CAFA jurisdiction over “mass action”

In State of Mississippi v. AU Optronics Corp., the Fifth Circuit reversed a remand order, finding that a suit brought to protect consumers by the Mississippi Attorney General was a “mass action” under CAFA. 701 F.3d 796 (2012).  The Court reviewed the pleading, the relevant Mississippi statutes, the general contours of parens patriae law, and its prior case of Louisiana ex rel Caldwell v. Allstate Insurance, 536 F.3d 418 (5th Cir. 2008), which found that policyholders rather than the Louisiana AG were the real parties in interest in an analogous suit.  Based on this analysis, the Court concluded that the numerical requirements of CAFA for a mass action were satisfied, and the “general public policy” exception in the statute was not.  A concurrence endorsed the outcome but questioned the framework used to analyze the statutory exception.

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