A seemingly innocuous recruitment text message from the United States Navy has led to the official unraveling of a tactic long-used and widely-favored by defendants to escape a class action lawsuit before class certification. In a 6-3 decision, the United States Supreme Court rejected the argument that an unaccepted settlement offer or offer of judgment

Introduction

Following the Seventh Circuit’s decision in Damasco v. Clearwire Corp., 662 F.3d 891 (7th Cir. 2011), Plaintiff’s counsel typically file motions for class certification along with their Complaints to prevent Defendants from using Rule 68 offers of judgment to “moot” the individual claims of their class representatives and derail the class action.

The

The Circuits are split as to what effect an offer of judgment directed to a named plaintiff has on a putative class action.  The Seventh Circuit has taken a rigid view, holding that an unaccepted offer of judgment affording full relief to the named plaintiff renders a putative class action moot — unless there is