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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John v Whole Foods Market Group Inc., 858 F.3d 732 (2d Cir. June 2, 2017).

In this action, while vacating a district court’s order dismissing the plaintiff’s complaint, the Second Circuit found that when the defendant asserts a “facial” challenge to standing, the courts should continue to draw from the pleadings all reasonable inferences in the plaintiff’s favor and are to presume that general allegations embrace those specific facts that are necessary to support the claim.

The plaintiff brought a putative class action in the New York State court alleging that New York City grocery stores operated by the defendant systematically overstated the weights of pre-packaged food products and overcharged customers as a result.

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Adams v. USAA Casualty Insurance Company, No. 16-3382 (8th Cir. July 25, 2017).

In this action, while reversing a district court’s order, the Eighth Circuit found that CAFA doesn’t bar a stipulation of dismissal for re-filing an un-certified class action in state court for the purpose of seeking approval of settlement. The Eighth Circuit maintained that Congress rejected a proposed draft of CAFA that would have potentially prevented federal class actions from being refiled and settled in state court.

The plaintiffs originally filed their class action in state court, claiming that the defendant insurer improperly applied depreciation when adjusting claims for structural losses under their homeowners insurance policies.

The defendant removed the case to the federal court in January 2014, and then moved for partial judgment on the pleadings in April 2014. Soon thereafter the parties jointly moved to stay the case pending mediation.  Later, the District Court lifted the stay and the parties filed a stipulation of dismissal on June 19, 2015.  An order of dismissal was entered on June 22, 2015.

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Liberty Mutual Fire Insurance Company v EZ-Flo International Inc., et al., Case No. 17-228 (C.D. Cal. May 3, 2017).

In granting the plaintiffs’ motion to remand holding that the purported mass action was not brought by 100 or more plaintiffs, a District Court in California found that the language “100 or more persons” in mass action provision of CAFA does not refer to “100 or more named or unnamed real parties in interest,” but rather to the actual named plaintiffs in the suit.

The plaintiffs, insurance companies acting as subrogees of their insureds, brought claims against the defendant concerning defects in the defendant’s water supply lines, which were used to transport water from a water supply pipe to a plumbing fixture. In the first action, two insurance companies acted as subrogees of one insured, and in a second action the other insurance-company plaintiffs acted as subrogees of 111 homeowners.  The Superior Court consolidated both cases but did not clarify whether the consolidation was for pretrial purposes only.  In January 2017, the plaintiffs filed their Second Amended Complaint (“SAC”), seeking monetary relief as subrogees for 145 homeowners for claims totaling $6,588,979.71.

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F5 Capital v Pappas, No. 16-530 (2d Cir. April 26, 2017).

In this action, while holding that the district court retained jurisdiction, the Second Circuit found that given that CAFA was the jurisdictional anchor for the complaint and that the evident purpose of CAFA was to expand federal jurisdiction over suits that met its requirements, it would be inconsistent with that purpose to interpret 28 U.S.C. § 1367(b) (grant of supplemental jurisdiction over state law claims) to keep the pendent claims out of federal court while allowing the class claims to proceed.

F5 Capital (“F5”), shareholder, brought a shareholder derivative action in the Supreme Court of the State of New York on behalf of Star Bulk Carriers Corp. (“Star Bulk”), alleging that individual members of Star Bulk’s board and affiliated entities improperly exploited their control over the corporation in entering into three separate self-dealing transactions, and asserting derivative and direct class action claims. The owner of F5, Hsin Chi Su, was a minority shareholder in Star Bulk and served in management positions.  After he and the defendant Petros Pappas, had a falling out resulting from a business dispute, the defendants worked to exclude Su from a leadership role at Star Bulk through several self-dealing transactions that F5 claimed harmed the corporation and its minority shareholders.

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Atwood v. Peterson, No. 4:15-cv-00305 (E.D. Ark. Sept. 10, 2015).

The plaintiff brought a putative class action against Walgreen Co. (“Walgreens”) and two of its district managers (“DMs”) in state court alleging violation of Ark. Code Ann. § 4-75-501(a)(2) which makes it unlawful to willfully refuse purchasers all rebates and discounts which are granted to other purchasers, for cash, of like quantities of such manufactured products.

Beginning in September 2012, Walgreens began offering discounts to its customers who enroll in, and use, its Balance Rewards Card program. Customers who do not enroll in, or use, the Balance Rewards program are not eligible for the same discounts. The plaintiff alleged that this practice is contrary to § 4-75-501(a)(2). While Walgreens was incorporated in Illinois, its DMs are citizens of Arkansas. The plaintiff asserted that along with Walgreens, the DMs were personally liable for violation of the statute because they were “persons” engaged in the sale of a manufactured product, “had primary responsibility” for the discharge of the duties to comply with the statute, and recklessly performed or omitted to perform those duties.

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 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 compensate him for the property damage he suffered in an accident.

The plaintiff was involved in a car accident, wherein the plaintiff’s vehicle sustained damage. The plaintiff’s vehicle had Collision coverage provided by AmFam, with a deductible of $400 (for purposes of this accident). The damage exceeded the $400 deductible. So, when the plaintiff had the vehicle repaired, he paid $400 out of pocket, and AmFam paid the rest. AmFam sought to recover these repair costs from the liability coverage of the other vehicle involved. AmFam decided that liability would be split on a 90/10 basis, attributing 90% fault to the other vehicle. As a result, AmFam secured reimbursement for 90% of the total cost to repair the plaintiff’s vehicle. After securing this 90% reimbursement, AmFam sent the plaintiff a check for $360, representing 90% of the plaintiff’s collision deductible. This left the other $40 of plaintiff’s deductible as uncompensated property damage.

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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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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 local controversy exception applied to this action.

The plaintiff, Tiffany Brinkley, filed this action in the Superior Court of the California for the County of San Diego, asserting causes of action against the defendant Monetary Financial Services, Inc., for violations of California Penal Code §§ 630, et. seq., Washington Rev. Code §§ 9.73, et. seq., and California Business & Professions Code § 17200, et. seq., based on the defendant’s alleged unlawful recording and/or monitoring of telephone calls. The plaintiff sought, among other things, to certify a putative class including all persons who, while physically located or residing in California and Washington, made or received one or more telephone calls with the defendant in the class period and did not receive notice at the beginning of the call that their conversation may be recorded or monitored.

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Chan Healthcare Group PS v Liberty Mutual Fire Insurance Co., 2017 WL 24619 (9th Cir. Jan. 3, 2017).

The Ninth Circuit found that the statutory exception to the general rule that remand orders are not reviewable on appeal applied only to orders granting or denying remand of diversity class actions brought and removed under CAFA–not on federal question jurisdiction.

In this series of interrelated lawsuits, healthcare providers brought putative class actions against automobile insurers alleging that insurers violated various statutes when they reimbursed less than the amount billed for health services through their use of health databases. 
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