Plaintiffs often try to define the broadest possible class at the outset of a case on the belief that the scope of the class can be refined on class certification after discovery has been completed. For this strategy to work, however, plaintiffs must get past the pleading stage. Historically, this has not been too difficult for class plaintiff. But a recent decision in In re Railway Industry Employee No-Poach Antitrust Litigation suggests that the tide may be turning. There, the court held that plaintiffs’ conclusory class allegations – standard fare in many antitrust class action complaints – failed to set facts that, if true, demonstrated that injury could be proven on a class-wide basis, and striking the class allegations from the Complaint. The decision thus shows a new boldness in striking class allegations before discovery or a motion for certification. If it stands, this holds great promise for defendants seeking to attack the class action procedure at the pleading stage.

Read the full client alert here.