Sixth Circuit Rules that the Class Action Fairness Act Means What it Says

Author: Jeremy Gilman (former Partner at Benesch Law)

A statute, distilled to its essence, is thought conveyed through words.  And when those words are understandable and coherently arranged, there’s nothing for courts to do when adjudicating disputes involving them, other than to apply them as written.

Simple, isn’t it?

In theory, yes.  But theories don’t wear judge’s robes. Continue reading “Sixth Circuit Rules that the Class Action Fairness Act Means What it Says”

In a Scorching Opinion, Sixth Circuit Refuses to Undo Class Action Settlement

Author: Jeremy Gilman (former Partner at Benesch Law)

Sometimes, appellate decisions are written in a purely clinical voice.  Other times, they’re infused with a dash of hot sauce.

Plaintiffs, who worked for defendants’ “Fourth Street Live” entertainment district in downtown Louisville, brought a putative class action against defendants in the Western District of Kentucky alleging violations of the Kentucky Wage and Hour Act relating to “their policies regarding off-the-clock work and mandatory tip-pooling.”  The court granted plaintiffs’ class certification motion.  Defendants then sought interlocutory appellate review but that was denied, as was their motion to reconsider.  Settlement discussions ensued, and the parties eventually reached agreement on the financial aspects.  It took them nearly another year, however, to agree on the non-monetary terms.  When that occurred, the parties filed a joint status report advising the court that they’d settled and that formal settlement documents would soon follow. Continue reading “In a Scorching Opinion, Sixth Circuit Refuses to Undo Class Action Settlement”

Sixth Circuit Reverses Defendant’s TCPA Class Action Win

Author: Jeremy Gilman (former Partner at Benesch Law)

This decision is more than merely an appellate adjudication of a TCPA case.  It’s an announcement of class certification law by the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals.

Here’s the court’s summary: Continue reading “Sixth Circuit Reverses Defendant’s TCPA Class Action Win”

Sixth Circuit Sends Flint Water Class Action to State Court Under CAFA’s Local Controversy Exception

On November 16, 2016, the Sixth Circuit held that a state law professional negligence class action against civil engineering companies arising out of the Flint, Michigan water crisis must be litigated in Michigan state court.  Because the plaintiffs’ proposed class contained more than two-thirds Michigan citizens, a local defendant, and injuries limited to those arising from Flint’s water system, the case was “truly local in nature” and thus belonged in state court. Continue reading “Sixth Circuit Sends Flint Water Class Action to State Court Under CAFA’s Local Controversy Exception”