Commentary and analysis of the Supreme Court’s January 14, 2014 decision in Mississippi ex rel. Hood v. AU Optronics, in which the Court held that this Mississippi state parens patriae consumer action did not constitute a “mass action” removable to federal court under the Class Action Fairness Act of 2005. The decision embodies a victory for states’ attorneys general in their efforts to keep state parens patriae actions in their own courts, and represented a setback for corporate defendants seeking to remove such cases, as pseudo-class actions, into federal court. The Court determined that the state parens patriae action was not a CAFA “mass action” because it did not satisfy the threshold criteria for a mass action in CAFA. The underlying litigation involved an action by the Mississippi state Attorney General against the manufacturers of liquid crystal display panels, for artificially driving up the cost of LCD panels, to the detriment of consumers. The state action was brought pursuant to Mississippi antitrust and consumer protection statutes, and requested injunctive relief as well as restitutionary damages.
Linda S. Mullenix, Think the High Court is Pro-Corporate? Not Here; Companies Unable to Remove State Brought Consumer Protection Cases to Federal Court, National Law Journal, February 3, 2014, at 13.