Addison Automatics, Inc. v. Hartford Cas. Ins. Co., No. 13-2729 (7th Cir. 2013)Annotate this Case
Addison filed a class action, alleging that Domino had sent thousands of “junk faxes” in violation of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, 47 U.S.C. 227, and the Illinois Consumer Fraud Act, and had committed the tort of conversion. Domino’s insurers refused to defend. Domino negotiated a settlement to protect its own interests; Addison and Domino agreed that the state court should certify a class and enter a judgment of $18 million. Addison agreed that the class would not recover any money from Domino, but that Domino would assign to Addison, as class representative and for the class, whatever claims Domino might have against its insurers. The state court approved the settlement. Addison sought a state court declaratory judgment holding Hartford liable for the judgment. Hartford removed the case to federal court. Addison dismissed the case voluntarily and filed another state court suit, naming Addison as the only plaintiff. Hartford again removed the case under the Class Action Fairness Act, 28 U.S.C. 1453. The district court granted remand, finding that the suit did not fit the CAFA definition. Hartford argued that under the assignment in the underlying settlement, Addison had standing only as a class representative. The Seventh Circuit agreed, reversed, and remanded to state court.