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Category Archives: Case Summaries

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Ninth Circuit’s Lowdermilk’s Legal Certainty Standard is Irreconcilable with Standard Fire

Posted in Case Summaries

Rodriguez v. AT&T Mobility Services, LLC, 2013 WL 4516757 (9th Cir. Aug. 27, 2013). The Ninth Circuit’s decision that Lowdermilk’s imposition of the legal certainty standard was clearly irreconcilable with Standard Fire is a boon to defendants seeking to remove cases to federal court under CAFA.  (Editor’s Note: See the CAFA Law Blog analysis of Lowdermilk [...]

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Amount in Controversy Need Not Be Proved to Absolute Certainty

Posted in Case Summaries, Jurisdictional Amount

Stephenson v. Consolidated Rail Corp., 2013 WL 1750005 (D.N.J. April 23, 2013). The plaintiffs brought this class action in the Superior Court of New Jersey, Gloucester County, alleging that huge quantities of toxic, dangerous, and ultra-hazardous substances were released when defendants bridge collapsed and train derailed.  As a result, 700 individuals were forced to temporarily [...]

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Ambiguity Goes In Favour Of The Non-Removing Party

Posted in Case Summaries, Jurisdictional Amount

Salazar v. Avis Budget Group, Inc., 2013 WL 1728275 (S.D. Cal. April 23, 2013). Plaintiffs, a group of mechanics, filed a putative wage-and-hour class action in the Superior Court of California, San Diego County.  Defendants quickly removed the action to the District Court under CAFA, and plaintiffs then filed their First Amended Complaint (“FAC”).  The [...]

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Only Concrete Evidence Can Keep a Defendant’s Case Afloat Under CAFA’S Legal Certainty Standard

Posted in Case Summaries, Jurisdictional Amount

Bell v. Home Depot U.S.A., Inc., 2013 WL 1791920 (E.D.Cal. April 26, 2013). As amended by CAFA, 28 U.S.C. § 1332(d) vests district courts with original jurisdiction of any civil action in which the amount in controversy exceeds $5,000,000, the aggregate number of proposed plaintiffs is 100 or greater, and any member of the plaintiff [...]

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Forum Shopping May Not Qualify as Bad Faith

Posted in Case Summaries

Deaver v. BBVA Compass Consulting & Benefits, Inc., 2013 WL 2156280 (N.D. Cal. May 17, 2013). The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida determined whether the Supreme Court’s recent decision in Standard Fire Insurance Company v. Knowles, 133 S. Ct. 1345 (2013) rendered the District Court’s earlier decision in Lowdermilk v. U.S. [...]

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District Court Can Stay Its Remand Order Pending Appeal

Posted in Case Summaries

Dalton v. Walgreen Co., 2013 WL 2367837 (E.D. Mo. May 29, 2013). Staying its remand order to facilitate the defendant to prefer an appeal, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri held that it had jurisdiction to reopen the case for the limited purpose of staying the remand order, because to hold [...]

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Limited Liability Companies Are like Corporations for Purposes of Determining Citizenship under CAFA

Posted in Case Summaries

Heckemeyer v. NRT Missouri, LLC, 2013 WL 2250429 (E.D. Mo. May 22, 2013). The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri held that Congress chose to treat limited a limited liability company (“LLC”) like a corporation for purposes of determining citizenship under CAFA; thus, an LLC is deemed to be a citizen of [...]

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Facts Outside of the Complaint and Notice of Removal Are Irrelevant for Deciding CAFA Jurisdiction

Posted in Case Summaries

Owens v. Dart Cherokee Basin Operating Co., LLC, 2013 WL 2237740 (D. Kan. May 21, 2013). The U.S. District Court of Kansas has held that reference to factual allegations or evidence outside of the complaint and notice of removal is not permitted to determine the amount in controversy. The plaintiff brought an action in state [...]

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Smith v. Honeywell International, Inc., 2013 WL 2181277 (D.N.J. May 20, 2013)

Posted in Case Summaries

Smith v. Honeywell International, Inc., 2013 WL 2181277 (D.N.J. May 20, 2013). The plaintiffs sued defendants, PPG Industries, Inc. (“PPG”) and Honeywell International Inc. (“Honeywell”), alleging that the chromium ore processing residue (“COPR”) used by the defendants to fill in residential and commercial areas in Jersey City exposed the class members to hazardous materials which [...]

