trials.” O’Sullivan v. Countrywide Home Loans, Inc., 319 F.3d 732, 738 (5th Cir. 2003). Here,
Verde has not met his burden to establish predominance.
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Having made a de novo review of the written objections filed by Plaintiff and Defendant
Stoneridge, Inc. in response to the Report, the Court concludes that the findings and conclusions
of the Magistrate Judge are correct and the objections are without merit. The issues raised by both
parties were raised and rejected in the Report.
It is ORDERED that the Report and Recommendation (Docket No. 237) is
ADOPTED, and Plaintiff’s Motion for Class Certification (Docket No. 166) is DENIED.
SIGNED this 23rd day of May, 2017.
ROBERT W. SCHROEDER III
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
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