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CAFA Law Blog

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

Supreme Court denies review of remand order surrounding Flint water treatment plant class

Posted in Case Summaries

The CAFA Law Blog previously analyzed the Sixth Circuit opinion in Mason, et al., v. Lockwood, Andrews & Newman (Nov. 16, 2016) surrounding the Flint, Michigan water treatment plant. See the CAFA Law Blog analysis here.  In that opinion, the Sixth Circuit affirmed the district court’s order remanding the case based on CAFA’s local controversy exception.  On June 12, 2017, the United States Supreme Court denied certiorari.  This particular class action, alleging the engineering firm didn’t protect Flint, Michigan residents from lead contamination, will remain in state court.

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Defendants were not Significant Defendants under CAFA’s Local Controversy Exception to Warrant Remand

Posted in Case Summaries

Grosshart v State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co., 2016 WL 5661526 (W.D. Mo. Sept. 29, 2016).

In an action brought against an insurance company and its claims representatives, the United States District Court, Western District of Missouri (the “District Court”) found the claims representatives were not significant defendants under the Class Action Fairness Act’s (“CAFA”) local controversy exception because each claim representative would have had contact with only a few of the class members. Accordingly, the District Court retained jurisdiction over the action, and it denied Plaintiff’s remand motion.

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Post Removal Amendments Can be Considered in a Motion for Remand, if the Amendments Merely Clarified the Issues Pertaining to Federal Jurisdiction under CAFA

Posted in Case Summaries

Broadway Grill Inc v Visa Inc., 2016 WL 5390415 (N.D. Cal. Sept. 27, 2016).

Plaintiff Broadway Grill, Inc. (“Broadway”) brought an action against defendants Visa Inc., Visa International Service Association, and Visa U.S.A. Inc. (collectively, “Visa”), based on alleged antitrust violations in setting of interchange fees that were imposed on merchants who accepted Visa-branded credit cards.

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District Court Follows Arbuckle in Determining that CAFA’s “Local Controversy” Exception Does Not Apply Where Ambiguities in Class Definitions Exist

Posted in Case Summaries

Municipal Water Authority of Westmoreland County v CNX Gas Co L L C , 2016 WL 5025752 (W.D. Pa. Sep. 20, 2016).

In  this case the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania (“District Court”) denied a plaintiff’s motion to remand determining that the plaintiff failed to establish the local controversy exception CAFA.

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Eight Circuit Upholds Class Certification, Grant of Summary Judgment, And Holds Fee-Shifting Provision Applies to Class Action

Posted in Case Summaries

McKeage v. TMBC, LLC, 2017 WL 562456 (8th Cir. 2017).

In an action removed under CAFA, the Eighth Circuit affirmed the District Court’s grant of summary judgment to the plaintiffs, but reversed the District Court’s determination of attorneys’ fee and remanded the action to consider whether the fee should be awarded on the trebled damages.

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“Commonsense” Works In Invoking Home State Exception to CAFA

Posted in Case Summaries

Durfee v. McClatchey Newspapers, Inc., No. 2:15-cv-01891-TLN-EFB, 2016 WL 3181200 (E.D. Cal. June 7, 2016).

In this case, the plaintiffs, newspaper subscribers, brought a putative class action in the state court alleging that the defendant corporation owns several newspapers throughout California involved in false and misleading billing practices in connection with newspaper subscriptions.

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CAFA’s Local Controversy Exception: Claims in Prior Class Actions Need Only Be Similar, Not Identical, To Preclude Application of Exception

Posted in Case Summaries

Brown v Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics Corp., Civ. Action No. 1:16-cv-243, 2016 WL 6996136 (D.N.H. Nov. 30, 2016).

In addressing whether the “local controversy” exception to CAFA jurisdiction was met, a federal district court in New Hampshire, following the precedent of the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, determined that the party asserting that an exception to CAFA jurisdiction applies must prove it under a preponderance of the evidence standard.  In Brown v. Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics Corp., the district court determined that the local controversy exception did not apply because different plaintiffs had filed lawsuits in other states “asserting the same or similar factual allegations against any of the defendants,”  even though it affected different plaintiffs in different states because the allegations arose from the same alleged conduct of the defendant.

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Removing Defendants Bear Burden of Proof on Jurisdictional Threshold

Posted in Case Summaries

Vilitchai v Ametek Programmable Power Inc., 2017 WL 875595 (S.D. Cal. March 6, 2017).

A plaintiff brought a putative class action in California state court alleging the defendants violated various wage and overtime requirements set forth in the California Business and Professions Code. One defendant, Aerotek, Inc. (“Aerotek”), a staffing agency, removed the case to federal court under CAFA. The plaintiff moved to remand, arguing his claims did not meet CAFA’s jurisdictional minimum of $5,000,000. Continue Reading

Without Meeting Procedural Requirements, Non-Profit Organizations’ Action on Behalf of the General Public Is Not Necessarily a Class Action Removable Under CAFA

Posted in Case Summaries

Animal Legal Defense Fund v. Hormel Foods Corporation, — F. Supp. 3d —-, 2017 WL 1283411 (D.D.C. Apr. 5, 2017).

In this action, in granting the plaintiff’s motion to remand, the U.S. District Court for the District Columbia found that because the plaintiff did not bring the case under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23—but instead under a D.C. Code section that permits a non-profit organization to sue on behalf of general public challenging any trade practice, which is a “separate and distinct procedural vehicle from a class action”—CAFA does not apply.

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