Judge Gaitan, Chief Judge of the U.S. District Court for the Western District, recently issued an order answering what appears to be an issue of first impression for 8th Circuit courts: does a federal district court retain jurisdiction to rule on a motion for reconsideration on an order to remand made under CAFA? In Wingo v. State Farm Fire and Casualty Co., No. 13-3097, 2013 WL 3872199 (W.D. Mo. July 25, 2013), Judge Gaitan answered the question in the affirmative, continuing the broad interpretation in favor of federal jurisdiction for class actions under CAFA.
Although Judge Gaitan noted the dearth of case law on the issue, he noted that the “Seventh Circuit has treated reconsideration by district courts in a CAFA case as a proper exercise of jurisdiction” and found such authority to be persuasive in the absence of any contrary authority. Id. at *2, citing Natale v. General Motors, No. 06–8011, 2006 WL 1458585, at *1 (7th Cir. May 8, 2006); In re Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway Co., 606 F.3d 379, 380 (7th Cir.2010).
Ruling on the merits of the motion, the court reversed its prior remand order, finding that it did not give proper consideration to the factual allegations in Plaintiff’s first amended petition, and under its Rule 59 ability to correct “manifest errors of law or fact” found that the case met CAFA’s numerosity and amount-in-controversy thresholds. Id. at *2, citing Innovative Home Health Care, Inc. v. P.T.-O.T. Associates of the Black Hills, 141 F.3d 1284, 1286 (8th Cir.1998).