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Brown v. Ticor Title Insurance Co.
United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
982 F.2d 386 (1992)
Multiple lawsuits were filed against several major title-insurance companies (the title companies) (defendants) for price fixing and antitrust claims. The cases were consolidated in a multidistrict litigation (MDL) in federal court in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. The MDL court certified a mandatory class of consumers under Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 23(b)(1) and 23(b)(2). The class included Walter Brown and Jeffrey Dziewit (plaintiffs), as well as Arizona’s attorney general. The MDL court eventually approved a settlement that provided various types of injunctive relief in exchange for class members giving up their rights to seek monetary damages. While evaluating the settlement, the MDL court affirmed that the class was mandatory and denied attempts by the Arizona attorney general and other class members to opt out of the class. After the judgment was finalized in the MDL action, Brown and Dziewit sued the title companies in Arizona federal court, seeking monetary damages for the same alleged price-fixing conduct. The title companies moved for summary judgment, arguing that res judicata barred Brown and Dziewit from filing a new lawsuit for the same claims that had been resolved in the MDL judgment. The district court agreed and granted judgment to the title companies. Brown and Dziewit appealed to the Ninth Circuit.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Nelson, J.)
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