Maritime Law: 11th Circuit Keeps Costa Concordia Lawsuits in Miami-Dade Circuit Court

By MarEx 2013-07-03 15:00:00

After Carnival's cruise ship Costa Concordia ran aground off the coast of Italy, two separate actions were filed by groups of 56 and 48 plaintiffs in the Circuit Court of the Eleventh Judicial Circuit of Florida (our Miami state court).

Carnival removed both actions to the federal district court, claiming that the district court had subject-matter jurisdiction under the mass-action provision of the Class Action Fairness Act of 2005 (CAFA), Pub. L. 109-2, 119 Stat. 4. The Plaintiffs moved for remand to the state court on the ground that the district court lacked jurisdiction and the district court granted the motion.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit in Scimone v. Carnival Corp., Docket No. 13-12291 (Jul. 1, 2013) affirmed the federal district court, concluding that the cases were improvidently removed and should have been remanded where, under the plain language of CAFA and 28 U.S.C. 1332(d)(11), the district court lacked subject-matter jurisdiction over plaintiffs' two separate actions unless they proposed to try 100 or more persons' claims jointly.

As noted by Judge Marcus, the plaintiffs "never filed a single complaint naming 100 or more plaintiffs and never moved for consolidation or a joint trial on part or all of their two separate actions." Without meeting those conditions, Judge Marcus found the district court had no federal subject matter jurisdiction.

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Source: http://miamishippinglaw.blogspot.com/ by Michelle Otero Valdés, Esq.

Michelle is an admiralty and maritime trial attorney, as well as an internationally recognized authority on marine insurance.

If you are interested in receiving a copy of this decision or have comments/questions, email mov@chaloslaw.com.