Law360 Reports on Shook Win for Honda

Law360 examines the denial of a class certification against American Honda Motor Co., in “9th Circ. Denies Class Cert. in Honda Power Window Suit.” Shook Partners Michael Mallow and Rachel Straus represented Honda.

In Grodzitsky et al. v. American Honda Motor Co. Inc., buyers claimed Honda failed to disclose defective window regulator assemblies that allegedly left windows inoperable and often stuck open on Honda Pilot vehicles manufactured from 2003-2008. Brought before the U.S. District Court of Central California, the court excluded the plaintiffs’ expert witness testimony, on which class certification relied, and denied the plaintiffs’ third attempt at certifying a class. 

Buyers appealed to the Ninth Circuit, arguing that the District Court was wrong to exclude all of the expert witness’ testimony, but the Ninth Circuit, in a strongly worded opinion, rebuffed the plaintiffs’ argument and affirmed the District Court’s denial of certification. 

“We believe the court’s opinion provides clear guidance that an expert must meet clear standards before opining on issues, even in the class action context,” Mallow told Law360. “We are also pleased that the court recognized that plaintiff’s expert in this case had no basis to opine that Honda’s window regulator assemblies were defective.”