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United States Court of Appeals
Fifth Circuit
F I L E D
February 26, 2004
UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS
FIFTH CIRCUIT
Charles R. Fulbruge III
Clerk
____________
No. 01-31434
____________
ERIC VIZENA, Individually and on behalf of Erica Vizena, on behalf
of John Eric Vizena; PATRICIA VIZENA, Individually and on behalf
of Erica Vizena, on behalf of John Eric Vizena; MICHAEL
ROUGEAU, Individually and on behalf of Kaitlen Rougeau, on behalf
of Jena Rougeau; WENDY ROUGEAU, Individually and on behalf of
Kaitlen Rougeau, on behalf of Jena Rougeau; ERIC'S BODY SHOP;
ET AL,


Plaintiffs - Appellees

v.

UNION PACIFIC RAILROAD CO.,


Defendant - Appellant

-------------------------------------------

HERBERT ARNOLD; JUDITH ARNOLD,


Plaintiffs - Respondents


v.

UNION PACIFIC RAILROAD CO.,


Defendant - Petitioner.

-------------------------------------------

BRYANT CORMIER; SYBIL SMITH; WENDY THIBODEAUX,


Plaintiffs - Respondents,


v.

UNION PACIFIC RAILROAD CO.; ET AL,


Defendants.

UNION PACIFIC RAILROAD CO.,


Defendant - Petitioner.

-------------------------------------------


GARY GAUDIN; LINDA GAUDIN,


Plaintiffs - Respondents,


v.

UNION PACIFIC RAILROAD CO; ET AL,


Defendants,

UNION PACIFIC RAILROAD CO.,



Defendant - Petitioner.

-------------------------------------------


HOLLY FONTENOT; JOHN PASTERICK; EVELINE ARDOIN;
JOHN FONTENOT,


Plaintiffs - Respondents,

v.

UNION PACIFIC RAILROAD CO.; ET AL,
2



Defendants,

UNION PACIFIC RAILROAD CO.,




Defendant - Petitioner.

-------------------------------------------


GARY FONTENOT, Etc; ET AL.;


Plaintiffs,

NEAL TRAHAN; AMY TRAHAN, on behalf of Brianne Stanford,

Plaintiffs - Respondents,

v.

UNION PACIFIC RAILROAD CO.; ET AL,


Defendants,

UNION PAFICIF RAILROAD CO.,


Defendant - Petitioners.
-------------------------------------------


PATRICK MILLER; GAIL FRYE; DWIGHT COLLINS; APRIL
COLLINS; CLAYTON SCOTT, SR.; ET AL,



Plaintiffs - Respondents,


v.

3

UNION PACIFIC RAILROAD CO.,


Defendant - Petitioner.
-------------------------------------------


WALTER J. ANDREPONT; PATRICK JAMES BERTRAND;
MARY INC., doing business as Manuel Oil Co.; LISA
THIBODEAUX; SAM E. THUMBLIN, JR.; ET AL.,


Plaintiffs - Respondents,
v.

UNION PACIFIC RAILROAD CO.; ET AL.,


Defendants,

UNION PACIFIC RAILROAD CO.,


Defendant - Petitioner.
-------------------------------------------


JOHN DANA LATOUR; JUDY LATOUR; DULA JOHNSON

Plaintiffs - Respondents,

v.

UNION PACIFIC RAILROAD CO; ET AL


Defendants

UNION PACIFIC RAILROAD CO


Defendant - Petitioner

-------------------------------------------

LINTON SAM
4



Plaintiffs - Respondents

v.

UNION PACIFIC RAILROAD CO


Defendant - Petitioner

-------------------------------------------
DEBRA HARDY, on behalf of Kristen Hardy, on behalf of Leola
Poulard, on behalf of Shaun Hardy; GARY HARDY, on behalf of
Kristen Hardy, on behalf of Shaun Hardy, on behalf of Leola Poulard


Plaintiffs - Respondents

v.

UNION PACIFIC RAILROAD CO; ET AL

Defendants

UNION PACIFIC RAILROAD CO


Defendant - Petitioner

-------------------------------------------

LADONNA SHEREE SNOW; TERRANCE PAUL HEBERT;
TAMMIE G BERTRAND; CARL A BERTRAND; AMOS D
GRAHAM; ET AL


Plaintiffs - Respondents

v.

UNION PACIFIC RAILROAD CO; ET AL


Defendants

UNION PACIFIC RAILROAD CO

5


Defendant - Petitioner

-------------------------------------------
ALRISTELLE K THOMAS; STEVE CEASER; TIFFANY C
ROBINSON; QUITIN DOYLE; J L PITRE; ET AL


Plaintiffs - Respondents

v.

