Caitflo LLC v. Sprint Communications Co. LP
A court can certify a class-action suit, if the plaintiffs meet the requirements of numerosity, common questions of fact, typicality and adequacy of class representation. Plaintiffs Caitflo LLC and Calabash LLC filed a class-action suit, on behalf of themselves and similarly situated plaintiffs, against Spring Communications Co. and Wiltel Communications, alleging that they occupied rights of way with cable systems. The plaintiffs requested that the court certify a class action, pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure Rule 23(b). The court recognized a class that was defined as all persons who own, or who claim to own, "covered property" during the compensation period. The court excluded right-of-way providers and their successors, government entities and Native American tribes. The plaintiffs established that the class is so numerous that joinder of all of the members of the class is not feasible. The common question of fact is the plaintiffs' right to compensation for the defendants' occupation of rights-of-way with cable systems. The claims of class representatives Caitflo and Calabash are typical of those of class members. Plaintiffs' counsel is experienced in complex litigation and will fairly and adequately represent the interests of the class. Common questions of law and fact predominate over questions that affect only individual members of the class. Certification of a class action is superior to other methods of resolution. The court scheduled a hearing to decide whether a proposed settlement is fair, reasonable and adequate and ordered a claims administrator to send notice to members of the class. Class members may request to opt out of the class. Class members who do not opt out may be required to grant cable systems easement deeds to the defendants.