Ferrara v. 21st Century North America Insurance Company et al

Filing 32

ORDER ADOPTING REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION 29 . It is ordered denying as moot 16 Motion to Dismiss Case and granting 15 Motion to Remand to State Court. The Clerk of the Court is directed to remand this case to Pima County Superior Court and close this file. Signed by Chief Judge Raner C Collins on 8/6/14. (See attached PDF for complete information.) (KAH)

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1 2 3 4 5 6 IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 7 FOR THE DISTRICT OF ARIZONA 8 9 Cynthia M Ferrara, No. CV-13-01695-TUC-RCC Plaintiff, 10 11 v. 12 21st Century North America Insurance Company, et al., 13 14 ORDER ADOPTING MAGISTRATE JUDGE FERRARO’S REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION AND REMANDING CASE TO STATE COURT Defendants. 15 16 Pending before the Court is Ms. Ferrara’s Motion to Remand to State Court. (Doc. 17 15). Magistrate Judge Ferraro issued a Report and Recommendation on June 11, 2014 18 (Doc. 29, hereby incorporated by reference). 21st Century North American Insurance 19 Company filed an Objection to Magistrate Judge Ferraro’s Report and Recommendation. 20 (Doc. 30). Ms. Ferrara filed a Response to the Objection. (Doc. 31). The Court has 21 reviewed all pertinent pleadings and is prepared to rule in favor of Ms. Ferrara. 22 Magistrate Judge Ferraro’s Report and Recommendation (“R&R”) recommends 23 the case be remanded to state court for lack of federal jurisdiction under the Class Action 24 Fairness Act, 28 U.S.C. § 1332(d) (“CAFA”). Specifically, the R&R found that 21st 25 Century showed an amount in controversy of $4,976.87.50, some $23,013 shy of the 26 amount required for federal jurisdiction under CAFA. 27 21st Century argues that the Court should decline to adopt the R&R because the 28 Magistrate’s calculation of the amount in controversy did not account for potential 1 punitive damages available to class members under Arizona law, but which Ms. Ferrara 2 did not demand in her complaints. To further this argument, 21st Century cites Rodriguez 3 v. AT&T Mobility Servs. LLC, 728 F.3d 975, 982(9th Cir. 2013) (“A lead plaintiff of a 4 putative class cannot reduce the amount in controversy on behalf of absent class 5 members…”); See also Standard Fire Insurance Co. v. Knowles, ––– U.S.–––, 133 S.Ct. 6 1345 (2013) (holding that a lead plaintiff to a putative class could not foreclose a 7 defendant’s ability to establish the five million dollar amount in controversy by 8 stipulating prior to class certification that the amount in controversy was less than five 9 million dollars). 10 The Court finds 21st Century’s argument inapposite to the case at bar. In both 11 Rodriguez and Standard Fire the plaintiffs took action, via stipulation or waivers made in 12 pleadings, to show that the amount in controversy for the class was less than five million 13 dollars. Here, Ms. Ferrara has never made such stipulations or waivers which would bind 14 putative class members. 15 16 As such, the Court finds that 21st Century has not met its burden of showing jurisdiction under CAFA. Accordingly, 17 IT IS HEREBY ORDERED granting Plaintiff’s Motion (Doc. 15) and adopting 18 the Magistrate Judge Ferraro’s Report and Recommendation (Doc. 29); the Clerk of the 19 Court is directed to remand this case to Pima County Superior Court and close this file. 20 21 22 IT IS FURTHER ORDERED denying Defendant’s Motion to Dismiss (Doc. 16) as moot. Dated this 6th day of August, 2014. 23 24 25 26 27 28 -2-

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