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Recently, the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals dealt a severe blow to class actions in that state. In laying the groundwork for a more stringent approach to class certification in West Virginia, the court in State v. Madden, 2004 WL 2750996 (W.Va. 2004), held that it was impermissible for a court in West Virginia, a state that was widely reputed to have the most liberal medical monitoring standards in the country, to include class members from states that have not adopted such liberal theories of recovery. The decision is also important for the court’s admonition that classes should only be certified where all class members meet the criteria necessary for certification and its rejection of “drive-by” certifications.

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