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D.L. v. District of Columbia

AARP Supports Right to Bring Class Action Civil Rights Challenges

    

On April 12, 2013, the Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit ruled that the D.L. case should be reconsidered by the district court because of differences between the claims of various members of the plaintiff class. In particular the appeals court directed the trial court to consider whether the single plaintiff class – which the appeal court said was improper -- could be lawfully divided into valid “sub-classes” of children whose claims against the District within each sub-class would be sufficiently common to meet the standards imposed by the Wal-Mart decision.

What’s at Stake

This case addresses new limitations on class action litigation recognized by the U.S. Supreme Court. As the D.L. case demonstrates, the courts will require that plaintiffs to show, at the class action stage, that each member of a proposed class or sub class would – if liability is ultimately proven – suffer similar harm and obtain similar benefit from court-ordered relief if the case is permitted to proceed as a class action.

Case Status

D.L. v. District of Columbia was before the Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.

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Our legal advocacy initiatives  - conducted by AARP Foundation Litigation (AFL) - reflect more than 15 years of work in federal and state courts across the country. Through our efforts, we support the Foundation’s four priority areas: Hunger, Income, Housing and Isolation, and ensure that those 50 and older have a voice in the laws and policies that affect their daily lives.