Andrea L. Dammann; May K. Yang, individually and on behalf of classes of similarly situated indivduals Plaintiffs - Appellants
Progressive Direct Insurance Company Defendant-Appellee
Submitted: March 8, 2017
from United States District Court for the District of
Minnesota - Minneapolis
BENTON, BEAM, and MURPHY, Circuit Judges.
MURPHY, Circuit Judge.
Andrea Dammann and May Yang filed a class action in Minnesota
state court alleging that Progressive Direct Insurance
Company (Progressive) sold insurance policies with benefits
below the statutory minimum required by Minnesota law. After
Progressive removed the case to federal court, plaintiffs
moved to remand. Plaintiffs argue that the requirements for
removal under the Class Action Fairness Act (CAFA) were not
met. The district court denied plaintiffs' motion to remand
and subsequently granted Progressive's motion to dismiss
for failure to state a claim. Plaintiffs appeal, and we
Dammann and May Yang are both Minnesota residents who
purchased automobile insurance policies from Progressive.
Payments of certain deductibles were required by the policies
in the event of covered losses: $100 for medical expense
payments and $200 for economic loss payments. Both policies
provided only the minimum coverage required by Minnesota law:
$20, 000 for medical expenses, and $20, 000 for economic
and Yang both suffered covered losses and incurred more than
$20, 100 in medical expenses as a result. Because their
policies included the $100 deductible for medical expense
payments and a maximum coverage of $20, 000, each plaintiff
received a payment of just $19, 900 from Progressive. Both
filed suit in Minnesota state court alleging that
Progressive's practice of selling policies with
deductibles which reduced benefit payments below $20, 000 for
medical expenses and for economic losses violated Minnesota
law. Plaintiffs sought to represent a class of all similarly
timely removed the case to federal court. Plaintiffs then
moved to remand to state court on the ground that CAFA's
jurisdictional requirements were not met because the amount
in controversy did not exceed $5, 000, 000. After the
district court denied the motion to remand, Progressive moved
to dismiss the case under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure
12(b)(6). The district court granted the motion to dismiss,
and plaintiffs appeal.
first argue that the district court should have remanded the
case to state court because it lacked jurisdiction. We review
de novo a district court decision that subject matter
jurisdiction exists under CAFA. See Bell v. Hershey
Co., 557 F.3d 953, 956 (8th Cir. 2009). If the district
court's jurisdictional decision rests on findings of
fact, we review those factual determinations for clear error.
See Scottsdale Ins. Co. v. Universal Crop Prot. All.,
LLC, 620 F.3d 926, 930 (8th Cir. 2010).
CAFA, federal courts have original jurisdiction over class
actions "where, among other things, 1) there is minimal
diversity; 2) the proposed class contains at least 100
members; and 3) the amount in controversy is at least $5
million in the aggregate." Raskas v. Johnson &
Johnson, 719 F.3d 884, 886 (8th Cir. 2013). The party
seeking removal under CAFA bears the burden of establishing
these jurisdictional requirements by a preponderance of the
evidence. See id. at 887.
plaintiffs argue that the district court erred when it
determined that the amount in controversy here exceeds $5,
000, 000. Specifically, the plaintiffs argue that because
"the plaintiff is the master of the complaint, "
Bell, 557 F.3d at 956, the district court should
have restricted its analysis of the amount in controversy to
what could be recovered by the class of individuals
identified in the complaint-individuals who had actually made
claims for covered losses and were paid less than the
statutory minimum. According to Progressive, some six hundred
individuals fall within this class. When the district court
calculated the amount in controversy, however, it relied on
premiums collected on all Progressive policies which included
the challenged deductibles, regardless of whether the
policyholders had made claims which led to application of the
district court noted, the facts here are similar to those in
Raskas, 719 F.3d at 886. There, a group of
plaintiffs filed a lawsuit in Missouri state court alleging
that various manufacturers of medications had "conspired
. . . to deceive customers into throwing away medications
after their expiration dates, knowing that the medications
were safe and effective beyond the expiration date."
Id. The defendants sought to remove to federal court
based on their sales revenue in Missouri during the class
period. Id. Plaintiffs sought to remand on the
ground that "these sales figures were insufficient to
satisfy the amount in controversy requirement, as Plaintiffs
are only seeking to recover damages for medications discarded
and replaced." Id. They argued that
defendants' evidence in support of the amount in
controversy was overinclusive because it encompassed more
than just the sales attributable to the challenged practice.
Id. at 887. We rejected the plaintiffs'
overinclusiveness argument, however, for ...