We reported previously on two class action royalty decisions out of the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit denying class certification based largely on the failure to take into account individual lease language when making the determination at the trial court level. See here. That trend (rightly, in our view) continues in the United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania, in the case of Pollock v. Energy Corporation of America. There, the magistrate judge refused to recommend class certification based largely on the same considerations. Regarding numerosity, for example, the magistrate judge found: "Here, Plaintiffs offer speculation and conjecture that the class exceeds forty members. They have not proven by a preponderance of the evidence that for each sub-class that numerosity is satisfied. Presenting the total amount of active Pennsylvania leases that ECA holds without proof that any of the leases (besides the named Plaintiffs) contain the operative provisions that Plaintiffs seek to hold ECA liable for a breach of contract does not satisfy numerosity. The Court cannot determine from the evidence whether any of the putative class members have suffered the alleged harm that Plaintiffs assert." And the same is true for commonality.
Read the whole thing.