In 2009, the Third Circuit decided Hydrogen Peroxide, which announced a more rigorous standard under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23(b)(3) for assessing whether a putative class could establish antitrust injury. Earlier this year, the Supreme Court decided Comcast v. Behrend, a case that carries potentially broad implications for both antitrust cases and Rule 23(b)(3) class actions generally. A review of the case law starting with Hydrogen Peroxide and continuing through Comcast and its progeny reveals the new rigor in antitrust class action decisions and suggests what the future may hold, including the type of arguments that may provide defendants the most likely chance of defeating class certification. After Comcast, rigor under 23(b)(3) can no longer be avoided in assessing all class actions questions, and courts should now apply Daubert fully in the class setting concerning both impact and damages. Courts should also closely evaluate plaintiffs’ proposed methodologies for proving impact to determine if they apply to each class member. Finally, courts will inevitably have to determine how rigorously to scrutinize experts’ damages methodologies and whether Comcast requires or suggests more scrutiny in assessing common evidence for measuring damages.
The authors would like to thank Marissa Troiano and Mike Folger, associates in the group, for their invaluable assistance in preparing this article.
Keyte, J., Eckles, P. and Lent, K. (2014), "From James Keyte, Paul Eckles and Karen Lent are partners in the antitrust group of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP.
James Keyte, Paul Eckles and Karen Lent are partners in the antitrust group of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP.
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