UNION PACIFIC RAILROAD CO; ET AL


Defendants

UNION PACIFIC RAILROAD CO



Defendant - Petitioner
-------------------------------------------
BECKY BRUNET; RAMOND MALVEAUX; KIMBERLY
WALKER, Individually and on behalf of Caroline Elizabeth Walker,
on behalf of Ty Robert Walker; CHAD WAYNE DAIGLE,
Individually and on behalf of Jacoby Daigle, on behalf of Colby
Goodley; GENORA GOODLEY, Individually and on behalf of Jacoby
Daigle, on behalf of Colby Goodley;


Plaintiffs - Respondents

v.

UNION PACIFIC RAILROAD CO


Defendant - Petitioner
-------------------------------------------
EBONY WILLIS; ETHEL WILLIS; ROZENA EDWARDS; JAMAL
WILLIS; LARRY EDWARDS


Plaintiffs - Respondents

6

v.

UNION PACIFIC RAILROAD CO; ET AL


Defendants

UNION PACIFIC RAILROAD CO


Defendant - Petitioner
-------------------------------------------

ACADIANA AMUSEMENTS INC


Plaintiff - Respondent
v.

UNION PACIFIC RAILROAD CO; ET AL


Defendants

UNION PACIFIC RAILROAD CO


Defendant - Petitioner
-------------------------------------------

SCOTT PERRODIN; LYNDA PERRODIN; STEVIE BERTRAND;
TINA BERTRAND


Plaintiffs - Respondents

v.

UNION PACIFIC RAILROAD CO; ET AL



Defendants

UNION PACIFIC RAILROAD CO


Defendant - Petitioner

7

-------------------------------------------

MANZY THOMAS; MARGIE THOMAS; LLOYD H ANTOINE,
Individually and on behalf of Alex Antoine, on behalf of Anthony
Antoine; DENISE ANTOINE, Individually and on behalf of Alex
Antoine, on behalf of Anthony Antoine; ANTOINE FARMS


Plaintiffs - Respondents

v.

UNION PACIFIC RAILROAD CO


Defendant - Petitioner
-------------------------------------------

JOSHUA WEST; HERMAN LAWRENCE, JR; TODD GUILLORY

Plaintiffs - Respondents

v.

UNION PACIFIC RAILROAD CO


Defendant - Petitioner

-------------------------------------------

ELLA EDWARDS; RAUNDEA GUILLORY, Individually and on
behalf of Rondessio Guillory, on behalf of Fitzgerald Guillory; ANNIE
JACK; JOHNNY TILLMAN; LOLA WILSON


Plaintiffs - Respondents

v.

UNION PACIFIC RAILROAD CO


Defendant-Petitioner
-------------------------------------------

PHILIP THOMAS; FREDERICK THOMAS; TRACY ELLISON;
8

HILARY THOMAS; GEORGE THOMAS; ET AL


Plaintiffs - Respondents

v.

UNION PACIFIC RAILROAD CO

Defendant - Petitioner

-------------------------------------------

PERRY L JONES, SR, Individually and on behalf of D'Andrea
Broussard, on behalf of Laci Broussard, on behalf of Tia Broussard,
on behalf of Perry Jones, Jr, on behalf of Sharon Nicks; KENYA
JONES, Individually and on behalf of D'Andrea Broussard, on behalf
of Laci Broussard, on behalf of Tia Broussard, on behalf of Perry
Jones, Jr, on behalf of Sharon Nicks; LAMIKAA MEEKS; RETINA
SHANTELL MEEKS; MARIE SCOTT; ET AL


Plaintiffs - Respondents

v.

UNION PACIFIC RAILROAD CO; ET AL


Defendants

UNION PACIFIC RAILROAD CO
Defendant - Petitioner

-------------------------------------------

HILDA FRANK; FRANCIS FRANK, JR, Individually and on behalf
of Frankie H Frank, on behalf of Francine Frank, on behalf of Franko
H Frank; FRANCIS FRANK, III; FRANDON FRANK; CURLEY
FRANK; ET AL


Plaintiffs - Respondents

v.

9

UNION PACIFIC RAILROAD CO; ET AL


Defendants

UNION PACIFIC RAILROAD CO


Defendant - Petitioner

-------------------------------------------

PAUL LANDRY; ROSE LANDRY, Individually and on behalf of
Keith Carrier; RAMONA LEMELLE, on behalf of Aaron Lemelle

Plaintiffs - Respondents

v.

UNION PACIFIC RAILROAD CO; ET AL


Defendants

UNION PACIFIC RAILROAD CO


Defendant - Petitioner

-------------------------------------------

CHARLOTTE FONTENOT; CLARENCE FONTENOT; PEGGY
FONTENOT; RICHARD FONTENOT; ADRIAN LEDAY; ET AL


Plaintiffs - Respondents

v.

