Laudato v. EQT Corp.

The Third Circuit issued a procedural opinion granting the petitioner’s appeal under Fed. R. Civ. P. 23(f), which permits an appellate court to hear an appeal from an order granting or denying class-action certification. The respondent was a landowner who claimed that the petitioner stored natural gas in six separate storage fields without compensation. The District Court granted class certification but rejected the respondent’s proposed class definition, appointment as class representative, appointment of class counsel, and specific issues’ certification. The petitioner sought permission to appeal. The Third Circuit noted that the Committee Notes from Rule 23’s 1998 amendment describe the permission the rule grants as something akin to the discretion exercised by the Supreme Court in acting on a petition for certiorari and as giving courts of appeals unfettered discretion. The Third Circuit reiterated its broad discretion and more liberal standard than other Circuits. Here, the Court ruled that review is appropriate and granted the petition.

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