New Weapon for Early Dismissal of “No-Injury” Consumer Protection Class Actions
On April 24, 2007, a District Court in Florida dismissed a putative nationwide consumer protection class action for lack of Article III standing. Prohias v. Pfizer, Inc., 2007 WL 1228784 (S.D.Fla. April 24, 2007). In so doing, the court wielded a potent new weapon for early dismissal of “no-injury” consumer classes.
Consumer protection class actions have become more common in recent years. State consumer statutes in particular are a favorite of class action plaintiff attorneys because of a large body of law construing such statutes liberally in favor of consumers. The common thread in these class actions is that the plaintiffs have suffered no injury in the classic sense. Indeed, consumer fraud statutes generally do not provide for recovery for personal injury, but are limited to “economic injury.” Class action plaintiffs seek compensation for increasingly abstract economic injuries.