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Supreme Court considers whether parens patriae can be removed to federal court

Special breed of mass litigation has become the testing ground for CAFA mandates

In Mississippi ex rel Hood v. AU Optronics, Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood has sued more than 10 large electronics makers, including divisions of Toshiba Corp., Samsung Group, Hitachi Global and Sharp Corp., accusing them of conspiring to artificially inflate the price of liquid-crystal display (LCD) screens. Hood brought the case under the Mississippi Consumer Protection Act and the Mississippi Antitrust Act on behalf of all citizens of the state of Mississippi harmed by the alleged price-fixing scheme.

Actions brought by state attorneys general on behalf of their state’s citizens are known as parens patriae actions. This special breed of mass litigation has become a testing ground for the outer limits of the Class Action Fairness Act’s (CAFA) mandate that defendants may remove to federal court lawsuits that seek to adjudicate multiple plaintiffs’ claims.

Adele Nicholas

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