MIAMI, October 31, 2018: Morgan Lewis has secured the denial of a class certification motion filed against Point Blank Enterprises, Inc. in the US District Court for the Southern District of Florida enabling the designer, manufacturer, and retailer of life-saving bullet-resistant vests to continue offering its Self-Suspending Ballistic System (SSBS) bulletproof vests, among other technologies, which have saved the lives of more than 100 members of law enforcement since 2012, and have protected thousands of other law enforcement officers who wear Point Blank’s vests.
Notably, the plaintiffs did not claim that any wearer had been injured because of the SSBS, and did not allege any deficiency with the ballistics or bullet-stopping power of the vests. Instead, they alleged a defect in the “hook and loop” closure portion of the SSBS when a wearer used the SSBS in a certain way, allegedly causing the shoulder straps to wear out prematurely. These vests are worn by police officers across the United States every day.
Judge Ursula Ungaro of the Southern District of Florida issued a 33-page opinion and order on October 29, denying a motion for class certification that the plaintiffs in OSTA, et al. v. Point Blank Enterprises, Inc., 0:17-cv-62051-UU, had filed against Point Blank.
Judge Ungaro agreed with the firm’s threshold argument that the plaintiffs lacked standing for the class claims, denied class certification, noted that she observed several other serious deficiencies in the plaintiffs’ arguments, and dismissed the remaining individual warranty claims for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. The ruling follows an extensive party and third-party fact and expert discovery period.
The Morgan Lewis team was led by partners Troy Brown and Brian Ercole. Partner Elisa McEnroe and associates Clay Carlton and Melissa Coates provided support.