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Simeon Botwinick

Simeon Botwinick is an associate in the Washington, DC office. He handles trademark, copyright, and patent matters, with an emphasis on counseling and litigation, and has worked with clients in the pharmaceutical, automotive, typeface, and emergency service industries. Simeon's pro bono practice focuses on legal aid direct representation.

The Sixth Circuit vacated an order certifying five statewide classes alleging a common brake defect in Ford Motor Company’s F-150 pickup trucks, remanding the case to the district court “for more searching consideration” of whether commonality under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23(a)(2) was satisfied.

In Weidman v. Ford Motor Co., 2022 WL 1071289 (E.D. Mich. Apr. 8, 2022), plaintiffs had filed a putative class action against Ford over an alleged defective brake cylinder in their F-150 pickup trucks.  The district court certified five statewide classes on three issues under Rule 23(c)(4): (1) whether the trucks’ brake systems were defective; (2) whether Ford possessed pre-sale knowledge of the defect; and (3) whether concealed information about the defect would be material to a reasonable buyer.

On a Rule 23(f) petition for interlocutory review, the Sixth Circuit vacated the class certification order, finding that the district court’s “cursory treatment of commonality, one of the four necessary class action ingredients, failed to meet Rule 23’s stringent requirements.”  In Re Ford Motor Co., 2023 WL 7877971, at *1 (6th Cir. Nov. 16, 2023).Continue Reading Sixth Circuit Pumps the Brakes on Class Certification Alleging Common Defects in Ford F-150 Pickup Trucks

In a decision that could be useful to defendants in highly-regulated industries that face class action claims predicated on violations of federal law, a recent Sixth Circuit opinion confirmed that implied preemption applies to state-law claims predicated on violations of the EPA’s vehicle fuel economy and emissions regulations. This decision confirms the expansion of the implied preemption defense to a new industry, and may signal further expansions in the future. Continue Reading A Closer Look: Sixth Circuit Expands Implied Preemption Defense