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Corber v. Xanodyne Pharms., Inc.

United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit

November 18, 2014

MARGALIT CORBER; RENE CARO; STEVE DANTZLER; LINDA SOWARDS; LORI HUISMAN; JOHNNY GEORGE, SR.; TERRY PERRY; WILLIAM RACKLEY; ANGELA YOUNG; PAMELA RODRIGUEZ; STEVEN SYVERSON; OLGA CAICOYA; JANET CARROLL; ROSE CASH; ULAD CELENTANO; VIRGINIA COSTANZO; KIMBERLY FILLIGIM; ARMELDIA SMITH; CARLA WEST; JOANNE BIERZYNSKI, individually and as next of kin to Eleanor Wojcik; SHARLEY MORRIS; WYOMIA TIMMONS; DEAN REINKING; DANIEL THORNE; WENDELEN ASHBY; CARMEN BEDFORD; CLAUDE COMMODORE; JAMES HENSON; NANCY LOCKE; MILDRED SCOTT; BILLIE BURNETT; SHEENA HALL; BRENDA ROBERGE, individually and as next of kin to Ernest Roberge; DEBORAH WOODSUM; RICHARD PASCUITO, Plaintiffs-Appellees,
v.
XANODYNE PHARMACEUTICALS, INC., Defendant-Appellant. JUDITH ROMO; VINCENT TALDONE; ROBIN TAYLER; MARGARET TAYLOR; RANDY TAYLOR; RAY TEETS; LAWRENCE TELLS; KATHRYN TEMCHACK; CHARLES TERRY; VERONICA TERRY; ROBERTA THORNE; MARGARET TIVIS; LINDA TODD; DELORES TOOHEY; DEBRA TOURVILLE; DENA TSOUALS; ALLEN TURNER; CAROLYN TURNER; WANDA TURNER; STARLET TYRONE; GLORIA UNDERWOOD; HENRY UNDERWOOD; JANICE VANISON; WILLIAM VERHEYEN; CHARLES VILDIBILL; SHARON WALLGREN; PAM WALSH; SHARON WALSH; KEESHA WARRIOR; LATANGA WASHINGTON; DARLENE WATT; JAMES WEISS; WESLEY WELBORNE, III; DEBRA WHEELER; MARSHA WHITT; CAROLYN WHYNO; CECILIA WILCKENS; SANDRA WILEMON; STELLA WILKERSON-CLARK; JOANN WILLIAMS; JOYCE WILLIAMS; ROSE WILLIAMS; SHANTAS WILLIAMS; MARY WILSON; ROSE WILSON; PATSY WINZEY; JIMMIE WISE; RUTH WOLFSON; JUANITA WOODSON; LYNNE WYSOCKY, single individuals, Plaintiffs-Appellees,
v.
TEVA PHARMACEUTICALS USA, INC., Defendant-Appellant

Argued and Submitted En Banc, June 19, 2014, Seattle, Washington

As Amended December 29, 2014.

Page 1219

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Central District of California. D.C. No. 2:12-cv-09986-PSG-E, D.C. No. 5:12-cv-02036-PSG-E. Philip S. Gutierrez, District Judge, Presiding.

SUMMARY[*]

Class Action Fairness Act

The en banc court reversed the district court's orders granting motions to remand to state court based on the en banc court's conclusion that all of the Class Action Fairness Act requirements for a removable mass action were met under the totality of the circumstances.

The Class Action Fairness Act (" CAFA" ) extends federal removal jurisdiction for certain class actions and for mass actions in which " monetary relief claims of 100 or more persons are proposed to be tried jointly on the ground that the plaintiffs' claims involve common laws of law or fact." 28 U.S.C. § 1332(d)(11)(B)(i).

These cases were two of twenty-six pending before the district court alleging injuries related to the ingestion of proxoxyphene, an ingredient found in pain reliever drugs. The plaintiffs moved for coordination in the state trial court pursuant to California Code of Civil Procedure section 404.

The en banc court held that plaintiffs' petitions to coordinate actions under Section 404 constituted proposals for these actions to be tried jointly, making the actions a " mass action" subject to removal and federal jurisdiction under CAFA.

Judge Rawlinson, joined by Judge Berzon, dissented because she would not conclude that the plaintiffs implicitly requested a joint trial, and she would not find that the cases fit within the parameters for removal under CAFA.

Jay Lefkowitz (argued), Daniel A. Bress, and Danielle R. Sassoon, Kirkland & Ellis LLP, New York, New York; Ginger Pigott, Amy B. Alderfer, and Karin L. Bohmholdt, Greenberg Traurig, LLP, Los Angeles, California; Lori G. Cohen & Victoria D. Lockard, Greenberg Traurig, LLP, Atlanta, Georgia; Elliot H. Scherker, Greenberg Traurig, PA, Miami, Florida, for Defendant-Appellant Teva Pharmaceuticals, USA, Inc.

Karin Bohmholdt (argued), Greenberg & Traurig LLP, Los Angeles, California; Karen Woodward, Hall R. Marston, and Christopher P. Norton, Sedgwick LLP, Los Angeles, California; Linda E. Maichl, Michael J. Suffern (argued), Ulmer & Berne LLP, Cincinnati, Ohio, for Defendant-Appellant Xanodyne Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

Louis M. Bograd (argued) & Andre M. Mura, Center for Constitutional Litigation, Washington, D.C.; Matthew J. Sill, Sill Law Group LLP, Edmond, Oklahoma; Andrew N. Chang and Stuart B. Esner (argued), Esner, Chang & Boyer, Pasadena, California; Elise R. Sanguinetti, Khorrami Boucher Sumner LLP, Oakland, California; James P. Sizemore, The Sizemore Law Firm, El Segundo, California, for Plaintiffs-Appellees Romo, Corber, et al.

Jeremy B. Rosen, Horvitz & Levy LLP, Encino, California, for Amici Curiae Chamber of Commerce of the United States ...


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