Ninth Circuit Makes CAFA Jurisdiction Stick

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On April 21, 2010, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals confirmed that a putative class action removed to federal court under the Class Action Fairness Act (CAFA) does not lose federal jurisdiction just because the court denies class certification. The case, United Steel, Paper & Forestry, Rubber, Manufacturing, Energy, Allied Industrial & Service Workers International Union, AFL-CIO, et al. v. Shell Oil Company, et al., No. 10-55269, ___ F.3d ____ (9th Cir. Apr. 21, 2010), began as a putative class action in California state court. Plaintiffs alleged that defendants' oil refineries violated California's Unfair Competition Law, Business & Professions Code § 17200, and failed to provide meal periods, rest periods, timely and accurate wage statements and wages due at the time of termination. Defendants removed the case to federal court under CAFA, 28 U.S.C. § 1332(d)(2), which provides removal jurisdiction if any member of the putative class is diverse from any defendant, if the amount in controversy exceeds $5,000,000.

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