New Class Action Fairness Act Ruling from the Fourth Circuit

Last Thursday, In AP Optronics v. State of South Carolina, No. 11-254, the Fourth Circuit held that federal jurisdiction under the Class Action Fairness Act ("CAFA") was lacking because the
State of South Carolina (and not its individual citizens) was the real party in interest in South Carolina's state-law antitrust action against the manufacturers of liquid crystal displays. Thus, CAFA's “mass action” provision did not apply, see 28 U.S.C. 1332(d)(11), and the district court was therefore correct in remanding the case back to the state court in which South Carolina had filed the action. (Among other things, to be a "mass action" under CAFA, the plaintiffs must propose that the claims of at least 100 plaintiffs be tried jointly.) The Fourth Circuit's decision is worth a look.

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