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California court partially grants class-action status in trailer-tire case

LOS ANGELES — A California federal district court has certified four plaintiffs’ motions for class actions in Colorado and Florida regarding allegedly defective trailer tires.

However, the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California denied the plaintiffs’ motion for certification of a nationwide liability-only class and for certification of class actions in California and Arizona.

Julie Hamilton, Lyle McLean, Sam Flowers and Nestor Diaz jointly filed a complaint in June 2017 in the Central California court against TBC Corp. and Dynamic Tire Corp., alleging that Power King Towmax STR trailer tires imported from China by Dynamic and sold by TBC were prone to tread separation under normal operating conditions.

Judge Dolly M. Gee of the Central California court denied the plaintiffs’ motion to certify a nationwide class action in an order issued Aug. 24.

“Because the plaintiffs’ nationwide class claims will require adjudication under the laws of multiple states, plaintiffs must show that common questions predominate over individual legal issues. Plaintiffs have not done so,” Ms. Gee wrote.

“The significant number of material differences between the laws of multiple states precludes a finding that common questions predominate,” she wrote.

For the same reason, Ms. Gee denied certification to class actions in California and Arizona.

However, Ms. Gee granted certification to a Colorado class action.

“Here, plaintiffs’ damages model is consistent with their theory that defendants are liable because the STR tires are inherently defective,” Ms. Gee wrote.

“Specifically, plaintiffs’ damages model seeks compensation based on the difference in value between the purportedly defective STR tires and the value of a non-defective tire,” she wrote.

Ms. Gee denied class-action certification in Florida under claims of breach of the express and implied warranty. However, she granted certification in Florida under Florida’s Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act, which uses a “reasonable consumer” standard governing allegedly unfair or deceptive trade practices.

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