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Weitzner v. Sanofi Pasteur, Inc.

This case was brought as a class action under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) by Ari Weitzner and Ari Weitzner, M.D., P.C. (“Weitzner”). Before Weitzner moved for class certification, the defendants served offers of judgment under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 68 that purportedly would have provided complete relief on Weitzner’s individual claims. Weitzner did not accept, and the defendants moved to dismiss the action as moot. The district court denied the motion, holding that the offers mooted Weitzner’s individual claims but not his effort to maintain a class action. The district court certified the action for interlocutory appeal under 28 U.S.C. § 1292(b).

Public Citizen filed an amicus brief on appeal, explaining that an unaccepted offer neither moots a claim nor authorizes termination of a lawsuit over the plaintiff’s objection. On April 6, 2016, the Third Circuit affirmed the trial court’s order denying the motion to dismiss. Citing Campbell-Ewald Co. v. Gomez, 136 S. Ct. 663, 666 (2016), the Third Circuit explained that “[b]ecause an unaccepted settlement offer ‘has no force,’ it moots neither Plaintiffs’ individual claims nor the case as a whole.”