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9th Circuit allows gaming of Class Action Fairness Act

Romo v. Teva Pharmaceuticals USA, Inc.

The 9th Circuit affirmed a lower court order remanding a case that had been removed to federal court pursuant to the “mass action” provision of the federal Class Action Fairness Act (CAFA). Plaintiffs’ attorneys had divided more than 1500 clients among 41 separate lawsuits so that no one suit exceeded the CAFA’s 100-plaintiff threshold. Plaintiffs then filed a petition asking the California state court to coordinate the 41 lawsuits “for all purposes.” Defendants filed to remove the proceeding to federal court, arguing that the petition to coordinate effectively increased the number of plaintiffs above the 100-plaintiff threshold. The 9th Circuit held that the plaintiffs had not proposed that their claims be “tried jointly,” a requirement for removal under CAFA’s “mass action” provision, but merely requested that their lawsuits be coordinated for pre-trial purposes.

Petition to coordinate

Contributing Author

Courtney Saleski

Courtney Saleski is a partner at DLA Piper.

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