No National Class Action for Dollar General Suits

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A federal judge last week granted statewide class action status to 16 groups of consumers suing Dollar General for selling motor oil alleged to have been obsolete, but the judge rejected a request to grant national class action status.

The decision by Judge Gary A. Fenner in the U.S. District Court for western Missouri makes the plaintiffs task simpler than if each case had to be prosecuted individually, but their case would have been still simpler if he had certified them into a single class.

In his March 21 decision, Fenner ruled that plaintiffs attorneys had demonstrated sufficient commonality amongst cases within individual states but said there was too much difference in the facts or applicable law between states.

The lawsuits were filed by consumers in California, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York, North Caroline, Ohio and Wisconsin. They complained that Dollar General did not provide adequate warning that DG-branded motor oils offered in its stores did not provide adequate protection to vehicles manufactured after 1930 or 1988.

A trial date in the case has not yet been set.

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