Panter v. Alltel Corporation d/b/a Alltel Wireless, 08-2097 (N.D. Ill. July 11, 2008)

 It seems the Alltel Corporation has it all:

Its own racing team,

its own stadium,

…and everyone’s favorite TV commercials:

 But do they have what it takes to stay in federal court? In Panter, the plaintiff filed a class action in state court against Alltel, seeking recovery for the payment of unauthorized charges. Not to be confused with any of Alltel’s other extracurricular activities, the Court is quick to point out that the plaintiff is a consumer of cellular telephone services and the defendant is a provider of those services. 

But, not to be outdone by their nerdy competitors, Alltel offers more than just sending and receiving phone calls. Alltel subscribers also have the option to receive a variety of other services, including sports scores and stock tips. According to the class action complaint, the plaintiff and other Alltel customers have been billed for services that were neither authorized nor received. Now, being the well-rounded and CAFA-knowledgeable corporation that it is, Alltel removed the case to federal court. 

On plaintiff’s motion to remand, the court held that the defendant had met their burden of proving amount in controversy by a preponderance of the evidence and denied the motion. Despite Alltel’s unwillingness to disclose their sales figures, the Court relied on an affidavit filed under seal (probably to keep the nerds and their wiiiiiizzzzzard from getting the goods:

 to determine that the amount in controversy was a “substantial multiple” of $5,000,000. 

Well, Chad, you may have CAFA jurisdiction, but you’re still a ding dong!!