In a case of first impression, a New Jersey appeals court has refused to follow the lead of some federal courts in adopting the doctrine of “ascertainability” when deciding whether to allow class certification in consumer cases involving low-value damages.

The three-judge Appellate Division panel said adopting that doctrine would violate New Jersey’s long-standing belief that rules governing class-action lawsuits should be liberally construed in order to offer the broadest possible protections to wronged consumers.

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