United States District Court, W.D. Pennsylvania
BRUCE WINKWORTH and MARCIA BOTELHO, Individually and on behalf of themselves and on behalf of all others similarly situated, Plaintiffs,
SPECTRUM BRANDS, INC., Defendant.
PATRICIA L. DODGE UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
Spectrum Brands, Inc., (“Spectrum”), removed the
present case to this Court under 28 U.S.C. §
1453. (ECF No. 1). Pending before the Court is
Plaintiffs' Motion to Remand this action to state court.
(ECF No. 6). Because the jurisdictional requirements under
the Class Action Fairness Act (“CAFA”) are
satisfied, Plaintiffs' motion will be
commenced this class action lawsuit in the Court of Common
Pleas of Jefferson County, Pennsylvania, “to redress a
defective and dangerous condition present in the
Remington® Hot Rollers (“Hot Rollers”) that
were warranted, advertised, distributed, and sold” by
Spectrum throughout the United States. (ECF No. 1-1 ¶
1). Specifically, Plaintiffs allege that due to a latent
defect, the Hot Rollers “heat to unreasonably unsafe
temperatures when operated as instructed . . . thereby
exposing consumers to dangerous skin contact . . . .”
(Id. ¶ 5). Plaintiffs claim that this alleged
defect “is unreasonably dangerous and renders the Hot
Rollers unfit to use when curling hair with a bare hand . . .
.” (Id. ¶ 16).
seek to represent two classes with respect to these
(1) A nationwide Injunctive/Declaratory Relief Class
(“Nationwide Class”) consisting of all persons in
the United States who own a Hot Roller purchased during the
four (4) years preceding the filing of this action, and
(2) A Pennsylvania-only Damages Class (“Pennsylvania
Class”) consisting of all persons in the Commonwealth
of Pennsylvania who purchased a Hot Roller during the four
(4) years preceding the filing of this action.
(Id. ¶¶ 66-67).
their complaint, Plaintiffs assert multiple claims on behalf
of one or both of these classes, including breach of the
implied warranty of merchantability, breach of express
warranty, violation of the Magnuson-Moss Consumer Products
Warranties Act, negligence, and negligent failure to warn.
(Id. ¶¶ 79-95, 96-120, 121-134, 135-143,
144-155). In their prayer for relief, Plaintiffs seek, inter
alia, an order certifying both classes, compensatory damages
sustained by Plaintiffs and both classes, equitable and
injunctive relief for the Nationwide Class, payment of costs
of the lawsuit, pre-judgment and post-judgment interest on
any amounts awarded, punitive damages, and reasonable
attorneys' fees. (Id. at 34-35). As it relates
to the Nationwide Class, Plaintiffs request declaratory
relief related to the defect, the remediation of the defect,
and its coverage under the available express and implied
warranties. (Id. ¶¶ 95, 119, 133).
filed a timely notice of removal in this Court averring that
the jurisdictional requirements under CAFA are satisfied.
(ECF No. 1). In their Motion to Remand, Plaintiffs contest
Spectrum's allegation regarding the amount in
controversy. (ECF No. 6). This motion has been fully briefed
and is ripe for resolution. (ECF Nos. 7, 12, 13).
Standard of Review
removing party . . . carries a heavy burden of showing that
at all stages of the litigation the case is properly before
the federal court. Removal statutes are to be strictly
construed, with all doubts to be resolved in favor of
remand.” Manning v. Merrill Lynch Pierce Fenner
& Smith, Inc., 772 F.3d 158, 162 (3d Cir. 2014)
(quoting Brown v. Jevic, 575 F.3d 322, 326 (3d Cir.
2009)). However, “no antiremoval presumption attends
cases invoking CAFA, which Congress enacted to facilitate
adjudication of certain class actions in federal
court.” Dart Cherokee Basin Operating Co., LLC v.
Owens, 574 U.S. 81, 89 (2014) (citing Standard Fire
Ins. Co. v. Knowles, 568 U.S. 588, 595 (2013)). A court
shall remand a removed case “if at any time before
final judgment it appears that the district court lacks
subject matter jurisdiction.” 28 U.S.C. § 1447(c).
CAFA, a defendant may remove a class action to a federal
district court so long as the action satisfies the
statute's special diversity and procedural requirements.
Specifically, federal district courts have original
jurisdiction over such cases when (1) there are at least 100
members of the class; (2) there is minimal diversity, i.e.,
any member of the class of plaintiffs is a citizen of a
different state from any defendant; and (3) the amount in
controversy, as aggregated across all individual claims,
exceeds the sum or value of $5 million (exclusive ...