Source - Developments in Class Action Law

Class Action Decisions Published January 2023

Highlights from this issue include:

Class Action Fairness Act. The jurisdiction of the Class Action Fairness Act does not apply when “the primary defendants are States, State officials, or other governmental entities against whom the district court may be foreclosed from ordering relief.” The Fourth Circuit held this exception applies when a defendant’s sovereign-immunity claim is strong enough to conclude that the district court “may be foreclosed from ordering relief” against it.

Class Action Fairness Act. The Eighth Circuit clarified the standards to determine whether a district court has jurisdiction under the Class Action Fairness Act. It held that following a jurisdictional challenge, the district court must determine if a fact finder might legally conclude that the value of the case is more than $5 million, not whether the damages are actually greater than the requisite amount. Additionally, in making this determination, the district court should consider post-removal declarations submitted by the Defendant.

Consumer Fraud. The Fifth Circuit held the district court properly struck class allegations in a putative nationwide consumer fraud case because (1) the class failed to prove individual issues amongst the state laws would not predominate; and (2) the class did not all rely on the same alleged misrepresentations.

Medicaid/Administrative Procedure Act. The District of Connecticut certified a class of Medicaid recipients who alleged the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ change in its interpretation of a section of the Medicaid statutes enacted in response to the COVID-19 pandemic violated the Administrative Procedure Act.

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