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Louque v. Allstate Insurance Company

Close Date: 10/27/2003
Topic(s): Class Actions
Status: closed
Date Of Involvement: 03/21/2003
Docket: 02-1540

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Description:

Question Presented: In Free v. Abbott Laboratories, 529 U.S. 333 (2000), this Court granted review to address an important question on which the courts of appeals are in conflict regarding the scope of diversity jurisdiction in small-claims class actions. The Court affirmed the Fifth Circuit's decision in Free by a fourfour vote, with Justice O'Connor not participating, and thus was unable to resolve the question presented. The circuits are more deeply divided on that question now than they were at the time the Court granted certiorari in Free. This case presents exactly the same question as presented in Free:

Whether the supplemental jurisdiction statute, 28 U.S.C. Sec. 1367, overrules Zahn v. International Paper Co., 414 U.S. 291 (1973), and thus expands federal subject matter jurisdiction in a class action to encompass class members whose claims do not satisfy the amount-in-controversy requirement of 28 U.S.C. Sec. 1332, as long as diversity jurisdiction exists over the claims of one named plaintiff.

Public Citizen was co-counsel for the petitioner at the cert stage, and the Supreme Court denied cert.