Putative class action litigation regarding allegedly misleading product demonstrations

Putative class action litigation regarding allegedly misleading product demonstrations

Debra J. Aron, Justin Lenzo
Consumer Products
Antitrust & Competition

CRA Vice President Dr. Debra Aron advised counsel to a consumer-products company and testified at deposition on economic issues related to class certification in litigation in federal court.   The litigation related to equipment and solutions for certain in-home health and comfort products sold to consumers through authorized dealers. Plaintiff alleged that the defendant and certain dealers engaged in deceptive sales practices in the methods by which they demonstrated the products as part of their sales efforts. The plaintiffs alleged that the demonstrations conducted by sales representatives deceived consumers to cause consumers to purchase defendant’s products.

Dr. Aron testified as to whether plaintiffs’ expert had offered a methodology that could determine damages on a class-wide basis. She found that the proposed methodology did not evidence a causal nexus between the calculated damages and the purportedly deceptive acts. She also found that the proposed methodology failed to take into account available data demonstrating variability in consumer valuation of the numerous attributes of the products at issue, and that it was therefore inconsistent with both the data and economic theory to assume that the allegedly misleading product demonstrations affected the purchase decision of or price paid by any or all consumers who witnessed it.

The Court denied plaintiffs’ motion for class certification on the grounds that plaintiffs did not satisfy the requirement that common issues predominate over individual ones.

Dr. Aron was supported by a CRA team that included Dr. Justin Lenzo and Andrew Tisinger.