August 18, 2015 Practice Points

Ninth Circuit: PAGA Cause of Action Is Not a Class Claim under CAFA

Under this ruling, California-based plaintiffs seeking to avoid removal may now look to strategically plead wage and hour complaints that seek greater amounts of damages under a PAGA claim with lesser amounts claimed under class-based causes of action to avoid reaching the amount-in-controversy threshold under CAFA

by Manfred Muecke

On July 29, 2015, the Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit upheld on appeal the district court's order certifying a nationwide litigation class of individuals who received mortgage loans from a financial institution whose interests were acquired by PNC Bank National Association. In re Community Bank of Northern Virginia Mortgage Lending Practices Litigation, No. 13-4273, 2015 WL 4547042 (July 29, 2015). On appeal, PNC made several arguments against certification, including (1) that there was a conflict undermining the adequacy of representation by class counsel; (2) that the district court erred in conditionally certifying the class; and (3) that the putative class did not meet the requirements of rule 23. The district court had previously certified a general class and five sub-classes.

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