Bass, Berry & Sims attorney David Esquivel provided insight for Law360 on the pending decision in the Ninth Circuit on whether to reverse a January 2018 rejection of a $200 million settlement in multidistrict litigation over the fuel efficiency of Hyundai Motor America Inc. and Kia Motors Corp. vehicles.

The Ninth Circuit is re-examining a panel’s January 2018 ruling that courts must weigh differing state consumer protection laws before approving nationwide class action settlements. The decision is expected to clarify what many view as an impracticable standard for class actions following the precedential January 2018 decision, which required trial courts to scrutinize a settlement class to the same standard as a litigation class by forcing parties to conduct a state-by-state analysis of consumers’ claims.

David noted that for many years courts have deferred to settlements in class cases and performed only a cursory review of the Rule 23 requirements. “The tide has turned,” David said. “This decision may join the growing number of courts that closely scrutinize class settlements, even those negotiated at arm’s length by experienced counsel.”

The full article, “Transportation Cases to Watch in 2019,” was published by Law360 on January 1, 2019, and is available online.