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Adams v. Grefer

ELR Citation: 46 ELR 20033
Nos. 15-31091, (5th Cir., 02/16/2016)

The Fifth Circuit held that a mass action lawsuit in Louisiana concerning personal injury and property damages due to alleged contamination exposure may not be removed to federal court under the Class Action Fairness Act (CAFA). The plaintiffs filed an amended petition that substituted deceased plaintiffs by their heirs. They argued that the amended petition commenced a new action, thereby opening a new window of removal under CAFA. Under Louisiana law, however, a suit is commenced only at the time the original petition is filed, absent special circumstances. Here, mere substitution of deceased plaintiffs by their heirs does not commence a new action for purposes of CAFA.