Class Certification Denied in Putative Class Action Targeting Windshield Wipers

U.S. District Court, Western District of Missouri

U.S. Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit

In a case brought against General Motors in Missouri federal court, plaintiffs sought nationwide class action status for GM customers whose windshield wipers allegedly failed. Through the aggressive use of motion practice, Shook, Hardy & Bacon obtained a dismissal on all of plaintiffs’ claims, including a consumer-fraud claim. The court then denied plaintiffs’ motion for class certification as moot.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit then confirmed the necessity of proving causation in a claim under the Missouri consumer protection statute. In addition, the court rejected an attempt to water down the superior knowledge requirement needed to state a claim of fraudulent concealment and to toll the statute of limitations by fraudulent concealment. Owen v. General Motors Corp., No. 06-4067-CV-C-NKL (W.D. Mo. 2007), aff’d 533 F.3d 913 (8th Cir. 2008).

Additional details appear in Shook's Class Action and Complex Litigation Alert