1160 Panamanian banana plantation workers sued defendant Dow Chemical Co., claiming that defendant's spraying of substances banned in the United States caused sterility and other health problems. Dow filed for removal under CAFA Section 1332(d)(11), claiming that the claims constituted a "mass action." The Disrict Court ordered Dow to show cause as to the minimum amount in controversy required ($5,000,000 in aggregate or $75,000 per plaintiff). When Dow failed to do so, the District Court remanded.
The Ninth Circuit, in analyzing Dow's claim that CAFA changed preexisting removal jurisdiction law to place the burden of refuting removal jurisdiction on the plaintiff, wrote that "[m]eshing the existing jurisdiction and removal statute sections with the CAFA 'mass action' amendments is far from straightforward." Nevertheless, the Court analyzed CAFA's plain language and legislative history and held that, under CAFA, "the burden of establishing removal jurisdiction remains, as before, on the proponent of federal jurisdiction." Furthermore, the District Court did not abuse its discretion in refusing to allow discovery to determine the amount in controversy or in holding that Dow had failed to meet its burden of proving that removal was warranted. Abrego v. Dow Chemical Co., 2006 U.S. App. LEXIS 8077 (9th Cir. Apr. 4, 2006).- A.S.