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Category Archives: Case Summaries

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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”) […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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Removing Defendants Bear Burden of Proof on Jurisdictional Threshold

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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 […]

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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 […]

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There Is No Anti-Removal Presumption In CAFA

Posted in Case Summaries

Rosenblatt v The Nuplexa Group Inc., Civ. No. 16-1064 (ES) (SCM), 2016 WL 3546579 (D.N.J. June 29, 2016). In deciding to remand an action to the Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Bergen County (the “State Court”), the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey (the “District Court”) found that although removal […]

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Pleading Under the Federal Rule 12(B)(6) Standard is not a Requirement in Assessing the Applicability of CAFA’s “Local Controversy” Exception

Posted in Case Summaries

MD Haynes, Inc. v. Valero Marketing and Supply Co., 2017 WL 1397744 (S.D. Tex. Apr. 19, 2017). In this action, a federal court in Texas found that while the plaintiffs did not plead according to federal standards or explicitly distinguish the conduct of individual defendants in their complaint, they had no obligation to do so […]

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A Court Cannot Accept A Plainly Overbroad Reading Of The Complaint To Conclude That The Amount In Controversy Is Satisfied

Posted in Case Summaries

Slocum_v_Gerber_Products_Co, 2016 WL 3983873 (W.D. Mo. July 25, 2016). In this action, the United States District Court, Western District of Missouri, Central Division (the “District Court”) granted the plaintiff’s Motion to Remand finding defendant Gerber Products Co. (“Gerber”) failed to demonstrate, by a preponderance of the evidence, the amount in controversy excees $5 million.

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Defective Affidavit of Defendant’s Employee, Without More, Is Insufficient Evidence To Support Assertion Of Federal Jurisdiction Under CAFA

Posted in Case Summaries

 Strembitskyy v. American Family Mutual Insurance Company, No. C16-0691RSL, 2016 WL 3640315 (W.D. Wash. July 8, 2016). The plaintiff brought a putative class action in the state court asserting claims for breach of contract, violation of the Washington Consumer Protection Act, bad faith, and conversion. The plaintiff alleged that the defendant AmFam failed to fully […]

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Plaintiff as “Master of the Claim” May Base his Claims on Only State Law to Avoid Federal Jurisdiction under CAFA

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Steven Archavage v Professional Account Services, 2017 WL 1162911 (M.D. Penn. March 29, 2017). In this action, while remanding the case to the state court, the United States District Court, Middle District of Pennsylvania (the “District Court”), found that where the plaintiff expressly limited his claim below the Class Action Fairness Act’s (“CAFA”) $5,000,000.00 amount […]

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CAFA’s Local Event Exception Does Not Constrain the Event or Occurrence to a Discrete Moment in Time

Posted in Case Summaries

Samuel Adams et al v International_Paper_Company_et_al, 2017 WL 1828908 (S.D. Ala. May 5, 2017). In this action, while remanding the case to the Circuit Court of Mobile County, Alabama (the “Circuit Court”), the United States District Court, Southern District of Alabama (the “District Court”) found that because the defendants were alleged to have participated in […]

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District Court Holds Defendant Has No Independent Duty To Investigate Whether A Case Is Removable Under CAFA

Posted in Case Summaries

Portnoff v Janssen Pharmaceuticals Inc, 2017 WL 708745 (E.D. Penn. Feb. 22, 2017). A Pennsylvania District Court found that although a defendant must apply a “reasonable amount of intelligence” when ascertaining removability based on a plaintiff’s initial petition and “other paper,” a defendant has no independent duty to investigate and can rely on the plaintiffs […]

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District Court Remands to State Court When Defendant Fails to Show by a Preponderance of the Evidence that the Amount in Controversy Exceeded $5 million

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Carranza v Nordstrom Inc., 2014 WL 10537816 (C. D. Cal. Dec. 12, 2014). A federal district court in California refused to exercise jurisdiction in a wage and hour action brought for violations of the California Labor Code and other state laws and seeking PAGA penalties, finding that the evidence proffered by the defendant fell short […]

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Plaintiff’s Failure to Show that it is Legally Impossible to Recover More Than $5,000,000 Defeats Remand

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Dammann v. Progressive Direct Insurance Company, 856 F.3d 580 (8th Cir. May 11, 2017). In this action, while affirming the judgment of a district court which denied the plaintiffs’ motion to remand, the Eighth Circuit found that after the party seeking to remove has shown CAFA’s jurisdictional minimum by a preponderance of the evidence, remand […]

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Evidence of Proposed Class Members’ Residency Sufficient to Show Citizenship for Home State and Local Controversy Exceptions, Even Without Residency-Domicile Presumption

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Ellis v. Montgomery County, 2017 WL 440737 (E.D. Penn. Jan. 27, 2017) A Pennsylvania District Court found it more likely than not that over two-thirds of a proposed class’s members were citizens of Pennsylvania, triggering CAFA’s home state exception, based primarily on evidence that 90% of those individuals resided in Pennsylvania. The Third Circuit has […]

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California Waiting Time Penalties May Benefit Employers in Establishing the Amount in Controversy

Posted in Case Summaries, Wage and Hour

Mackall v. Healthsource Global Staffing, Inc. Case No. 16-cv-03810 (N.D. Cal. Sept. 2, 2016). A district court in California found that allegations of wilful failure to timely pay wages are sufficient to support estimations of waiting time penalties at a 100% rate. The plaintiff, Karen Mackall, filed this putative class action in the Superior Court […]

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Class Actions Solely Involving Claims Related to Securities Invoke CAFA Exception Depriving Courts of Subject Matter Jurisdiction

Posted in Case Summaries, Jurisdictional Amount

Rainero v. Archon Corporation, 2016 WL 7384031 (9th Cir. Dec. 21, 2016). The Ninth Circuit held it lacked federal question jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C.§ 1331 because the plaintiff did not assert a federal claim and the Securities Litigation Uniform Standards Act, 15 U.S.C. § 77p(d)(1)(A), did not provide an independent basis for federal question jurisdiction […]

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A Forum Selection Clause Must Clearly and Unequivocally Waive the Right To Remove the Action to Federal Court To Remand the Action

Posted in Case Summaries

Zehentbauer Family Land LP v Chesapeake Exploration, LLC, 2016 WL 3903391 (N.D. Ohio July 19, 2016). A district court in Ohio found that if the forum selection clause does not clearly and unequivocally waive the right to removal, it cannot find that the defendants waived their right to remove the action.

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District Court Retains Jurisdiction When Plaintiff Fails to Establish that the Home-State Exception Applies

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Sovanarra Nop v. American Water Resources, Inc., 2016 WL 4890412 (D.N.J. Sept. 14, 2016). A district court in New Jersey retained jurisdiction over an action and rejected the plaintiff’s argument to consider the current year’s voter list (not the year in which the action was filed) for purposes of establishing citizenship.

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A Notice of Removal Need Not Contain Evidence Regarding Punitive Damages

Posted in Case Summaries

Lavelle v. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co., 2017 WL 706157 (D.D.C. Feb. 22, 2017) In denying a motion to remand, the District of Columbia found that a defendant is not obligated to present evidence regarding punitive damages in its notice of removal, particularly when the defendant relies on the plaintiff’s calculation for such claims. […]

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