Scott v. Cricket Communications, LLC, 15-03330-GLR (D. Md. March 30, 2018)

Reiterating that a court will not protect a party from the adverse consequences of its own voluntary acts, a District Court in Maryland denied a second motion to remand where an amended complaint cured defects it had previously identified.

Plaintiff brought a putative class action in state court on behalf of himself and a class of Maryland citizens alleging that Defendant sold him and the class phones it knew were obsolete at the time of the sale. Defendant removed the case, but an initial motion to remand was granted on the basis that it had not proven the necessary amount in controversy. Cricket had sought to establish the amount by submitting evidence as to phones sold to Maryland customers, but because it had not actually established the citizenship of those customers, the District Court held that it had not met its burden. On appeal, the Fourth Circuit remanded the matter for the District Court to make a finding of fact as to the citizenship of the Maryland class, and thus as to the amount in controversy.
Continue Reading Unintended Consequences: Careful How You Amend

Kendrick v. Xerox State and Local Solutions, Inc., et al., 18-cv-00213 (N.D. Cal. 2018).

In granting plaintiffs’ motion to remand, a district court in California found that an action may be deemed a state action under section 1332(d)(5) if there is such a close nexus between the State and the challenged action that

Robertson v. Sun Life Financial, 2:17-cv-02148-SSV-JVM (E.D. La. Jan. 22, 2018)

In this action, a Louisiana District Court denied a motion to remand, finding that the Plaintiff’s generic demand for damages from a “local” defendant was insufficient to justify remanding the case pursuant to CAFA’s Local Controversy exception.
Continue Reading Generic Demand For Damages Does Not Justify Local Controversy Exception to CAFA

Walsh v. Defenders, Inc, 2018 WL 555690 (D.N.J. Jan. 25, 2018).

On a motion for reconsideration, a District Court in New Jersey reversed an earlier ruling denying a motion to remand based on the “local controversy” exception to CAFA. The Court held that, in order to defeat diversity, the local-controversy test does not require

Cedar Lodge Plantation LLC et al. v. CSHV Fairway View II LLC ,768 F.3d 425 (5th Cir. 2014).

The Fifth Circuit reversed an order remanding a class action to state court, holding that the application of the local controversy exception depends on the pleadings at the time the class action is removed, not on an amended complaint filed after removal.

The plaintiffs brought a putative class action on behalf of individuals and entities who were living or had lived, or who worked or owned property, in the immediate vicinity of an apartment complex. The original complaint alleged that the defendants, a group of apartment-owning and managing entities (the “Fairway Defendants”) exposed plaintiffs to underground sewage leaks that discharged higher than permitted levels of contaminants and hazardous substances.
Continue Reading Local Controversy Exception to CAFA Cannot Be Invoked On the Basis of Post-Removal Amendments

Myrick v. WellPoint, Inc., 764 F.3d 662 (7th Cir. 2014).

The Seventh Circuit held that a District Court’s denial of plaintiffs’ motion to remand due to their failure to meet their burden of proof, was proper, notwithstanding plaintiffs’ contention that class citizenship discovery would have been too expensive.

Plaintiffs were former health insurance policy holders who filed a state court putative class action alleging violation of Illinois law in the cancellation of existing insurance policies by WellPoint, Inc. following its acquisition of RightCHOICE Managed Care, Inc. Defendants removed the action to the District Court under CAFA.
Continue Reading Seventh Circuit- Lawyers Who Launch Class Actions Are Not In A Good Position To Complain About The Expenses They Entail

Gibson v. Continental Resources, Inc. Case No. 5:15-cv-00611-M, (W.D. Okla. Oct. 8, 2015).

This order concerned a motion to remand a case to state court based on the plaintiff’s assertions that the defendant had not filed a sufficient removal notice.

The plaintiff brought a putative class action alleging that the defendant failed to make proper payments owed to her and the class members on royalty interests in oil wells. The defendant removed this case to federal court alleging jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§ 1332(d) and 1452. In its notice of removal, defendant stated that “hundreds” of royalty owners have out-of-state addresses, as its basis for establishing diversity of citizenship. Further, the defendant contended that the number of class members exceeded 100 and the alleged damages were in excess of $10 million.
Continue Reading Allegations that Many Class Members Reside Out of State Satisfies Requirement for “Short and Plain Statement” in Notice of Removal

Whisenant v. Sheridan Production Co., LLC, 627 F. App’x. 706 (10th Cir. 2015)

This decision concerns the reversal of a denial of a motion to remand. Plaintiff brought a putative class action in Oklahoma state court against a natural gas production company, alleging that it failed to pay or underpaid royalties for natural gas wells. The defendant removed the action under CAFA.  The plaintiff filed a motion to remand, which the District Court denied. 
Continue Reading Interest Payments Tied Solely To Delay In Paying Amounts In Controversy Insufficient To Establish CAFA Jurisdiction

Williams v Employers Mutual Casualty Company et al., 2017 WL 117148 (8th Cir. 2017).

In affirming the judgment of a District Court’s order denying plaintiff’s motion to remand, the Eighth Circuit found that an equitable garnishment action against insurers and land owners, although labeled otherwise, is a class action in “substance” for the purpose of CAFA because the garnishment action emerged from a class action filed in state court.

Plaintiff, on behalf of herself and the residents of Autumn Hills Mobile Home Park (“Autumn Hills”), brought a class action in state court against the owner of Autumn Hills, The Collier Organization, Inc. (“Collier”), alleging that Collier supplied the residents of Autumn Hills with contaminated drinking water (hereinafter referred to as the “Original Action”).  
Continue Reading Class Actions In ‘Substance’ Fall Within the Ambit of CAFA

Dotson v Bayer Corp, 2017 WL 35706 (E.D. Mo. Jan. 4, 2017).

In granting plaintiffs’ motion to remand, a District Court in Missouri found that the doctrine of fraudulent misjoinder did not support subject matter jurisdiction over an action against the manufacturers of a medical device because the joinder of a non-diverse plaintiff was not ‘egregious.’

Plaintiffs brought a putative class action alleging that the defendants manufactured and sold an unsafe medical device, Essure, for permanent birth control. The defendants removed the lawsuit to federal court based on diversity as well as federal question jurisdiction.  Among other arguments, plaintiffs moved to remand due to a lack of complete diversity between the plaintiffs and the defendants. In response, the defendants argued that the non-diverse plaintiffs were fraudulently misjoined.

Continue Reading Fraudulent Misjoinder Requires ‘Egregious’ Misjoinder, Rather Than ‘Mere Misjoinder’