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Sears Class Action Lawsuit Sent Back to 7th Circuit Court of Appeals

By Tanya Roth, Esq. on June 29, 2011 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

When are class actions appropriate? This question has been addressed by many courts and most recently, by the U.S. Supreme Court.

The U.S. Supreme Court took a look at a Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals case to answer that question, reports Chicago Business. The case involved the sale of Sears dryers, which were advertised to be made of "all stainless steel". The lawsuit was brought by Chicago class action attorney Clinton Krislov, on behalf of himself and half a million other dryer-buyers.

The case was called “near frivolous” by Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals judge Richard Posner, who wrote a steeply worded opinion.

The Sears class action alleged the company had advertised an “all-stainless steel tub”. However, according to the allegations, the tub contains a piece of ceramic coated steel that is not technically stainless steel.

The crux of the Seventh Circuit lawsuit dealt with the question as to whether the same class action lawsuit could be brought before a different court, if the issues were slightly changed. The “slightly different lawsuit” was filed in California and Sears asked the federal district court in Chicago to step in and block the California lawsuit.

The federal district court refused to step in but the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals disagreed and blocked the California case.

Earlier this week, however, SCOTUS vacated the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruling and remanded the case to the 7th for reconsideration in light of a recent decision on a similar issue.

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