Komeshak v. Concentra, Inc., No. 05-CV-261-DRH, 05-CV-349-DRH, 2005 WL 2488431 (S.D. Ill. Oct. 7, 2005).
Considering two parallel class actions, the United States District Court for the Southern District of Illinois decided to remand pre-CAFA state law claims removed to federal court, while retaining jurisdiction over the third-party actions. The court consolidated two actions for decision: Komeshak v. Concentra, Inc., originally brought in Illinois state court on February 15, 2005, a few days before the Class Action Fairness Act’s February 18, 2005 effective date; and Coy v. Focus Healthcare Management, Inc., also filed pre-CAFA in state court on February 11, 2005. Concentra removed Komeshak to federal court and brought in two third party defendants, also third party defendants in Coy, one of which removed Coy to federal court.
The court remanded the plaintiffs’ state-law claims in both Komeshak and Coy, declaring that these cases were filed before the effective date of CAFA, and like virtually all of the courts which have considered the “commencement” issue, determined that the date of initial filing, rather than the date of removal, controlled as to whether CAFA should apply. The court decided, however, to retain the third party claims made by the defendant Concentra in both Komeshak and Coy, rejecting the defense contention that the court should also exercise its supplemental jurisdiction over plaintiffs’ state law claims. “To bring Plaintiffs’ state-law claims into federal court solely on the entitlements [third party defendants] Amtrak and ARC have to federal jurisdiction would unfairly disrupt Plaintiffs’ forum choice.”