A federal court in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana has ruled that seven consolidated suits over landfill pollution were properly removed to federal court. Waste Connections, Inc. moved to remove the cases filed by over 600 plaintiffs under the Class Action Fairness Act ("CAFA") Mass Action Provision to federal court after the plaintiffs consented to consolidation of the seven individual lawsuits. The removal provision is meant to ensure plaintiffs don't file smaller, separate suits just to avoid federal jurisdiction. Each of the seven suits were filed by the same plaintiff's counsel against the same defendants, and the defendant sought consolidation which was consented to by the plaintiffs. Upon consolidation, the defendants filed for removal claiming that the plaintiffs' claims involved common questions of law or fact. Plaintiffs argued that the suit isn't a mass action because their suits were "joined upon motion by a defendant," and thus fell within an exception to the CAFA jurisdiction. The court, however, concluded that their consent to consolidation waived the exception.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.