Ninth Circuit Holds Defendant Can Remove Within 30-Days After CAFA Grounds Are Ascertained, Even Where Complaint Provided Basis For Federal Question Removal

A Ninth Circuit panel has held that a defendant may remove a case to federal court within 30 days after the CAFA ground for removal can first be ascertained, even where plaintiff's complaint, filed years earlier, provided a basis for removal based on federal question jurisdiction. On April 3, 2012, plaintiff filed her initial complaint against Nationstar in state court, alleging various causes of action, including a federal cause of action under the Fair Debt ... Keep Reading »

Ninth Circuit Holds That State Court’s Class Certification Order Creates New Occasion for CAFA Removal

The Ninth Circuit held that a state court's certification order, under which CAFA's amount in controversy would be met, created a new basis for defendant to remove the case to federal court. The plaintiff had filed a putative class action against Dollar Tree in California Superior Court alleging violations of the California Labor Code and California Business and Professions Code, Section 17200, based on Dollar Tree's purported failure to provide required paid rest breaks ... Keep Reading »

Court Declines to Certify Class Alleging Off-Label Marketing of Cancer Drug

Third party payors ("TPPs") responsible for paying the costs of prescriptions for their beneficiaries sued Cephalon, Inc., alleging that it engaged in unlawful off-label marketing of Actiq, a drug approved to manage breakthrough cancer pain in certain patients. Plaintiffs argued that Cephalon's conduct caused plaintiffs to make excessive off-label prescription payments for Actiq to treat conditions not approved by the FDA and for whom less expensive pain management drugs ... Keep Reading »

Predominance Lacking in Telephone Recording Case Involving Caller Consent

In a class action brought under a California penal statute that prohibits the intentional recording of telephone calls without the consent of all parties on the call, a California district court denied class certification on the grounds that common questions of fact do not predominate among the putative class members. Defendant, a construction materials supplier, received orders from its customers through a dedicated phone line.  Prior to 2009, defendant utilized a ... Keep Reading »

Town Gets Schooled on Class Definition in PCB Contamination Case

The Town of Lexington, Massachusetts filed a putative class action in 2012 on behalf of itself and alleged similarly situated Massachusetts school districts that have one or more buildings with airborne polychlorinated-biphenyl (PCB) levels above the public health levels established by the EPA. From the outset of the litigation, defendants argued this proposed class was not ascertainable, as implicitly required by Rule 23, because it was impossible to identify the class ... Keep Reading »

Ninth Circuit Reverses Order Striking Class Allegations in Microsoft Xbox Case

The Ninth Circuit reversed an order striking class allegations against Microsoft reasoning that the Washington district court misapplied its precedent and thereby abused its discretion. Plaintiffs alleged that a design defect in Microsoft’s Xbox 360 video game console made it unable to withstand vibrations during normal game playing conditions and caused game discs to become scratched and unplayable. Microsoft countered that the majority of Xbox units do not manifest the ... Keep Reading »

Running on Empty: Defective Gas Class Sputters in Louisiana District Court

The Middle District of Louisiana denied certification of a putative class bringing claims for redhibition and unjust enrichment against Exxon Mobil Corporation ("Exxon").  Plaintiffs allegedly purchased gasoline refined at Exxon’s Baton Rouge terminal that Exxon conceded contained a resin accidentally introduced during the refining process. The parties disputed whether the resin fully combusted during normal engine operations or remained in the engine causing damage and ... Keep Reading »

Certification of Minor Class Could Have Major Impact on Facebook

Plaintiffs, two minors who used their parents' money to make purchases on Facebook without parental consent, brought a putative class action against the company, alleging its policy of representing purchases as non-refundable violates California law holding that contracts entered into by minors are void or voidable. Through their guardians, plaintiffs sought to certify a class of Facebook users who were minors during a four year period, along with a subclass of those who ... Keep Reading »

Circuit Courts Address Impact of Arbitration Agreements on Labor Class and Collective Actions

In Conners v. Gusano's Chicago Style Pizzeria, plaintiffs, former employees of defendant, brought a collective action alleging violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act. Defendant responded by implementing a binding arbitration policy on current employees that specifically prevented current employees from joining plaintiffs in the collective action. The district court enjoined defendant from enforcing the arbitration agreement as to any current employees who chose to ... Keep Reading »

Target Reaches Preliminary Settlement in Consumer Data Breach Class Action

Last week, a Minnesota federal district court granted a motion for preliminary approval of a settlement of putative consumer class action claims against Target in the wake of a data breach at the retailer over the 2013 holiday shopping season.  The settlement will provide a fund of up to $10 million to be distributed through a claims process to class members who suffered identity theft as a result of the breach. The final approval hearing is set for November 10, ... Keep Reading »