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Home / Opinion / 11-8003 Back Doctors, Ltd., v. Metropolitan Property & Casualty Ins. Co.

11-8003 Back Doctors, Ltd., v. Metropolitan Property & Casualty Ins. Co.

United States Court of Appeals
CIVIL OPINION
Civil Procedure
Class actions

There is no presumption against federal jurisdiction in general, or removal in particular, under the Class Action Fairness Act.

“The Class Action Fairness Act must be implemented according to its terms, rather than in a manner that disfavors removal of large-stakes, multi-state class actions. When removing a suit, the defendant as proponent of federal jurisdiction is entitled to present its own estimate of the stakes; it is not bound by the plaintiffís estimate. See, e.g., Oshana v. Coca-Cola Co., 472 F.3d 506, 510-11 (7th Cir. 2006); Rubel v. Pfizer, Inc., 361 F.3d 1016, 1020 (7th Cir. 2004).

“Once this has been done, and supported by proof of any contested jurisdictional facts, the presumption is the one stated in St. Paul Mercury: the estimate of the dispute’s stakes advanced by the proponent of federal jurisdiction controls unless a recovery that large is legally impossible. So the question here is not whether the class is more likely than not to recover punitive damages, but whether Illinois law disallows such a recovery. (If the class should be awarded punitive damages, even a one-to-one ratio of punitive to actual damages would result in a total award exceeding $5 million, if the class’s position about actual damages is right.)”

Vacated and Remanded.
11-8003 Back Doctors, Ltd., v. Metropolitan Property & Casualty Ins. Co.
Petition for Permission to Appeal from the United States District Court for the Southern District of Illinois, Reagan, J., Easterbrook, J.

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