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Imagine that you represent a manufacturer who is being sued in a putative class action alleging that one of your client’s products is defective. Although some consumers who used the product were injured as a result of the defect, the class action complaint does not make any claims for personal injury. Instead, the complaint asserts claims for economic damages only (eg, refunds of the purchase price of the product). Conventional wisdom would say that you should be thankful. Economic damages usually pale in comparison to personal injury damages, so if putative class counsel has chosen to forego a potentially larger verdict, so be it. Unconventional wisdom, on the other hand, would recognize that the class plaintiffs are “splitting” their claims, and claim splitting presents a number of unique issues for defense counsel.

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