Monday, September 04, 2006

Third Circuit Vacates FDCPA Class Certification and Orders Reconsideration Due to Defense Possibly Unique to Class Representative

Per Beck v. Maximus, Inc., --- F. 3d ----, 2006 WL 2193603 (3d Cir. Aug. 4, 2006):

. . . The District Court did not consider whether Maximus's training materials were reasonably designed to avoid violations of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, sufficient to establish a bona fide error defense.

We are unable to conclude whether the District Court exercised its sound discretion in certifying the class with Beck as the class representative. The court should have (1) distinguished between a violation based on the content of the Employment Verification Request and a violation based on its transmission, and (2) addressed the three requirements of the bona fide error defense. We will vacate the certification order and remand for further consideration by the District Court, consistent with this opinion.

. . .

. . . A proposed class representative is neither typical nor adequate if the representative is subject to a unique defense that is likely to become a major focus of the litigation.


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