Coba filed a class action suit in federal court alleging that Ford violated multiple common law and statutory requirements by selling him a truck with a fuel tank lining that delaminated. The court granted Ford partial summary judgment and denied Coba’s motion to certify a class and, later, granted summary judgment to Ford on the only remaining theory. The only issue we will discuss here was the question before the Third Circuit: whether the district court retained jurisdiction after class certification was denied.
As society becomes increasingly litigious, and as plaintiff attorneys market their services more aggressively, class action litigation is posing a rapidly growing threat to businesses in all sectors.
The Third Time is the Charm — Two Judge Panel Rules That CAFA’s Local Controversy Exception Did Not Apply.
Arkansas citizen Douglas Atwood filed his class action complaint against Illinois corporation Walgreen Company and two of its Arkansas district managers in Arkansas state court. Atwood claimed that Walgreens’ balance rewards program violated an Arkansas price discrimination statute. The defendants removed the case under CAFA, but Atwood moved to remand based on the “local controversy exception to CAFA.” After the district court denied Atwood’s motion to remand while granting the defendants’ motion to dismiss, Atwood appealed. He argued on appeal that the district court improperly considered extrinsic evidence. The Eighth Circuit disagreed and affirmed.
The Seventh Circuit Parts Company with the Eleventh—“Limited Discovery” Ordered to Determine if Minimal CAFA Diversity Exists
Groupon used Christine Dancel’s Instagram photograph from her public Instagram account to promote a voucher for a restaurant. Dancel then filed a class action suit under the Illinois Right of Publicity Act seeking $1,000 in statutory damages for each class member. When Dancel filed an amended state court complaint expanding the class (after two years of litigation), Groupon filed a notice of removal. Plaintiff filed a motion to remand, which was denied by the district court. The district court thereafter denied Dancel’s motion to certify a class. After the certification denial, Dancel’s attorneys filed a Rule 23(f) appeal. The Seventh Circuit remanded to allow the district court to oversee limited discovery to determine whether minimal CAFA diversity existed. In doing so, the Seventh Circuit pointed out (in an unnumbered footnote) that its ruling differed with an Eleventh Circuit holding, which “prohibited jurisdictional discovery in cases removed under the CAFA.”
Eighth Circuit Declares CAFA Removal Was Timely and The Amount in Controversy Allegations Were Not Speculative
Mark Pirozzi and others sued Massage Envy for allegedly violating the Missouri Merchandising Practices Act (MMPA) by using advertisements which failed to disclose that each one hour massage session included ten minutes for consulting with the therapist, undressing and dressing. The first and amended complaints failed to clearly state the amount in controversy on the face of the complaint.
Mega-fund class action settlements can result in substantial attorneys’ fee awards. However, when a district court judge is confronted with a case that the judge deems “a nuisance case” resulting in a settlement “pretty close to … worthless,” the attorneys’ fee award is very likely going to be minimal, notwithstanding any lodestar calculation plaintiffs’ counsel makes.