June 03, 2014 Articles

Establishing "Future Damages" as Basis for Federal Jurisdiction under CAFA

The act is sometimes the best and only opportunity to get into federal court

by Jay P. Barron

You receive a call from the general counsel of a longtime client, which is a large nationwide vitamin manufacturer. The client has been sued in California state court on claims that the packaging of one particular vitamin misrepresents the benefits of the vitamin in a way that induced a class of California consumers to purchase it. The company’s sales of the vitamin total $4 million in California. Two weeks later, you learn that the same plaintiffs’ firm has filed a nearly identical lawsuit in New York state court by a class of New York consumers. A week later, a third class action is filed in Florida state court. The general counsel asks you about the possibility of litigating the cases in federal court, which could allow for greater coordination through the multidistrict litigation process.

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