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On Petition for Review from the Court of Appeals for the Thirteenth District of Texas

Argued on March 21, 2001

Plaintiff brought this putative class action against a doctor and the hospital where he practiced, claiming that they had misrepresented the hospital’s cardiac surgeons’ qualifications. When the plaintiff settled with the doctor, the trial court certified a “settlement-only” plaintiff class, preliminarily approved the settlement, and scheduled a fairness hearing at which it would review and finalize both the certification and the settlement. See Tex. R. Civ. P. 42. The hospital attempted to appeal the trial court’s order, but the court of appeals dismissed the appeal. 17 S.W.3d 305. It held that the hospital lacked standing to challenge the order and that the challenge to both certification and settlement was premature pending the fairness hearing’s disposition. Id. at 309-10. We hold that the hospital’s certification challenge is ripe and that it has standing to appeal the trial court’s order. Accordingly, we reverse the court of appeals’ judgment dismissing the hospital’s appeal and remand the case to that court for further proceedings.

 
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