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Adams v. Chevron

ELR Citation: 45 ELR 20220
Nos. 15-4360, (E.D. La., 11/17/2015) (Morgan, J.)

A district court remanded to state court personal injury and property damage claims brought by hundreds of individuals against an oil company in connection with their alleged exposure to contamination from oil field pipe. The case was originally filed in state court in 2002. It was then removed to federal court in 2015 under the Class Action Fairness Act (CAFA). The individuals sought to have it remanded to state court. The court granted their request. Because the case was filed in 2002, before the enactment of CAFA, the action commenced in 2002 under Louisiana's default rule. And because plaintiffs' third supplemental petition did not add new defendants to the case, a state exception to the default rule does not apply. Further, under Louisiana's relation-back doctrine, the amended pleading relates back to the original petition. Therefore, the third supplemental petition did not "commence" a new action for purposes of CAFA. As such, removal was untimely and remand is appropriate.