Header graphic for print

CAFA Law Blog

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

Under Dart Standard Fifth Circuit Rules Plaintiffs’ Mere Denials Insufficient to Rebut Defendants’ Amount-In-Controversy Evidence

Posted in Case Summaries

Carter v. Westlex Corp., 643 Fed. Appx. 371 (5th Cir. 2016) (per curiam)

In this case, the Fifth Circuit affirmed the denial of plaintiffs’ remand motion where plaintiffs submitted only conclusory allegations to contest defendants’ evidence that CAFA’s amount-in-controversy requirement was satisfied.

Continue Reading

The Amount in Controversy is an Estimate of the Total Amount in Dispute, Which Is Distinct from the Amount Ultimately Recoverable

Posted in Case Summaries

Henry v. Central Freight Lines, Inc., 2017 WL 2684136 (9th Cir. June 21, 2017).

In this action, while reversing a district court’s order remanding the case to the state court, the Ninth Circuit found the amount in controversy is simply an estimate of the total amount in dispute, and is a concept distinct from “the amount of damages ultimately recoverable.”  It further held that in determining the amount in controversy, the court accepts the allegations contained in the complaint as true and assumes the jury will return a verdict in the plaintiff’s favour on every claim. Continue Reading

Plaintiffs Must Invoke CAFA Jurisdiction if “Reasonable Probability” Exists that the Damages Totalled $5 Million

Posted in Case Summaries

Boyd v. NYCTL 1996-1 Trust, 2017 WL 2589388 (2d Cir. June 15, 2017).

In this summary order, while affirming the judgment of a district court dismissing the plaintiffs’ claims, the Second Circuit found that there was a “reasonable probability” that the plaintiffs’ damages totalled at least $5 million, and the plaintiffs could have invoked CAFA jurisdiction in an earlier filed action. Continue Reading

When Defendant Makes A ‘Facial’ Challenge To Complaint, The Plaintiff Has No Evidentiary Burden At The Pleadings Stage

Posted in Case Summaries

John v Whole Foods Market Group Inc., 858 F.3d 732 (2d Cir. June 2, 2017).

In this action, while vacating a district court’s order dismissing the plaintiff’s complaint, the Second Circuit found that when the defendant asserts a “facial” challenge to standing, the courts should continue to draw from the pleadings all reasonable inferences in the plaintiff’s favor and are to presume that general allegations embrace those specific facts that are necessary to support the claim.

The plaintiff brought a putative class action in the New York State court alleging that New York City grocery stores operated by the defendant systematically overstated the weights of pre-packaged food products and overcharged customers as a result.

Continue Reading

Court Held No Jurisdiction Under CAFA for Lack of Required Number of Plaintiffs

Posted in Case Summaries

Whitlock v. Bayer Corp., 2017 WL 564489 (E.D. Mo. 2017).

A district court in Missouri remanded the action back to state court for lack of diversity jurisdiction, federal question jurisdiction, or jurisdiction under CAFA. In remanding the case the Court held that the defendants’ argument that several similar actions filed by the same attorneys against the same defendant should be aggregated to reach the required number of plaintiffs for a mass action under CAFA has been repeatedly rejected.  In so holding, the District Court noted it is the plaintiffs, not defendants, who can request the court to try the cases jointly in order for it to constitute a mass action.

Continue Reading

Court Retains Jurisdictions Under CAFA Because Less than Two-Thirds of Class Members Were Residents of the Same State as the Defendant

Posted in Case Summaries

Durham v. Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, 2017 WL 510268 (S.D. Ohio Feb. 8, 2017).

A district court in Ohio retained jurisdiction over a class action under CAFA by finding that a sampling of class members based the plaintiff’s own assertions showed that less than two-thirds of the potential class members were from state of Ohio, and the fact that the lawsuit is a case of national interest.

Continue Reading

CAFA Doesn’t Bar A Stipulation Of Dismissal For Re-filing An Un-certified Class Action In State Court For The Purpose Of Settlement.

Posted in Case Summaries

Adams v. USAA Casualty Insurance Company, No. 16-3382 (8th Cir. July 25, 2017).

In this action, while reversing a district court’s order, the Eighth Circuit found that CAFA doesn’t bar a stipulation of dismissal for re-filing an un-certified class action in state court for the purpose of seeking approval of settlement. The Eighth Circuit maintained that Congress rejected a proposed draft of CAFA that would have potentially prevented federal class actions from being refiled and settled in state court.

The plaintiffs originally filed their class action in state court, claiming that the defendant insurer improperly applied depreciation when adjusting claims for structural losses under their homeowners insurance policies.

The defendant removed the case to the federal court in January 2014, and then moved for partial judgment on the pleadings in April 2014. Soon thereafter the parties jointly moved to stay the case pending mediation.  Later, the District Court lifted the stay and the parties filed a stipulation of dismissal on June 19, 2015.  An order of dismissal was entered on June 22, 2015.

Continue Reading

Ninth Circuit Decides That Plaintiffs Should Be Given Leave To Amend Complaint To Meet Jurisdictional Requirements under CAFA

Posted in Case Summaries

Kevin_Do_v_First_Financial_Security_Inc, No. 15-56837, 2017 WL 2297624 (9th Cir. May 25, 2017).

In this unpublished decision, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit determined that the district court abused its discretion when it denied the plaintiffs leave to amend its complaint because the plaintiffs could plausibly allege the jurisdictional requirements of the Class Action Fairness Act (“CAFA”). Continue Reading

The Operative Complaint’s Estimate of Class Number and the Potential Damages Could be Relied On to Establish CAFA’s Amount in Controversy

Posted in Case Summaries

Sabrina_Roppo_v_Travelers_Commercial_Insurance_Co_et_al., 2017 WL 3695205 (7th Cir. Aug. 28, 2017)

In an action challenging Travelers Commercial Insurance Company’s (“Travelers”) alleged practice of not disclosing the existence of umbrella policies, the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit (the “Seventh Circuit”) affirmed the dismissal of Plaintiff Sabrina Roppo’s (“Plaintiff”) claims finding that the allegations in the operative complaint at the time of removal were sufficient for the United States District Court, Northern District of Illinois (the District Court”) to establish subject matter jurisdiction under the Class Action Fairness Act (“CAFA”), and that the defending counsel were not significant defendants to apply the local controversy exception under CAFA.

Continue Reading

CAFA Applies Only To Plaintiff Class, And Not To Defendant Class

Posted in Case Summaries

Saskatchewan Mutual Insurance Co. v. CE Design, Ltd., 2017 WL 3165437 (7th Cir. July 26, 2017).

In this action, affirming the judgment of a district court, the Seventh Circuit found that although Rule 23 of the Federal rules of Civil Procedure allows one or more members of a class to sue or be sued as representative parties on behalf of a class, the key jurisdictional language in CAFA, 28 U.S.C. § 1332(d)(2) speaks only of plaintiff classes; thus, CAFA applies only to plaintiff class and not to defendant class.

Continue Reading