State ex rel., Municipal Water Works v. Honorable Derek Swope (Signed Opinion)Annotate this Case
The Supreme Court granted the writ of prohibition requested by Petitioner, Municipal Water Works, to challenge a circuit court order granting Respondents' motion for class certification, holding that the order granting class certification must be vacated because the circuit court failed to conduct a thorough analysis of the four class certification prerequisites in Rule 23(a) of the West Virginia Rules of Civil Procedure.
Respondents, individually and on behalf of a class of similarly situated individuals, filed a complaint against Municipal Water alleging that each putative class members was a customer of Municipal Water and, as a result, was exposed to illness causing pollutants in their water supply. Respondents filed a motion for class certification, which the circuit court granted. Petitioner then sought a writ of prohibition arguing that the circuit court's order did not contain a "thorough analysis" explaining how Respondents satisfied the four prerequisites contained in Rule 23(a). The Supreme Court agreed and granted the writ, holding that the circuit court's order did not contain a thorough analysis of the Rule 23(a) factors.