UNION PACIFIC RAILROAD CO; ET AL


Defendants

UNION PACIFIC RAILROAD CO


Defendant - Petitioner

-------------------------------------------
10


PAUL DUPLANTIS; KAREN DUPLANTIS


Plaintiffs - Respondents


v.

UNION PACIFIC RAILROAD CO; ET AL


Defendants



UNION PACIFIC RAILROAD CO


Defendant - Petitioner

-------------------------------------------

RODERICK ABNEY; LESTER ADAMS; M ANDERSON;
RICHARD ANDERSON; RICHARD P ANDERSON, JR; ET AL


Plaintiffs - Respondents

v.

UNION PACIFIC RAILROAD CO; ET AL


Defendants

UNION PACIFIC RAILROAD CO


Defendant - Petitioner

-------------------------------------------

BERVICK ALLISON; VIRGINIA ALLISON; MARCEL
AUTHORLEE; COLANDRA AUTHORLEE


Plaintiffs - Respondents

v.
11


UNION PACIFIC RAILROAD CO; ET AL


Defendants

UNION PACIFIC RAILROAD CO


Defendant - Petitioner

-------------------------------------------

BRIDGET WATSON; JARVOUS WATSON; CAROLYN
THOMAS, individually and on behalf of Sharon Thomas, on behalf of
Karen Thomas; SANDRA WILSON, individually and on behalf of
Darrin Wilson; ELTRAY MAE COSTON, individually and on behalf
of Jareika Guillory, on behalf of Keramyzhia Guillory; ET AL


Plaintiffs - Respondents

v.

UNION PACIFIC RAILROAD CO; ET AL


Defendants

UNION PACIFIC RAILROAD CO


Defendant - Petitioner

-----------------------------------------

JOHN PATRICK HIGGINS, Dr; CAROL MCCAULEY HIGGINS;
MARY CAROLINE HIGGINS; MARY CHRISTINA HIGGINS


Plaintiffs - Respondents

v.

UNION PACIFIC RAILROAD CO; ET AL


Defendants

12

UNION PACIFIC RAILROAD CO


Defendant - Petitioner

-------------------------------------------

MARILYN TATTERSON, individually and on behalf of Gary
Tatterson, Jr; JOSEPH BRYANT BENNETT; LYNETTE
BROADWAY BESHEARS; LINDA FAYE WILLIAMS


Plaintiffs - Respondents

v.

UNION PACIFIC RAILROAD CO; ET AL


Defendants

UNION PACIFIC RAILROAD CO


Defendant - Petitioner

-------------------------------------------

RUSSELL QUEBEDEAUX


Plaintiff - Respondent

v.

UNION PACIFIC RAILROAD CO


Defendant - Petitioner

-------------------------------------------

FAQUETAIGUE GRAVITY DRAINAGE, district No 1 St Landry
Parish


Plaintiff - Respondent

v.

13

UNION PACIFIC RAILROAD CO


Defendant - Petitioner
-------------------------------------------

KIMBERLY YOLAND WOODS, individually and on behalf of
Quentin Jermaine Ceasar, Jr; QUENTIN JERMAINE CEASAR


Plaintiffs - Respondents

v.

UNION PACIFIC RAILROAD CO


Defendant - Petitioner

-------------------------------------------

STATE FARM FIRE & CASUALTY CO


Plaintiff - Respondent

v.

UNION PACIFIC RAILROAD CO


Defendant - Petitioner
-------------------------------------------
FLORENCE L JONES; DELLA SANDERS IRELAND; AMY
LOUISE SANDERS


Plaintiffs - Respondents

v.

UNION PACIFIC RAILROAD CO; ET AL


Defendants

UNION PACIFIC RAILROAD CO

14


Defendant - Petitioner

-------------------------------------------

RONALD GIBSON, individually and on behalf of Michael Ryan
Gibson, on behalf of Malik Gibson; STEPHANIE VERNON
GIBSON, individually and o n behalf of Michael Ryan Gibson, on
behalf of Malik Gibson; ZANN STACY, individually and on behalf of
Zaelyn Stacy


Plaintiffs - Respondents
v.

UNION PACIFIC RAILROAD CO; ET AL


Defendants

UNION PACIFIC RAILROAD CO

Defendant - Petitioner

-------------------------------------------

SCOTT FISHER


Plaintiff - Respondent

v.

UNION PACIFIC RAILROAD CO


Defendant - Petitioner

-------------------------------------------

PAUL SOILEAU


Plaintiff - Respondent

v.

