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CAFA Law Blog

Information, cases and insights regarding the Class Action Fairness Act of 2005

Defendant Meets the Legal Certainty Standard to Defeat Remand Challenge

Posted in Case Summaries, Jurisdictional Amount

Watson v. American National Property and Casualty Co, 2015 WL 5007967 (W.D. Penn. Aug. 20, 2015)

The Court denied the plaintiff’s petition for remand, finding that the defendant met the legal certainty standard supporting federal jurisdiction in an action alleging that the defendant improperly rejected underinsured motorist (“UIM”) coverage for people that had been in accidents and made UIM coverage claims due to a UIM waiver form not complying with Pennsylvania law.

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Counterclaim-Defendants, Even if Never Original Plaintiffs, Cannot Remove Under CAFA

Posted in Case Summaries

Tri-State Water Treatment, Inc v Bauer, 2017 WL 57804 (7th Cir. Jan. 5, 2017).

In this action, the Seventh Circuit affirmed a district court’s order remanding the case back to state court, holding that an additional counterclaim-defendant, like all other counterclaim-defendants, is not entitled to remove a case under CAFA. Continue Reading

CAFA’s Local Controversy Exception Means Applies When an Action has Similar Factual Allegations, Regardless of Whether there are the Same or Similar Causes of Action

Posted in Case Summaries

Dutcher v. Matheson, 840 F.3d 1183 (10th Cir. 2016).

In this action, affirming the judgment of a district court in Utah denying the plaintiffs’ motion to remand, the Tenth Circuit found that differences in the causes of action pleaded are not enough to distinguish cases under the demands of CAFA’s local-controversy exception, which looks exclusively to whether the other case has asserted “the same or similar factual allegations,” not the same or similar causes of action. Additionally, the Tenth Circuit held that the home-state exception requires all primary defendants to be citizens of the state in which the action was brought.

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Interlocutory Review Provision Is Limited To Orders Granting Or Denying Remand Of Class Actions Removed Under CAFA

Posted in Case Summaries

Chan Healthcare Group PS v Liberty Mutual Fire Insurance Co., 2017 WL 24619 (9th Cir. Jan. 3, 2017).

The Ninth Circuit found that the statutory exception to the general rule that remand orders are not reviewable on appeal applied only to orders granting or denying remand of diversity class actions brought and removed under CAFA–not on federal question jurisdiction.

In this series of interrelated lawsuits, healthcare providers brought putative class actions against automobile insurers alleging that insurers violated various statutes when they reimbursed less than the amount billed for health services through their use of health databases.  Continue Reading

Defendant’s Second Notice of Removal Timely and Proper due to Relevant Change in Circumstances caused by Supreme Court’s Decision in Standard Fire

Posted in Case Summaries, Wage and Hour

Taylor v. Cox Communications California, LLC, 2016 WL 7422717 (9th Cir. Dec. 23, 2016).

The Ninth Circuit affirmed the District Court’s order denying the plaintiff’s motion to remand, finding that the defendant’s second notice of removal was timely and proper, particularly when the plaintiff did not provide the defendant with any “other paper” necessary to trigger CAFA’s 30-day period for removing the case to the federal court.

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A Removing Defendant Is Not Obligated To Research, State, And Prove The Plaintiff’s Claims

Posted in Case Summaries, Wage and Hour

Ritenour v. Carrington Mortgage Services LLC, 2017 WL 59069 (C.D. Cal.  Jan. 5, 2017).

In this action, while denying the plaintiffs’ motion to remand, a district court in California, found that  the defendant only needs to offer evidence sufficient to establish that CAFA’s amount-in-controversy requirement was met by a preponderance of the evidence and was not obligated to research, state, and prove the plaintiffs’ claims for damages. Continue Reading

CAFA Jurisdiction Cannot be Obtained Through Defendant’s Request for Consolidation of Cases

Posted in Case Summaries

Mcpeters v. Bayer Corp., 2017 WL 57250 (E.D. Mo. Jan. 5, 2017).

In remanding this case back to state court, a Missouri District Court  found that cases involving fewer than 100 plaintiffs cannot be removed under CAFA through a defendant’s call for consolidation of similar cases, which would increase the amount of plaintiffs to reach the CAFA threshold. Continue Reading

It’s Not How Much You Recover That Matters, It’s How Much You Ask…

Posted in Case Summaries

Hammond v. Stamps.Com, Inc., 2016 WL 7367770 (10th Cir., Dec. 20, 2016)

Reversing a district court’s order remanding the action, the Tenth Circuit found that federal jurisdiction under the CAFA does not depend on how much the plaintiff is likely to recover, but on the amount the plaintiff’s allegations suggest she might lawfully recover.

In this case, the plaintiff was a consumer who brought a putative class action alleging that the defendant charged her monthly payments from its website without her consent. The plaintiff alleged claims of conversion, unjust enrichment, and violation of the New Mexico Unfair Practices Act (“UPA”).

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Plaintiffs’ Stipulation In A Complaint That The Amount In Controversy Is Less Than $5 Million Does Not Take A Case Outside CAFA’s Scope

Posted in Case Summaries

Watson_v_Prestige_Delivery_Systems_Inc., 2017 WL 635388 (W.D. Penn. Feb. 16, 2017).

In this action, while granting the plaintiffs’ motion to remand, the United States District Court, Western District of Pennsylvania (the “District Court”) found that pre-certification stipulation in a complaint stating the amount in controversy is less than $5 million does not, by itself, take a case outside the Class Action Fairness Act’s (“CAFA”) scope because the stipulation can bind only the named plaintiff and not the entire proposed class.

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Damages Stated in a Mediation Brief Were Not Enough to Establish the $5 Million Jurisdictional Minimum under CAFA

Posted in Case Summaries

Vitale_v_Celadon_Trucking_Services_Inc., 2017 WL 626356 (C.D. Cal. Feb. 15, 2017).

In this action, where the United States District Court, Central District of California (the “District Court”) granted the plaintiff’s motion to remand, it also found plaintiff’s mediation brief did not represent a reasonable estimate of his claims, and therefore could not support the defendant’s burden of establishing the amount in controversy because the plaintiff disavowed the damages estimate in the mediation brief, arguing that it was intended for discussion purposes only.

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