Price v. MartinAnnotate this Case
The Supreme Court granted certiorari in this lawsuit to determine whether the lower courts correctly applied the standards for analyzing class action certification set forth in La. C.C.P. arts. 591, et seq. In February 2003, five individuals residing and owning property in Alexandria, Louisiana, in the vicinity of the Dura-Wood Treating Company, filed on their own behalf and as representatives of a class of persons who allegedly suffered damages as a result of operations at the wood-treating facility, a "Class Action Petition for Damages." The petition, which was amended several times, alleged that the Dura-Wood facility was primarily engaged in the production of creosote-treated railroad ties, and that significant quantities of creosote sludge were deposited into the canal and ponds. The appellate court ultimately found no reversible error in the district court’s judgment certifying the class, although it candidly acknowledged “a number of potential problems with the class as it had been defined." After reviewing the record and the applicable law, the Supreme Court found the lower courts erred in concluding that common questions of law or fact existed, that questions of law or fact common to members of the class predominated over any questions affecting only individual members, and that a class action was superior to other available methods for a fair and efficient adjudication of this matter. Accordingly, the Court reversed the judgment of the district court which granted Plaintiffs' motion for class certification.