Dunson v. Cordis Corp., No. 17-15257 (9th Cir. 2017)Annotate this Case
Cordis invoked the Class Action Fairness Act's (CAFA), 28 U.S.C. 1332(d)(11)(B)(i), provision as the basis for removing to federal court eight products liability suits filed against it in California state court. Although the parties mostly agree that the jurisdictional requirements for removal under CAFA's mass action provision are met, they dispute whether plaintiffs' claims have been "proposed to be tried jointly." The district court held that plaintiffs' consolidation motion did not propose a joint trial of their claims, and remanded to state court. The court granted Cordis' petition for permission to appeal that ruling under 28 U.S.C. 1453(c). The court concluded that plaintiffs' request for consolidation for the purposes of pretrial proceedings, standing alone, does not trigger removal jurisdiction under CAFA's mass action provision. The court further explained that plaintiffs also requested consolidation for purposes of establishing a bellwether-trial process, but nothing they said indicated that they were referring to a bellwether trial whose results would have preclusive effect on the plaintiffs in the other cases. Therefore, the district court correctly held that removal jurisdiction does not exist under CAFA's mass action provision, and it properly remanded the cases to state court. Accordingly, the court affirmed the judgment.