California Supreme Court Holds That Only Individual Representatives in UCL Class Actions Are Required to Satisfy The Standing Requirements of Proposition 64

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A sharply divided California Supreme Court ruled on May 18, 2009, that in putative class actions filed under California’s Unfair Competition Law (the “UCL”) (Business and Professions Code Section 17200), only the named class representative(s) – not absent class members – must satisfy the standing requirements of Proposition 64, the 2004 ballot initiative that amended the UCL. That is, only the named plaintiff(s) in a class action must show they “suffered injury in fact and ha[ve] lost money or property as a result of” the alleged unfair competition. The Court’s narrow 4-3 majority decision reversed a series of lower court rulings which had held that every class member in a UCL class action must demonstrate Proposition 64 standing.

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