Following a previous success in a prominent product liability class action at the district court, Brattle assisted Kirkland & Ellis in overcoming an appeal to the case at the Eighth Circuit for their client, Polaris. The higher court affirmed the district court’s July 2020 decision by endorsing the lower court’s ruling denying class certification for all-terrain vehicle (ATV) purchasers.

In Riley Johannessohn, et al. v. Polaris Industries, Inc., plaintiffs asserting numerous consumer protection claims sought to certify a nationwide class of ATV buyers. Allegations pertained to disclosures of alleged design defects and the purchase price of ATVs.

A Brattle team – including Nobel Prize winner, Principal, and Professor Dr. Daniel McFadden; Principal Dr. Lisa Cameron; and Senior Associate Dr. Pablo Robles – contributed to critical critiques of the plaintiffs’ price premium theory and assertions that plaintiffs had taken into account both supply and demand when establishing the alleged overpayment amount. Professor McFadden’s prior testimony showed that both the plaintiffs’ survey-based demand analysis and equilibrium model were unreliable.

The Eighth Circuit concluded that individualized questions predominated and that the putative classes included members who lacked standing. The higher court ultimately endorsed the lower court’s ruling, referencing challenges to plaintiffs’ economic arguments.