The Colorado Supreme Court issued its opinion in Garcia v. Medved Chevrolet, Inc. on October 31, 2011.
Class Actions—Burden of Proof—Circumstantial Evidence—Inference or Presumption—Colorado Consumer Protection Act.
Applying the standards enunciated in Jackson v. Unocal Corp. (Oct. 31, 2011, No. 09SC668), the Supreme Court concluded that the trial court failed to rigorously analyze the evidence in deciding to grant class certification. The Court therefore affirmed the court of appeals’ decision remanding the case to the trial court to conduct such an analysis.
Consistent with its opinion in BP America Production Co. v. Patterson, 185 P. 3d 811 (Colo. 2008),the Court held that the causation and injury elements of plaintiffs’ Consumer Protection Act claims may be inferred from circumstantial evidence common to the class. The Court further held that defendant has the opportunity to rebut such class-wide inferences with individual evidence. The Court concluded that, in its analysis, the trial court neglected to consider the evidence offered by defendant to refute plaintiffs’ class-wide theories of liability.
Summary and full case available here.