Olean Wholesale Grocery Cooperative v. Bumble Bee Foods

After the three companies that dominate the tuna canning industry in the United States admitted to a broad price-fixing conspiracy, classes of direct and indirect purchasers of tuna sued them in federal court under state and federal antitrust laws. The district court certified three classes based on the testimony of econometric experts, stating that regression analysis showed that questions regarding the impact of the price-fixing conspiracy on the classes and the amount of damages could be determined on a classwide basis.

The defendants appealed the class certification to the Ninth Circuit, arguing that the district court had certified classes comprising members who had not been injured by the price-fixing conspiracy and that common questions therefore did not predominate. Public Citizen submitted an amicus brief in support of the class plaintiffs, explaining that the possibility that the classes include some uninjured members is not an obstacle to class certification.