Corber v. Xanodyne Parmaceuticals

Summarized by:

  • Court: 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Archives
  • Area(s) of Law: Civil Law
  • Date Filed: 11-18-2014
  • Case #: 13-56306; 13-56310
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: En Banc: Circuit Judge Gould for the Court; District Judge Gutierrez; Chief Judge Kozinski; Circuit Judges Silverman, Graber, Berzon, Tallman, and Hurwitz; Dissent by Circuit Judge Rawlinson
  • Full Text Opinion

In a mass action suit, where the plaintiffs seek permission for coordination “all of the actions [] for all purposes,” creates federal jurisdiction for the claims under the Class Action Fairness Act of 2005.

In this mass action suit, plaintiffs argued that the ingestion of a proxoxyphene, more commonly known as a pain reliever, injured them. It was taken off the market in November of 2010 due to safety concerns. Due to the impending mass action suit brought against them, the defendant, Xanodyne Pharmaceuticals, removed the case to federal district court under the Class Action Fairness Act of 2005 (“CAFA”). The district court ordered suit to be remanded to state court for further proceedings because they lacked jurisdiction to hear the case. Their reasoning relied on plaintiffs’ petition for coordination, which was not a consolidation for trial. On appeal, Xanodyne Pharmaceuticals argued that the removal of the case goes against the CAFA. The Ninth Circuit was left to decide whether removal of this mass action suit to state court was proper under the CAFA, and if the plaintiffs’ petitions of coordination of the actions were actually proposals to be tried jointly. The panel explained that the CAFA’s mass action provisions are narrow, under 28 U.S.C. § 1332(d)(11)(B)(i). However, the panel concluded that the plain language of the plaintiffs’ petition for joint suit qualified this suit as a mass action, for they requested more than pre-trial coordination under the statute. Additionally, the panel noted that this was not a per se proposal to try all cases jointly under the CAFA mass action provision. As a result, the case was subject to federal jurisdiction, thereby removing it from state court jurisdiction. REVERSED.

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