Voter-Approved Standing Requirements For California's UCL Apply Only To Class Representatives, Not Class Members, State Supreme Court Rules


In 2004, California voters imposed limits on the state's famously broad Unfair Competition Law. More than four years later, the California Supreme Court has announced exactly where those limits lie.

The court's long-awaited decision in In re Tobacco II Cases, S147345, interprets two fundamental, voter-approved amendments to the UCL. First, a unanimous court held that a named plaintiff suing under the revised statute for injury caused by a defendant's misrepresentation must have actually relied on the allegedly misleading statement. Second, a 4-3 majority held that absent class members are not subject to the voters' new, more rigorous standing test; unlike the plaintiffs seeking to represent them, class members need not show that they "lost money or property as a result of" the alleged unfair business practice.

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