Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Eleventh Circuit Hands Plaintiffs a (Short-Lived?) CAFA Jurisdiction Win

In Scimone v. Carnival Corp., No. 13-12291 (11th Cir., July 1, 2013), two groups of 56 and 48 plaintiffs filed suit in Florida state court for damages arising out of the shipwreck of the Costa Concordia off the coast of Italy in 2012.  Defendant Carnival removed the actions to federal court, alleging diversity jurisdiction under CAFA's mass action section, 28 USC 1332(d)(11) ("'mass action' means any civil action . . . in which monetary relief claims of 100 or more persons are proposed to be tried jointly . . . ").  

The district court granted plaintiffs' motions to remand, and the Eleventh Circuit affirmed, distinguishing Standard Fire v. Knowles.  "Under the plain language of CAFA . . ., the district court lacked subject matter jurisdiction over the plaintiffs' two separate actions unless they proposed to try 100 or more persons' claims jointly."



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