United States District Court, N.D. California
ORDER DENYING MOTION TO DISMISS FOR LACK OF
WILLIAM ALSUP UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
action in connection with the use of trans fat in margarine
products, defendant seeks to dismiss for lack of
subject-matter jurisdiction following the denial of class
certification. Defendant's motion is Denied.
Troy Backus filed this action in January 2016, alleging
various claims for relief under California law for the use of
trans fat in the margarine products of defendant ConAgra
Foods, Inc., and ConAgra's alleged mislabeling of those
products. In July 2016, all of Backus's claims were
dismissed except one for mislabeling - for the phrase
“The delicious taste of Fleischmann's enhances your
favorite foods while maintaining your healthy
lifestyle” - subject to an order for limited discovery
to ascertain whether Backus had standing to bring that
surviving claim (Dkt. No. 44). An October 2016 order found
Backus established the requisite reliance and injury to
assert his remaining mislabeling claim (Dkt. No. 55 at 2).
Backus then moved for class certification of this final
remaining claim. In December 2016, another order denied
Backus's request for class certification (Dkt. No. 75).
light of the denial of class certification, all that remains
is the state mislabeling claim as to Backus individually.
ConAgra now moves to dismiss this single remaining claim for
lack of subject-matter jurisdiction.
order follows full briefing, oral argument, and supplemental
agree that when filed, this action enjoyed subject-matter
jurisdiction under the Class Action Fairness Act. The main
issue now is whether the denial of class certification ousted
subject-matter jurisdiction. United Steel v. Shell
Oil, 602 F.3d 1087, 1091 (9th Cir. 2010), in a removal
action, held that a denial of class certification does not
divest federal courts of jurisdiction. ConAgra argues that
United Steel only applies to actions removed to
federal court, not those filed in federal court originally.
Regardless of CAFA, however, both parties agree that
supplemental jurisdiction may be exercised over the remaining
state-law claim pursuant to Section 1367 of Title 28 of the
United States Code.
jurisdiction attaches “in any civil action of which the
district courts have original jurisdiction” so long as
the claims “are so related to claims in the action with
such original jurisdiction that they form part of the same
case or controversy under Article III of the United States
Constitution.” 28 U.S.C. 1367(a). Pursuant to Section
1367(c), the district courts may decline to exercise that
supplemental jurisdiction if:
(1) the claim raises a novel or complex issue of State law,
(2) the claim substantially predominates over the claim or
claims over which the district court has original
(3) the district court has dismissed all claims over which it
has original ...