Seventh Circuit Review


The Seventh Circuit harbors a known distrust for class actions, particularly those adjudicated on the state level. One of the court's concerns involves class action plaintiffs that initially limit the value of their damages in order to avoid less-lenient federal courts, but later attempt to amend their complaint for greater damages after the defendant's opportunity to remove has foreclosed. In response to these and other concerns, Congress passed the Class Action Fairness Act, which greatly reduces plaintiffs' ability to keep class actions on the state level. Nevertheless, the Seventh Circuit continues to unnecessarily federalize class actions. Recently, in Oshana v. Coca-Cola, the Seventh Circuit affirmed the removal of a plaintiff's class action on the basis of diversity, despite the plaintiff expressly disclaiming damages and relief exceeding $75,000. The Seventh Circuit then took unusual measure to affirm the lower court's decision not to certify a class. This Note suggests that the Seventh Circuit should shed its paranoia of class actions, particularly in light of the protections that are already afforded to defendants of class actions.

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