Category Archives Summary judgment

Since 2006, Robert Bratton regularly purchased 5 oz cardboard boxes of Whoppers and 4 oz cardboard boxes of Reese's Pieces several times a month.  Although Mr. Bratton initially "expected the boxes to be full," he guessed that the 600 or so boxes of Whoppers and Reese's Pieces that he purchased since 2006 contained between 30-40% empty space or "slack-fill."  Mr. Bratton ultimately filed a  putative class-action lawsuit in 2016, alleging that the slack-fill in each box of candy was a violation of the MMPA. For those familiar with the MMPA, it should come as no surprise that Mr. Bratton's knowledge of how much candy and how many empty space was in each box of Whoppers and Reese's Pieces, along with his continued purchases of the candy for over 10 years was fatal to his MMPA claim.  In Bratton v. The Hershey Company, No. 16-cv-4322, 2018 WL 934899 (W.D Mo. Feb. 16, 2018), Judge Laughrey…

In an interesting opinion, United States District Judge Carlos Murguia disposed of Defendant Defenbaugh Disposal, Inc.’s Motion for Reconsideration which questioned compatibility of the District Court’s order certifying a class of consumers charged an “environmental/fuel charge” and an “administrative fee,” and a concurrent order denying summary judgment against the sole putative class representative based on the voluntary payment doctrine.  Defenbaugh naturally questioned, among other less ripe issues, how the District Court could junk their summary judgment motion against Whitton as being too “heavily fact-dependent” to adjudicate at the summary judgment stage while concurrently certifying a class action.  In his order denying reconsideration, Judge Murguia defended his orders as compatible because the summary judgment issue was decided only with respect to the putative class representative, Mr. Whitton, “meaning that only Mr. Whitton’s actions or knowledge were relevant to defendants’ motion for summary judgment,” while “predominance is analyzed in terms of all…

Close