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Summarizing by Shane Ramsey

Gonzalez v. Owens Corning

Case Type:
Case Status:
No. 16-2653 (3rd Circuit, Mar 19,2018) Published
The Frenville standard requires a court to look to the underlying state limitations law to determine when a claim arises. Where the proffered "common issue" depends upon the (different) limitations law of each claimant's home state, there is no live/justiciable controversy. A preemptive declaration that "Frenville applies" would be an improper advisory opinion, because it would not decide how Frenville would apply to any particular claim. Denial of class certification was proper where the "common issue" (dischargeability) was not justiciable, so could not predominate over individual issues.
Procedural context:
On remand to District Court, case was consolidated with product liability cases brought in other districts, and then Plaintiffs moved to certify nationwide class of consumers owning property on which Owens Corning allegedly defective roofing shingles were installed prior to 2006. District Court denied class certification for Plaintiffs' failure to satisfy the commonality requirement of Fed. R. Civ. P. 23(a).. Plaintiffs appeal that denial of class certification.
Plaintiff consumers brought a class action suit alleging that certain roofing shingles manufactured by Owens Corning prior to confirmation of its 2006 chapter 11 reorganization plan were defective. Plaintiffs moved to certify a nationwide class of property owners. Court previously held in Wright v. Owens Corning, 679 F.3d 101, 108-09 (3d Cir. 2012) ("Wright") that because Owens Corning's reorganization plan was confirmed prior to the decision in In re Grossman's, 607 F.3d 114 (3d Cir. 2010) ("Grossman"), which set forth the "exposure test" for determining when a "claim" arises, dischargeability is still governed by the standard stated in In re Frenville Co., 744 F.2d 332 (3d Cir. 1984)(which was overruled by Grossman)..

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