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Lanovaz v. Twinings North America, Inc

United States District Court, Northern District of California, San Jose Division

December 17, 2014

NANCY LANOVAZ, on behalf of herself and all others similarly situated, Plaintiff,
v.
TWFNINGS NORTH AMERICA, INC., Defendant.

ORDER DENYING MOTION FOR RECONSIDERATION OF DENIAL OF CLASS CERTIFICATION UNDER RULE 23(b)(3) Re Docket No. 155

RONALD M. WHYTE UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

Plaintiff Nancy Lanovaz brings claims on her own behalf and on behalf of a purported class of tea purchasers against Twinings for its allegedly "misbranded" green, black, and white teas. Plaintiff filed her motion for class certification on November 15, 2013. Dkt. No. 89. The opposition was filed February 14, 2014, and the reply was filed March 14, 2014. The court heard argument on the motion on April 18, 2014.

On April 24, 2014 the court certified an injunctive class under Fed. R. Civ. Pro. 23(b)(2), and declined to certify a class under Rule 23(b)(3), because Lanovaz did not present a viable damages model. Dkt. No. 132 (Cert. Order). Lanovaz then petitioned the Ninth Circuit for leave to appeal the class certification order under Fed. R. Civ. Pro. 23(f), which was denied. Dkt. No. 136 (petition); Dkt. No. 140 (denial of petition).

At the case management conference following the Ninth Circuit's denial of the petition, Lanovaz indicated her desire to present a new theory of damages, either through a second motion for class certification or through a motion for reconsideration. Dkt. No. 144 (Joint Case Mgmt. St.). The court allowed plaintiff to file a motion for reconsideration of the class certification order, and then set a briefing schedule. Dkt. No. 150. Having reviewed the papers, the court denies the motion for reconsideration.

I. Analysis

A. Standard on Motion for Reconsideration

"Reconsideration is appropriate if the district court (1) is presented with newly discovered evidence, (2) committed clear error or the initial decision was manifestly unjust, or (3) if there is an intervening change in controlling law. There may also be other, highly unusual, circumstances warranting reconsideration." School Dist. No. 1J Multnomah County v. ACandS, Inc., 5 F.3d 1255, 1263 (9th Cir. 1993) (citations omitted).

Plaintiff bases her motion for reconsideration on "[t]he emergence of new material facts . . . occurring after the time of [the class certification] order." Civ. L. R. 7-9(b)(2); Dkt. No. 155 at 3. "[T]o support a motion for reconsideration . . . based upon newly discovered evidence, the movant is obliged to show not only that this evidence was newly discovered or unknown to it until after the hearing, but also that it could not with reasonable diligence have discovered and produced such evidence at the hearing." Frederick S. Wyle Professional Corp. v. Texaco, Inc., 764 F.2d 604, 609 (9th Cir. 1985) (citations omitted).

B. Repeat Motions For Class Certification Are Not Routinely Allowed

In plaintiffs Case Management Statement, she suggests that multiple motions for class certification are "routinely allowed." Dkt. No. 144 at 4. Reviewing the cases cited in support of this statement reveals that the cases involved circumstances not present here.

In Soto v. Diakon Logistics (Del), Inc., 2013 WL 5939787 (S.D. Cal. Nov. 4, 2013) the court considered multiple class certification motions based on narrowing of the class definition.

In Hernandez v. Guglielmo, 2013 WL 5788659 (D. Nev. Oct. 25, 2013), the court mentions that it is considering a second motion for class certification, but the prior class certification motion was never decided on the merits, and was "DENIED without prejudice to its reinstatement at plaintiffs' request after the close of any discovery and after the ruling on dispositive motions." Case No. 09-cv-00830-LDG-GWF, E.C.F. No. 45 at 2 (D. Nev. Sept. 24, 2010).

Similarly, in We Are America v. Maricopa County Bd. of Supervisors, the court noted that it was considering a second class certification motion, but the first motion was never decided on the merits due to abstention and preemption issues. 297 F.R.D. 373, 377 (D. Ariz. 2013); 2007 WL 2775134 at *8 (D. Ariz. Sept. 21, 2007).

In Rosales v. El Rancho Farms, the court allowed a second motion for class certification on a substantially narrowed class based in part on "taking a look at the evidence with the narrower potential classes in mind." No. 09-cv-00707-AWI-JLT, E.C.F. ...


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