UNION PACIFIC RAILROAD CO
15



Defendant - Petitioner

-------------------------------------------

RILEY HOWARD ANDRUS, JR


Plaintiff - Respondent

v.

UNION PACIFIC RAILROAD CO


Defendant - Petitioner

-------------------------------------------

PATRICIA ANN EDWARDS, individually and on behalf of Williams
Edwards, on behalf of Malcolm Edwards, on behalf of Patricia
Sanchez Edwards, on behalf of Wesley Edwards, Jr; WESLEY
EDWARDS, SR, individually and on behalf of Williams Edwards, on
behalf of Malcolm Edwards, on behalf of Patricia Sanchez Edwards,
on behalf of Wesley Edwards, Jr


Plaintiffs - Respondents

v.

UNION PACIFIC RAILROAD CO

Defendant - Petitioner
Appeal from the United States District Court
for the Western District of Louisiana
Before EMILIO M. GARZA, DEMOSS, and CLEMENT Circuit Judges.
PER CURIAM:
16

Union Pacific Railroad Company ("Union Pacific") appeals the district court's order certifying
a class action under Rule 23 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Union Pacific argues that the
district court erred in certifying the class and in admitting the testimony of two expert witnesses.
"The district court maintains great discretion in certifying and managing an action. We will
reverse a district court's decision to certify a class only upon a showing that the court abused its
discretion, or that it applied incorrect legal standards in reaching its decision." Berger v. Compaq
Computer Corp., 257 F.3d 475, 478 (5t h Cir. 2001). "Implicit in this deferential standard is a
recognition of the essentially factual basis of the certification inquiry and of the district court's
inherent power to manage and control pending legislation." Allison v. Citgo Petroleum Corp., 151
F.3d 402, 408 (5th Cir. 1998). An action may proceed only if the party seeking certification
demonstrates that all four requirements of Rule 23(a) are met, and that at l east one of three
requirements of Rule 23(b) are met. See FED. R CIV. P. 23 (a-b); Amchem Products Inc. v. Windsor,
521 U.S. 591, 614, 117 S. Ct. 2231 (1997) ("In addition to satisfying Rule 23(a)'s prerequisites,
parties seeking class certification must show that the action is maintainable under Rule 23(b)(1), (2),
or (3)"). If the requirements of Rule 23 are not met then a class should not be certified. See FED.
R CIV. P. 23(b); Amchem, 521 U.S. at 614.

"When because of absence of findings of fact or conclusions of law, an appellate court cannot
determine whether the record supports the trial court decision, it should remand the action for entry
of findings of fact and conclusions of law." Complaint of Ithaca Corp., 582 F.2d 3, 4 (5th Cir.
1978); cf. Westwego Citizens for Better Government v. City of Westwego, 872 F.2d 1201, 1204 (5th
Cir. 1989) ("Because we find that the district court failed to explain its reasoning with sufficient
particularity, we must remand this case to the district court so that it may make the specific findings
17

of fact and conclusions of law necessary to support a judgment."). In a recent unpublished opinion
we found a district court's order certifying a class action "inadequate for review" because "it provided
no factual findings or legal analysis." See Bell v. City of Dallas, Texas, 81 Fed. Appx. 490, 491 (5th
Cir. 2003) (unpublished). We vacated the order and remanded the case. See id.
In this case, the district court certified a class without any findings of fact, legal analysis, or
even a cursory reference to Rule 23's requirements. Considering the deferential review provided a
district court's decision to certify a class and the burden on the plaintiff to meet each of the
requirements of Rule 23, it is improper for a district court to certify a class act ion without first
demonstrating that the plaintiff has satisfied each of the requirements of Rule 23. See General
Telephone Co. of Southwest v. Falcon, 457 U.S. 147, 161, 102 S.Ct. 2364 (a "class action[] may only
be certified if the trial court is satisfied, after a rigorous analysis, that the prerequisites of [Rule 23]
have been satisfied"); Castano v. American Tobacco Co., 84 F.3d 734, 740 (5th Cir. 1996) ("A
district court must conduct a rigorous analysis of the rule 23 prerequisites before certifying a class.").
Thus, we hold that when certifying a class a district court must detail with sufficient specificity how
the plaintiff has met the requirements of Rule 23.1 Accordingly we VACATE the certification order,
and REMAND the case to the district court for appropriate findings.
1 As a plaintiff's request for class certification must fail if any one of Rule 23's requirements
is not met, in an order denying class certification the district court need only detail, with sufficient
specificity, why the plaintiff failed to satisfy any one of Rule 23's requirements. However, if the
plaintiff failed to satisfy more than one of Rule 23's requirements, prudence would suggest that the
district court detail why the plaintiff failed to meet each of those requirements.
18

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