Court of Appeal: Class Certification Denied in Independent Contractor Case

Ali brought a class action on behalf of taxi drivers. The primary claim was that the drivers were misclassified as independent contractors. Ali sought class certification, which the trial court denied.

The Court of Appeal affirmed, on the ground that common issues did not predominate. The company submitted over 40 declarations demonstrating that each putative class member experienced different working conditions and degrees of control by the company. Therefore, the case was not amenable to class treatment.

This case demonstrates that a motion for class certification may be defeated where declarations demonstrate numerous differences among each putative plaintiff's treatment. If the plaintiff cannot generalize about all employees by pointing to a few, a trial court may find that a class action is not suitable.

The case is Ali v. USA Cab LTD and the opinion is here.