Header graphic for print

CAFA Law Blog

Information, cases and insights regarding the Class Action Fairness Act of 2005

30 Days Removal Restriction Doesn’t Apply When Complaint Doesn’t Reveal On Its Face That The Case Was Removable

Posted in Case Summaries

Sevag_Chalian_v_CVS_Pharmacy_Inc._et_al, 2017 WL 1377589 (C.D. Cal. April 11, 2017)

In this wage and hour action, the United States District Court for the Central District of California (the “District Court”) found removal was timely when diversity jurisdiction was not evident from the face of the plaintiff’s complaint, and when the defendant conducted its investigation to calculate that the amount in controversy exceeded $5,000,000.

Continue Reading

CAFA’s Mass Action Provision Gives Plaintiffs The Choice To File Separate Actions To Avoid Removal

Posted in Case Summaries

Theresa_Black_et_al_v_Bayer_Corp et_al, 2017 WL 2592425 (E.D. Mo. June 15, 2017).

In this action, while remanding the claims to the Circuit Court of the City of St. Louis, Missouri (the “State Court”), the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri (the “District Court”) found that separate multi-plaintiff cases may not be aggregated to satisfy the 100 plaintiff requirement of the Class Action Fairness Act’s (“CAFA”) mass action provision.

Continue Reading

A Complaint Should Be Read As A Whole To Determine Membership of a Putative Class

Posted in Case Summaries

Hamilton v Raleigh General Hospital LLC, 2017 WL 833050 (S.D.W.V. March 2, 2017).

In this action, a District Court in West Virginia granted the plaintiff’s motion to remand, reasoning that a complaint should be read as a whole to determine membership of a putative class for the purpose of determining whether the amount in controversy exceeds the CAFA minimum. Continue Reading

Defendant’s Assumptions To Calculate The Potential Liability Of The Purported Class Based On Sufficient Evidence Are Reasonable

Posted in Case Summaries

Belen_Torrez_v_Freedom_Mortgage_Corporation_et_al_, 2017 WL 2713400 (C.D. Cal. June 22, 2017).

In this action, while denying Plaintiff Belen Torrez’s (“Plaintiff”) Motion to Remand (the “Motion”), the United States District Court, Central District of California (“District Court”) found that although Plaintiff need not submit evidence to succeed on her Motion, the absence of such evidence in light of the generalized and indeterminate allegations in the complaint makes Defendant Freedom Mortgage Corporation’s (“Defendant”) assumptions based on those allegations reasonable.

Continue Reading

The Ultimate Inquiry Is What Amount Is Put ‘In Controversy’ By The Plaintiff

Posted in Case Summaries

Aaron Feao v UFP Riverside LLC, 2017 WL 2836207 (C.D. Cal. June 29, 2017).

In this action, while denying Plaintiff Aaron Feao’s (“Plaintiff”) Motion to Remand, the United States District Court, Central District of California (the “District Court”), found the ultimate inquiry is what amount is put ‘in controversy’ by Plaintiff’s complaint or other papers, not what the defendant will actually owe for the actual number of violations that occurred.

Continue Reading

Under Dart Standard Fifth Circuit Rules Plaintiffs’ Mere Denials Insufficient to Rebut Defendants’ Amount-In-Controversy Evidence

Posted in Case Summaries

Carter v. Westlex Corp., 643 Fed. Appx. 371 (5th Cir. 2016) (per curiam)

In this case, the Fifth Circuit affirmed the denial of plaintiffs’ remand motion where plaintiffs submitted only conclusory allegations to contest defendants’ evidence that CAFA’s amount-in-controversy requirement was satisfied.

Continue Reading

The Amount in Controversy is an Estimate of the Total Amount in Dispute, Which Is Distinct from the Amount Ultimately Recoverable

Posted in Case Summaries

Henry v. Central Freight Lines, Inc., 2017 WL 2684136 (9th Cir. June 21, 2017).

In this action, while reversing a district court’s order remanding the case to the state court, the Ninth Circuit found the amount in controversy is simply an estimate of the total amount in dispute, and is a concept distinct from “the amount of damages ultimately recoverable.”  It further held that in determining the amount in controversy, the court accepts the allegations contained in the complaint as true and assumes the jury will return a verdict in the plaintiff’s favour on every claim. Continue Reading

Plaintiffs Must Invoke CAFA Jurisdiction if “Reasonable Probability” Exists that the Damages Totalled $5 Million

Posted in Case Summaries

Boyd v. NYCTL 1996-1 Trust, 2017 WL 2589388 (2d Cir. June 15, 2017).

In this summary order, while affirming the judgment of a district court dismissing the plaintiffs’ claims, the Second Circuit found that there was a “reasonable probability” that the plaintiffs’ damages totalled at least $5 million, and the plaintiffs could have invoked CAFA jurisdiction in an earlier filed action. Continue Reading

When Defendant Makes A ‘Facial’ Challenge To Complaint, The Plaintiff Has No Evidentiary Burden At The Pleadings Stage

Posted in Case Summaries

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.

Continue Reading

Court Held No Jurisdiction Under CAFA for Lack of Required Number of Plaintiffs

Posted in Case Summaries

Whitlock v. Bayer Corp., 2017 WL 564489 (E.D. Mo. 2017).

A district court in Missouri remanded the action back to state court for lack of diversity jurisdiction, federal question jurisdiction, or jurisdiction under CAFA. In remanding the case the Court held that the defendants’ argument that several similar actions filed by the same attorneys against the same defendant should be aggregated to reach the required number of plaintiffs for a mass action under CAFA has been repeatedly rejected.  In so holding, the District Court noted it is the plaintiffs, not defendants, who can request the court to try the cases jointly in order for it to constitute a mass action.

Continue Reading