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CAFA Law Blog

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

The Allegations in the Complaint are Facially Sufficient to Establish an Amount-in-Controversy under CAFA

Posted in Case Summaries

In_re_Whole_Foods_Market__Inc, 2015 WL 5737692 (W.D. Tex. Sept. 30, 2015).

The United States District Court, Western District of Texas (the “District Court”), denied two motions to remand finding the allegations in the respective complaints was facially sufficient to establish an amount-in-controversy under the Class Action Fairness Act (“CAFA”).

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Interpretation and Effect of Forum Selection After Standard Fire Insurance Co. v. Knowles

Posted in Legal Publications and Articles

“CAFA-nated”: A Jittery Interpretation of Forum Selection in Standard Fire Insurance Co. v. Knowles, 68 Ark. L. Rev. 511 , 530 (2015).

In her article, author Jessica K. Pruitt, analyzes the interpretation and effect of forum-selection after the United States Supreme Court’s ruling in Standard Fire Insurance Co. v. Knowles. Pruitt’s article explores the U.S. Supreme Court’s forum-shopping jurisprudence, which shows the Court’s distaste for the gamesmanship of plaintiffs’ lawyers who try to defeat the basic principles of CAFA, and keep their class action lawsuits in state court.

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West Virginia District Court Remands Putative Class Action because Defendants Failed to Establish the Requisite Amount in Controversy

Posted in Case Summaries

Crookshanks v. Healthport Technologics, LLC, 2016 WL4099296 (S.D. W.Va. Aug. 2, 2016).

In Crookshanks v. Healthport Technologies, a district court in West Virginia remanded an action to state court because the defendants’’ calculation of the amount in controversy was insufficient to satisfy CAFA’’ s jurisdictional threshold.

In this case, Crookshanks, representing himself and others similarly situated, filed a class action complaint in the Circuit Court of Kanawha County, West Virginia against Charleston Area Medical Center, Inc. (“”CAMC”” ) and HealthPort Technologies, LLC (“”HealthPort”” ). Crookshanks was a patient at a CAMC facility in 2015. He subsequently sent a letter to CAMC requesting copies of his medical records and bills. HealthPort, acting as CAMC’’ s medical records manager, charged Crookshanks $4,463.43 for the records. This payment was passed on HealthPort’’ s $0.55 per page fee.

Plaintiffs filed the class action lawsuit arguing that the fee was not a “” reasonable, cost-based fee”” as required by section 16-29-2 of the West Virginia Code. Plaintiffs defined the class as any person who (1) requested copies of his or her medical records from any health care provider in West Virginia during the class period; (2) had his request handled by HealthPort; and (3) paid fees charged by CAMC or HealthPort. The defendants removed the action to the federal court pursuant to CAFA and alleged minimum diversity of citizenship, an aggregate amount in controversy in excess of $5 million (exclusive of interest and costs), and a class size greater than 100 persons. The plaintiffs moved to remand. Continue Reading

“Internal Affairs Doctrine” and the “Securities Exception” Requires District Court to Remand Securities-related Class Action

Posted in Case Summaries

Fannin v UMTH_Land Dev. L.P., CV 16-641-SLR, 2016 WL 7042078 (D. Del. Dec. 2, 2016)

A Delaware district court, when faced with a putative class action whose claims fell solely and squarely within CAFA’s “internal affairs doctrine” and “securities exception,” had no choice but to remand the action to state court. Continue Reading

Post-Removal Amendments Clarifying Citizenship of Class Members is Permissible

Posted in Case Summaries

In_re_Anthem_Inc_Data_Breach_Litigation, 129 F.Supp.3d 887 (N.D. Cal. 2015).

The United States District Court, Northern District of California (the “District Court”) concluded post removal amendments clarifying the citizenship of class members was relevant to consider if a complaint met the minimal diversity requirement under the Class Action Fairness Act (“CAFA”) enabling the Federal Court to exercise jurisdiction over the action.

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Federal Court orders Limited Discovery to Ascertain the Citizenship of the Putative Class

Posted in Case Summaries

McMullen_v_Synchrony_Bank, 82 F.Supp.3d 133 (D. D. C. 2015).

In this matter, the United States District Court for the District of Columbia (the “District Court”) ordered limited discovery to ascertain the citizenship of the putative class before deciding on a motion to remand.  In this action, the District Court found the evidence before it was insufficient to consider the exceptions to the Class Action Fairness Act (“CAFA”), and ordered limited discovery.

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CAFA’s Securities Exception Prevents Federal Jurisdiction Over the Action

Posted in Case Summaries

Eminence Investors, L.L. L.P. v. Bank of N.Y. Mellon, 782 F.3d 504 (9th Cir., 2015)

The Ninth Circuit affirmed the District Court’s order remanding the action, finding that the CAFA’s securities exception prevented federal jurisdiction over the action.

In this case, the plaintiff brought an action in California state court seeking to recover for the defendant’s alleged breaches of duties that the defendant owed as the Indenture Trustee of bonds issues to fund the development of real property. Almost two years later, the plaintiff amended the complaint adding class allegations on behalf of more than 100 class members and requesting compensatory damages expected to exceed $10 million for each of the alleged four causes of action.  Within 30 days after filing the complaint, the defendant removed the action to federal court.

The plaintiff moved to remand, arguing that removal was untimely and that the CAFA securities exception applied. The District Court agreed with the plaintiff regarding the untimeliness of the removal under 28 U.S.C. § 1446(b), and remanded the case to the state court without reaching the securities exception.  The defendant appealed to the Ninth Circuit.

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Courts Cannot Pierce The Pleadings Across Multiple State Court Actions To Look For Mass Action Jurisdiction

Posted in Case Summaries

 Eagle US 2, LLC v Abraham, 627 Fed.Appx. 351 (5th Cir. Dec. 11, 2015).

In this action, the Fifth Circuit found that the “100-or-more-persons” requirement under the mass action provision of CAFA cannot be satisfied by piercing the pleadings across multiple state court actions filed by the plaintiffs’ lawyers, breaking up their client base into multiple suits with identical allegations, when the plaintiffs have not proposed that those actions be tried jointly or otherwise consolidated.

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Non-Class Claims Cannot be Aggregated With Class Claims to Satisfy CAFA’s Amount-in-Controversy Requirement

Posted in Case Summaries

Yocupicio v. PAE Group , LLC; Arch Resources Group, LLC, 795 F.3d 1057 (9th Cir. 2015).

In Yocupicio, the plaintiff, an employee, brought an action in state court alleging various workplace violations and failure to meet minimum wage requirements. The plaintiff alleged ten causes of action, nine of which were brought as class claims. The tenth cause of action was brought as a representative claim under the California Labor Code Private Attorneys General Act of 2004 (“PAGA”).   Continue Reading