U.S. Second Circuit - The FindLaw 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals Opinion Summaries Blog

Class Certification Order in Challenge to Anti-Begging Statute Partially Vacated, Plus an ERISA Case

Brown v. Kelly, No. 07-3356, involved a class action by persons allegedly arrested pursuant to an unconstitutional New York anti-begging statute.  The Second Circuit affirmed in part the district court's class certification order, holding that the citywide plaintiff class did meet the requirements of Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 23(a) and 23(b)(3).  However, the court reversed in part, on the ground that the district court erred in certifying a statewide defendant class because the defendant class representatives did not meet the adequacy and typicality requirements of Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23(a), and the district court also erred in certifying a statewide plaintiff class because the certification of this class was contingent on the bilateral certification of both a statewide plaintiff and a statewide defendant class.

Durakovic v. Bldg. Serv. 32 BJ Pension Fund, No. 09-3651, concerned an ERISA challenge to a union disability-benefits denial.  The Second Circuit reversed the dismissal of the complaint, holding that 1) a fund organized pursuant to 29 U.S.C. section 186(c)(5) is conflicted within the meaning of Metropolitan Life Insurance Company v. Glenn, 128 S. Ct. 2343 (2008); 2) the district court should have accorded the conflict in this case more weight; and 3) no rational trier of fact could have failed to conclude that the benefits denial was arbitrary and capricious.

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