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CAFA Law Blog

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

The Eighth Circuit Refused To Apply The Plaintiff’s Viewpoint Rule Or The Either Viewpoint Rule To Determine The Amount In Controversy Because The Defendant Did Not Meet Its Burden Under Either Rule

Posted in Case Summaries

Jaclyn_Waters_v__Ferrara_Candy_Co., 2017 WL 4562635 (8th Cir. Oct. 13, 2017).

In this action, while affirming the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri’s (the “District Court”) remand order, the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit (the “Eighth Circuit”) found the amount in controversy is not established by a preponderance of the evidence if a court must resort to conjecture, speculation, or star gazing.

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The Eighth Circuit’s Longstanding Precedent Outweighs The Senate Report Endorsing ‘The Either Viewpoint Rule’

Posted in Case Summaries

Jaclyn_Waters_v_Ferra_Candy_Co., 2017 WL 2618271 (E.D. Mo. June 16, 2017).

In this action, while granting Plaintiff Jaclyn Waters; Motion to Remand, the United States District Court, Eastern District of Missouri (the “District Court”) found the plain language of the Class Action Fairness Act (“CAFA”) implies the “plaintiff’s viewpoint test” was still proper in the class action context rather than the “either-viewpoint test”.  Continue Reading

Rams Allowed to Offer Evidence in Support of Removal in Overtime!

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Pudlowski v. St. Louis Rams, LLC, 2016 WL 3902660 (8th Cir. July 19, 2016).

The United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit (the “Eighth Circuit”) reversed an order remanding the action to the Missouri State Court (“State Court”), finding that the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri (the “District Court”) erred by declining to consider defendants’ post removal affidavits. The Eighth Circuit reasoned that the notice of removal need not be accompanied by a submission of evidence, but rather, evidence can be submitted later in response to a request by the plaintiffs or the court.

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Real “Targets” are Primary Defendants Under CAFA’s Home State Exception

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Hunter v. City of Montgomery, Alabama, 2017 WL 2634162 (11th Cir. June 14, 2017).

In this action, while affirming the order of a district court, the Eleventh Circuit found that primary defendants under the home state exception to CAFA are the defendants who are the real “targets” of the lawsuit, i.e., who have “substantial exposure” or would “incur most of the loss” if damages were awarded.

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Removal Based On CAFA Differs From Removal Based On Diversity Jurisdiction

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Forest Creek Townhomes, LLC, v. Carroll Property Management, LLC, et. al., 2017 WL 2557716 (6th Cir. June 13, 2017).

In this action, while affirming a district court’s denial of the plaintiff’s motion to remand, the Sixth Circuit found that removal based on CAFA differs from removal based on diversity jurisdiction in important ways, and although CAFA removal is governed by the same thirty-day limits as general removal, no anti-removal presumption attends cases invoking CAFA. The Sixth Circuit thus found that it need not look to CAFA cases as removal in the instant case was based on diversity jurisdiction.

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Mere Suggestions Or Predictions To Join Coordinated Proceeding Are Insufficient To Trigger CAFA’s Mass Action Jurisdiction

Posted in Case Summaries

Alanis, et al. v. Pfizer, Inc., No. 1:14-cv-00365 (E.D. Cal. Aug. 16, 2017).

In this action involving claims from plaintiffs in several lawsuits, a district court in California remanded the cases to the state court and found that the plaintiffs’ intention or desire for coordinated proceeding in the absence of some concrete step to effect joinder remain possibilities or predictions, not “voluntary and affirmative” proposals for a joint trial.

The plaintiffs in related cases originally filed their complaints in California state court alleging that Lipitor, a prescription drug developed and manufactured by the defendant Pfizer, Inc., and marketed and distributed by the defendant McKesson Corporation (together, “the defendants”), caused them to develop type 2 diabetes.

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The Court Rejects an Unreliable Method of Ascertaining Citizenship Under CAFA’s Local Controversy Exception.

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Hostetler v. Johnson Controls, 2016 WL 3662263 (N.D. Ind. July 11, 2016).

An Indiana District Court retained jurisdiction over a class action, finding that the local controversy exception of CAFA cannot be established if the citizenship requirement is not satisfied.

The plaintiffs brought this putative class action as a result of alleged environmental contamination that originated from a plant formerly owned by defendant Johnson Controls, Inc. (“Johnson Controls”). The plaintiffs were a number of individuals who owned property or resided in an area adjacent to the plant.  The plaintiffs allege that the contamination primarily consisting of trichloroethylene (“TCE”) entered the groundwater and migrated onto their properties.  In 2007, Johnson Controls sold the plant to defendant Tocon Holdings, LLC (“Tocon”) who briefly operated a manufacturing facility on the property, but more recently began demolishing the plant.  Plaintiffs argue that Tocon’s demolition of the plant caused additional environmental hazards.

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Admissible Evidence Necessary When Amount in Controversy Called into Question

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Truglio v. Planet Fitness, Inc., No. 15-CV-7959-FLW-LHG, 2017 WL 3595475 (D.N.J. Aug. 21, 2017).

In Truglio v. Planet Fitness, Inc., a federal district court in New Jersey determined that the defendants had carried their burden of proving the jurisdictional amount in controversy under the Class Action Fairness Act (“CAFA”) by a preponderance of the evidence.

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Defendant’s Reliance On A Reasoning That Includes Assumptions To Satisfy Its Burden Of Proof Must Be Reasonable, And Not Constitute Mere Speculation And Conjecture

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Farley v. Dolgen California LLC, No. 2:16-cv-02501 (E.D. Cal. Aug. 9, 2017).

In this action, while granting the plaintiffs’ motion to remand, a district court in California found that when the plaintiffs challenge the defendant’s calculation of the amount in controversy, the defendant faces a heightened burden to support its calculation by a preponderance of evidence.

The plaintiffs brought a putative class action in San Joaquin County Superior Court alleging, inter alia, meal period and rest break violations, waiting time penalties, and wage statement penalties.  The putative class included the defendant’s current or former non-exempt retail employees who were unable to take proper rest or meal breaks because they were the only employees on duty with “key carrier” responsibility.

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