Insurance Class Action Articles

The latest class action developments and trends in the insurance industry, including news, key cases, and strategies.

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 »

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 »

Pennsylvania District Court Denies Terminated Insurance Agents’ Bid for Certification

The Eastern District of Pennsylvania denied plaintiffs’ motion to certify certain issues under Rule 23(c)(4) and 23(b)(2), holding that the presence of numerous individualized questions, choice-of-law concerns, and other inefficiencies in the putative class litigation made certification inappropriate. Allstate had terminated over 6,200 agents, 90% of whom happened to be over the age of 40, offering four different severance options to the terminated agents. Three of the ... Keep Reading »

Seventh Circuit Addresses Burden of Proof Under CAFA’s Home State Exception, Affirms Denial of Remand and Award of Costs to Defendant Insurer, and Admonishes Class Counsel

The Seventh Circuit recently addressed the applicability of the home state exception under the Class Action Fairness Act (“CAFA”).  The case arose from health insurer Right Choice Insurance Company’s withdrawal from the Illinois market and cancellation of its insurance policies.  Former policyholders filed a putative class action lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Illinois alleging that cancellation of their policies violated ... Keep Reading »

Class Representative’s Motion To Remand For Insufficient Amount In Controversy Doesn’t Add Up

A Kentucky federal court recently ruled that a class plaintiff may not defeat removal by understating the aggregate amount in controversy alleged in her complaint. The defendants had assisted plaintiff in connection with her claim for Social Security Disability benefits after she was referred to them by her long-term disability insurance carrier.  According to plaintiff, the nature of the fee arrangement between the defendants and the referring insurance carriers ... Keep Reading »

A Class Action By Any Other Name Is Still A Class Action And Subject To CAFA

The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri denied a plaintiff’s motion to remand a collection action against insurers brought on behalf of a certified class that had obtained a judgment in a separate action against a mobile home park operator. After obtaining the judgment, the class representative filed a separate “equitable garnishment action” against the park operator’s insurers under a Missouri statute that provides for collection of insurance by a ... Keep Reading »

Must Claims Severed From A CAFA Class Action Be Remanded To State Court? The Fifth Circuit Says No.

Following Hurricane Katrina, the State of Louisiana filed a class action to recover under homeowners’ insurance policies that the state had received by assignment through a disaster relief program.  The insurers successfully removed to federal court based on CAFA jurisdiction, and challenged the assignability of the homeowners’ contractual rights.  Finding that Louisiana law required a policy by policy examination of each anti-assignment clause, the district court ... Keep Reading »

The Eleventh Circuit Declares that CAFA’s Amount-in-Controversy Requirement Can Be Satisfied In Declaratory Relief Cases

On February 14, 2014, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals held that the Class Action Fairness Act’s (CAFA) $5,000,000 amount-in-controversy requirement can be satisfied where the plaintiff seeks only declaratory relief. S. Fla. Wellness, Inc. v. Allstate Ins. Co., No. 14-10001, --- F.3d ---, 2014 WL 576111 (11th Cir. Feb. 14, 2014).  A dispute arose when South Florida Wellness, a Florida-based healthcare provider, sought payment from Allstate for its treatment of an ... Keep Reading »