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Category Archives: Case Summaries

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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

Posted in Case Summaries

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

Posted in Case Summaries

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

Posted in Case Summaries

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

Posted in Case Summaries

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

Posted in Case Summaries

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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Section 1332(C)(1) Gives Dual, Not Alternative, Citizenship To A Corporation Whose Principal Place Of Business Is In A State Different From Where It Is Incorporated

Posted in Case Summaries

Life of the South Insurance Company v. Carzell, 2017 WL 1174083 (11th Cir. March 29, 2017). Recently, the Eleventh Circuit denied two corporate defendants’ petition to appeal because the companies’ dual citizenship was an insufficient basis to create federal diversity jurisdiction under CAFA when they shared a state of citizenship with all of the plaintiffs.

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Documents Pertaining To A Separate Case Does Not Constitute As ‘Other Paper’ To Ascertain Federal Jurisdiction Under CAFA

Posted in Case Summaries

Seasons Homeowners Association Inc v Richmond Homes of Nevada Inc., 2016 WL 7155746 (D. Nev. Dec. 7, 2016). In this construction defect dispute, a District Court in Nevada denied the plaintiff’s motion to remand because the the plaintiff’s  supporting documents pertained to a separate case and, therefore, could not serve as “other paper” to put […]

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District Court Orders Parties to Conduct Jurisdictional Discovery Before It Can Rule on Amount-in-Controversy and CAFA Exception Issues

Posted in Case Summaries

Brinkley v. Monterey Financial Services, Inc., 2016 WL 4886934 (S.D. Cal. Sept. 15, 2016). A district court in California ordered the parties to conduct jurisdictional discovery to determine if two-thirds of the class members (consisting of members from the states of California and Washington) were from the state of California, so it could ascertain if CAFA’s […]

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When a Complaint Involves More than 100 Plaintiffs Whose Claims Arise Out of a Common Set of Facts, a Court Will Analyze the Language and Structure to Determine Whether Plaintiffs Proposed a Joint Trial

Posted in Case Summaries

Melissa Ramirez, et. al. v. Vintage Pharmaceuticals, 852 F.3d 324 (3d Cir. 2017). In this case, the Third Circuit found that the language the plaintiffs held out as disclaiming their intent to seek a joint trial was not sufficiently definite to prevent removal as a mass action under CAFA. Accordingly, it reversed the U.S. District […]

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Post Removal Denial of Class Certification Does Not Divest the District Court of its Jurisdiction

Posted in Case Summaries

Shepard v. Vintage Pharmaceuticals, LLC, 2015 WL 11142456 (N.D. Ga. Dec. 7, 2015). Another action succumbs to the adage that post removal events do not divest federal jurisdiction over actions removed under the Class Action Fairness Act (“CAFA”). Plaintiff, Lauren Betancourt, brought a proposed products liability class action in the state court of Cobb County […]

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Two Actions Consolidated for all Purposes Treated as One for CAFA Removal

Posted in Case Summaries

Bridewell-Sledge v. Blue Cross of California, 2015 WL 4939641 (9th Cir. Aug 20, 2015).  In this putative class action, the Ninth Circuit held that a California state court’s pre-removal consolidation of two separately filed class actions resulted in a single consolidated action for purposes of applying the local controversy exception to removal jurisdiction under the […]

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How Does the “Resident” Versus “Citizen” Distinction Observed in Other Parts of 28 U.S.C. § 1332 Play Out in CAFA’s Local-Controversy Exception?

Posted in Case Summaries

Hargett_v._St_Bernard’s_Hospital_Inc.. et al., 2017 WL 1405034 (8th Cir. April 14, 2017). The United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit (the “Eighth Circuit”) found that under the Class Action Fairness Act of 2005’s (“CAFA”) local-controversy exception citizenship can be ascertained either through irrefutable evidence, or through class definition before removal. If a Federal District […]

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PAGA Penalties Cannot Be Used to Reach CAFA’s Amount-in-Controversy Requirement

Posted in Case Summaries, Wage and Hour

Henry Chen, et al. v. United Talent Agency, LLC, et al., 2017 WL 946642 (C.D. Cal. March 10, 2017). A class action filed in state court was remanded by the U.S. District Court in California because the court found that the removing defendant improperly relied on PAGA penalties and anticipated but un-accrued attorney’s fees to […]

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