Ebert v. General Mills, Inc., No. 15-1735 (8th Cir. 2016)Annotate this Case
Plaintiffs, all owners of residential properties, filed suit against General Mills alleging that General Mills caused the chemical substance trichloroethylene (TCE) to be released onto the ground and into the environment. Plaintiffs claim that as a result of this contamination, TCE vapors migrated into the surrounding residential area, threatening the health of the residents and diminishing the value of their property. The district court certified a proposed class under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23. The court concluded, however, that individual issues predominate the analysis of causation and damages that must be litigated to resolve plaintiffs' claims. Therefore, the court determined that this matter is unsuitable for class certification under Rule 23(b)(3) and the district court abused its discretion in certifying the class. Because the class lacks the requisite commonality and cohesiveness to satisfy Rule 23, the court reversed the certification order and remanded.