Do Twombly and Iqbal Apply to Class Action Defenses?

Most courts have interpreted the facial plausibility standard of Twombly and Iqbal to apply only to pleadings made in a complaint and not to pleadings made as affirmative defenses or in an answer. But, as this article details, a judge in the Northern District of Illinois recently applied the heightened facial plausibility standard to affirmative defenses and did so in the context of a Telephone Consumer Protection Act class action. The article points out that this holding cuts against the majority of courts that have come out the other way and have not required more detailed pleadings for affirmative defenses. For the reasons discussed in the article, and because it would arguably shift the balance of power toward plaintiffs bringing large class action suits, it would be significant if the holding were to stand on appeal (if the defendants do not prevail on the merits at the trial level).

Federal Class Action Law, Legislation Affecting Class Litigation