Robertson v Exxon Mobil Corp., 2015 WL 9592499 (5th Cir. Dec. 31, 2015).

In a personal injury and a property damage action, the Fifth Circuit reversed the district court’s order remanding the action finding that the defendants had by preponderance of evidence shown that at least one plaintiff’s claim exceeded $75,000. Specifically, the Fifth Circuit found that when a plaintiff claims that he/she contracted cancer, or a claims damages for wrongful death, the Fifth Circuit precedent has always held that such claims more likely than not exceeded federal jurisdictional threshold even when the amount-in-controversy is not alleged in the complaint.
Continue Reading Certain claims carry a presumption as to amount-in-controversy that will lead directly to federal court

Arbuckle Mountain Ranch of Texas Inc v Chesapeake Energy Corporation, Case No. 15-10955, 2016 WL 98128 (5th Cir. Jan 7, 2016). In a 2-1 decision, the Fifth Circuit examined an ambiguous complaint suggesting two class definitions, (one a narrow definition and another containing a broad definition) and held that if the pleadings entirely lean towards a broader definition, it should be assumed that the plaintiff intended to define a broader class.  The Fifth Circuit found that the broader definition defeated CAFA’s local controversy exception, and reversed and remanded.
Continue Reading Fifth Circuit weighs in on ambiguous class definition

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Emmons v Quest Diagnostics Clinical Labs Inc, 2014 WL 584393 (E.D. Cal. Feb. 12, 2014).

In this action, the federal court refused to accept the defendants’ attempt to establish amount-in-controversy exceeded $5 million through a declaration by one of its employees, finding that the declarations were not enough evidentiary support to retain jurisdiction under