The Class Action Fairness Act (“CAFA”), was enacted to make federal courts the primary venue for class action litigation. It did so by modifying the usual jurisdictional requirements of the diversity jurisdiction statute. Under CAFA, federal courts may exercise removal jurisdiction over state law class actions originally filed in state court so long as there is “minimal” rather than “complete” diversity, and the amount in controversy is greater than $5 million.
In July 2020, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court agreed to tackle the thorny question of whether Amazon can be held liable for defective products sold by third parties on its website. The Third Circuit offered up the case in June after hearing arguments in February and concluding that it was “unable to predict based on existing case law, if and how the Pennsylvania Supreme Court would apply [the law] to e-commerce businesses like Amazon.” The Pennsylvania Supreme Court agreed to address this matter of first impression and decide whether Amazon faces strict liability for products purchased from third-party vendors when the product “was neither possessed nor owned by” Amazon.
Few cases in the antitrust canon have been invoked more frequently, for the wrong reasons, than the Third Circuit’s 1977 decision in Bogosian v. Gulf Oil. For four decades now – culminating in the recent release of a decision certifying class in the long-running Mushrooms case – litigants and courts have cited a “presumption” or “short-cut” embedded in Bogosian and argued about whether it suffices to warrant class certification in a given case. This short-cut, however, is more fantasy than reality.