Thursday, May 22, 2008

Katrina Still Making Waves

I wish I had brought this case to your attention a bit sooner (better late than never, I suppose), but the Fifth Circuit issued an opinion last month you might want to take a look at.  In Louisiana v. AAA Insurance, the court addressed whether a state, as one of the plaintiffs in a class action suit, can invoke Sovereign Immunity to bar removal to federal court. In this case, the State of Louisiana, along with many citizens filed suit against state insurance companies who failed to pay claims following Hurricane Katrina. The insurance companies removed the case to federal court. Louisiana argued that since it filed suit in state court under state law, the case should be remanded to state court even though it was only one member of the class. Ultimately, the Court held that any immunity the State may have cannot be conferred by the State upon the prosecution of suits by private citizens.  The Fifth Circuit affirmed the district court's denial of the plaintiff's motion to remand.--Counseller/eh

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