The Eleventh Circuit is poised to reconsider recent standing decisions favorable for defendants seeking to invoke Article III’s standing requirements to defeat class certification.
At issue is the Eleventh Circuit’s July 2022 decision in Drazen v. Pinto, holding that (i) all class members must have Article III standing in order to receive individual damages (whether through a settlement or otherwise), and (ii) the standing determination is decided under Eleventh Circuit law, even where certain class members do not reside within the Eleventh Circuit’s geographic boundaries and may have standing under other circuit precedent. 41 F.4th 1354, 1360–61 (11th Cir. 2022). The dispute in Drazen arose in the context of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”), and addressed both unwanted phone calls and text messages. While a settlement in Drazen was pending, the Eleventh Circuit held in Salcedo v. Hanna, 936 F.3d 1162, 1168 (11th Cir. 2019), that, contrary to precedent in other circuits, a single unwanted text message was not sufficient to give rise to Article III standing under the TCPA. Because the panel was bound by Salcedo, and because the proposed class definition in the Drazen settlement included individuals whose sole harm was an unwanted text message, those individuals did not have standing. The panel therefore vacated the district court’s approval of the settlement.
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