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The Supreme Court’s Knowles Ruling Is Not “Other Paper” Within the Meaning of 28 U.S.C. 1446(b)(3)

Posted in Case Summaries

Henry v. Michaels Stores, Inc., 2013 WL 2208070 (N.D. Ohio May 20, 2013). The District Court held that the Supreme Court’s recent opinion in Standard Fire Insurance Co. v. Knowles, 133 S. Ct. 1345 (2013), is not an “other paper,” which could make a previously un-removable case removable under 28 U.S.C §1446(b)(3). The plaintiff alleged [...]

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Is A Continuing Tort An “Event Or Occurence” Under CAFA’s Mass Action Provisions?

Posted in Case Summaries

Eleanor Abraham, et al v. St. Croix Renaissance, Group, L.L.L.P., 719 F.3d 270 (3d Cir. 2013). In this appeal, the Third Circuit held that CAFA’s phrase “an event or occurrence,” as it appears in the mass-action exclusion, is not limited to something that happened at a particular moment in time.  The plaintiffs, more than 500 [...]

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Citizenship, not Residency bring cases to Federal Court

Posted in Case Summaries

Villa v. United Site Servs. of California, Inc., 2013 WL 2436605 (N.D. Cal. June 4, 2013).  District Judge Jon S. Tigar, writing for the Northern District of California remanded an action for failure to establish minimal diversity, holding that the relevant inquiry for determining whether minimal diversity exists is the citizenship of the parties, which [...]

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Individual Claims are Immaterial because CAFA Aggregates the Class Claims

Posted in Case Summaries

Stella v. Hertz Corp, 2013 WL 2456042 (S.D. Cal. June 5, 2013). Establishing that the named plaintiff’s individual claims exceeds $75,000 is immaterial to CAFA jurisdiction.  What is important under CAFA is that the claim of the class should exceed $5 million.  Because the defendant here did not establish CAFA requirements, a District Court in [...]

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Severance Under Rule 21 May Defeat CAFA Jurisdiction

Posted in Case Summaries

State of Louisiana v. American National Property And Casualty Company, 2013 WL 5201146 (E.D. La. Sept. 11, 2013). In this case, the District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana held that, while subject matter jurisdiction is generally determined at the onset of litigation, when an action is severed under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure [...]

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Standard Fire v Knowles at Use in Practice in Arkansas

Posted in Case Summaries

Standard Fire at Use in Practice in Arkansas Deaton v. Frito-Lay N. America, Inc., 2013 WL 2455941 (W.D. Ark. June 5, 2013).  Relying on the recent Supreme Court’s decision in Standard Fire that “to defeat CAFA jurisdiction, a stipulation must be binding, and a plaintiff bringing a proposed class action cannot bind members of the [...]

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Can A Complaint Be Mislabeled To Avoid CAFA?

Posted in Case Summaries

Erie Insurance Exchange v. Erie Indemnity Company, 722 F.3d 154 (3d Cir. 2013).   In this appeal, a majority of a Third Circuit panel held that an action brought by an insurance exchange – an entity, not a conglomerate of individuals – was not class action under CAFA. 

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California Case! – only 25% of California Labor Code Penalties can be considered for Amount in Controversy Requirement

Posted in Case Summaries

Walker v Corepower Yoga LLC, 2013 WL 2338675 (S.D. Cal. May 28, 2013).  In absence of the Ninth Circuit precedent on the issue, a the District Court for the Southern District of  California, remanded an action to the state court and held that only 25 percent of the total potential California Labor Code Private Attorney [...]

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Defendant’s Amount In Controversy Award Scrutinized for Time Barred and Other Inapplicable Damage Claims

Posted in Case Summaries, Uncategorized

Smith v. Lux Retail North America, Inc., 2013 WL 2932243 (N.D.Cal. June 13, 2013) 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.

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Better Late Than Never: Defendant Allowed To Raise CAFA’s Home State Exception Three Years After Filing Complaint

Posted in Case Summaries

Gold v. New York Life Ins. Co., 730 F.3d 137 (2nd Cir. 2013). 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 [...]

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Defendant Lacked Energy To Maintain Jurisdiction Under CAFA

Posted in Case Summaries

Zuckman v. Monster Beverage Corp., No. 12-1978, 2013 WL 3992932 (D.D.C. Aug. 6, 2013). 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.

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