Class Actions Blog

Eleventh Circuit creates confusion with CAFA decision

Posted on: October 15th, 2010 by Steve Larson

CAFA substantially changed the class action landscape in 2005 by creating specialized jurisdiction in federal court for class action cases. The law amended 28 U.S.C. § 1332 to permit federal courts to hear class action cases of at least 100 members when the parties are minimally diverse and the aggregate damages exceed $5 million.  In Cappuccitti v. DirecTV, Inc., the Eleventh Circuit held that the case before it, originally filed as a class action in the Northern District of Georgia under CAFA, did not meet the jurisdictional requirements to be heard in federal court.  While instructing the district court to dismiss the case due to lack of jurisdiction, the court held that in class actions originally filed under CAFA, at least one plaintiff must assert damages of over $75,000 to meet the jurisdictional requirements of Section 1332(a).  To do otherwise, the court stated, would “transform federal courts hearing originally-filed CAFA cases into small claims courts, where plaintiffs could bring five-dollar claims by alleging gargantuan class sizes to meet the $5,000,000 aggregate amount requirement.” Read more…

Residents of San Bruno, California file class action suit against PGE

Posted on: October 13th, 2010 by Steve Larson

A class-action lawsuit has been filed against Pacific Gas and Electric (PGE) over a gas explosion that destroyed 37 homes and killed eight people. The suit, on behalf of the residents of San Bruno, claims the utility was “negligent, and either its actions or inaction caused the pipe to blow up.”  The complaint is lacking in any particulars, because the investigation is still ongoing.  You can view a copy of the complaint via this link:  PGE Class Action Complaint.

GMAC mortgage class action over alleged false foreclosure documents

Posted on: October 8th, 2010 by Steve Larson

A class action lawsuit has been filed in Maine against GMAC Mortgage, LLC (GMAC) alleging, among other things, that GMAC filed knowingly false certifications for foreclosure and false affidavits in support of foreclosure. The GMAC foreclosure documentation class action lawsuit complaint alleges that thousands of Maine homeowners have lost their homes due to judgments based on alleged false GMAC foreclosure certifications and affidavits.  Maine is one of the 23 states where judicial sign-off is required to move ahead with a foreclosure, and where GMAC (now Ally Financial) has suspended evictions. Read more…

Diversity Ordered for Class Action Counsel

Posted on: October 5th, 2010 by Steve Larson

In the case In re Gildan Activewear Inc. Securities Litigation, Judge Baer’s order appoints class counsel, and imposes a diversity requirement on the plaintiffs’ firms (Robbins Geller and Labaton Sucharow). Read more…

Campaign Finance Suit Denied Class Action Status

Posted on: September 28th, 2010 by Steve Larson

A Florida state court judge has refused to grant class-action status to a lawsuit by two contributors who claim Gov. Charlie Crist cheated them by becoming an independent.

The plaintiffs, Linda Morton of Naples and James Rood of Jacksonville, a former GOP Party chairman and U.S. ambassador to the Bahamas, had also asked the court to freeze $7.5 million in Crist’s campaign warchest.  Senior Circuit Judge Jack Schoonover refused to convert the lawsuit to a class action and has twice refused to freeze any of Crist’s funds. Read more…

Ninth Circuit Affirms that “Right to Sue” Means What it Says

Posted on: September 24th, 2010 by Steve Larson

The Ninth Circuit correctly held that a mandatory arbitration clause in a credit card agreement is unenforceable under the Credit Repair Organizations Act (“CROA”).  Greenwood v. CompuCredit Corp., — F.3d —-, 2010 WL 3222415 (9th Cir. 2010), was a class action stemming from a credit card marketed to consumers with weak credit as a card that would help “rebuild poor credit.”  The plaintiffs alleged that the fees charged for the card (about $275 in fees charged on the card reducing the $300 credit limit to about $25) violated provisions of the CROA and of California’s Unfair Competition Law. The card agreements included arbitration clauses requiring mandatory arbitration before an arbitration company called the National Arbitration Forum, which we now know was owned by the credit card companies.  Plaintiffs sought to void the arbitration agreements on grounds that CROA specifically precludes arbitration by expressly providing for an unwaivable “right to sue.” Read more…

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This blog is intended to provide information to the general public and to practitioners about developments that may impact Oregon class actions.

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  • Steve Larson

  • Steve Larson
  • Steve Larson has been representing investors, consumers and employees in class actions in Oregon for over 20 years. He is a shareholder at the law firm of Stoll Berne in Portland, Oregon.
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