In Yocupicio v. PAE Group, Inc., ___ F.3d ___ (9th Cir. Jul. 30, 2015), the Ninth Circuit held that the amounts sought in plaintiff's non-class PAGA claim could not be added to the amounts sought in plaintiff's class claims in order to meet the $5 million threshold for CAFA jurisdiction. Slip op. at 6-9, 11. The Court determined that "in enacting CAFA, Congress was focused on class actions rather than on all representative actions or on cases where a class claim was only a part, perhaps a small part, of a civil action." Id. at 7.
The opinion also has this interesting footnote distinguishing between representative and class claims:
No doubt all class claims are representative in nature. However, not all representative claims are class claims; to say that they are would be a logical fallacy. See Washington v. Chimei Innolux Corp., 659 F.3d 842, 848 (9th Cir. 2011).
Id. at 6 n.6.
The concluding paragraph of the opinion makes clear that the analysis and holdings are not limited to representative PAGA claims:
Where a plaintiff files an action containing class claims as well as non-class claims, and the class claims do not meet the CAFA amount-in-controversy requirement while the nonclass claims, standing alone, do not meet diversity of citizenship jurisdiction requirements, the amount involved in the non-class claims cannot be used to satisfy the CAFA jurisdictional amount, and the CAFA diversity provisions cannot be invoked to give the district court jurisdiction over the non-class claims.
Id. at 11.
Many thanks to the blog reader who forwarded this opinion.