Ronat v. Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Inc., et al., 05-520 (S.D. Ill. Nov. 12, 2008). 

This putative class action was brought against Martha Stewart entities and other defendants by purchasers of the “Victoria” model of “Martha Stewart Everyday” brand glass-top patio tables that allegedly spontaneously shattered during ordinary use. 

Subject matter jurisdiction was based on CAFA. The Court first denied class certification stating that there was no commonality of legal issues among putative class members given that multiple states’ consumer protection laws were involved. Further, the Court held that the proposed class definition of purchasers “whose tables have spontaneously shattered” was not sufficiently identifiable and manageable for the purposes of Rule 23. 

Since the only basis of jurisdiction was under CAFA, the Court then addressed the question of whether federal subject matter remained when the lawsuit was no longer a class action. Reading the text of CAFA that states CAFA jurisdiction “shall apply to any class action before or after the entry of a class certification order by the court with respect to that action,”[1] the Court stated that the case was “no longer a class action and so [it] ends here.” 

So, after prison, things seem to be going well for Martha Stewart . . . she’s thinner, wealthier, ready for prime time, beats class actions to a pulp, and apparently can spontaneously shatter glass . . .

[1] 28 U.S.C. § 1332(d)(8).