Friday, March 03, 2006

S.D. Texas Holds that Amended Complaint Adding New Defendant Does Not "Commence" New Suit Under CAFA

BNA’s Class Action Litigation Report (Volume 07 Number 04, Friday, Feb. 24, 2006, Page 119 ISSN 1529-8000) is reporting on Werner v. KPMG, LLP, --- F.Supp.2d ----, 2006 WL 295394 (S.D. Tx. Feb. 7, 2006):

An amended complaint adding new defendants to a class action did not commence a new suit for Class Action Fairness Act purposes because the new parties had already involved themselves in the litigation, a federal court in Texas said Feb. 7. . . .

[The Court interpreted] commencement under a complex Texas law allowing designation of "responsible third parties" [per Tex. Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code Ann. § 33.004, holding] the new defendants had become parties to the case prior to both the plaintiffs' amended pleading filed March 7, 2005, and the Feb. 18, 2005, enactment of CAFA.

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