Greene v. Harley-Davidson, Inc., No. 20-55281 (9th Cir. 2020)Annotate this Case
The Ninth Circuit reversed the district court's order granting plaintiff's motion to remand to state court because it effectively required Harley-Davison to provide evidence that the proffered punitive damages amount is probable or likely. The question presented on appeal is if the defendant relies on potential punitive damages to meet the amount-in-controversy requirement for removal under the Class Action Fairness Act (CAFA), what is the defendant’s burden in establishing that amount?
The panel held that the defendant must show that the punitive damages amount is reasonably possible. In this case, Harley-Davidson met its burden of showing that the amount in controversy exceeds $5 million under CAFA by establishing that the proffered punitive/compensatory damages ratio is reasonably possible.