The Supreme Court Charts a Narrow Course in the Use of Statistical Evidence at Class Certification

By April Boyer, Andrew C. Glass, Gregory N. Blase, Yamilet Hurtado and Eric W. Lee

The United States Supreme Court recently ruled in Tyson Foods, Inc. v. Bouaphakeo, No. 14-1146, — S. Ct. —, 2016 WL 1092414 (U.S. Mar. 22, 2016), as to when a plaintiff may use statistical sampling in seeking to certify a class. The decision was narrowly tailored to the specific facts and cause of action at issue in the matter. Thus, the Court declined to adopt a categorical rule, cautioning that the admissibility of such evidence must be made on a case-by-case basis. Nonetheless, business entities should carefully examine the Court’s guidance in Bouaphakeo, including the admonitions discussed herein.

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