A New Jersey U.S. District Court judge has denied Volvo’s motion to reconsider the six-state class-action status of a lawsuit filed over an alleged defect in the automaker’s sunroofs, which plaintiffs claim allows water to flood their vehicles.
The class action lawsuit covers Massachusetts, Florida, Hawaii, New Jersey, California and Maryland.
“Defendants argue that this court should reconsider its opinion that granted plaintiffs’ motion for certification of statewide classes due to the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Comcast. That case involved a class of former and current subscribers of Comcast who sought damaged for alleged violations of federal antitrust laws. … However, this case is entirely distinguishable from Comcast. In Comcast, the damages theory was based on a model designed by an expert that compared actual cable prices with hypothetical prices that would have existed if the defendants had not engaged in the alleged anticompetitive activities. Here, the damages issue is much more straightforward—all class members who purchased defendants’ product were allegedly damaged by a design defect,” writes Judge Dennis Cavanaugh in his opinion.
“… Defendants can not reasonably point to Comcast and argue that because the Supreme Court rejected a flawed hypothetical damages model in that case, certification in this case was improper. Further, in Comcast, the plaintiffs solely relied on one expert to establish class-wide damages and the Supreme Court found that expert’s methodology to be unsound,” he continues. “… Because this case is distinguishable from Comcast, this court finds no reason to reconsider its opinion. Accordingly, defendants’ motion is denied.”
The plaintiffs contend the “defect” sunroofs are on Volvo’s S40, S60, S80, V50 (model years 2004 to present), XC90 (model years 2003 to present) and V50 (model years 2005 to present).
“Plaintiffs allege that the sunroof drainage systems in these vehicles harbored a defect which allows water to become entrapped within the passenger compartment floorplans, causing damage to the vehicles, including interior components, carpets and safety-related electrical sensors and wiring,” according to the court documents.
The suit was filed in New Jersey U.S. District Court by Joanne Neale of Needham, Mass., and seven other owners.