Prantil v. Arkema, No. 19-20723 (Jan. 22, 2021), involved class claims about property damage that resulted from a  chemical explosion caused by Hurricane Harvey. The Fifth Circuit vacated and remanded the trial court’s class-certification order, holding:

  • “[T]he Daubert hurdle must be cleared when scientific evidence is relevant to the decision to certify”;
  • The trial court’s Rule 23(b)(3) analysis fell short in its “discussion of how proof of Arkema’s conduct will affect trial”–specifically, on plaintiff-specific defensive issues about causation, injury, and damages; and
  • As to injunctive relief, the order “leaves us uncertain” as to how the extent of necessary property remediation can be determined, and whether a responsive injunction can be fashioned to account for Arkema’s past remediation efforts”–especially if the injunction will rely on the analysis of the class’s experts.

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