Sidley successfully defended Owens Corning against a putative class action brought by consumers who alleged that the company sold defective roof shingles and misrepresented the shingles’ expected useful life. After 11 years of litigation in the federal courts, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit affirmed the district court’s decisions denying class certification and denying any attorneys’ fees for plaintiffs’ counsel.
At the district court level, plaintiffs’ motions to exclude Owens Corning’s experts were denied, while Owens Corning’s motion to exclude plaintiffs’ sole expert was granted in large part. Plaintiffs sought certification of a class of shingle purchasers. On March 31, 2016, in a 185-page decision, the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania denied plaintiffs’ motion for class certification in full, siding with Owens Corning on each of plaintiffs’ arguments under Rule 23. On March 19, 2018, the Third Circuit affirmed the decision denying class certification in full. The cases proceeded on an individual basis, not a class action – in the district court. Plaintiffs’ counsel filed a motion for attorneys’ fees, which was denied in full on February 13, 2019, and the case was closed by the district court with no payment of any damages or fees by Owens Corning. The denial of attorneys’ fees was affirmed by the Third Circuit on May 1, 2020, capping off years long litigation with a victory for Owens Corning.
The Sidley appellate team included Carter Phillips (Washington, D.C./Chicago), as well as Kara McCall, Bob Scarborough, Tacy Flint, Beth Chiarello, Dan Spira and Shalyn Caulley (all in Chicago). Sidley alumni Mike Davis, Caroline Schiff and Sean Siekkinen also contributed.