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Posts published in “CAFA”

SD Calif. Dismisses Data Security Breach Class Action Against Mortgage Company

The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California recently dismissed a consumer’s putative class action lawsuit against a mortgage lending and servicing company for purported damages sustained as a result of a security breach wherein his personal information was compromised, and the hackers attempted to open credit cards in his name. Although the Court previously concluded that the consumer had standing to bring his claims under Article III of the Constitution, it held that the consumer failed to state causes of action for negligence and violations of various California laws. A copy of the opinion in Razuki v.…

9th Cir. Holds Class Counsel Fee Award Improperly Failed to Treat Credits as ‘Coupons’ Under CAFA

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit held that the trial court erred in awarding $8.7 million in attorneys’ fees in a class action settlement because it did not treat $20 credits issued as part of the settlement as “coupons” under the Class Action Fairness Act (CAFA). In so ruling, the Court held that, because the trial court included the full face value of the coupons in its calculation of the fee award, the “error require[d] recalculation of the fee award.” Accordingly, the Ninth Circuit vacated the trial court’s attorneys’ fee award. A copy of the opinion in…

8th Cir. Holds CAFA Amount in Controversy Includes Future Attorney’s Fees Incurred After Removal

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit held that a plaintiff could not defeat federal jurisdiction under the Class Action Fairness Act based on a pre-class certification damages stipulation limiting attorney’s fees to ensure that the amount in controversy remained under CAFA’s $5 million jurisdictional limit. In so ruling, the Eighth Circuit affirmed the trial court’s finding that the amount in controversy for jurisdiction under CAFA includes the amount of future attorney’s fees based on the expected length of the litigation, the risks and complexity involved, and the hourly rates charged. A copy of the opinion in Faltermeier v. FCA US…

9th Cir. Holds CAFA Amount in Controversy Includes Future Attorney’s Fees Incurred After Removal

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit recently reversed a trial court’s order remanding a putative class action lawsuit to state court on the ground that the defendant removing party failed to prove that the amount in controversy exceeded $5 million, as required for jurisdiction under the Class Action Fairness Act (CAFA). In so ruling, the Ninth Circuit held that the amount in controversy for jurisdiction under CAFA includes all attorney’s fees that the plaintiff would be entitled to under a contract or statute, including future fees incurred after the date of removal. A link to the opinion…

7th Cir. Rules Class Settlements Do Not Bar Objector’s Fees Without Express Agreement

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit recently held that, unless the parties to a class action settlement agreement expressly agree otherwise, class settlement agreements should not be read to bar objectors from requesting fees for their efforts in adding value to a settlement. Because the Court determined that the objector did add value to the settlement, it reversed the ruling of the trial court denying the objector’s motion for fees and an incentive award. A copy of the opinion in Markow v. Southwest Airlines Co. is available at:  Link to Opinion. Class action counsel settled a class action…

4th Cir. Holds Data Breach Victims Have Standing When Fraudulent Accounts Opened

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit recently vacated a judgment of dismissal in consolidated class actions arising from a data breach of personal information, holding that the plaintiffs had standing to sue because fraudulent credit cards were actually opened in the victims’ names. In so ruling, the Court distinguished its 2017 ruling in Beck v. McDonald, which held “a mere compromise of personal information, without more, fails to satisfy the injury-in-fact element in the absence of an identity theft.” A copy of the opinion in Rhonda Hutton v. National Board of Examiners is available at:  Link to…

9th Cir. Holds No Remand When Only Portion of Putative Class Met CAFA’s Home-State Controversy Exception

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit recently held that a plaintiff cannot force remand of a federal Class Action Fairness Act (CAFA) removal under the home-state controversy exception when only a portion of the putative class met the two-thirds citizenship requirement. A copy of the opinion Brinkley v. Monterey Financial Services, Inc. is available at:  Link to Opinion. A financial services company (“defendant”) allegedly recorded or monitored its telephone conversations with the plaintiff without giving her notice.  The plaintiff brought this action in California state court “alleging (1) invasion of privacy in violation of California and Washington state law; (2) unlawful…

4th Cir. Holds Defendant Must Present Sufficient Evidence to ‘Determine – Not Speculate’ as to CAFA’s Requirements

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit recently held that a defendant invoking jurisdiction under the federal Class Action Fairness Act (CAFA), 28 U.S.C. § 1332(d), must provide sufficient evidence to allow the court to determine – not speculate – that it was more likely than not that there were at least 100 class members and the aggregate amount in controversy exceeded $5 million. A copy of the opinion in Scott v. Cricket Communications, LLC is available at:  Link to Opinion. Between July 2013 and March 2014, a consumer purchased two Samsung Galaxy S4 cell phones from the defendant…

8th Cir. Holds Removal Proper Where Absence of CAFA Jurisdiction Not ‘Established to a Legal Certainty’

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit recently held that the requirements for the federal Class Action Fairness Act (CAFA) were met and the matter was properly removed to federal court, where the plaintiffs could not “establish to a legal certainty” that their claims were for less than the requisite amount. A copy of the opinion in Dammann v. Progressive Direct Insurance Company is available at:  Link to Opinion. The plaintiff insureds purchased automobile insurance from the insurer. The insureds’ policies required deductible payments of $100 for medical expense payments and $200 for economic loss payments.  Both policies provided…

9th Cir. Holds Consolidated ‘Bellweather Trial’ of Multiple Actions Did Not Meet CAFA’s ‘Mass Action’ Requirements

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit recently affirmed that consolidating multiple actions for pre-trial purposes and a bellweather-trial process is insufficient to justify the removal of those actions to federal court under the “mass action” provision of the Class Action Fairness Act (CAFA). In doing so, the Ninth Circuit rejected several arguments the removing defendant made based on language contained in the plaintiffs’ motion to consolidate.  The Court concluded that even though, as consolidated, the matters satisfied the numerosity requirement of a “mass action” under CAFA, the plaintiffs did not intend a joint trial for all of…

8th Cir. Holds ‘Citizen’ Does Not Equal ‘Resident’ Under CAFA’s ‘Local Controversy’ Exception

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit recently held that “citizen” is not synonymous with “resident” under the Class Action Fairness Act (CAFA), 28 U.S.C. 1332(d), such that the class action lawsuit at issue could not be remanded to state court under CAFA’s “local controversy” exception but rather should remain in federal court. A copy of the opinion in Tammy Hargett v. St. Bernard’s Hospital Inc, et al is available at:  Link to Opinion. The plaintiff was injured in a car accident and received treatment at a hospital, which required her to assign her Medicaid beneficiary rights to it. The hospital later contracted with…

11th Cir. Holds CAFA’s ‘Local Controversy’ Exception Does Not Preclude Federal-Question Jurisdiction

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit recently held that the federal Class Action Fairness Act’s (CAFA) local-controversy provision, 28 U.S.C. § 1332(d)(4), does not preclude a federal trial court from exercising federal-question jurisdiction. Accordingly, the Eleventh Circuit affirmed the federal trial court’s denial of the plaintiffs’ motion to remand the matter to state court following the defendants’ removal. A copy of the opinion in Blevins v. Aksut is available at:  Link to Opinion. The litigation involved a defendant doctor’s alleged performance of unnecessary heart procedures on the plaintiffs.  Specifically, the plaintiffs alleged that the defendant doctor would…