Critic defends class-action status in Oklahoma Department of Human Services lawsuit

BY ROBERT BOCZKIEWICZ Modified: November 20, 2009 at 12:21 am •  Published: November 20, 2009

/> At issue is whether U. S. District Judge Gregory Frizzell in Tulsa erred in certifying the lawsuit as a class action on behalf of all the children in the system. The officials claim Frizzell erred in concluding the case meets strict legal standards required for judges to grant class-action status to lawsuits.

The officials have contended in court filings the strategy of the plaintiffs’ attorneys is to force the state into a settlement at a staggering cost to taxpayers.

"Clearly, the litigation strategy of Children’s Rights is to prosecute a class action whose defense becomes financially and logistically burdensome (that it) inevitably leads to the entry of a consent decree,” the officials said.

A three-judge panel of the appeals court, as typical, did not indicate when it will decide the state’s challenge, nor indicate how the judges would rule.