Kasem Adoure v. The Gillette Company, 2007 WL 128846, MDL Docket No. 1704 (D.Mass. January 11, 2007).

A close shave for CAFA? No, but the plaintiffs did try to split some hairs. In this case, the plaintiff attempted to use the appeal provisions in CAFA to obtain an appeal of a non-class action case and the District of Massachusetts said "no."

On January 11, 2007, United States District Judge Douglas P. Woodlock handed down a memorandum and order entering judgment of dismissal with prejudice under Federal Rule 41. Why do we care? Well, the case has a little footnote of CAFA cooked right in.  After all, someone has to read the footnotes. 

In this case, the plaintiff filed a California state court action that was removed to federal court. The removed federal case was consolidated before the District of Massachusetts through assignment by the Judicial Panel for Multidistrict Litigation. The plaintiff’s motion for remand was denied by the District of Massachusetts on January 31, 2006. Thereafter, the plaintiffs attempted to appeal this denial through the provisions of CAFA to the First Circuit. The First Circuit, in Appeal No. 06-8005, held that the plaintiff had consistently argued, both in the district court and in the appellate court, that the action was not a class action. Therefore, the First Circuit held that the plaintiff could not invoke the appellate review provisions of CAFA. The CAFA provisions apply only where the district court has granted or denied a motion to remand a class action as defined by 28 U.S.C. §1332(d)(1)(B).

After the adverse rulings both in the District of the Massachusetts and in the First Circuit, the plaintiff moved for voluntary dismissal. Apparently, the plaintiff was attempting to obtain another review of the denial of the motion to remand through a narrow exception within the First Circuit that allows for review of a prejudicial interlocutory ruling.

Judge Woodlock ordered a judgment of dismissal reflecting the plaintiff’s purpose to seek an appeal of the denial of remand and found as a substantive matter that the plaintiff’s continuing objections to the denial of remand in this action to be without merit.

Please note that this is not really a CAFA case, however, it does show that the review provision of CAFA in 28 U.S.C. §1453(c)(1), only applies to class actions, as defined therein.