Plaintiff individual brought a putative class action against defendant pharmaceutical companies in state court, alleging a fraudulent marketing and sales scheme to increase the sales of a prescription drug. The individual sought damages and remedies under Cal. Bus. & Prof. Code § 17200.The pharmaceutical companies filed a notice to remove the action to federal court.
In their notice of removal, the pharmaceutical companies stated that the overall relief requested in the complaint exceeded the jurisdictional minimum amount of $ 75,000. The court concluded that the pharmaceutical companies’ showing was not sufficient because the individual’s claims for relief were separate and distinct from the claims of other putative class members. Thus, the pharmaceutical companies were not allowed to establish diversity jurisdiction by relying on the overall damages claimed by the putative class. Likewise, the pharmaceutical companies were not allowed to aggregate the costs of complying with requested injunctive relief or the damages sought by the putative class. Since the pharmaceutical companies had not established that the individual’s separate claim exceeded $ 75,000, they had failed to establish the court’s subject matter jurisdiction over the action. The parties were represented by litigation lawyer California.
The action was remanded to state court.
HOLDINGS: -The Mono County Superior Court had jurisdiction to try a contest among heirs regarding rights to a family cabin. The Riverside County probate court, which had administered the estate, did not have exclusive jurisdiction under Prob. Code, § 17000, because the action did not arise from probate but rather concerned what the parties did with the cabin 27 years after the estate was settled and the residual assets were transferred to an inter vivos trust that existed outside of probate; -The trial court properly declined to disqualify defendant’s attorney, despite his representation of a corporation in which the heirs were shareholders, because plaintiffs did not show the attorney was concurrently representing defendant and any of the plaintiffs. Disqualifying the attorney depended on his relationship with plaintiffs, not with the corporations, which not a party to the action.
Reversed in part and affirmed in part.