Judge Grants Plaintiff’s Class Certification Motion

Federal Court Judge Joseph Dickson made rulings on several matters in Volvo’s ongoing sunroof class action lawsuit this week. According to Judge Dickson’s order, the plaintiffs’ renewed motion for class certification is to be served on the defendant Volvo, on July 15, 2020.

Volvo previously indicated that the company would need to evaluate the renewed class certification motion and supporting materials to determine whether it will need to “take the depositions of

any witnesses associated with plaintiffs’ class certification,” according to court documents. The evaluation, according to Volvo, will help determine how long the auto manufacturer will need to file an opposition.

The judge also made two additional rulings this week which include:

  • “Requiring parties to meet and confer to determine what, if any, depositions need to be taken and a proposed briefing schedule for the defendants’ opposition and plaintiffs’
  • Requiring the parties to submit a proposed order to the Court setting forth the proposed schedule for any depositions and the remaining class certification briefing.”

Volvo defense attorneys previously filed a letter to the judge urging the court to dismiss subpoenas, filed by the plaintiffs, requesting additional information from the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). Following Volvo’s letter the Court allowed the plaintiffs to obtain certain information as it pertained to the class action suit. The plaintiff’s attorneys wrote a letter to the Court detailing some of the success after receiving additional information from the DMV.

“Plaintiffs have made headway in obtaining data from the California DMV. We are working closely with the Legal Affairs Division of the California DMV and per their instruction, have submitted a commercial requestor account application to obtain available data related to each VIN number,” a portion of the plaintiff’s letter reads.

Case Background

The lawsuit, which was originally filed in 2010 by Joanne Neale, where she alleged Volvo was responsible for defective sunroofs that caused water leaks in certain models. A new deposition was then added to the class action suit in 2018 by Kelly McGary, who claimed she has not experienced any issues with its sunroof even after leaving her vehicle parked outside, exposing it to various weather conditions.

When questioned about ever noticing any leaks herself, by her mechanic or by her staff members who also drive the vehicle, she answered no.

Plaintiffs want a federal judge to certify their proposed class in a new motion. They claim Volvo sold the defective sunroofs that led to interior damage to its vehicles. According to court documents, some Volvo owners noticed excess water inside of their vehicles after their limited warranty period was up. The auto manufacturer also urged the judge to dismiss several of the plaintiff’s subpoenas that requested information from the DMV.

Look to a future edition of glassBYTEs for continued coverage of the suit.

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