fb tracking

General Motors v. Delmas Ford

In this case, we successfully opposed General Motors’ attempt to get the U.S Supreme Court to overturn the certification of a nationwide consumer class action involving defective airbags in certain GM cars. GM argued that the certification decision’s choice-of-law analysis violated the Due Process Clause and the Commerce Clause — including a novel argument that the decision violated constitutional limits on extraterritorial regulation. Our brief demonstrated that these issues did not implicate any decisional conflicts among the state or federal courts and that, in any event, the Court lacked jurisdiction to review a state court’s interlocutory class certification decision. The Supreme Court denied certiorari on October 11, 2005.

Questions presented:

  1. Whether the Oklahoma court violated the due process and commerce clauses of the U.S. Constitution by holding, in order to facilitate certification of a nationwide class action, that one state’s law could be applied to the breach of warranty claims of class members residing in all 50 states.
  2. Whether the Oklahoma court violated the due process clause of the U.S. Constitution by holding that the class notice that would be sent to class members in all 50 states, and which would allow class members to opt out or remain in the litigation, did not need to disclose what state’s law would be applied to the claims asserted in the class action.