Robinson Bradshaw

Topic: Class Action Fairness Act (CAFA)

Removal Under Only CAFA Can Land You Back in State Court if the Class is Not Certified

When a class action is filed in state court, most defendants first evaluate whether the case can be removed to federal court. The Class Action Fairness Act (CAFA) offers a broader avenue to remove cases to federal court than traditional diversity jurisdiction. Removal under CAFA is permissible if (1) the amount in controversy exceeds $5,000,000 […]

Sixth Circuit Weighs In On Issue Certification

We’ve commented before in this space about the ongoing debate concerning the relationship between the predominance requirement of Rule 23(b)(3) and “issue certification” under Rule 23(c)(4). Yesterday, the Sixth Circuit weighed in on the subject. See Martin v. Behr Dayton Thermal Prods., No. 17-3663 (6th Cir. July 16, 2018). The case related to a “Superfund […]

China Agritech and Tolling in CAFA Cases

Updated 6-11-18: The Supreme Court’s decision earlier today in China Agritech confirms the validity of the observations in the original blog post below.  The Court held that American Pipe tolling does not apply to successive class actions. In American Pipe & Construction Co. v. Utah, 414 U.S. 538 (1974), and Crown Cork & Seal v. […]

Fourth Circuit Provides Guidance Concerning Proof of the Amount in Controversy under CAFA

We don’t often get appellate guidance after a federal trial judge remands a case to state court following removal because 28 U.S.C. Sect. 1447(d) generally makes such a ruling unreviewable. But the Class Action Fairness Act (“CAFA”), 28 U.S.C. Sect. 1332(d), permits a court of appeals to accept an appeal of a remand from a class […]

Judge Gorsuch’s Class Action Opinions After Shook

Today we continue our analysis of Judge Gorsuch’s class action opinions from the Tenth Circuit in an effort to better understand how he may rule if confirmed for the Supreme Court. Last week, we examined Judge Gorsuch’s decision in Shook v. Board of County Commissioners, and we will take up his remaining class action opinions below. […]

Congress Considering Major Class Action Reform Legislation

Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), the Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, recently introduced a bill that would make significant changes to federal class action litigation. The Fairness in Class Action Litigation Act of 2017 (H.R. 985) states that it is intended to allow prompt recoveries to plaintiffs with legitimate claims and “diminish abuses in class action […]

Fourth Circuit Holds that Court, Not Arbitrators, Decides Whether Arbitration Agreement Provides for Class Arbitration

Characterizing an unpublished 2007 decision to the contrary as a “thin reed” displaced by later Supreme Court guidance, the Fourth Circuit held that the question of whether an arbitration agreement permits class proceedings is a “gateway” issue for the court, and not a procedural question left to the arbitrator to decide. Del Webb Communities, Inc. […]

Train Derailment Causes Estimated Damages in Excess of $13 Million

Lecroy v. CSX Transportation, Inc., No. 2:14-cv-02128 (D.S.C. June 2, 2014) arises from a CSX train derailment at the underpass of Cypress Gardens Road in Berkley County, South Carolina, which caused a bridge to collapse. A purported class of Berkley County citizens filed a negligence and strict liability action against CSX, seeking damages for the […]

Can One ‘Representative’ Plaintiff Be A Class under CAFA? Supreme Court Says “No”

In Mississippi ex rel. Hood v. AU Optronics Corp., 134 S. Ct. 736 (Jan. 14, 2014), the United States Supreme Court held that one plaintiff does not a “mass action” make under the Class Action Fairness Act (CAFA). CAFA defines a “mass action” as a claim brought by more than 100 people, and the Court […]