Federal Circuit Courts of Appeal Class Action Articles

The latest class action developments and trends in Federal Circuit Courts of Appeal, including news, key cases, and strategies.

Eighth Circuit Clarifies the Requirements for Cy Pres Distribution of Class Action Settlement Funds

Due to what it called a "substantial history of district courts ignoring and resisting circuit court cy pres concerns and rulings in class action cases," the Eighth Circuit recently clarified the legal principles surrounding cy pres distribution of class action settlement funds.  After plaintiffs filed securities class actions challenging the 1998 merger of NationsBank and BankAmerica, the district court approved a global settlement of the classes’ claims.  Despite two ... Keep Reading »

Ninth Circuit Issues Companion Cases Addressing Evidence Required To Show That The Amount In Controversy Requirement Has Been Met When Challenged on Removal

Through a pair of opinions issued the same day, the Ninth Circuit attempted to clarify the evidence required for a defendant to meet its burden of showing that the amount in controversy exceeds CAFA’s $5 million threshold when a plaintiff moves to remand.  In the first opinion, Ibarra v. Manheim Investments, Inc., the plaintiff filed suit in state court seeking to represent a class of employees allegedly injured by the defendant’s "pattern and practice of failing to pay ... Keep Reading »

Third Circuit: Strict Ascertainability Optional for Rule 23(B)(2) Class

Although not explicitly set forth in Rule 23, an essential prerequisite of any action under Rule 23 is that there must be an identifiable "class" at the moment of certification. The shorthand term commonly used to refer to this requirement is "ascertainability." Last week the Third Circuit Court of Appeals issued a decision explicitly rejecting an ascertainability requirement for Rule 23(b)(2) classes seeking only injunctive or declaratory relief. The case before the ... Keep Reading »

Eleventh Circuit Affirms CAFA-Based Remand Order

Just two weeks after the Supreme Court's decision in Dart Cherokee Basin Operating Co., LLC v. Owens, the Eleventh Circuit affirmed a CAFA-based remand order where the defendant failed to establish by a preponderance of the evidence that the amount in controversy exceeded the jurisdictional threshold for a CAFA removal.  Plaintiff, a former Lilly employee, alleged that Lilly failed to make certain incentive payments due her and other similarly situated individuals who ... Keep Reading »

Third Circuit Weighs In On Burden of Proof and Evidentiary Standards Applicable to Cases Removed Under CAFA

Days before the Supreme Court’s decision addressing the requirements for CAFA notices of removal in Dart Cherokee Basin Operating Co., LLC v. Owens, the Third Circuit addressed the evidentiary requirements for surviving a motion to remand a case removed under CAFA for failure to satisfy CAFA’s numerosity and amount in controversy requirements.   Plaintiff in the case sought to represent a class of “hundreds” of individuals injured in common carrier motor vehicle ... Keep Reading »

Eleventh Circuit Holds Unaccepted Rule 68 Offer To Named Plaintiffs Does Not Moot A Class Action

The Eleventh Circuit recently held that a defendant may not moot a class action through an unaccepted Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 68 offer of complete relief to the named plaintiffs—but not to class members—before the named plaintiffs move to certify the class.  In doing so, the Eleventh Circuit joined the majority of circuits that have addressed the same issue. Named plaintiffs filed a class action in state court against Buccaneers Limited Partnership (“BLP”) ... Keep Reading »

Seventh Circuit Rejects Another Settlement With Disproportionate Attorney Fees Compared to Class Member Benefits

The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals rejected a class action settlement because class counsel would have received generous attorney fees for conferring only meager benefits to the class.  Writing for the Court, just as he did a few months earlier in Eubank v. Pella Corp., 753 F.3d 718 (7th Cir. 2014), Judge Posner described this settlement as “a selfish deal between class counsel and defendant” that “disserves the class.” Plaintiffs sued NBTY and Rexall Sundown for ... Keep Reading »

Ninth Circuit Holds California Can’t Double-Dip By Seeking Restitution for Citizens Bound By Class Settlement

In the wake of a nationwide class action settlement of litigation against a manufacturer of a test claimed to accurately predict the gender of a fetus, the State of California (“State”) brought an enforcement action against the manufacturer for restitution for California citizens who purchased the test, as well as for civil penalties and injunctive relief.  The defendant manufacturer removed to federal court and sought an injunction under the Anti-Injunction Act, arguing ... Keep Reading »

Ninth and Tenth Circuits Address Removal Under CAFA’s “Mass Action” and “State Action” Provisions

In Corber v. Xanodyne Pharmaceuticals, the Ninth Circuit – on rehearing en banc –examined the applicability of the “mass action” provision of CAFA, which provides federal jurisdiction for any civil action in which monetary relief claims of 100 or more persons are “proposed to be tried jointly.”  Pursuant to California Code of Civil Procedure 404.1, plaintiffs moved for coordination of their cases alleging injuries relating to ingestion of a drug ingredient.  Defendants ... Keep Reading »

First Circuit Adopts Bright-Line Rule On CAFA Removal Trigger And Broadly Defines Other Paper

The First Circuit Court of Appeals recently held that the thirty-day time period for removal under CAFA is triggered when the plaintiffs’ complaint or plaintiffs’ subsequent other papers provide defendants with sufficient information to easily determine that the matter is removable, even if based on information provided by or previously available to defendants, and that “other paper” is defined broadly to include correspondence from the plaintiffs or plaintiffs’ counsel  ... Keep Reading »