Federal Appeals Court Holds “No Reliance” Defense Defeats Certification in Consumer Fraud Class Action

May 01, 2008
In the ground-breaking decision of In re St. Jude Medical, Inc., Silzone Heart Valve Products Liability Litigation, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit held that even if a consumer fraud statute does not require plaintiffs to prove reliance, the defendant can assert the lack of reliance as a defense. The court went on to recognize that when raised as a defense reliance is so inherently individualized that it precludes class certification. This update examines the decision and its significant impact on plaintiffs seeking class treatment in consumer fraud and misrepresentation cases.