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Class Action Fairness Act Allows Removal of an Action to Federal Court by a Later Added Defendant

In a case of first impression, a Kentucky federal court has ruled that the Class Action Fairness Act (“CAFA”) can be used to remove an action from state to federal court by a defendant who is added to the lawsuit after CAFA was enacted (even though the other two defendants were sued prior to the enactment of CAFA). See Adams v. Federal Materials Company, Inc.

CAFA makes clear that its relaxed removal provisions are only available to actions “commenced” after CAFA was enacted on February 18, 2005. Mark Grundy and Brent Baughman of Greenebaum Doll & McDonald PLLC successfully argued to the Court that the civil action commenced against their client when it was brought into the suit, rather than when the initial complaint was filed against the other two defendants. In other words, there should be a different commencement date for a later or newly added defendant. Since Greenebaum’s client was sued after the enactment of CAFA, the client was able to remove the matter to federal court under CAFA. This Opinion will certainly assist in situations where plaintiffs rushed to file class action lawsuits prior to the enactment of CAFA, but failed to include certain defendants until after CAFA was enacted.

Please feel free to contact the Greenebaum Doll & McDonald PLLC attorneys involved in the matter, or any of the Class Action Team attorneys, for additional information regarding this Opinion or other class action issues.

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About Greenebaum Doll & McDonald PLLC
Greenebaum Doll & McDonald PLLC is a widely-respected business law firm with approximately 200 legal professionals in six offices, serving local, national and international clients in virtually every industry. A forward-thinking business law firm, Greenebaum is committed to the practice of Breakthrough Law®.

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