Connecticut District Court Recognizes Split of Authority Regarding Effect of Offer of Settlement Before Class Certification Motion

3081 Main Street, LLC d/b/a New England Wine & Spirits v. Business Owners Liab. Team LLC d/b/a Bolt Ins. Agency, No. 3:11-cv-1320 (SRU), 2012 WL 4755048 (D. Conn. Sept. 24, 2012) Pending before the court was a Motion for Class certification and for Stay of Motion for Class Certification. Recognizing that class certification is only appropriate if the court is satisfied, after a rigorous analysis, that the prerequisites of Rule 23(a) have been satisfied, the court concluded that such analysis was impracticable because Plaintiff filed the Motion for Class Certification before any discovery. The court also noted that Plaintiff conceded needing additional discovery, requesting a stay of its motion until discovery is complete. Plaintiff's "unusual request" was apparently prompted by concerns that, absent a motion for class certification pending on the docket, Defendant would make an offer of settlement affording Plaintiff full relief, which would potentially render the class action moot. This was a result reached by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit in Damasco v. Clearwire Corp., 662 F.3d 891, 896 (7th Cir. 2011). Denying Plaintiff's motion, and stating that it need not pass on the merits of Damasco, the court did offer that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit has never adopted such a rule, and at least four Circuits, the 3rd, 5th, 9th and 10th, have reached an opposite conclusion.

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