Russell v. Educ. Comm’n for Foreign Med. Graduates

The Third Circuit reversed the District Court’s order that certified an “issue class” pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23(c)(4). The defendant is a nonprofit agency that certifies graduates of foreign medical schools to do their residencies in the United States. One graduate applied several times, each time using an alias. His trickery was not discovered until after he had been certified by the agency, graduated from a residency, and practiced as a physician. When the ruse was discovered, the doctor’s license and certification were revoked. Some of his former patients then filed suit against the agency, claiming negligent infliction of emotional distress arising out of the Commission’s certification of the doctor. The District Court certified for class treatment only the issues of duty and breach. But the Third Circuit held that the District Court failed to determine whether the proposed issues satisfied a subsection of Rule 23(b). And the District Court failed to analyze several Gates factors rigorously. Thus, the Court vacated and remanded.

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