Circuit Split Created Over Injunctive Relief in Class Action Lawsuits

Today the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit upheld a lower court’s ruling in a settlement case against Lexis Nexis, setting an unfortunate precedent for future class action cases.

The Center for Class Action Fairness (CCAF), a project of the Competitive Enterprise Institute, appealed the District court’s ruling in Berry v. Lexis arguing that the settlement was unfair to the class and that the class attorneys were seeking unfair fees.

CCAF attorney Adam Schulman said,

“The ruling today in Berry v. Lexis has created a split among the Fifth, Seventh, Eleventh and Fourth Circuits concerning injunctive relief for a class in a class action suit. Even though the underlying statute prohibits injunctive relief, the Fourth circuit affirmed a class settlement subjecting the entirety of the 200 million member class to injunctive relief, leaving the class with limited options for recourse.

“The Fifth, Seventh, Eleventh Circuits, and even the Supreme Court have all found differently – injunctive relief is only appropriate where class members' claims allow for injunctive relief. We fear this ruling will allow unscrupulous class counsel to settle in ways that benefit themselves, while withholding the remedies that Congress wanted class members to have.”

See more on the case, including today’s ruling, here