Case Details


Class Action Fairness Act (CAFA); Parens Patriae, Class Actions., Common Law Powers

Filing State



U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit




Case remanded to state court, CAFA does not apply, no preemption

Case Description

Minnesota sued fossil fuel producers in state court for common law fraud and violations of Minnesota’s consumer protection statutes, alleging misrepresentations about the fuel’s effects on the environment.  The companies removed the case to federal court, which remanded it to state court, and the companies appealed. The Eighth Circuit affirmed the remand, noting that all other circuits that have considered similar claims have done the same. The court rejected various preemption arguments and also held that CAFA did not apply to Minnesota’s exercise of it parens patriae authority, which is not the same as a class action (citing Hood v. AU Optronics). the court held that the Minnesota statute did not have the same class action requirements: “Neither the State nor the Attorney General needs to suffer a sufficiently common injury-or any injury for that matter- to pursue claims on behalf of Minnesota residents. Nor does the State’s exercise of this authority bar Minnesota residents from pursuing these claims, to the extent a private cause of action exists, on their own. We conclude that § 8.31 does not provide a similar mechanism to Rule 23, which means this lawsuit is not a removable “class action” under CAFA.”