No. 96-270.

521 U.S. 591 (1997)


United States Supreme Court.

Decided June 25, 1997.

Attorney(s) appearing for the Case

Stephen M. Shapiro argued the cause for petitioners. With him on the briefs were John D. Aldock, Elizabeth Runyan Geise, Richard M. Wyner, Kenneth S. Geller, Andrew J. Pincus, Charles A. Rothfeld, Eileen Penner, Robert H. Bork, Max Gitter, Blake Perkins, and Nancy B. Stone.

Laurence H. Tribe argued the cause and filed a brief for respondent Windsor et al. With him on the brief were Brian Koukoutchos, Jonathan S. Massey, Frederick M. Baron, Brent M. Rosenthal, and Steve Baughman. Brad Seligman, Jocelyn D. Larkin, Donna M. Ryu, Sharon R. Vinick, and Steven Kazan filed a brief for respondent Cargile et al. Shepard A. Hoffman filed a brief for respondent Balonis et al. Ronald L. Motley, Joseph F. Rice, Nancy Worth Davis, Gene Locks, and Jonathan W. Miller filed a brief for respondent Georgine et al. Brian Wolfman and Alan B. Morrison filed a brief for respondent White Lung Association of New Jersey et al.*

Ginsburg, J., delivered the opinion of the Court, in which Rehnquist, C. J., and Scalia, Kennedy, Souter, and Thomas, JJ., joined. Breyer, J., filed an opinion concurring in part and dissenting in part, in which Stevens, J., joined, p. 629. O'Connor, J., took no part in the consideration or decision of the case.

Justice Ginsburg, delivered the opinion of the Court.

This case concerns the legitimacy under Rule 23 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure of a class-action certification sought to achieve global settlement of current and future asbestos-related claims. The class proposed for certification potentially encompasses hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions, of individuals tied together by this commonality: Each was, or some...

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