Alford Chevrolet-Geo v. Jones

In Alford Chevrolet-Geo v. Jones, 91 S.W.3d 396 (Tex. App.--Texarkana 2002, pet. denied), the plaintiffs brought a fraud class action against several car dealerships that were charging what they called a "vehicle inventory tax." Id. at 399. Really, the tax was imposed on the dealerships, not the customers, but the dealerships were allegedly passing the taxes through to the customers and representing that the customers, not the dealers, owed the taxes. Id. The trial court certified the fraud class, id., and the dealers argued on appeal that common issues did not predominate. Id. at 404-05. The Texarkana Court of Appeals held that reliance could be proven on a class-wide basis by the mere fact that the customers paid the tax billed by the dealerships: "The Dealers also take the position that at the least each class member must demonstrate he or she relied on the misrepresentation. The allegations are that the consumers paid a tax they did not owe because they were billed for the tax by the Dealers. That alone is an allegation of reliance." Id. at 405.