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Olden v. Lafarge Corp.

ELR Citation: 34 ELR 20091
Nos. No. 02-1148, (6th Cir., 09/07/2004)

The Sixth Circuit held that individuals may go forward with their class action suit against a cement manufacturing plant for current and future personal and real property damages, diminution in property value, and various detrimental health effects caused by the emission of toxic pollutants. The Judicial Improvements Act, 28 U.S.C. §1367, grants supplemental jurisdiction over the claims of absent class members who independently cannot meet the required amount in controversy. Section 1367 achieves its intended purpose without any absurd result and its statutory language is unambiguous; therefore, it overrules Zahn v. International Paper Co., 414 U.S. 291, 301 (1973). Consequently, each individual class member in the diversity class action need not meet the $75,000 amount in controversy requirement. Rather, the individuals may aggregate their damages. In addition, the district court did not abuse its discretion in certifying the class.