WAL-MART PETITIONS FOR SUPREME COURT REVIEW IN DUKES V. WAL-MART

by Art Gutman Ph.D., Professor, Florida Institute of Technology

Not surprisingly, Wal-Mart has petitioned the Supreme Court to review the 9th Circuit ruling in Dukes v. Wal-Mart, a class action sex discrimination suit in which an en banc panel voted 6-5 to certify a class size estimated to be 500,000. Wal-Mart lawyers argued that the proposed class size is “larger than the active-duty personnel in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, and Coast Guard combined-making it the largest employment class action in history by several orders of magnitude.” Wal-Mart lawyers also argued that the class includes employees “who held different jobs in different stores in different States under the supervision of different managers.” Counsel for the plaintiffs responded that “A [Supreme Court] review is unwarranted given the well-accepted legal principles on which the class certification is based.” Counsel said “only the size of the case is unusual and that is a product of the size of Wal-Mart and the breadth of the discrimination detected and documented.”

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