Behrend V. Comcast corp.

Barry Barnett wins appeal in cable antitrust class action in Third Circuit. The case, Behrend v. Comcast Corp., No. 10-2865 (3d Cir. Aug. 23, 2011), involves claims that Comcast overcharged customers for cable service. Comcast bought out competing cable providers to obtain a monopoly in the Philadelphia area, the complaint alleges. The panel ruled 2-1 that the class met all the tests for a class action under Rule 23(b)(3), which allows class handling of claims that present mainly common issues for class members. All three judges agreed that the U.S. District Judge John R. Padova rightly held the question of “common impact” provable with class-wide evidence. The majority also concluded that the class could show damages using common proof.