In calculating damages, the defendant in this action had added damages that were outside the statute of limitations and otherwise inapplicable. Rejecting the defendant’s calculations, a District Court in California remanded the action to state court.
In this appeal, the Second Circuit held (1) that CAFA’s home state exception is not jurisdictional and must be raised within a reasonable time, and (2) that the district court’s discovery schedule, which required the defendant to complete individual discovery before commencing class discovery, excused the defendant’s three-year delay in filing a motion to dismiss under the home state exception.
The District Court for the District of Columbia held that an action brought under the private attorney general provision of the District of Columbia’s Consumer Protection Procedures Act was not a removable class action under CAFA.
In this case, the District Court for the Northern District of Mississippi found that an action brought by Mississippi’s Attorney General on behalf of the State of Mississippi, as well as individual, Mississippi consumers, did not fall within the scope of CAFA’s “general public” exception. See 28 U.S.C. § 1332(d)(11)(B)(ii)(III).
In this appeal, the Seventh Circuit found that the substance, not form, of a plaintiff’s complaint determined whether the district court had subject matter jurisdiction under CAFA. Also, the Seventh Circuit held that a class representative’s fiduciary duties extend to separate litigation affecting the class.
In this case, the United States District Court for the District of Colorado held that once a case is properly removed under CAFA, the subsequent striking of class allegations does not divest a federal court of subject matter jurisdiction.
Because it had yet to fully explore the meaning of “significant relief” in the context of CAFA’s local controversy exception, the Fifth Circuit granted the defendants’ petition for leave to appeal a remand order to consider the question.
Defendant American Lifecare, Inc. (“ALC”) is a Louisiana corporation that contracted with various healthcare providers. The contracts authorized ALC to negotiate with entities like employer health-benefit plans, offering those plans discounted rates with healthcare providers. ALC was acquired by defendant Private Healthcare Systems, Inc. (“PHCS”), and subsequently defendant Multiplan, Inc. (“MPI”) acquired PHCS, including ALC.
The plaintiffs, a class of Louisiana healthcare providers with preferred provider agreements, brought an action in Louisiana state court alleging violations by the defendants of notice provisions of the Louisiana PPO Act, and alleging that their medical bills had been improperly discounted without prior notice since May 2002.
The defendants removed the action to the District Court based on diversity, alleging improper joinder of ALC, and CAFA. The plaintiffs moved to remand arguing that there was no improper joinder and the local controversy exception to CAFA applied.
The defendants contended that the local controversy exception applied only if the plaintiffs sought significant relief from ALC, and argued that whether the relief sought was significant depended on ALC’s ability to pay any judgment entered against it.
Although the District Court noted that ALC was the entity against whom most of the violations were claimed, it did not consider ALC’s ability to pay any judgment. The District Court opined that the local controversy exception applied and remanded the case to Louisiana state court.
The defendants petitioned for leave to appeal the remand order, and the Fifth Circuit granted the motion.
The only contested piece of the local controversy exception was whether ALC is a defendant from whom significant relief is sought by members of the plaintiff class. The Fifth Circuit noted that if the plaintiffs did not seek significant relief from ALC, then the exception did not apply, and the District Court erred when it remanded the case.
The Fifth Circuit remarked that the meaning of “significant relief” in this context had not yet been determined. The defendants argued that leave to appeal should be granted so that the Fifth Circuit could determine whether a defendant which was not a going concern and which would not satisfy any judgment against it could be a defendant from whom significant relief was sought.
The Fifth Circuit granted the petition to consider the question.
A District Court in California avoided addressing the effect of a recent Ninth Circuit decision on the controlling standard for determining the amount in controversy in a removed case where Plaintiff has pled less than the jurisdictional amount.
The plaintiff, a non-exempt sales associate, brought a putative class action in the Los Angeles County Superior Court alleging failure to provide proper overtime compensation, proper minimum wages for off-the-clock work, required meal periods and required rest periods or proper compensation in lieu thereof, complete and accurate wage statements, and timely payments of wages, both during employment and upon termination.
Removing defendants can undermine the basis for removal jurisdiction with their own subsequent submissions. A District Court in Southern California held that a court may consider supplemental evidence proffered by the removing defendant, which was not originally included in the removal notice to determine the amount in controversy.
While reversing an order of remand, the Eighth Circuit held that when determining the amount in controversy, the question is not whether the damages are greater than the requisite amount, but whether a fact finder might legally conclude that they are. Further, the court held that defendants do not need to provide a formula or methodology for calculating the potential damages more accurately because that would require a defendant to confess liability for the entire jurisdictional amount.