United States District Court, S.D. Florida
ORDER DENYING THE PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR CLASS
CERTIFICATION AND DISMISSING THE CONSOLIDATED CLASS ACTION
N. Scola, Jr. United States District Judge.
Papasan and 17 other individuals bring this class action suit
against Dometic Corporation (“Dometic”) for
manufacturing allegedly defective refrigerators. Currently
pending before the Court is the Plaintiffs' Motion for
Class Certification. (ECF No. 345.) The Defendant has timely
responded (ECF No. 373) and the Plaintiffs have replied (ECF
No. 386). Having reviewed the parties' briefing and
exhibits, and the applicable law, the Court
denies the motion for the reasons described
operative complaint is the Plaintiffs' Consolidated Class
Action Complaint (the “Complaint”) (ECF No. 300).
According to the Complaint, Dometic manufactures gas
absorption refrigerators designed for use in recreational
vehicles (“RVs”). (Id. ¶ 223.) The
Plaintiffs allege that Dometic's refrigerators have a
design defect that results in excessive corrosion on the
inside of the gas absorption refrigerator's boiler tubes.
(Id. ¶ 2.) The Plaintiffs allege that the
corrosion causes the boiler tubes to internally
“corrode, crack, and ultimately expel flammable
ammonia, hydrogen gas, and carcinogenic sodium chromate at
high pressure.” (Id. ¶ 1.) The Plaintiffs
allege that the leaked gas can ignite, but even if it does
not ignite, the corrosion eventually ruins the
refrigerator's functionality. (ECF No. 345 at 5.) The
Plaintiffs each own an allegedly defective Dometic
refrigerator. (Id. at 4.)
Plaintiffs now move for class certification based on the
allegations that they each “received an unmerchantable
refrigerator and were damaged by overpaying for a defective
product.” (Id. at 1.) In other words, they are
not seeking class certification based on a fire, damage to
property, or a broken refrigerator, but rather on a theory of
economic loss at the point of purchase. (Id. at 3.)
According to the Plaintiffs, “because the Defendant
concealed material facts regarding the defect and continuing
safety risk to every class member . . . every class member
was induced at the point of sale to purchase their
refrigerators at a premium price that they otherwise would
not have paid[.]” (ECF No. 386 at 1.) The Complaint
asserts claims for violations of the Magnuson-Moss Warranty
Act, 15 U.S.C. § 2301, et seq., breaches of
implied warranty, unjust enrichment, and various state laws.
Motion seeks certification of nine subclasses, based on the
various states in which the Plaintiffs purchased their
All persons who purchased in [insert one of nine
states Dometic Gas Absorption Refrigerator models
RM 2620; RM/DM2652; RM/DM2662; RM/DM2663: RM3762 &
DMR/DMC7-Series; RM 2820: DM2852 & DM2862; RM3862 &
RM3863; RM3962: NDM1062; RM 1350: 1350WIM; NDA 1402: and
1402IMS built between January 1, 1997 and the present.
(ECF No. 345 at 3.)
actions are “exception[s] to the usual rule that
litigation is conducted by and on behalf of the individual
named parties only.” Comcast Corp. v. Behrend,
133 S.Ct. 1426, 1432 (2013). Parties seeking to certify a
class must “affirmatively demonstrate . . . compliance
with Rule 21.” Id. Class certification
analysis entails consideration of the factual and legal
issues comprising the plaintiff's cause of action.
Rutstein v. Avis Rent-A-Car Sys., Inc., 211 F.3d
1228, 1234 (11th Cir. 2000).
Court begins its review of a motion for class certification
by determining whether “at least one named class
representative has Article III standing to raise each class
subclaim.” Prado-Steinman ex rel. Prado v.
Bush, 221 F.3d 1266, 1279-80 (11th Cir. 2000); see
also Griffin v. Dugger, 823 F.2d 1476, 1482 (11th Cir.
1987) (“[A]ny analysis of class certification must
begin with the issue of standing. . . . Only after the court
determines the issues for which the named plaintiffs have
standing should it address the question of whether the named
plaintiffs have representative capacity, as defined by Rule
23(a), to assert the rights of others.”).
named plaintiffs possess Article III standing, the Court then
determines whether class certification is appropriate under
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23. “Under Rule 23,
certification is proper where the proposed classes satisfy an
implicit ascertainability requirement, the four requirements
listed in Rule 23(a), and the requirements listed in any of
Rule 23(b)(1), (2), or (3).” Karhu v. Vital
Pharms., Inc., 621 Fed.Appx. 945, 946 (11th Cir. 2015).
Under Rule 23(a), the party seeking certification must
demonstrate: “(1) that the class is so numerous that
joinder of all members is impracticable; (2) that there are
questions of law or fact common to the class; (3) that the
claims or defenses of the representative parties are typical
of the claims or defenses of the class; and (4) that the
representative parties will fairly and adequately protect the
interests of the class.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 23(a).
Satisfaction of the Rule 23(a) factors, however, does not end
the inquiry, and a class still may not be certified unless
one of the requirements of Rule 23(b) are satisfied. Klay
v. Humana, Inc., 382 F.3d 1241, 1250 (11th Cir. 2004).
certification is sought under Rule 23(b)(3), the plaintiff
must show that “the questions of law or fact common to
class members predominate over any questions affecting only
individual members, and that a class action is superior to
other available methods for fairly and efficiently
adjudicating the controversy.” See Fed. R.
Civ. P. 23(b)(3). In making such determinations, courts
consider “the class members' interests in
individually controlling the prosecution or defense of
separate actions”; “the extent and nature of any
litigation concerning the controversy already begun by or
against class members”; “the desirability of
undesirability of concentrating the litigation of the claims
in the particular forum”; and “the likely
difficulties in managing a class action.” Id.
reviewing a motion for class certification, the Court must
conduct a “rigorous analysis” of the facts and
law to determine whether the plaintiff has met its burden of
demonstrating compliance with Rule 23. Gen. Tel. Co. of
the S.W. v. Falcon, 457 U.S. 147, 161 (1982); see
also Sacred Heart Health Sys., Inc. v. Humana Military
Healthcare Servs., Inc., 601 F.3d 1159, 1169 (11th Cir.
2010) (citation omitted); Vega v. T-Mobile USA,
Inc., 564 F.3d 1256, 1265 (11th Cir. 2009) (the
“burden of proof to establish the propriety of class
certification rests with the advocate of the class.”).
While the district court's class certification analysis
“may ‘entail some overlap with the merits of the
plaintiff's underlying claim,' Rule 23 grants courts
no license to engage in free-ranging merits inquiries at the
certification stage.” See Amgen Inc. v. Conn. Ret.
Plans & Trust Funds, 133 S.Ct. ...