United States District Court, C.D. California
Present: The Honorable DALE S. FISCHER, United States
(In Chambers) Order DENYING Defendant's Motion to Remand
Larry Hudson moves for remand of this putative class action.
The Court deems this matter appropriate for decision without
oral argument. See Fed.R.Civ.P. 78; Local Rule 7-15.
The hearing set for April 9, 2018 is removed from the
Court's calendar. The Motion is DENIED.
is a former employee of Defendants Sterling Jewelers, Inc.
and Signet Jewelers Limited. Sterling is a nationwide jeweler
that owns and operates jewelry stores throughout California.
Signet is a global jewelry retailer that operates under
several name brands. Hudson brings six claims: (1) failure to
pay overtime wages; (2) failure to provide meal periods; (3)
failure to reimburse business expenses; (4) failure to
provide itemized wage statements; (5) failure to pay timely
wages; and (6) violation of California's Unfair
gives federal courts jurisdiction over class actions
involving at least 100 class members, minimal diversity, and
at least $5 million in controversy. 28 U.S.C. § 1332(d).
“Congress designed the terms of CAFA specifically to
permit a defendant to remove certain class or mass actions
into federal court . . . [and] intended CAFA to be
interpreted expansively.” Ibarra v. Manheim Invs.,
Inc., 775 F.3d 1193, 1197 (9th Cir. 2015). In a notice
of removal, the defendant need only plausibly allege that the
prerequisites are met. Dart Cherokee Basin Operating Co.
v. Owens, 135 S.Ct. 547, 553 (2014). Once confronted
with a motion to remand, however, the defendant bears the
burden of establishing jurisdiction by a preponderance of the
evidence. Id. at 553-54. On a motion to remand, both
“parties may submit evidence outside the complaint,
including affidavits or declarations, or other
summary-judgment-type evidence relevant to the amount in
controversy at the time of removal.” Ibarra,
775 F.3d at 1199-1200 (citation omitted). A defendant may
establish the amount in controversy by relying on admissible
statistical evidence taken from a representative sample and
extrapolated to calculate the potential liability for the
full class. See LaCross v. Knight Transp. Inc., 775
F.3d 1200, 1202-03 (9th Cir. 2015).
argue that they satisfy CAFA's jurisdictional requirement
because Hudson's Labor Code § 203 waiting time claim
is worth more than $5 million. In determining CAFA
jurisdiction, the Court “accepts the allegations
contained in the complaint as true and assumes the jury will
return a verdict in the plaintiff's favor on every
claim.” Henry v. Cent. Freight Lines, Inc.,
692 Fed.Appx. 806, 807 (9th Cir. 2017). “CAFA's
requirements are to be tested by consideration of real
evidence and the reality of what is at stake in the
litigation, using reasonable assumptions underlying the
defendant's theory of damages exposure.”
Ibarra, 775 F.3d at 1198.
alleges: “DEFENDANTS willfully failed to pay PLAINTIFF
and the former employees within the Regular Rate class all of
their wages due, ” and they therefore are entitled to
waiting time penalties. Compl. ¶ 65, see also
¶¶ 67-68. Defendants may rely on these allegations.
See Coleman v. Estates Express Lines, Inc., 730
F.Supp.2d 1141, 1150 (C.D. Cal. 2010). Defendants calculated
the total amount in controversy on the § 203 claim using
this formula: $5, 277, 960 ($13.50 per hour x 8 hours per day
x 30 days x 1, 629 class members who left Defendants'
employ during the relevant time period.) The Court accepts
Defendants' evidence showing the number of relevant
putative class members and that they earned $13.50 per hour
on average. Dkt. 18-1, Torres Decl. ¶ 7. It is also
reasonable for the Defendants to assume each relevant class
member worked 8 hours a day. Finally, Labor Code § 203
allows Defendants to calculate the waiting time penalty using
30 consecutive days-not just the working days within a 30-day
window. Mamika v. Baca, 68 Cal.App.4th 487, 493-94
(1998). Using these metrics, the Court concludes there is $5,
277, 960 in controversy for Hudson's waiting time
penalties claim-enough on its own to satisfy CAFA's
jurisdictional requirement. Considering that this is only one
of numerous claims raised in the Complaint, there can be no
doubt the Court has subject matter jurisdiction.
the Court finds it has subject matter jurisdiction, it need
not consider the timeliness issue.