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CAFA Law Blog

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

Unsupported Assumptions Prove Insufficient To Establish Amount In Controversy Under CAFA

Posted in Case Summaries

Pazol v. Tough Mudder Inc., 2016 WL 1638045 (1st Cir. April 26, 2016)

Lisa C. Pazol, Maria C. Newman, Lisa Russ and Audrey J. Bennet (“Plaintiffs”) were registrants of an extreme obstacle course that was organized by Tough Mudder Incorporated, Tough Mudder, LLC and BK Bridge Events, LLC (“Defendants”). Defendants are business entities that organized physically challenging obstacle courses in various locations in the United States. Plaintiffs registered to participate in one of those events called the “Mudderella”, which was scheduled to take place on September 6, 2014, in Haverhill, Massachusetts. Continue Reading

Post-Removal Dismissal of Class Claims Does Not Eliminate Otherwise-Proper CAFA Jurisdiction

Posted in Case Summaries

Loehn v. Lumber Liquidators Inc., 2016 WL 722002 (E.D. La. Feb. 24, 2016).

Here, the Eastern District of Louisiana denied remand finding that the post-removal event—plaintiffs’ voluntary dismissal of their class claims—did not deprive the court of jurisdiction, which was properly established at the time of removal under CAFA.

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A “Neutral” Factor Under 28 U.S.C. § 1332(D)(3)(A)-(F) Should Not Count Against Remand

Posted in Case Summaries

Cowan v. Devon Energy Corporation et al., No. 6:16-cv-00510-SPS (E.D. Ok. Nov. 8, 2017).

In this action, while granting the plaintiff’s motion to remand, a district court in Oklahoma found that in determining the six enumerated factors for the application of the discretionary exception, a ‘neutral’ factor should not weigh against remand.

The plaintiff, an oil and gas well owner, brought a putative class action in Pittsburg County, Oklahoma alleging that the defendants, operator of the well, violated Oklahoma statute that required payment of interest on delayed payment of revenue from oil and gas production. The plaintiff alleged that the defendants routinely delayed payment of production proceeds and denied owners the interest payments to which they were entitled as part of an overarching scheme to avoid its obligations under the Oklahoma Law.

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Section 1332(C)(1) Refers To Dual, Not Alternative, Citizenship For Corporations

Posted in Case Summaries

Roberts v. Mars Petcare US Inc., No. 17-6122 (6th Cir. Nov. 2, 2017).

In this action, while reversing a district court’s denial of the plaintiff’s motion to remand, the Sixth Circuit found that a corporation cannot rely on its State of incorporation and ignore its principal place of business to create diversity under CAFA.

The plaintiff, a citizen of Tennessee, brought a putative class action on behalf of Tennessee citizens in Tennessee state court against the defendant, a citizen of Tennessee and Delaware, alleging that the defendant conspired with other pet food manufacturers, veterinarian chains, and a retailer to employ a “prescription-authorization requirement” to sell pet food at above market prices in violation of the Tennessee Trade Practices Act.

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The Operative Complaint at the Time of Removal Governs CAFA Jurisdiction

Posted in Case Summaries

Lauren_Hall_v__Welch_Foods__Inc__et_al., 2017 WL 4422418 (D.N.J. Oct. 5, 2017).

In this action, while denying Plaintiff Lauren Hall’s (“Plaintiff”) motion to remand, the United States District Court, District of New Jersey (the “District Court”), found post-removal amendments to a complaint which changes the nature or scope of the class have no bearing on the jurisdictional question.

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When There Is Ample Connection To The Forum State, Only A Clear Abuse Of The Local Forum Could Possibly Justify A Refusal To Remand

Posted in Case Summaries

David_Landon_Speed_v__JMA_Energy_Company__LLC, 2017 WL 4342615 (10th Cir. Oct. 2, 2017).

In this action, while affirming the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Oklahoma’s (the “District Court”) decision remanding the case to Oklahoma state court, the United Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit (the “Tenth Circuit”) found the geographic dispersion of the class plaintiffs should not be overemphasized as a factor favoring federal jurisdiction.

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Defendants’ Assumption Of A 100% Violation Rate of Labor Laws in Calculation of Amount in Controversy Deemed Unreasonable

Posted in Case Summaries

Hernandez v Starbucks Corporation, 2017 WL 2971858 (C.D. Cal. July 12, 2017)

A California court granted a plaintiff’s motion to remand, finding that the defendants’ amount in controversy calculation, made under an assumption of a 100% violation rate, was unreasonable. Continue Reading

CAFA’s Home-State Controversy Exception Applies When All “Primary Defendants” Are From the Same State

Posted in Case Summaries

McCracken v Verisma Systems Inc, 2017 WL 2080279 (W.D.N.Y. May 15, 2017).

In retaining jurisdiction over the plaintiffs’ case pursuant to CAFA, a New York District Court found that the homestate exception refers to “primary defendants” in the plural; thus, the plain language of the statute requires remand only when all of the primary defendants were residents of the same state in which the action was originally filed.
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Conclusory Statements that Certain Employees Direct, Control, or Coordinate a Corporation’s Activities Are Insufficient to Prove the Corporation’s Principal Place of Business

Posted in Case Summaries, Wage and Hour

Pae v. Fox Restaurant Concepts, LLC, 2017 WL 3184464 (C.D. Cal. July 25, 2017).

In this action, while denying the plaintiff’s motion to remand, a district court in California found that the plaintiff must prove beyond conclusory statements that certain employees of a corporation direct, control, or coordinate its activities to establish the corporation’s principal place of business. Continue Reading